A LOWER QUINTON woman who suffered eight failed pregnancies before she was forced to have a hysterectomy hopes surrogacy will finally give her and her husband the child they have always wanted.
Jo Hilton, aged 34, had to have her womb removed in October 2010 and her and husband James, 36, were rejected from fostering a child earlier this year.
They are now turning to surrogacy, but it costs between £7,000 and £15,000 to find and support a surrogate mother through Surrogacy UK.
After recently setting up an online campaign asking for donations, they’ve been amazed by the positive response.
“It was the hardest decision of my life agreeing to the hysterectomy,” said Jo.
“I didn’t want it but was left with no choice. I was just 31.”
Doctors removed a two-and-a-half stone mass in the procedure.
“It was the best decision for my health, but the most painful emotionally,” said Jo.
James said the couple had always wanted a child, ever since their whirlwind relationship started in 2005.
After meeting online, they first saw each other face-to-face on the Clopton Bridge in Stratford-upon-Avon.
They then began meeting in town every Sunday.
Both recovering from messy relationships, they were only looking for friendship, but by March 2006 they were engaged and in July 2007 they got married.
Jo has had six miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies – where the embryo develops in the fallopian tube instead of the womb – the first when she was just 19.
Her and James have been through one miscarriage together and two failed surrogacy attempts with friends – one woman got pregnant herself, and the other pulled out after two years.
Earlier this year, the couple were rejected from fostering a child because Jo takes morphine to deal with fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes widespread pain across the body because it heightens the victim’s response to pressure.
She said: “People will probably say how can she look after a child when she’s like that but there are so many disabled parents out there and disabled doesn’t mean incapable.”
James, who cares for Jo full-time, said the couple are determined to have a baby.
“If you were giving me the choice of £1 million or a child we would say the child in a heartbeat,” he said.
Normally private people, they realised sharing their story of heartache might help them get a child, and they hope it will help others in a similar situation.
“Surrogacy is such a taboo subject,” said Jo.
“Somebody gets pregnant and it’s all ‘congratulations’ but when you start to talk about surrogacy and people just slowly walk away because they don’t know what to say.
“It is very hard to come to terms with the fact that you can’t be a mum or dad but it shouldn’t be a taboo subject, it happens to millions of people all over the world every day.”
Because James looks after Jo full-time the couple live on benefits.
“Which we hate,” said Jo. “Nobody in their right mind chooses to be on benefits. We are not proud of it we don’t like it.”
Determined their appeal doesn’t look like begging, they are putting as much money as they can in themselves, and friends have already offered to set up fundraisers.
“We’ve just been astounded by the response,” said Jo.
“All we want is for people to read our story and if they can empathise then consider donating, but more importantly to share our story for other people to realise that this does happen.
“There are other people out there, you are not alone and it can be overcome, the feeling, the hurt, the pain, it can be beaten.”
He has even chosen to set up his office well away from any kind of police building—for the time being in a county-...
Now that a scheme to develop up to 800 homes on the site has been given official government backing, the proposals are e...
STRATFORD-on-Avon District is an attractive place to live and its population has grown rapidly over recent decades. &nb...