Like any couple in love, 37-year-old Malin Stenberg and her boyfriend Claes Nilsson were excited about starting a family. But there was a major problem standing in their way. Due to a genetic defect called Rokitansky Syndrome, Malin was born without a vagina or a uterus. Yet this Sweden couple refused to give up on his dream of having their own family!
Malin underwent an operation when she was younger to receive an artificial vagina, but she was told that she would never bear her own children. But she didn’t want to give up.
Claes managed to get his then 29-year-old girlfriend into a risky and never attempted research project at the University of Gothenburg. Just 9 women were chosen to take part. And Malin was one of them.
The women share the same fate: they are unable to have their own children due to their malformation. The point of the study is to implant a foreign uterus into the women’s bodies. The attempts in the past showed that transplants from dead donors are mostly rejected, should the donor’s family agree to the transplant.
Then 61-year-old Ewa Rosen, a friend of the family, a mother of 2 sons and already a grandmother of 4, volunteered immediately to donate her uterus to Malin. Incredibly, a medical miracle happened: just 43 days after the operation, the now 35-year-old had a period for the first time in her life. And just 1 year after the operation, the hopeful couple finally have their happy ending: Malin got pregnant! 31 weeks later, their most desired wish came true on their first try. Finally!
The unborn baby developed wonderfully and according to plan. But after irregularities appeared, Malin underwent a Caesarean section. No one was certain whether it was the fault of the transplant or not. But it didn’t matter to Malin or Claes. They were now able to hold what they wanted all their lives in their arms. The little Vincent made them the happiest people in the whole universe!
In the meantime, the little boy has turned 1 and is as fit as a fiddle. He is an observant and cheerful child. He still can’t comprehend the journey his parents have gone to bring him into this world. The donor, Ewa Rosen, has become like a grandmother for the little one and has a very special relationship to Malin and her family.
The foreign uterus has been removed so that Malin no longer has to undergo the strong hormone therapy. 7 of the 9 women’s bodies who participated in the study accepted their implanted uteruses. And 4 of them have even had their own babies, Vincent being the first. This number is almost unbelievably high and most likely not sustainable. But the story of little Vincent is giving many women hope of one day having their own child.
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