One miscarriage is enough to devastate any hopeful couple, but after enduring nine separate losses, Melissa Kayser was coming to terms with the idea that she might never become a mom. However, this wasn't something that her older sister, Lisa Auten, was willing to let become their reality.
After three years of trying to conceive and failed fertility treatments, doctors brought up trying a surrogate and Melissa struggled with this decision before her sister volunteered to fill that role. "I was devastated because you think as women we are literally born to do one thing and that's to reproduce and when you can't do that one thing you feel like a failure," Melissa told Inside Edition. "I didn't know if I could emotionally handle another woman being able to carry my child."
For Lisa, those years of helplessly watching her sister try to become a mom were extremely painful for her as well, and she was up for doing what she could to bring a niece or nephew into this world. "I couldn't stand watching Melissa go through loss after loss," Lisa said. "She hurt so badly and she just wanted a child so bad. If I could help give her a family, then I was going to do it."
Lisa and Melissa took doctors' advice and opted to have two embryos implanted because one of the embryos was not thought to be strong. This made the news that Lisa was officially carrying not one baby but two a major surprise for the families.
"I think we were all a little bit shocked. My sister was telling them to count again," Melissa said. "My sister had a really good pregnancy and very little complications. I got to be at all the ultrasounds and got to feel the babies kick. We did a gender reveal and we tried to make things fun and memorable."
Tierney and Ashlynn are now 6 weeks old and the official adoption will take place when the babies are 6 months old. This was Lisa's first pregnancy, and although she says she enjoyed carrying the twins, the gift of motherhood is something she was happy to give to her sister and not something that she wants for herself. "I never saw myself being a mom. I enjoyed being pregnant, but the experience has not changed my mind," Lisa said. "I am just fine being an aunt."
However, for Melissa, motherhood is more than she could have ever imagined and she's able to enjoy each moment of it thanks to her sister. "Every day I am in awe. You hear women say you don't really know love until you have children. They really do complete me," Melissa said. "There's never any words that I can say to thank her for what she did. She gave up a year of her life so that we could have a family. I could never repay."