Liver Transplant Patient Celebrates Her 1st Mother's Day as New Mom

Carolyn McPhaul and her son Christian.Carolyn McPhaul never expected to have children – especially after she developed autoimmune hepatitis and underwent a liver transplant at University of Maryland Medical Center in July 2011. McPhaul was also in her early 40s, and in her words, "not a spring chicken."

So she was surprised – yet delighted – when she discovered last year that she was pregnant with her first child at the age of 44. She was already two months' pregnant when her gynecologist gave her the good news.

McPhaul, now 45, of Upper Marlboro, says that she was initially concerned that the medications she takes might harm her baby. She takes immunosuppressive drugs to prevent her body's immune system from rejecting her donated liver.

But with careful monitoring by a University of Maryland obstetrician, McPhaul gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Christian, in January 2014.

McPhaul is very happy that Christian is healthy and believes it is unlikely he will develop the autoimmune disease that attacked her liver.

"What a miracle he is. I am blessed. I just want to hug him and hold him," says McPhaul, who celebrated her first Mother's Day this year as a new mom. "It's like I'm in the moms club, and I know how mothers feel. It's joyful. I just love it," she says.