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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

'Don't worry, I'll have a baby for you': Heartwarming story of a woman who was told she would never be a mother, her best friend who loaned out her womb and a total stranger who donated her eggs

~ Miranda Hill was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at 21-years-old, which would result in her suffering a stroke if she fell pregnant
~ Her best friend Megan, who had always joked about having a baby for her, offered to carry her child
~ When Miranda's egg count was revealed to be too low, they enlisted the help of Queensland mother Jemma Bacon through IVF Australia
~ Megan is due to give birth to Miranda's son, created with her husband's sperm and Jemma's egg, in four weeks

A woman who was told she would never become a mother because she suffers from a heart condition is to have her dream of a family come true - thanks to a total stranger who offered to donate her eggs and a friend who is acting as a surrogate.

Miranda Hill from Engadine in Sydney's south, who calls her situation a 'love story', will have a little one to call her own in four weeks when her best friend gives birth to a baby boy created with her husband's sperm and a Queensland mother's donated egg.

The 32-year-old was first diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a condition that doctors warned could result in her suffering a stroke if she carried a child, at the age of 21.

'When I was 21, having a baby wasn't high on my priority list,' Miranda told Daily Mail Australia.

'My best friend, who is now my sister-in-law [Megan Hill], when we realised it would be hard for me to have a baby, would always joke "don't worry, I'll have one for you" and I'd just laugh at her and didn't think it was possible.'

After marrying Megan's brother-in-law Chris in 2009, who Miranda describes as the man of her dreams, she realised that her desire to have a baby and raise a family was a physical impossibility.

'I sort of kept my pain really private between my husband and I – it's hard to be upset when another woman in your life has a baby or announces their pregnancy. You don't look nice when you're the one with tears in your eyes because you're sad about your situation,' she said.

'My husband talked me through it – he's a man of few words but when he does say something he really means it.

'He said to me: "If I can't have a baby with you, if I can't raise them with you, then I don't want to do it at all".'

Instead, the couple focused on their nephews and nieces, spending extra time with each of them and getting very involved in their lives.

But it was during one particularly difficult Christmas in 2012 that Miranda received an offer that her heart couldn't refuse.

'I'd had a particularly hard Christmas not being a mum and being around lots of babies – they bring a lot of joy but it can also be a heartache – and Megan said: "look, I've finished my family - my daughter's four, my son is two - so let's do this, I'm ready again",' Miranda said.

'Megan is a really pragmatic woman –she wouldn't say something she didn't mean.'

'Now she's very set on this idea that ''this is my nephew, I'm carrying my nephew".'

The two women began their research and found that their dream could be made a reality through IVF Australia – until Miranda was hit with another crushing blow.

'I found out I needed an egg donor. My egg supply was extremely low, I'd probably be able to retrieve one egg and I would have to also carry out some genetic testing to make sure I wasn't going to pass on the heart condition I live with,' Miranda said.

'But I found Egg Donation Australia online and they're a huge group of women who donate their eggs because they want other women to become mothers too – it's beautiful.'

Miranda was introduced to Jemma Bacon, a single Queensland mother-of-one who is a strong advocate for egg donation and has given 11 embryos to women struggling to conceive, and a friendship flourished between them.

'We went to Brisbane to meet her and her little boy Cooper and we just really clicked, we've known each other for 18 months but you wouldn't know it – the first time we spoke on the phone we spoke for two hours solid,' Miranda said.

'She has an amazing attitude, she just wants to give someone else the chance to be the mum that she loves being.'

Jemma, who has been very involved with the pregnancy and flew down from her Yeppoon home to attend Miranda's baby shower, said she chose to donate her eggs to the desperate couple herself.

'I had seen her thread and they're just so supportive - the love she gave everyone even though they were going through a hard time themselves was beautiful,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'It feels like your best friend is having a baby, that’s how invested you are. There's pride and joy and elation.'

The trio are now four weeks away from the birth of Miranda's little boy and the excitement is starting to show: the mother-to-be has completed setting up her nursery while Megan keeps the others updated on the size of her stomach and Jemma issues jest apologies to the heavily pregnant surrogate for 'knocking her up'.

'The moment Megan had the embryo transfer and two weeks later the blood transfer, the nurse rang me to let me know it had worked and I went into shock. They had to call me back in the afternoon to ask if I was OK.

'It's something you hope for but don't dare believe it will happen.

'We passed the 12 week scan with flying colours and at 20 weeks, when we found out he was a boy, that's when I realised "this is real, he's coming and he's going to live in my house and call me mum".'

Miranda has now made her story public to inspire other mothers like her, that 'there really is no end to the road – there are so many options these days'.


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