Forty-seven-year-old Meredith Olafson, of North Dakota, gave birth to her 15th baby on March 29th. But don't chalk her up to Duggar status just yet -- she only has four kids of her own and has been a surrogate six times. The so-called "super surrogate" has delivered two sets of triplets, a set of twins, and three single babies for other families, Jezebel reports.
Olafson announced on the "Today" show yesterday that she is officially "retiring" her uterus.
According to the CDC and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, surrogacy is a rapidly growing industry. The most recent statistics show that the number of babies born to gestational surrogates about doubled from 2004 to 2008, to 1,400 infants born in the U.S. from 738. MSNBC reports that surrogate mothers can earn up to $250,000 for one pregnancy, but Olafson has collected only a fraction of that -- she isn't in it for the money, she says.
"When you see those parent's faces, when they see that ultrasound for the first time... that's priceless right there," she said on "Today".
She admits that her pregnancies have been fairly easy: She’s doesn't experience morning sickness and can work up until the day she delivers. And though research shows that labor takes an average of two hours longer than it did 50 years ago, Olafson doesn't fit that mold -- the longest it's taken her to deliver was an hour and fifteen minutes, and the rest of her labors have been under half an hour.
One of the couples, Dan and Jody Wegge, who used Olafson as a surrogate 12 years ago also appeared on the "Today" show to express their never-ending gratitude. "I love her... there's not words to express how I feel about her,” Jody said.
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