- Erin Boelhower and her husband Matthew tried for years to get pregnant.
- The couple tried several rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF), but Boelhower suffered six miscarriages.
- Then, Boelhower’s best friend, Rachel Checolinski, offered to be the couple’s surrogate.
- In September, Checolinski gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Scottie.
Erin Boelhower, of Illinois, spent years trying to conceive a child with her husband, Matthew. Over the course of three years, she underwent nine in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfers, taking more than 600 injections in the process. But nothing worked, and Boelhower, now 33, ultimately suffered a string of miscarriages,SWNS reported.
It was after the fourth miscarriage that Boelhower’s best friend, 34-year-old Rachel Checolinski, proposed something extraordinary: She wanted to be the couple’s surrogate.
“I had been there through all of Erin’s infertility treatments, I cried with her when she lost each one of her babies,” Checolinski told SWNS. “I would say to her: ‘I wish there’s something I could do.’ I was in the shower one day, praying for her, and suddenly the answer came. I could be her surrogate.”
After Boelhower experienced two more miscarriages, she accepted her friend’s offer. She and her husband raised $US40,000 to cover the costs of the surrogacy agency and Checolinski’s medical bills.
In January 2018, two of Boelhower’s embryos were transferred to Checolinski’s uterus. Later that month, a test confirmed she was pregnant, and on September 19, she gave birth to a baby girl named Scottie.
A series of emotional photos taken on the day of the birth show Boelhower crying as she meets and holds her daughter for the very first time.
‘I have no clue how I lived this long without Scottie,” Boelhower told SWNS.
Boelhower’s struggle with infertility was a long one. She and her husband tried to conceive shortly after their marriage in 2012 but had no success for a year, according to SWNS. Then, she learned that one of her Fallopian tubes, which carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus, was infected. The tube was removed, lowering Boelhower’s odds of getting pregnant naturally.
After that procedure, Boelhower was diagnosed with both hypothyroidism and polycystic ovarian syndrome. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, causes wide-ranging symptoms throughout the body and possibly impacting fertility, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Next, the couple tried three rounds of intrauterine insemination(IUI), a procedure in which sperm is implanted directly into the uterus. They progressed to IVF in 2014.
Checolinski had also struggled for two years to conceive her daughter, now 5.
“So I knew the pain of wanting something really badly and not being able to fulfil that dream,” she told SWNS. “I was most excited about seeing my best friend become a mum and holding the baby she had always wanted.”
Now, Checolinski one of Scottie’s godmothers, Boelhower told SWNS.
“I want Scottie to know how big a role Rachel has played in her life,” Boelhower said. “It’s an unbreakable bond.”
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