Hayley Haynes was born with a condition called androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), which affects the normal development of a child’s reproductive organs. AIS is very rare and occurs only 1 in 20,000 births. According to the National Health Service, a child born with AIS is genetically male, but their genitals may appear to be female or somewhere between male and female.
Haynes didn’t find out that she had the condition until she was 19-years-old and was devastated because doctors told her that without a womb, ovaries or fallopian tubes, there was no way she could have children. Haynes shared more about how she felt after the diagnosis with the Daily Mirror. She said. “When they told me I had no womb, I was so confused I felt sick. My biggest fear was never having children. Suddenly a huge piece of my life was missing. I felt like half a woman and was embarrassed. How I was going to tell a guy I was genetically male when I started dating?”
However, Haynes married her childhood friend, Sam and they began researching ways they could have a baby. Haynes said, “He’s [Sam] been my confidant from day one and so supportive. I was worried any man would run a mile. But with Sam I felt accepted and loved for who I was. But we still didn’t know if we would ever have children. We both wanted a family, but we just had to wait and see if the treatment worked.”
They met with a specialist at Royal Derby Hospital and remarkably, he found a tiny womb that was overlooked in previous scans. He believed that her womb, which was only a few millimeters, had the ability to grow and eventually carry a child. Haynes began a course of hormone tablets to give her the right levels of progesterone and estrogen, which would stop her osteoporosis and create an environment in which her womb could grow. The goal was to prepare her womb for in-vitro fertilization, which is a controversial practice among pro-lifers.
Haynes said, “I was so nervous. We only had one shot and couldn’t afford to go through it all again. I desperately wanted to be a mother and knew if there were no viable eggs or the implantation wasn’t successful, I’d be distraught.” Unbelievably, Haynes first pregnancy test came back positive. She said, “I peered at the test and it said positive. I couldn’t contain my happiness. I was jumping up and down and screaming, but Sam kept his cool and made sure we took another test before we celebrated.”
In December 2014, she gave birth to twin girls— Ivery and Darcy. Haynes said, “I couldn’t believe it. I freaked out, but I was over the moon at the same time. I had the chance to have a complete family.” Sam added, “I felt numb with excitement. It was two for the price of one.”
Haynes concluded, “Becoming a mother was the single most amazing moment of my life. When I held the babies in my arms for the first time, I was overwhelmed.”