A 50-year-old mother-of-eight from Utah has given birth to her own grandchild after offering to be her daughter’s surrogate following years of fertility struggles.
Chalise Smith, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, welcomed her 25-year-old daughter Kaitlyn Munoz’s baby girl, Alayna Kait-Chalise Munoz, on May 17.
The Hee Haw Farms owner carried the baby to term after having embryos implanted via in vitro fertilization, but the newborn is genetically Kaitlyn and her husband Miguel Munoz’s child.
Chalise told Good Morning America that she didn’t make the decision to become her daughter’s surrogate and embark on her ninth pregnancy ‘lightheartedly.’
‘It was on my mind daily. I thought about it. I prayed about it, just wondering and asking if this was a direction or path for me, and before I even told Kaitlyn and Miguel or my husband, I just kept these thoughts to myself,’ she recalled.
Chalise Smith welcomed her 25-year-old daughter Kaitlyn Munoz’s baby girl, Alayna Kait-Chalise Munoz, on May 17, after committing to being her surrogate
Kaitlyn and her husband, Miguel Munoz, also have a two-year-old son, Callahan, whom she was able to carry herself
Chalise carried the baby after having embryos implanted via in vitro fertilization, but the newborn is genetically Kaitlyn and her Miguel’s child
Kaitlyn, who lives in El Paso, Texas, suffers from endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb starts to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
She had been struggling to conceive for three years without avail when she and Miguel, a law graduate, agreed to try a round of IVF in 2019 that resulted in four embryos.
Kaitlyn told Mercury Press that she had two embryos implanted and got pregnant with her son, Callahan, whom she was able to carry on her own.
She was 30 weeks into her pregnancy when she had a flare-up that led to her being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks the glands that make tears and saliva.
Alayna Kait-Chalise, who is named after her mother and grandmother, weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 inches long when she arrived last month
Kaitlyn, who lives in El Paso, Texas, suffers from endometriosis and had been struggling to conceive for three years when she underwent IVF in 2019
Kaitlyn was later diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the glands that make tears and saliva
Symptoms from the chronic disorder include dry eyes and mouth, fatigue, and joint paint.
In some cases, it can also cause damage to the lungs, kidneys, and nervous system, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
In January 2021, Kaitlyn was told the autoimmune disease had damaged her kidneys, and she wouldn’t be able to carry another pregnancy.
‘I was crushed. It’s always been my dream to have a big family. It’s been my dream to be a mother with lots of kids ever since I was a young girl,’ she explained to Mercury Press.
Chalise was devastated by her daughter’s diagnosis, and after thinking long and hard about what to do, she offered to be her surrogate.
In January 2021, she was told she would not carry any more children, which led to her mother offering to be her surrogate
‘I thought about it. I prayed about it, just wondering and asking if this was a direction or path for me,’ Chalise told Good Morning America of becoming her daughter’s surrogate
Kaitlyn and Miguel were thrilled when they found out they were having a baby girl during a gender reveal
‘I was definitely surprised,’ Kaitlyn told GMA. ‘I mean, I’m a third of eight kids. So she is Wonder Woman, and the idea that she was willing to get pregnant at 49, and she turned 50 while being pregnant — just the fact that she was willing to do that for me was amazing.’
Kaitlyn’s husband and family were soon on board with the arrangement, and Chalise was medically cleared to carry her ninth pregnancy at age 49.
‘It went really well,’ she told GMA. ‘With the IVF cycle, I had the shots for the first 10 weeks of the pregnancy. My husband became a great nurse administering those shots. We told our extended family 15 weeks after I passed some of those markers in that first trimester and from there on, it was great.’
Chalise was six months pregnant with her granddaughter when she celebrated her 50th birthday at Disneyland with her children.
Chalise was 49 when she was medically cleared to carry her grandchild. She was six months pregnant when she celebrated her milestone 50th birthday at Disneyland
Alayna Kait-Chalise’s special name is an homage to both her mother and her grandmother who carried her
Kaitlyn, who is one of eight children, was initially surprised that her mother was willing to get pregnant for the ninth time
When Alayna Kait-Chalise arrived last month, the healthy baby girl weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 inches long.
Kaitlyn shared photos of her mother in the hospital with her newborn daughter on Instagram the next day.
‘What an amazing experience the last 24 hours have been. I am at a loss of words. My mom is a living angel and brought us another blessing earth side and we are in LOVE,’ she wrote in the caption.
‘When my mom offered to be our surrogate it just felt so right. My mom did so amazing through out the pregnancy and we had an amazing delivery experience. Grateful for my mom and her selflessness in this journey.’
Chalise (pictured with Kaitlyn as a newborn) said her ninth pregnancy ‘went really well’
Chalise (pictured with baby Kaitlyn and her two siblings) was called ‘Wonder Woman’ by her grateful daughter
Kaitlyn (pictured with her mother) shared that she and her husband are considering adoption in the future
Alayna Kait-Chalise’s name is an homage to both her mother and her grandmother who carried her.
‘She’s my first girl. I wanted her named after me, but I definitely wanted to name her after my mom, as well, because my mom carried her,’ Kaitlyn told GMA.
The mother-of-two added that Alayna is ‘just the sweetest little thing,’ saying her two-year-old son, Callahan, ‘adores her and wants to hold her all the time.’
Kaitlyn and her husband are enjoying being a family of four at the moment, but she said they would be open to having more children down the line.
‘I’m grateful for my son and my daughter now and I’m glad that I have one of each, and maybe down the road, we’ll decide that we want to move forward with adoption,’ she said. ‘But right now, we’re happy with the two that we have.’