Seeing a child come into the world is a monumental experience. It doesn’t matter how the baby was conceived, (or in the case of this couple from Sweden), born. All children are to be celebrated and loved.
When your baby is born, out of the 251 lives brought into the world every minute, your’s is the most beautiful and the best. But for 37-year-old Malin Stenberg, motherhood almost didn’t happen. She and her partner, Claes Nilsson, saw their son, Vincint born against some massive odds.
Stenberg was the first woman to give birth after receiving a womb transplant. Though he doesn’t know it, little Vincint, who is now a year old, pioneered the way for other children to be born from transplanted wombs.
At the young age of fifteen, Stenberg learned she had Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRks). This mostly occurs in females. The vagina and uterus are underdeveloped. This news crushed Stenberg who always had dreams of becoming a mother.
“I wasn’t ready to hear it; I couldn’t take it in. I thought that this means that I’ll never be able to carry a child of my own – but that is what women are made for. It felt so unfair. I loved kids and babies, and I wanted to know what I had done to deserve this. I felt so alone.”
She accepted the painful news. Perhaps motherhood wasn’t in the cards for her. But all that changed when she met 40-year-old Nilsson, a competitive golfer. Nilsson wouldn’t accept the idea of not becoming a father. Together, they discussed other alternative birth methods. First, they looked into surrogacy and adoption before learning of a new method that was in the experimental phase.
Stenberg signed up to participate in a project taking place at Gothenburg University. The nine women involved in this pioneering project were given the wombs of other women.
No, this isn’t a science fiction novel. The majority of the women received the wombs of their mothers. Stenberg received her godmother’s womb instead. The womb donors no longer needed their wombs.
“She’s incredible,” Stenberg comments.”She’s made a great contribution to other people in taking this step to be a donor without any payments or anything: just good will.”
There were many risks associated with the transplants because previous attempts were unsuccessful. Stenberg was determined to succeed. Her womb transplant was a success. She was then given IVF where she became pregnant after the first try. During her pregnancy, both Stenberg and Nilsson tread lightly.
Sweet little Vincint was born two months premature. A year later, the little boy is a vision of health and happiness: “Today it feels like we went from nothing at all to having this wonderful boy,” Stenberg said. “It’s more than 100 percent. We are more than happy with this. I couldn’t wish for more.”
Since vincint’s birth, four other babies have come into the world from transplanted wombs. Stenberg and Nilsson are overjoyed with their son. They don’t intend on having any more children. Stenberg had her donated womb removed because doctors feared another pregnancy would be harmful to mother and child.
Other countries have started their form of womb transplants, giving the hope to other people who have previously been unable to have children. Technology is amazing. It’s constantly evolving. There are medical breakthroughs every year. Hopefully, womb transplants will become more commonplace, so those women who can’t have children can conceive and give birth to their precious bundles of joy.