“All the forces on this planet will never beat that of a mother’s love.” – Elle Smith
Tracey Smith,31, was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome (MRKH) at the age of 16.
This is a congenital disorder characterized by the absence or incomplete formation of the vagina and uterus. One of the main side effects is the inability to menstruate or conceive. Only 1 out of 4,500 females is born with MRKH.
Ever since the age of 15 she wanted to become a mother but her hopes were in vain when her condition was diagnosed a year later. The first sign of the disease was the absence of the first menstruation at the age of 16. Because the external organs of the reproductive system are intact, it is difficult to detect the condition, and girls are better off in their teens.
When her mother, Emma Miles, 55, was informed of her condition, she was prepared to do anything to make things easier for her. After her diagnosis, she offered help, she claim. Many years later, she did exactly what she had promised. In an interview with the Wales News Service, the grandmother said her mother reminded her she was like her mother.
“Straight after my diagnosis, mum made an offer to do what she could to help,” Tracey said. “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.”
Surrogacy is the implantation of an embryo in the uterus of the mother. Tracey and her mother were conceived through full surrogacy, which involves in vitro fertilization of the intended egg of the mother with the sperm of the interned father (IVF) and the subsequent implantation of the embryo in the guest’s uterus. Partial surrogacy (or pure traditional surrogacy) means that the father’s sperm is implanted into the other woman’s egg. It is the simplest and most affordable form of surrogacy, because it means that the surrogate mother is the host and not the genetic mother.
In this case, there is no obvious reason for full surrogacy. Full surrogacy is only possible for women with MRKH if their ovaries are intact.
The embryo is created by IVF and transferred to the surrogate uterus. Once in the surrogate womb, no hormone therapy is required. It doesn’t matter if the surrogate is of child-bearing age, as Emma was, or has gone through the menopause.
“I remembered mum’s promise to me,” Tracey said. “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.”
Emma says she was devastated when she was informed about Tracey’s disorder, it was that she knew- she’d make any sacrifices needed for her daughter.
‘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,” Emma said.
She had been waiting for me to ask me. Emma said she was devastated when she learned Tracey was suffering from the disorder, but it was as if she knew Emmad would make all the sacrifices needed to be there for her. “When she felt able to open up to me about the chance of her diagnosis, I remember sitting on her bed and saying,” Mem, she needs you.
Despite my age, I wasn’t worried about giving birth. “My focus was on doing special things for my daughter,” she said. Having a child at 55 is no mean feat.
Emma Miles is believed to be one of the oldest surrogate mothers in the UK. Her husband, 61-year-old Robert Miles, stood by her throughout the trip and offered his full support. Having deprived Adam and Tracey of their parental rights, they are now ready to express their love in full.
Emma underwent hormone therapy to get her reproductive system ready for pregnancy. In order to increase her chances of success, she had to lose 38 kg to adjust to the course of her pregnancy.
Since Emma had gone through the menopause, she did not have an egg, and eggs are not needed for full surrogacy. For this reason, her womb was only suitable for the birth of a child.
To begin the whole process, Tracey underwent fertility treatment in preparation for in vitro fertilization (IVF). After egg collection and fertilization, the fertilized embryo was transferred into her uterus. The implantation took place in the first attempt, against all resistance.
Pregnancy at this late age carries many risks that families need to be aware of. Risks include pre-eclampsia, miscarriages, a high likelihood of giving birth to a child with congenital abnormalities or defects, high blood pressure and an increased risk of complications during childbirth. Despite all these possibilities, a happy, healthy, bouncy Evie Sian Emma Smith was born on January 16, 2019.
She was admitted by Caesarean section after her grandmothers prolonged labor. Luckily, Adam was allowed to stay by her side when she was born, she said.
Adam and I saw our baby born in practice under the reflection of the lamp, and I waited to hear a cry and burst into happy tears. It was a very emotional moment for me. I was nervous about going home to become a mother, but with the arrival of our daughter I was safe.
Emma said she didn’t mind doing it because her young granddaughter needed a sibling. She’s my baby and I did it for her mother. “I don’t feel more connected to her than any other proud grandmother,” she said. But I am glad that the work is back to normal.
So I offered to do it if they wanted a little brother or sister for Evie. But the love was too strong to do anything else.