Sisters serve as surrogates for another sister
At age 28, Tanya Ratcliff had just found out that it wasn't likely that she would be able to have a baby.
"I was sitting in the car crying with my two sisters," she said.
Ratcliff has three sisters and a brother and has always wanted children.
"I come from a big family, my husband comes from a big family. I always wanted to have four kids," said Ratcliff.
This wasn't the first time in Ratcliff's life that she received bad news from a doctor.
"When I was 16, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer," said Ratcliff.
After a five-year battle, her mother passed away when she was in college. A couple years later, Ratcliff met Dan and they got engaged. This was almost perfect because he wanted a big family too, but then came more bad news.
Ratcliff tested positive for the breast cancer gene, and decided to have a double mastectomy before the wedding. With her family history, fertility specialists advised her to have a family immediately. But after the long process of surgery, fertility treatments and starting in-vitro fertilization, Ratcliff received more bad news.
"Tanya also had some genetic or congenital issues with the lining of her uterus that would make it very difficult for her to be able to carry," said Dr. Michael Scheiber, a reproductive endocrinologists at the Institute for Reproductive Health.
"We had started the IVF process, had the egg retrieval and were getting ready to implant embryos, and the chemistry in my body wasn't a good environment so had to freeze all of them. So we already had all these embryos, we had done all this work to produce these kids that were just waiting for us, and we just didn't have a home for them," said Ratcliff.
Her sisters were with her when she found out that IVF would likely not be successful.