Miracle twins born, with aunt's assist
- Miracle twins born, with aunt's assistFriday, October 24, 2003
It was a difficult delivery, but everyone's doing fine.
Twins Kelsey Grace Newton and Bertram Parker Newton were born early Thursday morning when their aunt underwent a Caesarean section at Cooper University Hospital.
Cherie DeSorte, 34, carried the twins for her sister, Kelly, 32, who underwent a radical hysterectomy last year after being diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. Kelly and her husband, Bert Newton, 35, supplied the fertilized eggs implanted in Cherie by in vitro fertilization.
"She looks like me, and he looks like Bert," said an ecstatic Kelly DeSorte-Newton just hours after the twins were born. "They are so cute."
The twins, whose journey from conception to birth some say was a miracle, were delivered by Dr. Frederic Steinberg at 3:22 a.m. and 3:23 a.m., under the glare of surgical lights and television cameras from the Discovery Channel. The network filmed a documentary about the twins for its Discovery Health series, to air later.
Born at 38 weeks, Kelsey was a bit bigger than her brother, at 6 pounds, 10 ounces and 19 inches. Bertram, named after his father, was 6 pounds, 4 ounces and 19 inches long.
"He was very alert and looking around," his mother said. "He wanted to eat, and was trying to eat his blanket. She did not want to be bothered, she wanted to go right to sleep."
The blue-eyed, blond twins are being fed Similac and are under observation in the hospital's transitional nursery. Kelsey was being checked for a possible infection after blood tests showed a lowered white blood cell count, Bert Newton said.
Hospital officials would not allow photos to be taken Thursday.
Cherie DeSorte's water broke at the hospital Wednesday afternoon, during a scheduled non-stress test. By 11 p.m., she had dilated to 10 centimeters and began pushing. Kelsey was in the birth canal during labor, and Kelly said she was able to see a patch of her daughter's blond hair as her sister pushed.
"I was pushing, everyone in the room was pushing," Bert Newton said. "We were all like, "Come on, push!" Also coaching her were her mother, also named Cherie, and Kelly's sister-in-law, Rosemary.
After two hours of pushing, Cherie's efforts were fruitless. Doctors administered general anesthesia before the C-section after three attempts to give her a spinal block failed, Kelly DeSorte-Newton said.
"I knew she was in a lot of pain," she said. "They gave her three spinals and it didn't work. I felt so bad for her. It was a shame that she was knocked out for the whole thing.
"I thought this was so amazing that she would do this for us," she said of Cherie. "When I saw what she actually had to go through, I don't know how to thank her or how to make it up to her."
Experts say only 60 to 80 couples out of 1,200 per year who use in vitro fertilization require a gestational carrier. The couple must pay the carrier $15,000 to $25,000 to carry the child to term.
When the Newtons began considering in vitro fertilization, Cherie volunteered to carry their child. Because multiple embryos are implanted to help the odds, twins often are born.
"I'm exhausted," Cherie DeSorte said Thursday morning. "I'm dying to chug a pitcher of water or a soda, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Cherie, an unmarried designer who operates a boutique in Westmont, said she was disappointed she was not conscious for the twins' births, but was grateful for their health.
"I'm so happy it had such a good outcome, but the only thing I regret is not being able to see their faces," she said.
Kelly DeSorte-Newton said she expects the twins to be released Monday, and they will return to the Turnersville home they will share with their parents and aunt.
"I really hope our story gives other people in my situation hope to have their own family," she said.