Here, Tracey Thompson, 55 tells the story in her own words.
I ￼always knew my daughter Kelley would be an amazing mother. Even when she was little, she used to help the smaller children in the park or dote lovingly on her dolls.
And when she got older, it was no different. At 24, she was due to marry her partner, Aaron, then 30, and they were keen to start a family straight away. She’ll make an amazing mum, I thought.After they wed, I felt sure she’d have a baby within a year. Sadly, it didn’t work out like that.
‘We’re having problems conceiving,’ Kelley admitted. After six months of trying, they went for fertility tests. Kelley had ovulation difficulties and Aaron had a low sperm count, meaning they only had a one per cent chance of conceiving.
My girl was devastated, but vowed not to give up on her dream of motherhood. ‘We’re going to try IVF,’ she told me. Tragically, Kelly miscarried twice.
My heart broke again for her when she lost her third child at six weeks on Christmas Day, 2014. Poor Kelley was beside herself with grief. I wished there was something I could do.The following month, Kelley and Aaron went back to the doctor where I joined them for moral support.
‘I can’t go through another miscarriage,’ Kelley told the specialist. ‘Are there any other options?’ ‘There’s surrogacy,’ he replied. ‘You would need to find someone you trust, like a relative.’At 54, my child-bearing years were well behind me.Still, I’d do anything to ease my daughter’s pain. The doctor explained it would depend on how fit I was, but it was possible. ‘Mum, this is a big decision,’ Kelley stuttered. But I could see that a light bulb had switched on in her head, too.
Back at home, Kelley, Aaron, my hubby Ben, 54, and I sat up talking.My pregnancies with Kelley and her older brother Kyle, 30, were smooth and I was truly desperate to help my daughter.
After talking, we decided I should be tested to check I was healthy enough to have an embryo implanted.It was a very nervous wait, but one month later I got the all clear. I took hormones to get my body ready to carry their bub, and in March 2015 an embryo was implanted.
The baby was conceived using Kelley’s eggs and Aaron’s sperm, so it was biologically theirs. Seven days later my heart was pounding as I did a home pregnancy test. When I saw the positive result, I burst into tears of absolute joy. I was pregnant with my own grandchild!
I took a photo of the positive test and sent it to Kelley. She called straight away and we screamed and cried together.A few weeks later, we found out that the baby was a girl. ‘Let’s call her Kelcey,’ Aaron said. It was a combination of my name, Tracey, and Kelley’s. ‘It’s perfect,’ I beamed. I felt fine at first but around two months in, the morning sickness hit.
Kelley did her best to help, taking me to all the doctor’s appointments and making sure I got plenty of rest and healthy meals. Once I was better, we decided to let our friends and family in on our news. They were all amazed, but also very supportive.
‘This is an incredible thing you’re doing,’ one friend said with a smile. As my bump grew, I was glowing.
After nine months, I went to hospital to be induced. But although I started having contractions, my cervix wasn’t dilating. Then, my waters broke.
To make sure I didn’t get an infection, I was given an emergency C-section. Please don’t let it go wrong now, I prayed.
Kelley and Aaron were by my side throughout the whole thing. As soon as the doctors held up Kelcey, they passed her straight to Kelley so she could have skin-to-skin bonding. Gazing at my beautiful granddaughter, I was so happy that I’d been able to make my daughter’s dream come true.
As I was stitched up, all I could do was breathe a huge sigh of relief. I had done my part and now Kelley could finally be a mum. She was overjoyed to hold her new baby.
Now Kelcey is a boisterous 20-month-old, with big blue eyes and an adorable smile.She already knows that grandma carried her in her tummy. Kelcey has brought so much light into our lives, I’m just glad I was able to give my daughter this gift.
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