Tina Cade delivered her own grandchildren —- two boys and a girl -— by Caesarean section Tuesday at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital. She served as a surrogate for her oldest daughter, Camille Hammond, and Hammond's husband, Jason.
She told The Early Show co-anchor Gretchen Carlson, "It's meant everything! It's been -- it's been kind of on hold for two years now, trying to make this dream come true. And before, it was a fantasy. Right up until the point that they told me they had delivered the children, the babies. But it's not a fantasy now. I've got three lovely grandchildren who I have yet to see!"
Hammond, 29, suffers from endometriosis, a condition that affects the lining of the uterus and makes it difficult to become pregnant. She and her husband, both resident physicians at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, tried for four years to conceive. Cade underwent in-vitro fertilization in the spring.
"It was her (Cade's) idea to begin with," Jason said. "We were -- she was -- she brought this up to us, then we were just completely flabbergasted when she actually decided to do it for us."
Camille Hammond said she was "overwhelmed" by her first look at the three infants, and her husband said "they were all just so beautiful, we were just overcome."
"This is our Christmas blessing, our New Year's blessing," she said. "Really, the most wonderful gift we've ever received in our entire lives and probably that we'll ever receive, and we are just so grateful to mother, as well as to God, for this, this huge, huge blessing."
These three births "didn't barely resemble my experience of having single babies," Cade said. "Of course, I was much younger, but I didn't have your typical pregnancy symptoms. So it was very -- it was different."
She joked that she gained so much weight with the triplets that she has not seen her feet in months.
The couple declined to disclose the names of the babies, who are in intensive care. The babies were due in mid-February. The C-section was scheduled after Cade came in for an appointment and doctors noticed swelling. She was admitted Monday. "I was a caring incubator and that's how I saw myself," Cade said.
The boys weighed 4 pounds, 9 ounces and 3 pounds, 12 ounces; the girl weighed 4 pounds, 10 ounces. Asked if she had any counsel for the new parents, Cade, who is director of multicultural affairs at the University of Richmond, said: "Just to love them. Unconditional love. That conquers so many hurdles and challenges."
While losing a night's sleep is a common occurrence for the two doctors, they say they won't mind it as much when it comes to caring for the babies.
"The difference is these are going to be our own children we are losing sleep over," says Jason. "Which will be a little bit different. I won't mind losing sleep as much."
The National Center for Health Statistics said 12 children were born in 2002 to women ages 50 to 54 who carried triplets. The center only records surviving infants, and does not maintain statistics for women 55 and over.