Rachel Cain, a Manchester native, is proud to be a 31 year old mother of three beautiful, healthy little girls.
Rachel and her husband, Lee, had quite a scare when the two initially decided to bring children into the world, but after life took a drastic turn, Rachel decided through her loss, she could assist others in an utterly selfless way.
“Lee and I had always wanted a big family and had our first daughter Heaven in 2005.”
Rachel uncovered that she was pregnant with triplets in the summer of 2008. It came as a shock to the Cains, who did not have a history of multiple births on both sides, but they were incredibly happy with the gift they were given.
“Doctors warned us about the risks of miscarriage and premature labor. Even so, we were determined to stay positive and started buying three lots of everything, from cots to bottles.”
Then, suddenly, after only 23 weeks, Rachel went into labor. The woman was out shopping for baby toys when suddenly realized her water broke – thus meaning her unborn children were in grave danger.
“Utterly terrified, I tried to stay calm as doctors worked hard to keep our babies inside, but then after four days, on December 13, 2008, Lillie-Mae was born, followed three hours later by Summer and Matilda.”
Each girl weighed just over 1lb each. Their skin was incredibly delicate, to the point that it almost seemed transparent. The doctors in intensive care did everything in their power to keep them alive, their fragility took a tragic turn.
Six days after her birth, Lillie-Mae died from a pulmonary hemorrhage. Luckily, Summer grew stronger – and much to her parents’ relief, she was allowed home in April 2009.
Tragically, only two days after Summer was brought into her forever home, her parents were notified that Matilda passed away from kidney failure.
“Saying goodbye was so hard, and it was awful watching Summer sleep next to two empty cribs. It took a long time for us to come to terms with our loss, but in October 2011 we managed to give Heaven and Summer another sister, Talia.”
Rachel and Lee decided to look at the bright side of life, instead of dwelling into the emotional quicksand that is losing two daughters.
“Some days I’d look at our daughters and think that, despite everything, we were so lucky. That’s why the following year I made the decision to become a surrogate. It came to me when one of my best friends struggled to conceive … The more I thought about it, the more I realized I’d love to help her.”
Hearing of Rachel’s plan, however selfless it may seem, some could not help but feel wary that she might find it hard to hand over the baby. “But I already had three children of my own and knew I didn’t want anymore,” she explained.
After doing some research online, Rachel signed up to a surrogacy website, and in 2012 I met a couple desperate to be parents.
“I know it must have been hard for some people to understand how I felt, but the baby wasn’t mine, it was theirs … Watching their joy at finally becoming parents was the best feeling in the world – and the reason I became a surrogate after losing two precious children of my own. I’m still in touch with them now – I’m called her tummy mummy!
Rachel says that she still wants to help more families, and giving others hope keeps her going as well.
“I’ll always miss Lillie-Mae and Matilda desperately, but their deaths inspired me to help others, which is the greatest gift you can give,” she said.