Expressen (Sweden) | 13 Feb 2023 | Thérèse Bilby | Translation Into English: Anna Svarinskaya
Malin, the mother of six, who is 50 years old today, has always had a strong longing for children. After her son Alexander, who was born in 2017, died shortly after his birth, she could not let go of the wish for another child. Now she is telling Mama about her pregnancy struggle that took her to Russia and gave her her long — awaited daughter Miranda.
— My life journey with all my children can perhaps inspire and bring joy, she says.
At the age of 17, Malin Thomasson was married to her first husband, and together they had four children, Liam, Amie, Lykke and Charlie. After the divorce, she met Andreas, who is ten years younger. Even though Malin was older, they decided to try to have a child together. And soon Malin spontaneously became pregnant and everything looked fine. As she was 45 years old, she had to go for some extra check— ups, but nothing indicated that there was anything wrong with the baby in her belly. It was also a dream birth, without any complications at all, says Malin.
— It was fantastic, it only took five hours, and he screamed when he came out and everything was great. I got him on my chest and they cut the umbilical cord.
But Malin soon noticed that something was wrong, and shortly afterwards the staff ran out with her son.
He oxygenated himself poorly and they had to intubate him. Then they told me that they needed to drive him down to Lund. We had to come after in a taxi and when we got there they wanted to talk to us right away. They said he had brain damage and wouldn't wake up again...
— Then we took him out of the incubator where he was lying. He died in his father Andrea's arms.
Family: Liam, 25, Amie, 24, Lykke, 20, Charlie, 15, angel child Alexander who was born in 2017, Miranda, 3 years old.
Lives in: Karlskrona.
Occupation: District nurse.
"My body was screaming for a child"
The autopsy showed that Alexander had an unusual lung disease which could not have been detected before he was born. Malin and Andreas visited their dead son at the mortuary every day for two weeks.
— It was absolutely terrible. I didn't know how to pick him up... At the morgue we sang to him and took lots of pictures. We chose a coffin that we made like a wagon, and gave him stuffed animals. Said goodbye. Now he lies in a memorial grove.
Two months later Malin started working, and thoughts began to go around the wish to try to get pregnant again. But this time Malin did not get pregnant spontaneously.
— Everyone I knew was going to have children and walked home with prams while my body screamed for a child. The whole body physically hurt, it's indescribable.
Malin and Andreas decided to try IVF, a treatment where the egg is fertilized outside the body and then inserted into the uterus. If you are over 45, you do not get help in Sweden, not even privately and if you pay by yourself, and therefore they contacted a clinic in Copenhagen where it is allowed. But the treatment had to be discontinued as no follicles developed. The doctor said their best option was egg donation but that didn’t work out in Denmark either. They managed to get three embryos, but didn’t achieve success with them.
There were some dark times for them. Andreas wanted to give up, but Malin continued to search online and look for other people's experiences. In the end, she found a clinic in Russia that many people recommended — and there it finally worked out.
After a total of five egg donation attempts, Malin finally became pregnant. She should have been overjoyed. But the thoughts that something could go wrong again were nagging.
— Those were the worst nine months of my life! It was terrible.
What do you think about the age limit of 45 years in Sweden? That you had to go abroad to get help?
— You could do it more individually in Sweden, I think. But yes, you have to set a limit, I understand that.
Three years ago, little Miranda was born. Sometimes her mother Malin takes out the photo album with all the pictures from the trip to Russia, there are photos of the doctor and the hospital and the picture of the embryo, of when the belly was growing, and everyone is waiting and longing".
— Then there is a picture of her at the hospital and how we take her home. I usually call the book "How Miranda came to be." So she can see: “Look how much we were longing for you. We went that far. We went so far to another country because we wanted you so much”.
It must be nice for her to know how much she was wanted...
— Yes, I think so. And I am eternally grateful to the woman who donated her eggs.
Malin says that she has a handwritten letter from the donor where the donor explains why she donated, and she thinks she will give it to Miranda when she grows up. Malin knows quite a lot about the donor's family, her interests and what she thought was fun at school.
— But we can't contact her in any way and Miranda will never meet her.
How did your friends react when you told them about the egg donation? What reactions did you get?
— They thought it was exciting. I've been very open about it all along.
She opened another part of my heart
Your other children, how did they react?
— At first I was a little nervous that they wouldn't think she was their sibling. But then they got mad at me. They see no difference whatsoever, not at all. She is just so loved!
Malin emphasizes that Miranda never took Alexander's place in her heart.
— But she opened another part of my heart and filled it with joy. Somehow she has helped me to become whole again.
The Oldest New Mothers In Sweden
2021 — 53,8 years old
2020 — 59,9 years old
2019 — 57,0 years old
2018 — 60,1 years old
2017 — 55,3 years old
2016 — 53,0 years old
2015 — 58,1 years old
Source: Statistics Sweden
Egg Donation — Treatment With Donated Eggs
Since January 2019, it is permitted for private IVF clinics in Sweden to perform treatments with donated eggs. Egg donation is offered to couples and single women in case the woman lacks or has severely reduced ovarian function.
- During fertilization, egg cells from the donor are combined with the man's fresh sperm, which is collected the same day the eggs are donated in the clinic's laboratory.
- In Sweden, it has been decided that children born through egg or sperm donation have the right to know their genetic origins.
Basic requirements regarding publicly funded assisted reproduction:
- The age of the woman and partner must be above 25 years old.
- The woman's age must be under 40 years at each treatment, it also applies to the second and third treatment.
At private fertility clinics in Sweden, the age limit is 45 to go through assisted fertilization, which causes many women to travel to countries where there are higher age limits.
Sources: 1177.se, Karolinska.se, RFSL.se, Läkartidningen.se