A loving grandmother has given birth to her ᴏᴡɴ ɢʀᴀɴᴅᴄʜɪʟᴅ – because her daughter was born ᴡɪᴛʜᴏᴜᴛ ᴀ ᴡᴏᴍʙ.
Tracey Smith has more reason than most to be grateful. Eight weeks ago, her mum Emma Miles gave Tracey the greatest gift, a child. Mum-of-two Emma, 55, gave birth to her own granddaughter in January by ⒾⓋⒻ as ᴀ sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇ for her daughter. Tracey said: “Every moment of ʜᴇᴀʀᴛᴀᴄʜᴇ was so worth it just to have our little bundle in our arms. I am so grateful to mum for her amazing gift to us.”
Tracey found out she was ᴍɪssɪɴɢ her ᴘʀᴏᴅᴜᴄᴛɪᴠᴇ ᴏʀɢᴀɴs following ᴀ sᴄᴀɴ when she hadn’t started her ᴘᴇʀɪᴏᴅ aged 15. Scans showed she had been born ᴡɪᴛʜᴏᴜᴛ ᴀ ᴡᴏᴍʙ but she did have working ᴏᴠᴀʀɪᴇs ᴀɴᴅ ꜰᴀʟʟᴏᴘɪᴀɴ ᴛᴜʙᴇs. At 16 Tracey was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ⓂⓇⓀⒽ (Mᴀʏᴇʀ-Rᴏᴋɪᴛᴀɴsᴋʏ-Kᴜ̈sᴛᴇʀ-Hᴀᴜsᴇʀ Sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ), ᴀ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ that ᴄᴀᴜsᴇs the ᴠᴀɢɪɴᴀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs to be underdeveloped or absent, although ᴇxᴛᴇʀɴᴀʟ ɢᴇɴɪᴛᴀʟɪᴀ are normal. Dᴏᴄᴛᴏʀs told devastated Tracey that she would ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴄᴀʀʀʏ her ᴏᴡɴ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ. At the time her mum Emma said she would do anything she could to help. But it was almost fifteen years later when Tracey and her husband Adam, 40, were ᴄᴏɴsɪᴅᴇʀɪɴɢ ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ that they took Emma up on the offer.
But in April 2014, Tracey met groundskeeper Adam Smith, they were both working part-time in a hotel, and fell in love. They got engaged two years later. Tracey said :” The issue of having a family was always on my mind. I’d told him it was ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ going to happen with me. It was an upsetting subject and I’d even tried to ᴘᴜsʜ him away. But Adam told me it was me he wanted. So we started to be practical about ways we could try to start a family, and attended an appointment with ᴀ ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ sᴘᴇᴄɪᴀʟɪsᴛ ᴀᴛ Uɴɪᴠᴇʀsɪᴛʏ Hᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ Cᴏᴠᴇɴᴛʀʏ. The ᴅᴏᴄᴛᴏʀ said ⒾⓋⒻ could work and asked if we had ᴀ sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇ in mind. We were over the moon. At home Adam and I talked about using ᴀ sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴄʏ ᴀɢᴇɴᴄʏ, but ᴡᴏʀʀɪᴇᴅ about finding someone we trusted. Bʀɪᴛɪsʜ ʟᴀᴡ ɢɪᴠᴇs ᴛʜᴇ sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇ ᴀʟʟ ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛᴀʟ ʀɪɢʜᴛs ꜰʀᴏᴍ ʙɪʀᴛʜ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ꜰᴇʟᴛ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴀ ʜᴜɢᴇ ʀɪsᴋ. Then I remembered mum’s offer. We met up in September 2016 and I asked her if she’d been serious. Her eyes lit up and she said, ‘Of course I was’. My dad Robert, 61, was also very supportive. He put it in writing, through a solicitor, that they would happily give ᴘᴀʀᴇɴᴛᴀʟ ʀɪɢʜᴛs to me and Adam once our baby was born.”
Tracey said: “Adam and I were allowed to both stay by mum’s side as Evie came into the world. It was such an incredible emotional moment. I was so nervous that everything would go well for mum and for the sᴀꜰᴇ arrival of our baby. Adam saw Evie come into the world because of a reflection on the lamps in sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ and I just waited to hear that cry and burst into happy tears.” Now the couple are going through the ʟᴇɢᴀʟ ᴘʀᴏᴄᴇss ᴏꜰ ꜰᴏʀᴍᴀʟʟʏ ᴀᴅᴏᴘᴛɪɴɢ Evie. And this year Tracey will have her first Mother’s Day as a doting mum to nine-week-old baby Evie.