(KMSP) - One metro area woman is going above and beyond to help her sister complete her family.
Allison O'Keefe desperately wanted a second child, but complications during her first pregnancy made that impossible - until her sister made an incredible sacrifice.
After what she described as a routine pregnancy and delivery with her son nearly two years ago, Allison suffered a life and death complication.
She was severely hemorrhaging, and doctors were forced to perform an emergency hysterectomy.
"They just had to remove my uterus to save my life,” said Allison.
She survived and recovered, but after surgery, dreams of a second baby were seemingly dashed.
Allison and her husband were practically grieving until her big sister stepped up big time.
"I just saw what they were going through and knew how devastated and heartbroken they were about everything,” said Andrea Janney, Allison’s sister. “I wanted to help however I could."
Andrea Janney offered to be a surrogate. Now inside her is her sister and her husband's embryo implanted in her uterus.
"I don't know, it's a little surreal, never had a child of my own, so don't have anything to compare it to,” said Janney. “I feel the baby move. You're like ‘It's really in there. It's really happening.’"
The two sisters grew up as best friends and now are even closer as Andrea enters the third trimester.
"Andrea has had to share every toy she has ever had with me - cars, cell phones, clothes - and now she's sharing her uterus,” said Allison.
"My sister is a wonderful mother,” said Andrea. “I'm happy to give her another child."
"My husband and I say there really aren't words,” said Allison. “You can't describe a gift of this magnitude. It's unlike anything anyone can expect. It is the ultimate act of selfless sacrifice and love for us."
This type of surrogacy, known as gestational surrogacy, cost upwards of $150,000 to find, compensate, and cover the medical and legal expenses for a woman willing to carry a baby.
Having a family member serve as a surrogate saves a ton of money and avoids other issues.
Allison's second son is due July 27.