Story in the Daily Mail and Take a Break …
It’s been all go for sisters Ellie Fairfax and Siobhan Terry recently when their amazing surrogacy story – Ellie gave birth to son Fionan for her sister after she was left infertile through cancer – appeared over two pages of Take a Break and then the Daily Mail.
I am absolutely delighted to say they’ve been invited onto a number of TV shows and also have other publications interested in this story, which you can read below:
By Alison Smith-Squire
This is the poignant moment surrogate mother Ellie Fairfax, 33, holds her precious first baby, a newly delivered son.
Just minutes after the trainee cardiac physiologist handed bonny 6Ib 4oz Fionan, to his new mother – her sister Siobhan Terry, 31. She was left unable to carry a child after being left infertile after battling cervical cancer.
But the mother of one longed to have a sibling for daughter Saoirse, two. So she and husband Dean, 51, were thrilled when her Miss Fairfax offered to have a baby for them.
And within two months Miss Fairfax was pregnant with Mr Terry’s sperm.
The emotional scenes were captured on camera by the baby’s grandmother, Patricia, 60, who was present with her daughters at Fionan’s extraordinary delivery.
Incredibly for the first fortnight Miss Fairfax went to live with her sister and her husband, a publican, to help settle Fionan in. Now aged three months, the sisters are still both breastfeeding him.
Yet last night Miss Fairfax said: ‘Although Fionan is biologically mine, from the moment he was conceived to the magical time I held him for the first time, I only ever thought of him as Siobhan’s baby.
‘So I was never hard to let him go to her. I just felt relieved when he was born that he was healthy and delighted to see him bring Siobhan and Dean so much joy.’
Meanwhile Mrs Terry said: ‘Words cannot express how much I can ever thank Ellie for what she’s done.
‘Dean and I are simply overjoyed to be parents again and Saoirse already dotes on her little brother.’
The sister’s amazing journey began in December 2012 when after a routine smear Mrs Terry was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
She recalls: ‘Knowing I urgently needed intense radiotherapy and chemotherapy was devastating. But Dean and I had hoped to have a sibling for Saoirse. So it was a double blow when doctors broke the news that saving my life would destroy my eggs and leave my uterus too scarred to carry a baby.’
She hadn’t counted on the loving gesture of Miss Fairfax who on hearing the news immediately offered to have a baby for her.
‘The offer came from my heart and as soon as I spoke I knew I would go through with it because it felt so right,’ she says, ‘Siobhan and I are one of four and I couldn’t imagine her only having one child.’
By August 2013 Mrs Terry was given the all-clear and the sisters announced their plans to their mother, a clinical physiologist and father Peter, 60, a retired teacher.
Says Miss Fairfax: ‘They know how close we are so were overwhelmed with emotion and very supportive. Meanwhile, Dean also thought it was a wonderful idea.’
The sisters, from Beckenham, Kent, bought an artificial insemination kit on the internet and after two months of trying, Miss Fairfax discovered she was pregnant.
‘It was Siobhan’s birthday and telling her I was pregnant was the most wonderful gift to give her.’
After a straightforward pregnancy, when her sister accompanied her to ultrasound scans, Miss Fairfax finally went into labour while staying with her parents.
She says: ‘Dad took mum and I to nearby Princess Royal hospital Farnborough and Siobhan met us there. Dean stayed at home to look after Saiorse.’
After an uncomplicated four-hour labour Fionan was born in a birthing pool.
Added Miss Fairfax: ‘Siobhan cut the cord and it felt completely natural for her to take him in her arms for a cuddle. I’ll never forget seeing her kiss him for the first time and seeing then how much a new baby meant to her.
‘Siobhan was still breastfeeding Saiorse and so we’d already decided to take it in turns to breastfeed Fionan.’
After the birth Miss Fairfax stayed at her sister’s home. She adds: ‘It was a wonderful family time to treasure when everyone from grandparents, aunts and uncles could all come to one place to congratulate us and meet the new baby.
‘After a fortnight I moved back to my flat. But I knew I was leaving Fionan with the best mum in the world. And, while Fionan will always be a special nephew, I was happy to let Siobhan and Dean deal with the nappies and sleepless nights while I went back to my studies.
‘‘I express my milk and if I’m babysitting, give Fionan a breastfeed. Needless to say, he’s a very contented baby.’
Adds Siobhan: ‘Having Fionan has completed my family. Dean and I feel so incredibly grateful to Ellie and I’m so lucky to have her as my sister.’
The sisters are telling their story to raise awareness of cervical cancer. Find out more at www.jostrust.org.uk
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