‘They were so tiny, literally all skin and bone’: Single mother welcomes premature twin girls at 27 weeks after conceiving her daughters with sperm from a stranger she met on FACEBOOK
- Sarah Mangat, 34, gave birth to twins Elora and Addison on April 30, 2022
- The Canadian mom conceived using sperm from a stranger she met on Facebook
- She was 27 weeks pregnant when she welcomed her daughters two months early
A Canadian mother who conceived twins with sperm from a stranger she met on Facebook is raising her daughters by herself after they were born premature.
Sarah Mangat, 34, from Toronto, wasn’t sure she wanted to have children at first, but that all changed one morning in July 2020. Although she had been single for nearly eight years, she was suddenly ready to become a mom.
‘I enjoyed being selfish and not being responsible for someone else. But that day I woke up and thought, “I want to have a baby now.” It was so strange — like a flick switched and I was ready,’ she said.
The HR business partner didn’t want to wait for the right person to come into her life, so she decided she would use a sperm donor.
Sarah Mangat, 34, from Canada, was 27 weeks pregnant when she gave birth to premature twins Elora and Addison on April 30, 2022
The single mom had conceived her daughters using from a stranger she met on Facebook
However, when she started the process, she found the sperm banks to be ‘too impersonal’ and began exploring other options.
Through her research, she found the Facebook group ‘Canadian Sperm Donors.’
‘At the sperm bank, you can only meet them when your child turns 18,’ she explained. ‘But I wanted to know the person before that. I was already becoming a mom unconventionally — why not find the donor myself?’
Sarah spoke with a few people on the Facebook page and eventually found one she ‘clicked’ with.
In February 2021, she met him in person, and he agreed to undergo STI checks and genetic tests before becoming her sperm donor.
‘Of course, I was a bit wary of meeting someone from online,’ she said. ‘I had a few weird messages. But made sure we met up in a public place and we got on really well.
‘I knew he was the one to be my donor,’ she added. ‘We actually became quite good friends because we stuck with me through all my fertility issues.’
Sarah also joined Victory Reproductive Health Fertility Clinic in Ontario, where routine tests revealed she wasn’t ovulating correctly.
She underwent 14 months of fertility tests and treatment that involved medically monitoring her cycle. She spent around $6,250 on hormonal injections to increase her fertility.
Sarah had her first full medicated cycle using the stranger’s sperm in October 2021 and found out she was pregnant that November.
Sarah (pictured during her pregnancy) explained that she found her sperm donor on a Canadian Facebook group, and they have become ‘good friends’
Sarah was nearly seven months pregnant when she went to the bathroom and saw blood in the toilet. She was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and went into labor the next day
Elora (pictured) was born at 6:38 p.m. and weighed 2 pounds, 20 ounces, while Addison arrived shortly after at 6:42 p.m., weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces
Six weeks into her pregnancy, she started experiencing severe cramping and was brought in for an early ultrasound. To her shock, she was told that she was expecting twins.
‘I was so delighted, but the first trimester was terrible,’ she said. ‘I was so nauseous and barely able to keep any food down. I survived on French fries for weeks.’
At her 20-week checkup, doctors discovered that her cervix had shortened to one centimeter and was at risk of opening too early.
Sarah underwent a cervical stitch to prevent the babies from arriving too soon, but it only worked for two weeks. She was told that her twins could come at any time.
‘The doctor asked me if I’d want them to try and save the babies’ lives or just provide “comfort care,” which was support if the babies didn’t make it,’ she said. ‘I asked them to do anything they could to save them. Every day I was talking to my bump begging them to stay in longer.’
Sarah was 26 weeks and six days into her pregnancy when she went to the bathroom and saw the toilet was ‘full of blood.’
She was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and went into labor the next day, at exactly 27 weeks.
The expectant mom was given an epidural, and 36 hours later, she welcomed her daughters Elora and Addison two months early on April 30, 2022.
Elora was born at 6:38 p.m. and weighed 2 pounds, 20 ounces, while Addison arrived shortly after at 6:42 p.m., weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces.
‘They were so tiny, literally all skin and bone,’ she recalled. ‘They looked like aliens. Both of them were wrapped in plastic to stay warm. I later found out that Addison had to be resuscitated, which was terrifying.’
The twins were rushed to the prenatal ward as medics fought to save their lives.
The twins fought for their lives in the hospital, but despite the odds stacked against them, they were discharged from nearly three months later
Sarah said her daughters had to wear helmets, but they are otherwise healthy and happy
‘They’re a year old now, and I can’t believe they’re mine,’ Sarah said
Both twins had suffered from grade 1 bleeds on the brain and heart defects, and needed blood transfusions. They also had underdeveloped lungs and were on breathing machines for the first few months of their lives.
Without a partner, Sarah said she leaned on her mother, Jane, 63, for support.
‘Every day I left the hospital at 5 p.m. and go home to an empty house,’ she said. ‘That was a difficult part about doing it by myself. I couldn’t comfort them when they cried.
‘Being there became my nine-to-five, and for the first few weeks my mom, Jane, went every day too. I couldn’t have done it without her.’
Sarah was only able to hold one of her daughters at a time for a few hours a day, and in addition to their health struggles, Elora also developed a blood infection and a UTI.
However, despite the odds stacked against them, they were discharged from the hospital nearly three months later.
‘They needed to wear a helmet because their heads are flattened, but otherwise [they are] doing great,’ the mom said. ‘It’s really important to share my NICU journey — it was very traumatic. I know a lot of parents have been through this.’
Sarah admitted that she still has ‘hard moments as one person with two babies,’ but she doesn’t have any regret about becoming a single mom.
‘I had tried every dating app under the sun and wasn’t meeting someone. You can’t wait forever for the right person to come into your life,’ she said. ‘If you’re thinking about doing it alone, I say do it. It’s the best decision I ever made.
‘I nearly had a heart attack when they told me there were two. But I can’t imagine my life without my daughters.’
Sarah added that she is still stunned that she is a mother of two.
‘They’re a year old now, and I can’t believe they’re mine.’
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