Marie Andrews’ inspirational story appears in the SUNDAY PEOPLE newspaper…
Marie Andrews has brittle bone disease. She can break a rib just coughing – but she was determined to be a mum…
Marie Andrews never thought she’d get married let alone have a baby. But despite being so severely disabled with brittle bone disease, which in effect gives her just half a working body and confines her to a wheelchair – she is now a proud mum to baby Mark.
She and husband Dan had longed for a baby for years. However, as Marie is so fragile she can break a rib just coughing and so physically carrying her own baby was out of the question.
The couple looked into adoption. But because of Marie’s disability, they were turned down to adopt a baby. Then a friend offered to carry their child but when she developed a back problem was unable to do it after all.
The setbacks were devastating but the pair were determined and joined a surrogacy agency. They were delighted when after only 18 months a mum of four offered to be their surrogate and have their baby for them.
Marie went to all the scans – at 20 weeks, when she and Dan discovered they were expecting a boy, she went out and bought lots of blue clothes. Dan decorated the nursery blue. Marie was the first to hold healthy 8Ib baby Mark when he was born.
Now, Marie, a former school receptionist, has a personal assistant when Mark is at work to help her care for baby Mark. When they’re out passers-by are stunned to discover Mark is Marie’s baby as they usually believe her PA is his mum.
But although Marie is confined to a wheelchair there is nothing she can’t do for herself – she also drives and before having Mark, gained a first in her degree and she and Dan travelled around Europe.
She says: “It is sad I won’t ever be able to run around with Mark but he does have his dad to kick a football with. Otherwise, I can change Mark, bath, him, read to him, cook, help him with homework later on and cuddle him – just like any other parent.”
She adds: “To look at me, many people might think I shouldn’t have a baby. But I always longed to be a mum. The arrival of Mark has brought so much joy to our lives and I know I adore motherhood.”
Marie and Dan, a research scientist with a PhD, met when Dan, popped into the school where Marie used to work one day. They have been together for 12 years and wed in June last year. They tell Featureworld have not ruled out having a little brother or sister for Mark – watch this space…
Featureworld is working with the disability charity Scope to help people understand more about disability and to see how being disabled does not mean not having a normal life. Her story has now been placed with a top weekly magazine and the family will be appearing on TV.
Marie is blogging about being a new mum for Scope. You can read it and follow how she gets on here: www.scope.org.uk/blog
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