Woman born without womb now a mom after stranger on Facebook becomes her surrogate
"We'll be in each others lives forever."
By Emma Dunn via SWNS
A woman who was born without a womb or a uterus has become a mum after a stranger on Facebook offered to be her surrogate.
Laura Curtis, 29, and Lewis Batterham, 31, welcomed their daughter, Wren Batterham on 15th May weighing 8lbs 4oz at Grange University Hospital, Cwmbran, Wales, after their surrogate, Chloe Thomas, 31, gave birth via an emergency c-section.
It's a dream come true for Laura who was born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome - meaning she was born without a womb or a uterus and unable to ever carry a baby.
Since being diagnosed when she was just 16, Laura didn't think she would be able to have her own children.
But after meeting her fiancé Lewis in July 2016, a porter, she discovered she would be able to biologically have her own child but not carry it - as her ovaries were functioning so doctors could extract her eggs.
After putting out a post on Facebook about her condition, stranger Chloe Thomas, 31, reached out asking if she could be the couple's surrogate.
In September 2021, medics implanted embryos - with Laura's extracted eggs fertilised by Lewis' sperm - into Chloe and the trio were delighted to find out Chloe was pregnant just two weeks later.
Now Laura and Chloe, a retail assistant, have become great friends and were able to go along to scans together throughout the pregnancy.
Despite a traumatic birth, with Chloe losing 30% of her blood and Wren suffering an infection, both are now home and doing well.
Laura, a nurse, from Pontypool, South Wales, said: "Seeing Wren for the first time was amazing.
"I just couldn't believe she was mine.
"I never thought being a mum would be possible.
"People always say it must be great to not get periods, but I'd take them any day if they meant I was able to carry a baby.
"Chloe is my superwoman. We really are best friends now.
"I can never repay her for the gift she has given me."
Chloe said: "I've given someone a family but also gained a friend.
"We'll be in each others lives forever and I enjoyed being a surrogate for Laura."
Laura was diagnosed with MRKH when she was just 16 and was crushed that she may never get to be a mum.
"It was such a hard thing to deal with at just 16," she said.
"It was so difficult going to friends baby showers, not knowing if I'd ever be able to hold my own."
Laura met her fiancé, Lewis, in July 2016 and knew he was the one when he was immediately supportive of her condition.
"He was so great with it," she said.
"He just said we'd deal with it together."
The couple started looking into surrogacy in 2018, after getting engaged - knowing the process can take a long time.
"I found out my ovaries were functioning, so I had a chance of having a baby that was biologically mine as I could have my eggs extracted," Laura said.
"But we had no idea how to go about finding a surrogate to carry our child.
"Lewis suggested I post on Facebook about my condition and situation."
Laura was overwhelmed on the love and reaction to her post in November 2020 and shocked when it led then-stranger Chloe to reach out.
"She messaged saying she had donated eggs before but had never known how to go about being a surrogate," Laura said.
"We met for a coffee and clicked straight away.
"I met her husband and children too and we all got on, so we decided to go for it."
The couple and Chloe started the process in January 2021 and Laura had her egg retrieval in August 2021.
In September they found out Chloe was pregnant.
"We went round to Chloe's and she left us a urine sample so Lewis and I could do the test," Laura said.
"We couldn't believe it."
Laura and Lewis found out they were having a girl at their 16-week scan and were able to go along with Chloe to her check-ups and scans.
"We only live 10 minutes away so I've been able to be there for Chloe throughout the whole pregnancy," she said.
"It's been amazing to see her grow."
Laura rushed Chloe to Grange University Hospital, Cwmbran, Wales, when her contractions started in the early hours of 14th May.
As the contractions got closer together, both Wren and Chloe's heart rate rose, and doctors decided to take her for an emergency c-section.
"Chloe reassured me that she wanted me in there with her and I held her hand as Wren was born," Laura said.
"It was a magical moment and it felt like it was just the three of us in the room.
"I just kept saying: 'Is she mine?'
"But when the nurse passed Wren to me to hold, something started going wrong with Chloe and she was losing lots of blood.
"It was really frightening."
Baby Wren started to develop an infection and had to stay in hospital for eight days while she recovered.
"I blamed myself that Chloe was unwell as she carried my baby and she felt guilty that Wren had an infection," Laura said.
"But fortunately they are both OK now."
Laura and Lews bought Wren home on the 23rd May.
"It was amazing but very overwhelming because I was worried she'd get ill again," she said.
"But she has settled in well now.
"I just can't believe she is mine and I'm a mum.
"We call Chloe 'auntie Chloe' and we meet up all the time.
"She'll always be a part of Wren's life.
"It's so lush to see Chloe with Wren.
"Wren is my everything and she's the perfect mixture of Lewis and I."
Chloe added: "I'd always wanted to be a surrogate, but I hadn't known how to go about it.
"I'd started looking into again when I saw Laura's post, so it felt like it was meant to be.
"I wanted her to be at everything with me so she could experience it all.
"It was amazing to see her see Wren and see her finally become a mum.
"It was a traumatic birth, but I am so glad I did it.
"Laura has adapted so easily to motherhood and it's so lovely for me to hold Wren.
"I've given someone a family and that's so special."
Lewis said: "I couldn't quite get my head around it when Chloe reached out.
"It's shocks me that somebody would be so selfless and caring to do that for a stranger.
"Wren is everything I could of wished for and more, she's the most beautiful wonderful girl that I've ever seen, and she's made me and our family the happiest people on earth.
"She's exhausting but wouldn't change it for anything.
"The friendship her and Laura have developed is one of the best things to come out of this and I can't wait to tell Wren what an amazing lady Chloe is and I hope she'll be a big part of her life."
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