Mother-of-three fulfils lifelong dream of becoming surrogate by carrying brother’s baby

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A mother-of-three has fulfilled her ‘dream’ of becoming a surrogate by carrying her brother’s baby after his wife was told she couldn’t have a fifth child.  

Hilde Perringer, 27, from Seattle, Washington, welcomed her niece Eloise into the world on January 25, 2021 after carrying the child for her brother Evan Shelley, 35, and his wife Kelsey, 33. 

The couple already had children Agnes 10, Emmerich, eight, Edith, five, and Otto, two, but felt their family wasn’t ‘complete’. 

They were devastated after being told another baby could be fatal to Kelsey, after her uterus ruptured during labour with Otto, which could lead to severe fluid loss and death if she had another baby. 

Fortunately, her sister-in-law Hilde – who has children Jackson, two, Chloe, four and Addison, six – says she’d had ‘aspirations’ to be a surrogate since she was a teenager, and offered to carry the couple’s fifth baby. 

Hilde Perringer, 27,  (middle) from Seattle, Washington, welcomed her niece Eloise into the world on January 25, 2021 after carrying the child for her brother Evan Shelley, 35, (right) and his wife Kelsey, 33 (left)

Hilde Perringer, 27,  (middle) from Seattle, Washington, welcomed her niece Eloise into the world on January 25, 2021 after carrying the child for her brother Evan Shelley, 35, (right) and his wife Kelsey, 33 (left) 

Kelsey (right) was devastated after being told another baby could be fatal and so her sister-in-law Hilde (left) stepped in the help. Hilde is pictured holding her niece.

Kelsey (right) was devastated after being told another baby could be fatal and so her sister-in-law Hilde (left) stepped in the help. Hilde is pictured holding her niece.  

‘It is crazy because I told Kelsey about my aspiration to be a surrogate when I was 16,’ said Hilde.

‘But I never thought I’d carry for someone in my family so it was a blessing that I was able to do that.

‘My family say I am selfless for helping them but I feel selfish as it has always been my dream.’ 

Following the birth of her fourth child Otto, Kelsey was told she could never have children again and that her newborn was lucky to be alive.

Mother-of-three Hilde says she'd had 'aspirations' to be a surrogate since she was a teenager, and offered to carry the couple's fifth baby. She is pictured in hospital with Evan and Kelsey before delivering Eloise

Mother-of-three Hilde says she’d had ‘aspirations’ to be a surrogate since she was a teenager, and offered to carry the couple’s fifth baby. She is pictured in hospital with Evan and Kelsey before delivering Eloise 

Pictured L-R, Edith, five, Kelsey, Agnes, ten, Evan, holding Otto, two and Emmirch, eight, Hilde,  next to husband who's holding Jackson, two, Addison, six, Chloe, four

Pictured L-R, Edith, five, Kelsey, Agnes, ten, Evan, holding Otto, two and Emmirch, eight, Hilde,  next to husband who’s holding Jackson, two, Addison, six, Chloe, four

‘I’ve always had a complicated birth but this one was obviously the worst’, said Kelsey. 

‘The doctors fixed my uterus and explained a lot of women die from a ruptured uterus on the table.

‘I couldn’t even enjoy Otto as I was told ‘no more babies’. I was grateful we were both ok but mourning the fact we couldn’t have anymore.

‘I never thought about surrogacy as it seemed excessive as I already have four beautiful children.’

But on Thanksgiving 2019 Hilde offered to help the pair, and after three months of consideration, the couple agreed.  

Kelsey admits feeling apprehensive in case Hilde formed an unbreakable bond that she couldn’t match.

After physiological assessments and meetings with lawyers, the couple forked out £29,000 and started the IVF process in January 2020. Kelsey is pictured holding Eloise

After physiological assessments and meetings with lawyers, the couple forked out £29,000 and started the IVF process in January 2020. Kelsey is pictured holding Eloise

Following the birth of her fourth child Otto, Kelsey was told she could never have children again and that her newborn was lucky to be alive

 Following the birth of her fourth child Otto, Kelsey was told she could never have children again and that her newborn was lucky to be alive 

After physiological assessments and meetings with lawyers, the couple forked out £29,000 and started the IVF process in January 2020.

Hilde offered to help for free but there was still a price to pay for IVF, insurance, hospital bills and legal fees.

‘They retrieved 20 eggs from Kelsey but only four embryos survived and one was deemed viable.

‘It felt amazing knowing I am carrying my brother’s baby to complete their family. I didn’t for one-second feel attached as I knew I was just growing it for them.’

The parents were unable to watch Hilde’s bump grow due to coronavirus restrictions but spoke daily and video called for scans. 

They were finally able to meet in person 32 weeks into the pregnancy. 

‘It was stressful being away from them as I wanted to make sure they were both ok, said Kelsey, ‘But I knew that our baby was in safe hands.

The parents were unable to watch Hilde's bump grow due to coronavirus restrictions but spoke daily and video called for scans. They were able to meet 32 weeks into the pregnancy

The parents were unable to watch Hilde’s bump grow due to coronavirus restrictions but spoke daily and video called for scans. They were able to meet 32 weeks into the pregnancy

‘I worried a lot in case I didn’t have a bond with the baby but Hilde always reassured me it was going to be ok.’

The pandemic meant only one person was allowed in the labour room, so Hilde underwent a planned induction with Kelsey by her side

Kelsey said: ‘It wasn’t the birth we had planned but I was so glad Hilde wanted me to be by her side.

‘It was amazing to hold my baby straight after birth because I’ve always had a C-section and complications such as preeclampsia, so my other children were taken away at birth. 

Hilde, pictured holding Eloise, described the experience as 'the best' and 'exactly how she envisioned it to be'

Hilde, pictured holding Eloise, described the experience as ‘the best’ and ‘exactly how she envisioned it to be’

‘I instantly felt a connection and complete. Evan and I are always thinking of ways to repay Hilde but I don’t think it’s possible.

‘There isn’t anything in the world that can reimburse someone for giving you the greatest gift ever. She will always be Eloise’s special aunty.’

Hilde described the experience as ‘the best’ and ‘exactly how she envisioned it to be’. 

‘I am so glad that I was able to help them’, said Hilde. ‘My children were chuffed too and fully aware that their cousin is growing in my belly as we read books to them.

‘We will tell Eloise how she got here as soon as she can understand too!’

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