ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Though it's on the calendar every year, Jeanie Leach never thought this day would come.
"Its awesome. They're miracles, "she said with a smile.
Her twins Adriana and Alexandra were born on November 1 after a long and difficult journey.
"So, it's been 14 years, " she said.
Jeanie has Cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs and can make it difficult to breathe. Her doctor told her carrying a baby was not an option.
"My lung function was below 50 percent, so he didn't think it would be healthy for me or the babies," Leach said.
"When she was told that she could not carry a pregnancy because of her medical condition she went ahead with invitro fertilization," Dr. Molina Dayal said.
Dr. Dayal works for the Sher Institute for reproductive medicine, which has helped thousands of couples go from infertility to family.
But a CF diagnosis can present an ethical dilemma because even if a mom sees her babies born, there's no guarantee she will be around to see them grow up.
"It does to some degree but it's just one of those things that we don't know with any couple that comes through the door what their future holds," Dayal said.
Since it was too dangerous for Jeanie to get pregnant, the in vitro procedure produced an embryo that was biologically her and her husband's, and it was implanted in a gestational surrogate -- a friend that would carry and deliver the baby. After nearly a half dozen tries and misses Jeanie finally became a mom.
"When I saw them wheeled out, I couldn't believe it happened, " she said through tears. "They were tiny but they were healthy"
Before she held on to her babies, Jeanie Leach held on to hope. On this Mother's Day, she knows better than anyone that anything worth having is worth waiting for.
"It's just the gift that I never knew I was going to get," she said.