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Woman pregnant with cancer-stricken sister's babies gives birth to twins


Morgan Williams delivered her twin nieces Monday, fulfilling her younger sister’s dream of becoming a mother despite breast cancer.

Williams, 33, gave birth at PIH Health Hospital Whittier with her sister, Maggie Paxton, and brother-in-law, Danny, by her side.

Emery Layne was born at 11:07 a.m. weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces. Deeanna Nicole, who was breach, followed at 11:13 a.m. weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces.

“It’s a little bit surreal,” Paxton said Tuesday. “Now they’re finally here and our lives are changed forever. It’s pretty special.”

Williams said she could hear the girls’ parents weeping as the fraternal twins were delivered.

“I’m definitely falling in love with them as my nieces,” Williams said. “My auntie role is in full force. You want to hold them all the time but you give them back for the hard work to be done by the parents.”

Williams, mother to a 9-year-old girl, offered to serve as a gestational surrogate for Paxton after she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at age 30. Paxton’s oncologist advised her not to get pregnant because her cancer was fueled by hormones.

Before starting chemotherapy in 2015, Paxton’s fertility doctor harvested eggs that were fertilized with her husband’s sperm. Paxton, 32, is in remission.

Emery looks like her mom, with dark hair and a dimpled chin, and Deeanna looks like her dad, with light hair. The babies kept their parents up for most of their first night.

“They gave us a peek into what our lives are going to be like,” Paxton said. “We’d get one settled and the other would cry. We felt like we slept in 15 minute increments.”

Paxton’s oncologist came by to take a picture with the babies, who are staying with their parents in the room next door to Williams.

Williams and the twins are scheduled to be released Wednesday to their homes in Whittier.

“I’m very thankful that everyone is good and healthy and doing really well,” Paxton said.

Contact the writer: cperkes@scng.com 714-796-3686

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