Last Wednesday, Kelcey McKissak was born at the Medical Center of Plano in Texas. The healthy baby girl’s name is a combination of her mother’s, Kelley Kissack, and her grandmother’s, Tracey Thompson. It’s a fitting name because Kelcey herself is a miraculous combination of both women. After Kelley, 28, had suffered three miscarriages, her 53-year-old mother boldly stepped in to carry the baby for her daughter. “It is such a blessing that I can do this for my daughter,” explained the grandmother. “Her and her husband had gone through so much—the miscarriages and fertility. I didn’t want to disappoint her.”
After undergoing in vitro fertilization, Kelley suffered her final miscarriage on Christmas Day 2014 and had only four embryos left. That’s when Thompson stepped in to help. “Tracey was already seven years past menopause but in otherwise excellent health,” a hospital official explained. “Age alone is typically a limiting factor for childbirth and surrogacy. However, medical advances in assisted reproductive technology can allow for late-in-life surrogacy, under exacting supervision.”
Although Kelcey was born a healthy 6 pounds 11 ounces, the pregnancy wasn’t easy for Thompson. “It’s been many years since I was pregnant,” she says. “The second trimester was great. The first and third were really tough.” An OBGYN at the hospital, Dr. Joseph Loveno, had high praise for Thompson. “It takes a mountain of a woman and I think that’s what Tracey is as far as her spirit and her strength [goes],” he says.