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Surrogate Sister Ends Heartache

After ten years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, Jo Coomb and her husband Paul from Surrey have at last become parents to a baby boy called Charlie, and it is all thanks to their sister in law Caroline Jones.

Jo is 42 and a dental nurse.  She and Paul married in 1998 and began trying for a baby soon after but after an ectopic pregnancy, they were informed that IVF would be their only option to conceive.

Paul and Jo have had to endure a heart wrenching ten years suffering through ten attempts of IVF and two miscarriages as well as the ectopic pregnancy.  Over the years they have shed many tears after each failure took them further away from their goal to become a family.  Having felt the joy of being pregnant only to find during the scans that there were no heartbeats they believed that they would never be parents.

In 2000 Jo was diagnosed with early signs of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) which halted their discussions about adoption just as they were starting to consider.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is a condition where the central nervous system is attacked by the immune system resulting in the loss of communication between the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.  A sufferer can have symptoms such as muscle spasms, loss of coordination and muscle weakness, as well as fatigue and mood swings.  The condition is also more common in females.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Jo's younger brother David and his wife Caroline were moved by the couple's attempts and Caroline wanted to help her brother in law and his wife achieve their aim of being a family after seeing them go through the pain and disappointment of trying to conceive.  So one night, when Jo was feeling over emotional and teary, she suddenly offered to be their surrogate.  The couple were stunned but gratefully accepted her generous offer.

David and Caroline already had two children of their own, four year old Daniel and two year old Jessica.

Caroline's first attempt was Frozen Embryo Transfer using one of Jo's embryo's from her last IVF cycle.  She became pregnant but unfortunately it resulted in an ectopic pregnancy and the removal of one of Caroline's fallopian tubes.  Just weeks later Caroline stated that she wanted to try again.

The next few attempts were by artificial insemination using Paul's sperm and Caroline's own eggs but each attempt failed.   After six months of trying they finally got the call confirming that Caroline was pregnant.

Jo was extremely nervous during the 23 hour labour but she stayed by Caroline's side the whole time.  The couple were overjoyed to announce the birth of their son Charlie who was born on 30th March 2009 and weighed 9lbs 3oz.  Jo has given up work to be with her son and is keeping a diary for him which he can read when he is older so that he knows just how wonderful his Aunty is and how he came into the world.  The couple cried for two days after they brought him home.  Jo stated that they were very much in love with their son.

Surrogacy

Surrogacy is when a woman becomes pregnant and carries a baby for another couple.  There are two forms of surrogacy, traditional or host.

  • The traditional or straight surrogate is a woman who uses her own eggs and is fertilized with the father's sperm.
  • A host surrogate is a woman who is implanted with the fertilized embryo of a couple who have had an IVF cycle.

While surrogacy is legal within the United Kingdom, there are strict guidelines, particularly regarding expenses that need to be adhered to.   The first surrogate birth made headlines in 1985 and since then there have been over 700 births within the UK.

There is plenty of support and advice on the internet where people interested in surrogacy can look, and whilst most experiences are wonderful some don’t always go to plan so anyone considering surrogacy should ensure to do plenty of research before making such an important decision.