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Monday, April 27, 2015

Paralyzed Bride Rachelle Friedman Chapman Welcomes a Baby Girl by Surrogate

Rachelle Friedman Chapman and husband Chris Chapman welcomed daughter Kaylee Rae Chapman via surrogate on Sunday, April 26.

The new baby clocked in at 7.11 lbs. and now PEOPLE has exclusive photos from Kaylee Rae's birth from Helen Joy photography.

Rachelle, 29, became known as the "paralyzed bride" after a freak accident at a bachelorette party four years ago left her paralyzed from the chest down.

After the accident, she immediately worried about whether she could still have children. "I knew I was paralyzed and the first thing I asked the paramedics was whether I could have kids. I was ecstatic when they said yes," Rachelle told PEOPLE.

But doctors later told Rachelle that a medicine she takes for her blood pressure could be dangerous to her and a developing fetus if she were to get pregnant.

Rachelle was heartbroken – until a college friend heard her story and reached out about being a surrogate.

"My husband was a sperm donor for some of our friends, a same-sex couple, and that inspired me to think about surrogacy," Laurel Humes told PEOPLE at the time.

Humes and the Chapmans have kept in close contact throughout the pregnancy. "Rachelle and Chris even recorded their voices reading stories and other things and I play it for the baby at night using the belly buds Rachelle bought me so [the baby] can hear her parents' voices," Humes said.

And now that the baby's here, the Chapmans will document their lives as first-time parents for a TLC series that's currently in production.

"The crew is here in town waiting by the phone like we are," Rachelle told PEOPLE last week.

"People think as a quadriplegic I can't move anything, that's not true," she added. "This is mostly about educating people about parenthood, what I'm capable of, what it's like to have a spinal cord injury and our relationship. There's a lot I can do and I want people to see that."


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