In Utah, a 50-year-old mother gave her daughter the greatest gift of all: life — twice.
When Chalise Smith’s daughter, Kaitlyn Munoz, 25, battled with infertility, the mother of eight stepped in as a surrogate for her.
Munoz was diagnosed with endometriosis and then Sjögren’s syndrome, and doctors urged her not to have any more children.
Munoz, who resides in El Paso, Texas, gave birth to her first child on her own in 2019. She turned to Smith’s charity when she had two embryos left over from her previous IVF treatment.
“[I was] going to be 50 … I have a bad right leg, [and] just with pregnancies, the sciatic nerve gets pinched off,” her mother told Fox 13 about her initial fears of carrying the baby. “And to be 100% honest, it was one of the easiest pregnancies.”
“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,” Smith recalled to KSL.
“I knew from the beginning that this wasn’t my baby,” she continued. “This was a gift for my daughter that she couldn’t do for herself. I would do anything for any of my children.”
That’s exactly what she did. On May 17, Alayna Kait-Chalise Munoz, a 7-pound, 13-ounce baby girl, was born at a Utah hospital. In the delivery room, Smith’s husband, Munoz, and her son-in-law were all present.
Both women documented their experiences on Instagram shortly after giving birth.
“I am at a loss of words,” Munoz captioned her black-and-white photos. “My mom is a living angel and brought us another blessing earth side and we are in LOVE.”
“Never did I think I would experience something like this or have a baby at 50!” Smith wrote in her post, crediting her faith for delivering her healthy grandchild.
Munoz praised her mother for going above and beyond what she had already done for her from infancy to maturity.
“My mom and I have always had a close relationship; she is my best friend,” Munoz told KLS. “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.”