Mirelle Leguia, 37, and Jason Porras, 39, were devastated when they experienced a third miscarriage in two years while trying for their second baby.
After being diagnosed with unexplained infertility, the couple decided to downsize their home and use their savings to pay for a surrogate and IVF.
The couple, from Texas, US, were over the moon after meeting surrogate, Christine Puryear, 31.
In April this year, the trio, alongside Christine’s husband, George, 32, welcomed their baby, Luca, into the world.
The process, which allowed them to introduce Luca to his older brother Nico, cost the couple £113,000.
Mirella and Jason have since shared the raw and poignant images from their birth to highlight surrogacy and to give hope to other hopeful parents.
Mirelle said: ‘After our three heartbreaking miscarriages, we sought advice from a fertility doctor who said we should consider surrogacy.
‘Once we realised we could use our own embryos we quickly realised it would be the best option for us.’
In 2018 they met their surrogate Christine who was local to the couple so they were all able to attend appointments together.
The three of them started with video calls to get to know each other and all underwent in-depth psychological tests to ensure they were all ready.
‘I felt like I’d known Christine for years and although she hadn’t been a surrogate previously, I trusted her completely,’ said Mirelle.
The clinic had managed to fertilise three of the 10 embryos collected but the first two embryos failed to implant. A year later, in July 2019, a third embryo was able to be implanted.
Christine opted for a home birth and both Jason and George were present as she gave birth to Luca.
Though the pregnancy ran smoothly, Mirelle did have some worries about bonding with the new baby.
But she heard about induced lactation which meant she could breastfeed the baby and bond with them.
She said: ‘It was challenging to watch someone else carry our baby and I worried whether I’d bond with the baby as I had with Nico.
‘It was hard to not worry throughout Christine’s pregnancy, especially after everything we had gone through.
‘But we felt reassured when we saw our baby on the sonographers screen when he was six weeks old.’
Christine gave birth in the bathroom in her home and Mirelle was prepped into position for the final push.
Mirelle added: ‘I could see his head appearing and as Christine gave it one last deep breath, I caught our baby in my arms.
‘Christine had always said it was her dream to give a couple a baby and we felt so honoured that she’d done that for us.
‘Three hours after being born we took our son, who we named Luca, home.’
Paying the mother a fee (known as commercial surrogacy) is only allowed in some US states, including Texas, where they live.
Mirella and Jason spent £38K on the IVC clinic and medicine costs, £41K for surrogacy expenses, £15K for health insurance and prenatal care, £16K for legal and agency fees, and £3,800 for birth costs.
The say it was worth every penny.
Mirelle added: ‘The IVF clinic and medicine costs are not usually as expensive as ours – as it cost $50,000 (£38,128)- but we ended up having to do seven cycles, two embryos failed, four mock cycles to check it was the right timing.
‘But it was more than worth it, now we couldn’t be happier to start our lives together.’
Christine said: ‘It took two years to conceive my first son seven years ago and from that moment I knew I wanted to help another family by being a surrogate.
‘My husband, George, was completely on board with the idea but after consulting a surrogacy agency back in 2013, we decided to complete our own family first due to the risks.
‘But after having a further two boys of our own, we decided it was finally the right time to become a surrogate in 2018.
‘Mirelle and Jason were there at every appointment and it was so surreal helping them complete their family.
‘They were both there at the birth as was my husband and the look of pure happiness on Mirelle’s face as Luca was born was something I’ll never forget.
‘They were so grateful and the overall experience of being their surrogate was just amazing so much so that once my body has recovered from this pregnancy and birth I am planning to do it another two times.’
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