Julie Wong and her husband Peter were over-the-moon when they discovered they were expecting their first child .
But just four weeks before Julie was due to give birth, tragedy struck – and the couple feared they would never be parents.
Then along came kadie, who helped make their dreams come true, and now Julie and her surrogate and friends for life.
After marrying in 2011, Julie and Peter were keen to start a family of their own.
But a routine test revealed Julie had a number of fibroids – non-cancerous – growths around her uterus and would need them removed to give her a shot at conceiving naturally.
Then, following the procedure, the pair were delighted to discover they were expecting their first baby in late 2014.
But, heartbreakingly, it was not meant to be.
At 36 weeks pregnant in 2015 Julie collapsed and had to be placed in an induced coma.
And when the 41-yar-old woke up she was given the devastating news that she had not only lost her baby but also had to have her uterus removed after she suffered a huge haemorrhage.
Julie said: “We conceived naturally and were so excited, but it ended in tragedy.
"Things had been fine, I was like any other normal expectant mother – then at 36 weeks, I collapsed out of the blue.
“I woke up in hospital five days later to be told I’d suffered a huge haemorrhage, the cause of which is still unknown.
“I’d been put in an induced coma to give my body a chance, but my baby couldn’t be saved.
"I’d had to have my uterus and ovaries removed too, to stop the bleeding.
“By that point, we knew we were expecting a boy and had even given him a name – Adam.
“People kept saying to me that I was lucky to be alive, but I didn’t feel it.
"I had a future planned out that was now gone, and I had to go back to a house full of baby things that I didn’t need.”
Julie was kept in hospital for two weeks and then had to try to come to terms with the fact she and her husband, 43, were unlikely to have a baby of their own.
Julie, of Ashtead, Surrey, said: “I’d had six months maternity leave booked, which I still took to give myself time to process everything, but I felt lost.
“I was supposed to be a busy new mum, yet I had nothing to do. I felt like a failure.
“Baby loss is still such a huge taboo. People have no idea what to say or how to act, which needs to change.
"The best thing you can say is simply that you’re sorry.
“As well-meaning as they were, people said hurtful things to us, like ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ or ‘Have you moved on yet?’
“I didn’t want to move on and forget Adam. I wanted to move forward, but keep him with me."
As they also found it too difficult to be around friends who were having babies, Julie and computer programmer Peter soon felt a “massive gulf” between them and their peers.
So, in late 2015, after reading about the charity Surrogacy UK online, they decided to join.
At first, their priority over meeting a potential surrogate was finding a community where loss was spoken about openly and honestly so they felt less isolated.
But, slowly, they felt ready to begin attending socials, where they met like-minded people.
Then in 2016, they felt more ready to meet a potential surrogate, and in November of that year, they met Kadie for the first time in Sheffield, where Peter had gone to university.
Coincidentally, it was also Kadie’s first Surrogacy UK meeting, although she had been interested in helping a couple in need for most of her life.
She said: “The first time I really thought about it, I was about 15.
"I was sat on a wall one day talking to my friend about getting older and having children.
“I turned to her and said, ‘You know you’ll always be able to become a mum because if you can’t carry your baby, I’ll do it for you.’
“I’ve been so lucky to have had my own babies and I just wanted to help someone else experience that joy.”
As soon as they got talking, the connection between Kadie and Julie was instant.
Kadie became an official member of Surrogacy UK in 2017.
She said: “I looked through some other profiles too, but knew deep down that I wanted to help Julie and Peter.
“We got on so well, and had so much in common. It had to be them.
“So, I got in touch with Surrogacy UK and asked them to make the official call, to tell Julie and Peter I wanted to help.”
A three-month “getting to know each other” period followed, before an official agreement was made in July 2017.
The trio – who nicknamed themselves Team Hunger Busters, a joke about how they bonded over food – met with Surrogacy UK to ensure they were all on the same page.
In the autumn, they then began shopping around for fertility clinics, before finding one they felt was right.
Back in 2016, Julie and Peter had been able to create an embryo with the help of an anonymous egg donor.
And, in 2018, Kadie began a course of hormone treatment to prepare her for implantation.
Then, last March, Kadie fell pregnant with the couple’s baby – opting for host/gestational surrogacy.
This is where the intended parents’ embryos are transferred into the surrogate using IVF, rather than the straight/traditional method, which involves using the surrogate’s own eggs.
Speaking of the day she found out, Kadie said: “I couldn’t wait to take a test. The relief and joy I felt to see it was positive was indescribable.
“I couldn’t wait to tell Julie and Peter. I sent them a message saying, ‘I have something to tell you,’ with a picture of the test.
"It was all very surreal. They came up to Sheffield the following week and we did another test, which was, of course, positive too.”
Despite having Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) with her three girls – a type of severe morning sickness that Kate Middleton has famously suffered with – Kadie’s pregnancy was relatively straightforward.
Then, after being induced on December 18, she gave birth to Julie and Peter’s son, Jacob, who weighed 7lb 1oz, in the early hours of December 19th, at Sheffield’s Jessop Wing maternity unit.
Julie said: “We decided not to find out the gender in advance, because the moment you do, you envisage an entire future.
"Given what happened with Adam, it was a form of self-protection.
“I will never forget holding Jacob for the first time, and feeling an overwhelming rush of love, tinged with sadness for Adam.”
Kadie added: “Throughout this journey, people kept saying I was brave, and I really didn’t see it that way.
"But now I look back and think, ‘Wow, I really did that.’
“The moment Jacob arrived, it was instant joy. Seeing Julie and Peter with him was one of the best moments of my life.”
A few days later, the families went to register his birth together, with Kadie’s girls cooing over the newborn.
Now, he is a happy, healthy youngster and the women, who are in regular contact, hope that, by speaking out, they will help to show what a magical journey surrogacy can be.
Julie said: “We need to be reading more positive stories about surrogacy like ours.
"There is too much fixation on the negatives and what could go wrong.
“For us, it has been incredible, and Jacob’s birth was just the start of a lifelong friendship.
“Our children will grow up alongside one another, and we will be friends for life.”
Speaking out to challenge negative misconceptions about surrogacy, public policy professional Julie said: “I want people to realise that surrogacy isn’t a transactional, rent-a-womb relationship.
"Kadie and I are friends for life now. Peter and I were there the moment Jacob was born.
"I had worried I wouldn’t have that initial bond, as it hadn’t been me giving birth. But the rush of love I felt was incredible.
“He is now a happy, healthy seven-week-old. Kadie did some good growing.”
Kadie, who is mum to three girls, added: “I know people often ask if the surrogate gets attached, but I had known from the outset that Jacob is Julie and Peter’s baby, and it wasn’t me bringing him home.
“With my own children, I was falling in love with every kick, but with Jacob, it was a different feeling completely, one of happiness for my friends that they were getting their baby.”
It has been a magical journey for the two families, but Kadie warns that any surrogacy requires careful consideration.
She said: “There is so much help and advice out there.
"If anybody is considering it, it is worth looking into, but do make sure you are doing it for you.
“But I am so happy I could help Julie and Peter. It’s a dream come true.”
For information, visit www.surrogacyuk.org
Amazing miracle babies
Source: Read Full Article