The Woman Was Born With No ᴡᴏᴍʙ – But Welcomed Her ᴍɪʀᴀᴄʟᴇ Baby At 29
A WOMAN, who was told at 16 that she been born without a ᴡᴏᴍʙ, welcomed a ᴍɪʀᴀᴄʟᴇ baby with the help of a sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇ.
Niomi Allan, 29, was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ with a sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ called Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser (MRKH) when her mum insisted she had a MRI scan after suspecting something wasn’t right. Niomi, from North Lanarkshire, explained that she developed as normal but never started her period, despite the women in her family usually starting young. Convinced that something wasn’t right, her mum Carol took her to a specialist to get answers. The ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs was a surprise to the whole family.
MRKH sʏɴᴅʀᴏᴍᴇ only affects one in 5,000 women and means that a person develops ᴏᴠᴀʀɪᴇs and ᴇɢɢs but doesn’t have a ᴄᴇʀᴠɪx ᴏʀ ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs – meaning they can’t carry their own children. At such a young age Niomi was sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇd but unable to fully process what the ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs would mean for her later down the line.
She said: “I dealt with it by telling myself it would all be fine. The doctor made me have one counselling session, but I just said I wanted to get back to school and be normal. I was too young to understand what it meant for my future. I simply said, ‘I can adopt’. I was so naive.”
Niomi started working at a nursery at the age of 18, and was open about her ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs growing up despite having some ᴜɴᴘʟᴇᴀsᴀɴᴛ ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴsᴇs from boyfriends. In 2015, Niomi met her boyfriend Sam and liked him enough to tell him about the ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ just three weeks after meeting him. Sam’s response was so reassuring that Niomi knew he was the one for her and the pair decided to get married the following year.
She said: “That’s when, seven years after my ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsɪs, the reality of MRKH really hit. I’d found the man I loved, but sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴄʏ ᴡᴀs ᴛʜᴇ ᴏɴʟʏ ᴡᴀʏ ᴛᴏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴏᴜʀ ᴏᴡɴ ʙɪᴏʟᴏɢɪᴄᴀʟ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ. I fᴇʟᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴏʀᴍɪᴛʏ ᴏf it all.”
The couple ᴜɴᴅᴇʀᴡᴇɴᴛ IVF and, when they had a ᴠɪᴀʙʟᴇ ᴇᴍʙʀʏo, started looking for a sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇ. They joined online surrogacy groups, in person meet-ups and heavily ʀᴇsᴇᴀʀᴄʜᴇᴅ the whole process.
Niomi said: “It was there we met a lovely couple and their son and heard about their incredible sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇ Katie.”
Katie Lochrie, already a mum-of-two, from Norfolk, decided that she wanted to help other couples after having her two sons without any ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs. Niomi and Sam liked Katie as soon as they started speaking and they continued to build a friendship for two years.
In January 2020, the couple met with Katie and her family.
Niomi said: “The instant we met it felt like we’d always known each other. The connection was so strong. So, when Katie offered to be our sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇ we were thrilled.”
In the UK sᴜʀʀᴏɢᴀᴛᴇs can’t accept a payment, but can be reimbursed for expenses, but the group found discussing finances easy from the off. But, just as things were going smoothly, ᴄᴏᴠɪᴅ ʜɪᴛ and their appointments were cancelled. When the implantation could take place, Niomi wasn’t allowed to be in the room.
When Katie took a pregnancy ᴛᴇsᴛ four days later that turned out to be ᴘᴏsɪᴛɪᴠᴇ Niomi and Sam were over the moon and from then on they were able to attend all the sᴄᴀɴs. The group was given an extra large room on the delivery day so they could all be in the room together. Niomi explained it was tough to see her friend experience the ᴘᴀɪɴFᴜʟ ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴏɴs.
She said: “I was in total ᴀᴡᴇ. I just wished that I could take her pain away. After all, she was doing this incredible thing just for us.”
Eliana Katie was born on 27th July. Niomi said: “To watch her being born was the most miraculous thing I’d ever seen. It was like an out-of-body experience. To finally have my daughter in my arms was beyond words.”
Despite living hundreds of miles away from each other the two families have remained close. Katie said: “We are more than friends now. She is like my sister.”