Tracey Smith has more reason than most to be grateful. Eight weeks ago, her mum Emma Miles gave Tracey the greatest gift — a child. Mum-of-two Emma, 55, gave birth to her own granddaughter in January by IVF as a surrogate for her daughter.
Tracey, 31, was born without a womb but longed to start a family with husband Adam. So the family were delighted when Tracey’s biological daughter Evie was delivered healthily by emergency Caesarean.
Nursery worker Tracey says: “I can’t thank my mum enough for what she has done.
“I believed I’d never have a child of my own, so to have Evie in my arms is a dream come true.”
Tracey discovered at 16 she would never be able to carry a child.
She says: “Scans showed I had been born without a womb, but with working ovaries and fallopian tubes.
“I was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome, a condition which causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or absent, although external genitalia appear normal.
“I was heartbroken I wouldn’t carry my own child. I was offered counselling and attended a support group with my mum but found it easier to bury my sad feelings.
“After diagnosis, Mum made an offer to one day carry my child for me. I didn’t really think about it then, and we never made a firm plan.”
But in April 2014, Tracey met groundskeeper Adam Smith — they were both working part-time in a hotel — and fell in love.
They got engaged two years later.
Tracey says: “The issue of having a family was always on my mind. I’d told him it was never going to happen with me. It was an upsetting subject and I’d even tried to push him away.
“But Adam told me it was me he wanted. So we started to be practical about ways we could try to start a family, and attended an appointment with a fertility specialist at University Hospital Coventry.
“The doctor said IVF could work and asked if we had a surrogate in mind. We were over the moon.
“At home Adam and I talked about using a surrogacy agency, but worried about finding someone we trusted. British law gives the surrogate all parental rights from birth and that felt like a huge risk.
“Then I remembered mum’s offer. We met up in September 2016 and I asked her if she’d been serious. Her eyes lit up and she said, ‘Of course I was’.
“My dad Robert, 61, was also very supportive. He put it in writing, through a solicitor, that they would happily give parental rights to me and Adam once our baby was born.
“Mum met our consultant in March 2017 and they put a plan in place to prepare her body for pregnancy. They did not seem concerned about her age.
“They needed Mum to lose weight, which she was happy to do. In four months, she lost 6st — dropping to a healthy 11st 4lb.
“She took hormones in tablet form to ready her womb and, in May 2018, an embryo made up of my egg and Adam’s sperm was implanted.
“At our next appointment four weeks later, we were blown away when the nurse slid a positive pregnancy test across the table. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Mum had a straightforward pregnancy. I had expected some people might have been cruel about the fact my mum was carrying my child, but we’ve had nothing but kind comments.”
When the birth was just two months away, Emma moved the 148 miles from her home in Lampeter, South Wales, to Tracey and Adam’s flat in Atherstone, Warks.
‘BIRTH WAS EMOTIONAL’
“At 38 weeks’ pregnant, Mum was induced but the labour didn’t progress as quickly as doctors wanted, so Evie arrived by C-section on January 16 this year. It was an emotional moment.
“I had waited with bated breath to hear that cry — then burst into tears. My daughter was handed to me straight away for skin-on-skin contact, while Mum was stitched.
“I kept just staring at her face and feeling like every moment of heartache was so worth it, just to have that bundle in my arms.
“We are now going through the legal process of formally adopting Evie, as Mum and Dad are named on the birth certificate as the legal parents because of outdated surrogacy laws. Every moment I share with Evie, I am so grateful to mum for her amazing gift.”
Adam, 39, adds: “The fact Tracey’s mum made this miracle happen is amazing. I’ll never be able to thank her enough.”
Supermarket worker Emma, who is also mum to Nicola, 24, says: “Finding out Tracey couldn’t have children was devastating. My instinct was to offer my help. I will always remember the joy in her eyes as she learned I was pregnant. Despite my age, I wasn’t worried about the birth.
“When I had to have the C-section, I was very relaxed and insisted Adam and Tracey were in the operating theatre with me despite rules saying I was allowed only one birth partner.
“I don’t feel any more attachment to Evie than any proud gran would for their first grandchild. I’m now back at work and getting back to normal. But I have offered to do it all again if they ever want a brother or sister for Evie.
“I’m just so glad that Tracey can spend this Mother’s Day as the mum to her own precious little bundle.”
SOURCE: The SUN UK