AS Angela Riello bounces her triplet babies on her knee, her love for her children is clear to see.
Yet Angela, 45, has a bond deeper than most with her kids — for she is not only their mum but their GRANDMOTHER.
Angela gave birth to her grandchildren after daughter Mayara, 27, donated her eggs through IVF.
Angela said: “Mayara has given me the most amazing gift.
“‘It’s like a dream come true. It’s hard work having babies at my age, especially three, but it’s everything I wanted.
“I don’t tend to tell people how they were conceived, but then people don’t tend to ask.
“To me it’s just like having a blood transfusion because you are sick or getting a heart transplant.”
Angela, who lives just outside Dublin, gave birth to Liz, Mia and Vince at the city’s maternity hospital in March after four failed IVF attempts, including two miscarriages.
She was already looking after Mayara’s son, eight-year-old Noah, full-time.
Desperate to give Noah a brother or sister, she asked 27-year-old Mayara to donate her eggs at a clinic in Brazil.
Most read in The Irish Sun
And the pair were amazed when the treatment not only worked, but one of the two eggs split in two, creating triplets.
Mayara, a social media monitor, said: “I realise it’s a very unusual situation but I saw how much my mum wanted to give Noah siblings and I could help her, so why not?
“The triplets look a lot like me, but I don’t see them as my children but mums. It feels like destiny that the IVF worked.
“The way I see it, we are all one big family and that’s all that matters.”
Single mum Angela, who also has a grown-up son Gustavo, 22, spent around £12,000 trying for an IVF baby after grandson Noah begged for a sibling.
The healthcare worker agreed to look after Noah after Mayara gave birth aged 18 in Brazil, where her dad lives.
After Mayara travelled to Ireland, Angela agreed to take Noah on permanently to give her daughter the chance of a career.
Angela said: “Mayara wasn’t in a position at that time to bring up a baby alone so we came to an agreement that she would go and have a career.
“But as Noah has got bigger he has been desperate to have a sibling, especially a little sister. He’s been asking about it for years. So I decided to have a baby so he could have someone to grow up with.”
Unable to afford or qualify for treatment in Dublin because of her age, Angela went to a clinic in Brazil and tried a cycle using her own egg in November 2018.
She was delighted to find out she was pregnant but sadly lost the baby seven weeks later.
The next year she went to Barcelona, Spain, where Mayara was then working, and underwent another two rounds but neither worked.
Angela’s plans were put on ice when Covid hit but she returned to Brazil to try again in April 2021 and once again fell pregnant before suffering a miscarriage.
She said: “I thought I was never going to become a mum again. I’d told Noah I was trying for a baby and he was so excited. When I lost the baby I had to break the news to him and he was heartbroken.
“I wanted it to work so badly. I was desperate to give him a sibling.”
Scan result a shock
Then in June last year she got a phone call from Brazil that would change her life.
Angela said: “The doctor from the clinic called me and said that the laws were changing in Brazil and you could use an egg donated by a family member.
“He said that if I had two healthy volunteers under 30, one willing to give me their eggs and another willing to donate theirs to the clinic, then I would get the treatment for free in a kind of exchange scheme.
“So I called Mayara and asked if she would donate. She was very excited for me, as if it worked, the baby would be Noah’s biological sibling.
“She asked a friend to donate her eggs to the clinic, who agreed, so I was able to have Mayara’s eggs implanted without paying again.”
“Mum and daughter weren’t allowed to meet their anonymous sperm donor but were given the chance to choose their characteristics.
They picked someone who looked liked both of them.
I called my daughter Mayara and asked if she would donate her eggs. She was very excited as if it worked, the baby would be the biological sibling of her son Noah who I look after
Angela said: ‘I didn’t know if it was going to work, as I’d been pregnant twice before and lost both babies.
“But amazingly, two weeks later I discovered I was pregnant. I was thrilled, but tried not to get too excited as I didn’t know if I was going to lose this baby too.”
Then at an early scan in Dublin, Angela got a massive shock.
At seven weeks pregnant it showed that she was having not just one baby but three.
Angela said: “I was lying on the scanning table and the sonographer said that she could see two babies.
“Then a few minutes later she said ‘Hang on a minute . . . I can see another baby in there. You are actually pregnant with triplets’.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. One of the embryos had split into two, causing identical twins, and the other embryo had implanted too.
“I was pregnant with my own biological grandchildren . . . and three of them!
“I rang Mayara with the news and she couldn’t believe it either.
“We will tell the children about Mayara’s involvement when they are old enough to understand. Why not?”
Angela gave birth at the end of March at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin with Liz, weighing 3lb 4oz, Mia weighing 4lb 4oz and Vince weighing 5lb 1oz.
She is still breastfeeding all three.
Angela said: “I’m so happy and grateful to Mayara because without her I might not have had these lovely children.
“My wider family don’t care that Mayara was the donor. They just see the babies as family.”
Mayara was just happy to help her mum. She added: “I am so grateful that mum is looking after Noah.
“I was only 17 when I had him in Brazil and felt very alone and just wasn’t able to bring him up alone.
“I didn’t donate my eggs through guilt though. I did it to make mum happy and I’m really glad I did. She really wanted another child and who was I to say no?
“Mum sends me regular pictures of them and we have zoom calls. They are just adorable.
“The babies feel like part of me and they look a lot like me but I see them as my brothers and sister.”
#mum #triplets #grandma #daughter