Tracey Smith, 31, feared she would never have a child of her own until her mother offered to act as a surrogate. Her mum Emma Miles, 55, shed six stone to reach a healthy weight to get pregnant – and gave birth to healthy baby Evie.
Tracey said: “Every moment of heartache was so worth it just to have our little bundle in our arms. “I am so grateful to mum for her amazing gift to us.”
It was discovered that Tracey was missing her reproductive organs when she was 15 years old and still hadn’t started her period. Scans showed she had been born without a womb but she did have working ovaries and fallopian tubes.
At 16 Tracey was diagnosed with MRKH (Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser Syndrome) – a condition that causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or absent, although external genitalia are normal. Doctors told devastated Tracey that she would never carry her own child.
At the time her mum Emma said she would do anything she could to help. But it was almost fifteen years later when Tracey and her husband Adam, 40, were considering fertility treatment that they took Emma up on the offer.
Nursery worker Tracey said: “When I was diagnosed it tipped my world upside down. I was heartbroken at the idea that I wouldn’t carry my own child. I’d always known that I wanted to be a mum, even at 15.
“Straight after my diagnosis mum made an offer to do what she could to help. I knew that she meant one day she’d carry my child for me. “Over the years she mentioned it in passing but we never really made a firm plan.
“It was only after I met Adam and we got engaged in 2016 that he broached the subject of children.”
Tracey and Adam considered using a surrogacy agency but were apprehensive because of the outdated laws around surrogacy in this country.
Tracey explains: “The law in this country gives the surrogate – and her husband if she has one – all parental rights from birth and that felt like a huge risk.”
Instead Tracey asked supermarket worker Emma if she had been serious when she offered all those years ago.
Tracey said: “I remembered mum’s promise to me.
“So the next time we met up I asked her if she’d been serious about carrying our baby. “I was delighted when she replied: “Of course I was”. She had just been waiting for me to ask.”
Tracey’s dad Robert Miles, 61, was very supportive – and put it in writing through a solicitor that he and Emma would happily give parental rights to Adam and Tracey once the baby was born.
Then Emma, of Lampeter, lost six stone and took hormone tablets to prepare her body for the pregnancy. The IVF process involved taking an egg from Tracey and fertilising it with sperm in a laboratory – so it could be placed into Emma’s womb to grow and develop.
Against the odds, it was successful at the first attempt. And on January 16th 2019 Evie Siân Emma Smith was born at 7lb 7oz by caesarean section after a routine pregnancy.
Tracey, now living in Coventry, said: “Adam and I were allowed to both stay by mum’s side as Evie came into the world. “It was such an incredible emotional moment. I was so nervous that everything would go well for mum and for the safe arrival of our baby.
“Adam saw Evie come into the world because of a reflection on the lamps in surgery and I just waited to hear that cry and burst into happy tears.”
Now Adam and Tracey are going through the legal process of formally adopting Evie. Emma, who is also mum to Nicola, 24, said: “To find out that Tracey couldn’t have children was gutting to me.
“She rarely felt able to open up but when I had the chance just after her diagnosis I remember sitting on her bed and saying: “I’m here if you need me.”
“Despite my age I wasn’t worried about giving birth at all. “All of my focus has been about doing this special thing for my daughter. “I don’t feel anymore attachment to Evie than any other proud grandmother.
“Tracey is my baby and I did it all for her to be a mother. “Now I’m glad to be back to work and getting back to normal. “But I have offered to do it all again if they ever want a little brother or sister for Evie.”