Many people dream of being parents. They know from a young age that they want to have a child or children, and they know that when, or if, they are finally blessed with that opportunity they will do everything they can to create a life full of happiness. Mothers especially have that “mother’s intuition” that allows them to understand when their kids need them even more than usual. And Chalise Smith knows all about that.
As a mother to eight wonderful children, Chalise Smith has lived a full life with an incredibly full heart. She’s spent a large portion of her life devoting herself to her kids, which is why she found it so difficult when she learned that her 25-year-old daughter was struggling to welcome another baby into her brood. Her daughter wanted nothing more than to have a big family like she had growing up, which is why Chalise knew that she had to step in.
Chalise Smith Hails From Utah, and Kaitlyn Was the Third of Her Eight Children
Chalise Smith, a 50-year-old from Pleasant Grove, Utah, always knew that she wanted a big family. She wanted to surround herself with as many children as possible, and her husband shared the same values. Over the course of their marriage, they have welcomed eight wonderful children together; many of whom have now grown up and begun to start their own families.
However, this specific story focuses on Kaitlyn – her third child. Chalise confessed that Kaitlyn is the “third of eight kids. When I had my eighth baby, she was just 13, and loved being a part of that.” Because she grew up with younger and older siblings in a big family, Kaitlyn “always dreamed of having a big family of my own.” And while this seemed like an easy idea in theory, she realized the reality of building a family would be much more complicated.
When Kaitlyn Got Married, She Tried and Failed for Three Years To Start Her Own Family
When Kaitlyn found the love of her life and moved to Tucson, Arizona with her husband Miguel, Chalise was excited to see what the next stage of her daughter’s life had in store for her. The mom knew that Kaitlyn intended to start trying for a family as soon as they got married, and that’s exactly what they did. But sadly, they struggled to conceive for over three years.
Kaitlyn and Miguel knew that they wanted to have children more than anything, and Chalise could see that the process was starting to affect her daughter. She knew that Kaitlyn “wanted so badly to have a family” and that “watching her struggle to start her own family was really hard.” The whole family wanted answers, and they wanted to know why their journey was proving to be so difficult. So, they sought medical help.
When Kaitlyn Was Diagnosed With Endometriosis, They Decided To Start the IVF Process
As Kaitlyn and Miguel tried to understand why they were struggling to conceive naturally, both of them underwent medical testing. After weeks of blood tests and physical examinations, it was discovered that Kaitlyn had a severe case of endometriosis – and while it’s not impossible to get pregnant with endometriosis, it certainly makes the process much harder. However, Kaitlyn’s case was so severe that she had to undergo surgery.
In January 2019, Kaitlyn had a surgical procedure to treat her endometriosis, and they decided to start the process of IVF to give their pregnancy process a little help. The young woman confessed, “We started off with 11 eggs that were able to fertilize… At the end of an emotional couple of weeks, we were blessed with four viable embryos. We placed two of the embryos, one took and I became pregnant with Cal.”
Kaitlyn Fell Pregnant Thanks to IVF, but Suffered a Major Health Blow During Her Pregnancy
When Kaitlyn, her husband, and her whole husband learned that she was pregnant and that the IVF process had worked, they were over the moon. Kaitlyn couldn’t wait to start her family and she couldn’t wait to welcome her son or daughter into the world. And while her pregnancy was plain sailing for the first 30 weeks, she then began to feel unwell: “I experienced severe chest pain and was admitted to hospital.”
She went on to note that “After having a ton of tests administered the doctors determined that I have an autoimmune disease, Sjogrens Syndrome. This autoimmune disease generally attacks moisture producing glands (sweat, tear, saliva) and the kidneys. Unfortunately, I had not been diagnosed before pregnancy and, without the proper medication, the Sjogren antibodies had been attacking my kidneys and we later discovered had caused significant damage.”
She Had To Have an Emergency C-Section at 33 Weeks, but Her Son Was Still Happy and Healthy
With her kidneys starting to suffer, the doctors began to worry for the health of Kaitlyn and her unborn baby. They monitored the young woman for a couple more weeks before they eventually decided that their only option was to deliver the baby earlier than planned. So, Kaitlyn was rushed into labor and delivered her baby boy Callahan at just 33 weeks.
Thankfully, Callahan was a healthy and happy baby – and Kaitlyn sees her son’s birth as a miracle. She noted that “He healed my broken heart, his birth resulted in a diagnosis of Sjogren’s and getting me the medical care that I needed… He saved us and I forever am grateful God gave me the gift of Callahan.” However, what Kaitlyn didn’t envisage at the time would that her diagnosis would also come with some devastating consequences.
Due to Kaitlyn’s Diagnosis, Doctors Told Her That It Would Be Unwise for Her To Carry Another Baby
In the months following Callahan’s birth, Kaitlyn and Miguel tried to stay within their happy bubble. They enjoyed life with a newborn and they embraced the fact that they were finally parents after all this time. However, Kaitlyn couldn’t escape her diagnosis. The severity of the autoimmune disease couldn’t be ignored by doctors, and they continued to closely monitor for the next year.
As Kaitlyn attended appointments to track the health of her kidneys and was taught how to manage her disease, she was told that there would be a possibility that she wouldn’t be able to carry another child. But she “was hopeful” that it wouldn’t come to that. Sadly, though, in January 2021 she “got the news that my kidneys were not healthy enough to safely endure a pregnancy.” Kaitlyn was devastated, especially as she knew she wanted more children.
With Two Embryos Left, Kaitlyn Confided in Her Mom Because She Didn’t Know What To Do
While Kaitlyn understood why she wouldn’t be able to carry another child, that didn’t make the news any easier to swallow. She had wanted a large family more than anything in the world, and although she loved her son, she always imagined him having brothers or sisters. Plus, she still had two embryos left – so she didn’t know what to do. In the end, she reached out to her mom for support.
Chalise noted that “The day that Kaitlyn found out that she wouldn’t be able to carry another child, she sent me a video that documented her emotions. She told me that she was feeling peace and gratitude that she could be here for her son and that she was thinking about having a surrogate or adopting to grow her family.” After all, she needed to find another way to have another child.
While Kaitlyn Explored Her Options, Her Mom Stewed on Her Own Idea for a Whole Three Weeks
In her heart, Kaitlyn knew that she wasn’t done. Even if she couldn’t carry her own child, she wasn’t done being a mother – so she was willing to explore other options. She began to research adoption and even surrogacy, and started to weigh up the pros and cons of each process. Kaitlyn and her husband put a huge amount of time and effort into this decision, but what they didn’t realize was that Chalise had also put her thinking cap on.
Unbeknownst to Kaitlyn, Chalise had come up with an idea that could solve all of her daughter’s problems. But it wasn’t your average idea, and she knew that she couldn’t take it lightly. So, she stewed on it for three weeks, going back on forth on whether it would even be a viable option for her daughter and her whole family. After the three weeks were up, she decided to approach the subject with her daughter.
Chalise Came up With the Idea of Carrying Kaitlyn’s Baby, but She Had Her Reservations
After seeing her daughter in pain and struggling to cope with the fact that she wouldn’t be able to carry another child, Chalise battled with her inner demons. She noted that “As a mother, we get so involved in our children’s lives, emotionally. There’s just these different ties we have with our kids.” Because of this, she knew that she had to help in an extreme way – even if that meant carrying another child at 50 years old.
Yes, Chalise wondered whether that could be an option for her daughter – but she still had her reservations. She confessed that “I needed to make sure this wasn’t jumping this emotionally because I was wanting to do this for her. I wanted it to be the right choice. I was going to be 50. I’m experiencing this other stage of life. I needed to make sure this is the right thing, and that I had support.” So, she took the idea to Kaitlyn.
The Mom Decided To Approach the Subject With Her Daughter, To See if It Was Something Kaitlyn Would Consider
Of course, Chalise knew that it was a wild idea. Could she really carry her own grandchild at 50 years old? That’s why she kept her thoughts to herself for three weeks before even approaching it with anyone: “In my own prayer and thoughts and seeking my own answers, I kept it to myself; I didn’t even tell my husband.” But then, one day, she felt the overwhelming urge to call her daughter while she was folding the laundry.
Chalise noted that, “I called her, and she was just sitting in the parking lot of a grocery store waiting for her son to wake up. We just chatted – just some small talk – and then I had the thought to just tell her.” Chalise had no idea how her daughter would take the news, or whether Kaitlyn would simply laugh off the idea of her mom carrying her child. But she knew that she had to get it off her chest.
As Chalise Told Her Daughter Her Idea, She Laid Out Her Terms and Conditions
As a mom to eight children, Chalise knew what it meant to give yourself to your child. She would do anything to make her kids happy – and she knew that having another baby would make Kaitlyn happy. So, she told her daughter that she was willing to carry her child, but that she did have some terms and conditions that needed to be confirmed before they could continue.
Kaitlyn explained these terms on social media, stating that “1. My mom wanted to be sure that this was not an emotional decision and she wanted to be sure medically it was safe for her to be our surrogate; 2. My dad had to be 100% on board and supportive, not even 90%; and 3. She wanted Miguel and I to decide if this was something we wanted her to do for us.” Of course, Kaitlyn was stunned when she heard her mom’s suggestion.
Kaitlyn Wanted Her Mom To Understand the Risks Involved, but She Absolutely Loved the Idea
When Kaitlyn finally understood what her mom was saying, Chalise confessed that “she was silent, and I could hear the emotion building up on the phone. She said, ‘Do you realize what you’re saying?” While Kaitlyn felt sure in her heart that this was something she would be happy with, she was concerned for her mom and she wanted to be sure that Chalise knew that there were risks and sacrifices involved in the surrogacy process.
Chalise understood why Kaitlyn felt concerned. She had watched her daughter go through the IVF process and she knew that it wouldn’t be an easy ride, but she also knew in her heart that she wanted to do this for her daughter. After much thought and deliberation, Chalise told Kaitlyn that “I understood the risks, and that I had been praying about it for three weeks.” But they still needed to check with both of their husbands.
Although Everyone Agreed to the Idea, They Still Didn’t Know if It Was Medically Viable
After Chalise and Kaitlyn had their own discussions, they knew that they had to approach the subject with both of their husbands. After all, this process would take a huge toll on the whole family – and it had the possibility to either bring them together or push them apart. Thankfully, both husbands understood that this was something that needed to be done, and they were happy to go ahead with the process if they were able to.
At the back of everyone’s minds, though, was the fact that Chalise wasn’t as young as she used to be. Although she was experienced in carrying children and giving birth after having eight children of her own, “I was going to be 50… I have a bad right leg.” So, they needed to know whether it was even medically viable for Chalise to act as a surrogate for her daughter.
Chalise Was Cleared To Begin the Process, and the Last Two of Kaitlyn’s Embryos Were Placed
To determine whether their plan could go ahead, Chalise had to go through a medical clearing process. She underwent many tests and was poked and prodded in order to see whether she could viably carry another child at her age. Amazingly, she passed the medical stage – and the process could begin! There were admin tasks to tick off their list and “other things that go along with an IVF process and surrogacy” but they were almost there.
Although the whole family had to wait a while for the process to begin, they were finally able to get the ball rolling in September 2021 when two embryos were placed in Chalise. Kaitlyn and Miguel were excited to potentially welcome another child into their lives, and they were overcome with awe for Chalise. But first, they needed to know whether any of the embryos took.
2 Weeks After the Placement, They All Learned That One of the Embryos Took and That Chalise Was Pregnant
After the transfer, the family waited for what seemed like forever to see whether the process had been successful or not. Of course, they knew that there was a chance that neither of the embryos would take, but they remained hopeful – and eventually, their prayers paid off. Two weeks after the transfer, they learned that one of the embryos had taken and that Chalise was pregnant.
The foursome were completely over the moon, and it was amazing to see how they all came together during this troubling time. Kaitlyn also noted that “Announcing to our family was amazing and we had, and continue to have, so much love and support, which I am grateful for.” However, not everyone around them was happy to see that Chalise was pregnant with her grandchild.
Many People Questioned Whether Chalise Would Struggle to Hand Over the Baby When She Gave Birth
Being pregnant for the ninth time was a strange experience for Chalise – especially at 50 years old. But she embraced the process and knew that she was ultimately giving her daughter the “greatest gift” she could possibly give her. But while she tried to remain positive, there were some people around her who tried to bring her down during this precious time.
Chalise confessed that “There were many during the pregnancy who tell me how hard it was going to be to hand the baby over after I carried her for nine months, but that wasn’t the case. I knew from the beginning that this wasn’t my baby. This was a gift for my daughter that she couldn’t do for herself. I would do anything for any of my children.” But these remarks did also put doubt in Kaitlyn’s mind.
Kaitlyn Also Began to Worry That She Wouldn’t Feel the Same Bond She Had With Her First Baby
The whole experience was also a little strange for Kaitlyn. She was having another child, but she wouldn’t be carrying it – and the feelings she felt were unlike anything else she had felt before. She loved her mom for being so selfless, but she also began to worry about whether she would connect with her second child. She had an immediate bond with Callahan because she carried him, but would this time be different?
Although Kaitlyn had these thoughts at the back of her mind, she forced herself to remain positive – especially when she learned that they were having a baby girl. She confessed that “I thought, ‘She’s my baby, it’s my baby, and I feel like when she’s placed that it’ll all feel right.” Thankfully, when the time came to welcome her daughter into the world, that’s exactly what happened.
The Whole Family Was in the Delivery Room When Alayna Finally Made Her Appearance
Despite welcoming eight children into the world, Chalise maintained that her ninth pregnancy with her daughter’s child was actually the easiest. And the whole process came to a head on May 17, 2022, when Alayna Kait Chalise Munoz was born at 9 pm. “She was a seven pounds, 13 ounces, 21 inches long, and came out just healthy and gave her little screams.”
Thankfully, the whole family was there to celebrate her arrival. In the delivery room there was Chalise and her husband, and Kaitlyn and her husband, and it’s been noted that “It was an amazing experience, and there wasn’t a dry eye in there.” And contrary to the questions they both received, Chalise couldn’t be happier for her daughter when she finally held Alayna in her arms.
Chalise Can’t Explain the Joy She Felt When She Saw Her Granddaughter in Her Daughter’s Arms
Although the delivery was exhausting and emotional for Chalise, she knew it was worth it the minute Alayna made her entrance. Kaitlyn and Miguel were overcome with happiness, and the whole process just seemed so perfect for them at that moment. Chalise stated that, “From the very minute that baby came and was placed in her mom’s arms… to see the joy of her and her husband, it filled my heart.”
Seeing this, Chalise was content and not upset in the slightest: “It did everything I thought it would. I’ve never once looked at Alayna and that it was my baby. I look at that baby and say, ‘That’s my granddaughter.” Thankfully, Kaitlyn and Miguel didn’t struggle to bond with their daughter, either. The connection was instant, and the photos of that momentous occasion show it.
Kaitlyn Has Called Her Mom a ”Living Angel” for Carrying Her Daughter When She Couldn’t
Kaitlyn couldn’t wait to announce the birth of her daughter on social media for the many people who had followed their journey from the beginning. And while she posted photos of Alayna, Kaitlyn also posted photos of her mom with a loving tribute to the woman who had birthed her baby. She confessed that “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 continued, saying that “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.” And once Chalise eventually recovered from the delivery process and returned back home to her husband and her family, she also had something to share.
Chalise Believes That Giving Birth to Her Daughter’s Baby at 50 Years Old Was the Right Path for Her
Towards the end of May 2022, when Alayna was a week old, Chalise opened up about the whole experience of carrying her granddaughter and what it had taught her. She wrote on social media that “Alayna is one week! As I have reflected on my surrogacy journey this past week, I have been reminded of many things I experienced along the way. Many emotions and feelings played a role in the journey.”
She continued, “Excitement, fear, faith, hope, anticipation, doubt, joy and undoubtedly LOVE. Never did I think I would experience something like this or have a baby at 50! As I turned to my Heavenly Father and Savior, through prayer and always pondering my choice in my heart, there were countless moments of guidance and confirmations that this path was a path for me.”
Kaitlyn Can’t Thank Her “Best Friend” Enough For Doing Something So Selfless to Help Her
Kaitlyn, Miguel, Callahan, and Alayna now live in El Paso, Texas – and while they’re now in a completely different state from Chalise, Kaitlyn believes she’s now closer to her mom than ever. On social media and in media interviews, she has expressed nothing but gratitude for her mom, who she calls her “best friend.” To this day, she still can’t believe that her mom would provide her with such a blessing.
Kaitlyn has confessed that, “My mom and I have always had a close relationship; she is my best friend. My mom did a lot of things for me, growing up, that I couldn’t do for myself, and 25 years later she did something I couldn’t do for myself again. She brought me the greatest gift: Alayna.” Of course, Chalise can’t wait to see the wonderful person that Alayna grows up to be, and she can’t wait to see her daughter continue to thrive as a mom.
They Can’t Wait To Tell Alayna About How Her Grandma Carried Her When She’s Older
Both Kaitlyn and Chalise are excited about what the future now holds for them, but more than anything, they’re looking forward to sharing their remarkable and unique story with Alayna when she’s older. After all, Chalise has given Kaitlyn the gift of life twice now, and that’s not something that can be said every single day.
Kaitlyn often tells people that “It’s crazy because she was grown in the same uterus as me, just 25 years later. It’s kind of crazy.” However, many mothers out there will understand why Chalise made the decision to carry a child again at 50 years old. When her daughter was in a time of need, Chalise stepped up and did everything she could to make her happy. And that’s exactly what she did.