Incredible | 

Irish woman reveals how ‘selfless’ sisters and friend helped her have kids through surrogacy

Emma Meagher was told that she couldn’t carry her own children at the age of 17 after visiting her gynecologist.

Emma and Leigh. Photo: Newstalk

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

A woman who had four babies through surrogacy with the help of her sisters and best friend has opened up about her incredible journey to motherhood.

Emma Meagher was told that she couldn’t carry her own children at the age of 17 after visiting her gynecologist.

She was “devastated” by the news but was immediately reassured by her older sister Victoria, who vowed to carry her future baby for her.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Lunchtime Live on Tuesday, Victoria explained: “I remember my mam and Emma coming home that day and Emma was devastated. Out of all of the sisters, Emma was the one carrying a doll. From the age of two, she just wanted to be a mammy.

“When they came from the hospital that day, Emma couldn’t even speak. My sister’s heart was shattered into a million pieces.

“I knew one day that she would be a mammy but I just tried to reassure her that her journey to motherhood would be a little different.

“There was a problem but there was a solution. So, without hesitation, I gave Emma my word that whenever she was ready, I’d be there to help her.

“I had just had my little boy a year before that but regardless of that, my sister’s heart was broken and there was a way to help her, and I was willing to do that.”

Emma married her husband Michael when she was 26 and the couple started the IVF process just six months later.

Victoria successfully gave birth to Emma’s first child, a daughter named Sophie, the following year and made sure to give her sister “as many of her own moments as possible” during the pregnancy and birth.

“The experience is very different when it’s your own pregnancy versus when it’s somebody else’s baby,” Victoria said.

“When I was carrying Emma’s baby and it was moving or kicking, it just wasn’t that same emotion as when it was my own pregnancy.

“I wanted to give her as many of her own moments as possible. When we did the pregnancy test, I insisted on not being in the room so Emma and her husband knew I was pregnant before I did. It was very much like that throughout the whole pregnancy.

“Emma’s babies were born right into her arms. Their first touch was with their mammy.”

Emma added: “I went through all the treatment, the egg retrieval, all the medical side. I think all my sisters and best friend made me feel like this was my pregnancy.

“This is such a selfless, beautiful, amazing thing to do for someone. It meant the world.”

Emma and Michael later tried IVF again, this time enlisting in the help of Emma’s lifelong friend Leigh.

However, they tragically lost their baby girl Katie at 30 weeks as her heart had stopped.

“The most painful conversation I’ve ever had to have was with my daughter Sophie telling her that her sister wasn’t coming home. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. But it gave me the strength to keep going,” Emma said.

“I was done. I didn’t think I had it in me to keep going with IVF and the surrogacy process. I was just defeated.

“My husband said to me, ‘Please can we just do one more go?’ So for him, for Sophie, for everyone, I agreed to do one more.

“I did one round of IVF again. I had to get on a plane to Prague to get my eggs retrieved. I don’t know how I did it.”

Emma’s other sister Laura carried two healthy baby boys, Sean and Harry, and said it was the “best thing in the world” to be her sister’s surrogate.

She said: “Anyone who witnesses their sister going through that would try anything to help them.

“I don’t know how Emma and Michael had the strength to go through that again. They’re heroes in my eyes.

“What Emma had to go through was a lot tougher than what I did. My job was the easy part.

“These babies are lucky because they’re so loved before they even get here. All the mammies and daddies who try so hard to bring them into the world, my heart goes out to them because it’s not easy at times. They deserve all the praise in the world.

“For us to be able to see Emma and her babies, it’s little moments like that, just sitting in Emma’s house with them all running around, it’s the best thing in the world,” Laura added.

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