Woman aged 51 gives birth to her own grandson - and gets an unexpected health boost as a result

Sherri Dickson has multiple sclerosis, but doctors said the pregnancy could actually help

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A 51-year-old woman in North Dakota has given birth to her own grandchild – and may have actually experienced a health boost as a result.

Sherri Dickson said she experienced “the definition of sadness” when her daughter Mandy Stephens lost a baby who was born prematurely in 2013.

So when Mandy and husband Jamie decided to explore the option of using IVF treatment, Ms Dickson stepped forward to volunteer as surrogate.

Ms Dickson, a mother of three who had Mandy when she was 19 and what she thought would be her last child at 33, had the additional complication of a diagnosis with multiple sclerosis.

But, she told ABC News, doctors said the natural boost to the immune system which comes with pregnancy might actually help her fight the disease, which was in remission.

Two attempts were made at IVF, and in November last year Ms Dickson was pregnant with her daughter and son-in-law’s baby boy.

Ms Dickson said she was able to stay active right up to a week before delivery and pregnancy was “easy” – up to a point. “The delivery at 51 was way harder than the delivery at 33, that was the hard part” she said.

The healthy baby was born four weeks ago, and Mandy told ABC News it was difficult to thank her mother for “giving her the ultimate gift, the gift of life”.

Ms Dickson said: “She doesn’t have to [thank me] because I have a grandchild – that’s the ultimate thank you.”