Jill Noe has delivered twins that she carried as a surrogate for her twin sister Whitney Bliesner who can't have children after being diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder as a child.
On June 7, Jill, 34, gave birth to her niece and nephew at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Oregon. Baby Rhett was born at 7 pounds, 11 ounces, and Rhenley weighed in at 4 pounds, 13 ounces.
“When Rhett and Rhenley were finally out, I just felt this overwhelming sense of happiness and relief.”
Jill and Whitney have marked each life achievement together, and having babies was the same.
Whitney was born with neurofibromatosis type 2, which makes pregnancy dangerous because there's a chance of passing the condition on to her kids.
She and her husband Pete Bliesner wanted to expand their family, so they decided to look into adoption and surrogacy.
At that point, Jill, a former Arizona State University basketball player, decided to be Whitney's surrogate.
In an interview with TODAY Parents, Whitney said she was overcome with emotion when her sister told her she wanted to be her surrogate.
“When Jill said she wanted to carry a baby for me, I was in shock,” she shared. “I'm not a crier, but I was really emotional."
Jill, who is unmarried and hasn't had kids, became pregnant with not one baby, but twins, after using donor eggs and the sperm of Whitney's husband.
Jill's pregnancy went as planned with baby Rhett and Rhenley being born by Caesarean delivery.
“I got to sit right next to Jill’s head, so I saw everything,” Whitney said. “When Rhett and Rhenley were finally out, I just felt this overwhelming sense of happiness and relief.”
At first, Whitney worried she probably wouldn't feel a connection with her babies since she isn’t biologically related to them. However, her feelings of dread immediately vanished.
She explained that going through the process with Jill and having the option to touch her growing belly made a difference.
“During that final doctor’s appointment, it just came full force. I was like, ‘These are my babies,’” she added.
Whitney planned to feed baby Rhett and Rhenley formula. However, Jill has volunteered to provide breast milk for them.