Update & Photos: Holiday miracle complete with three healthy babies

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Ellen Futterman , Editor-in-Chief

After our mid-December update following the delivery of Kati Kaup and Gerome Gregory’s daughter by Kati’s best friend and surrogate (gestational carrier) Nikki Freyman, we explained that the couple was also awaiting the birth of twin girls, due around New Year’s.

Holiday Miracle Babies

Freyman, who is Jewish and belongs to Central Reform Congregation, had agreed to carry Kati’s baby because Kati was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a child and had a double lung transplant in 2015. While doctors were optimistic that she could live a long life, they cautioned Kati against getting pregnant, fearing it would be too risky.

In 2019, Kati underwent IVF (in vitro fertilization), which produced two embryos suitable for transfer. They were frozen until they could be implanted into surrogates.

On Nov. 9, Nikki delivered baby London Nicole (the middle name in honor of Nikki) at Missouri Baptist Hospital, where Kati and Gerome – and Nikki’s husband Dan – were at her side. London weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce.

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At that time, a second surrogate named Ashley, whom Kati and Gerome found through a matching support group, was pregnant, having been implanted with the couple’s other embryo. That embryo split during the pregnancy, which meant the couple was now expecting twins – an extraordinary development considering there was only a 2% chance of that happening.

On Jan. 7, surrogate Ashley delivered twin girls born two minutes apart, with Kati and Gerome in attendance. Evie Elizabeth weighed 4 pounds, 8 ounces and Celine Henri was 4 pounds, 6 ounces. The delivery took place at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City, near where Ashley lives. Both girls had jaundice and Celine spent five days in the newborn intensive care unit because of her low birth weight and low blood sugar, but they recovered well.

Today, Kati and Gerome and their three daughters are at home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Kati reports the girls are all thriving, though caring for three little ones all roughly the same age is not for the faint of heart.

“They are all so precious. The miracle of it all keeps me calm and zen,” Kati said. “We’re all doing well. But I’m always happy to have an extra set of hands or 10.”

If you need a dose of preciousness, scroll through the photo gallery and have a look.