EXCLUSIVE: Stranger agrees to become surrogate mum after seeing woman’s plea on Facebook

A stranger who lived just 10 minutes down the road became the ultimate Facebook friend for desperate Laura Curtis – by agreeing to carry her baby.

Chloe Thomas, 31, stepped in as surrogate after learning Laura had been born without a womb and could never carry her own child.

Laura, 29, and fiancé Lewis Batterham, 31, posted a message on Facebook in the hope of finding “a new friend and beautiful human to help us”.

Mum-of-two Chloe was already considering being a surrogate and gladly offered her services.

And here, she is flanked by Lewis and Laura as all three dote on beautiful baby girl Wren, now four months.

Wren was delivered by emergency C-section on May 15, weighing 8lb 4oz.

Overjoyed Laura hails Chloe as one of the family.

She says: “Meeting Wren was the best moment of my life as I just never thought it would happen.

“I’ll never forget her little cry and her little red face.

“It was bittersweet because Chloe was ill, but I leaned over and told her that Wren was beautiful.

“I never thought being a mum would be possible. Chloe is my Superwoman.”

Laura had longed for a baby but knew it wasn’t possible to give birth herself.

At 16 she was diagnosed with the congenital condition Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH).

She says she was “crushed” by the thought of not being a mum – a yearning which grew after she met Lewis.

Laura, a nurse, explains: “It was such a hard thing to deal with at just 16.

“It was so difficult going to friends’ baby showers not knowing if I’d ever be able to hold my own child.

“Friends would always say to me, ‘It must be great not to have periods’. But I’d take them any day if it meant I could carry a baby.”

Then, in July 2016, Laura fell in love with Lewis, a porter at Grange University Hospital, Cwmbran, South Wales – where Wren would be born.

They wanted kids and Laura says: “Lewis was so great with it. He just said we’d deal with it together.”

After he proposed in December 2018 they began to consider surrogacy.

Laura goes on: “I found out my ovaries were functioning, so I had a chance of having a baby that was biologically mine as I could have my eggs extracted.

“But we had no idea how to go about finding a surrogate to carry our child.

“I looked on Facebook groups for information and got referred to the IVF clinic, where we were put on a waiting list.

“And eventually, in late 2020, Lewis suggested I post on Facebook about my condition and situation.”

So, in the November, she wrote a post saying: “I was born with no womb so cannot carry a baby myself. We’re on the search for the perfect oven, new friend and beautiful human to help us along our way to have the most precious gift ever. This is not an advert it’s just a learning curve and to make people think before they say in conversation or question about having children.”

With an amazing 660 people “liking” her post and a host of loving comments, Laura felt quite overwhelmed by the support.

She was even more surprised when she received a message from someone called Chloe, who lived nearby.

A mutual friend had forwarded the post, knowing Chloe wanted to be a surrogate. Laura adds: “She messaged saying she had donated eggs before but had never known how to go about being a surrogate, but was interested in helping us. We met for a coffee and clicked straight away.

“I met her husband and two children too and we all got on, so we decided to go for it.”

In September 2021 medics implanted embryos – with Laura’s eggs fertilised by Lewis’s sperm – into Chloe.

The trio were delighted to find out she was pregnant just two weeks later.

Laura says it was one of the best days of her life, adding: “We went round to Chloe’s and she left us a urine sample so Lewis and I could do the test. We couldn’t believe it when it was positive – it didn’t feel real. I’d never even done a pregnancy test before.

“I screeched and Lewis and I just hugged and cried.

“It’s all we’d ever wanted and we just didn’t think it would work first time.”

Laura’s treatment was covered on the NHS and retail assistant Chloe wasn’t paid to be their surrogate, as it is illegal to do so in the UK. The couple did cover her expenses. Chloe and Laura went to scans together and discovered at 16 weeks pregnant that they were expecting a girl.

Laura lives in Pontypool and Chloe is down the road in Cwmbran.

“We only live 10 minutes away so I’ve been able to be there for Chloe throughout the pregnancy,” says Laura.

She recalls driving Chloe to hospital when her contractions started in the early hours of May 14.

Both Wren and Chloe’s heart rates rose and doctors decided on an emergency C-section.

Laura continues: “Chloe reassured me that she wanted me in there with her and I held her hand as Wren was born.

“It was a magical moment and it felt like it was just the three of us in the room. I just kept saying, ‘Is she mine?’ But when the nurse passed Wren to me to hold, something started going wrong with Chloe and she was losing lots of blood. It was really frightening.”

Chloe lost 30% of her blood due to a haemorrhage.

And Wren had to stay in hospital for eight days after developing an infection.

Laura says: “I blamed myself that Chloe was unwell, as she carried my baby – and she felt guilty that Wren had an infection. Fortunately they are both OK now.

“Seeing Wren for the first time was amazing.

“I just couldn’t believe she was mine.”

Laura considers Chloe to be her best friend and she and Lewis see her once a week and text every day.

“We call her ‘Auntie Chloe’ and we meet up all the time,” says Laura. “She’ll always be a part of Wren’s life. It’s so lush to see Chloe with Wren.

“Wren is my everything and she’s the perfect mixture of Lewis and I.”

Lewis still finds it astonishing that Chloe offered to help.

He says: “I couldn’t quite get my head around it when Chloe reached out.

“It shocks me that somebody would be so selfless and caring to do that for a stranger.

“Wren has made me and our family the happiest people on Earth.

“And the friendship Chloe and Laura have developed is one of the best things to come out of this.

“I can’t wait to tell Wren what an amazing lady Chloe is and I hope she’ll always be a big part of her life.”

Chloe, meanwhile, is delighted to have had a hand in completing their family.

She says: “I’d always wanted to be a surrogate, but I hadn’t known how to go about it.

“I’d started looking into it again when I saw Laura’s post, so it felt like it was meant to be.

“It was amazing to see her with Wren and see her finally become a mum.

“It was a traumatic birth, but I am so glad I did it.

“We’ll be in each other’s lives forever and I enjoyed being a surrogate for Laura. I’ve given someone a family but also gained a friend.”