Best friends since high school, one woman offers to carry the other’s baby
A pair of women, best friends since their freshmen year of high school, just sealed the deal to be best friends for life when one gave the other the ultimate gift — the chance to have a baby.
According to Today, best friends Whitney Britt and Jamie Howell have seen each other through a lot. “We’ve always been tight and just done life together. We’ve gone through all kinds of trials, including breakups and deaths in the family and financial crises. We’ve been there for each other.”
That’s why when Britt was having trouble getting pregnant, her friend was there for her throughout all the heartbreak. After having two kids of her own, including a son she had when the women were still in high school, Howell felt sad that starting a family was proving to be such a struggle for Britt. “Here, I feel like I’ve been so blessed. I’ve got these two boys and I couldn’t imagine life without them, and it comes so easy to me, so why does it have to be like this for her?”
It was after pursuing multiple rounds of fertility treatments that Britt found herself searching for a surrogate. “It felt like online dating,” the new mom explains. “Of course, I was telling Jamie this because we’ve been through so much together, and I can say whatever I want to say, even in times of darkness that may be ugly, because I know she’s not going to judge me.”
After hearing her friend mull over the options, Howell told Britt she’d made a pretty big decision.
“I found a surrogate for you,” she said. “It’s me.”
Howell had been considering it for months worrying that a stranger carrying her best friend’s baby meant she wouldn’t feel as involved. “You wouldn’t be able to call them every day. They’re not going to tell you the private parts of being pregnant, the silly stuff that happens,” Howell said. “Whitney needed to experience that so she could feel like she was part of the pregnancy as well.”
The friends went through the lengthy process of initiating a surrogacy including psychological counseling for both women and their husbands. There were a few setbacks along the way, with the first attempt at implanting an embryo failing. Britt also became pregnant right before Howell started hormone medications for that first round of IVF, but sadly, it ended in miscarriage. Happily, the second attempt at transferring an embryo was successful, and Howell was pregnant with the couple’s first child.
On June 2, Howell gave birth to a baby boy, Crews Asher Britt. Of seeing her best friend finally become a mom, Howell says, “I just knew what they felt as new parents, and the feeling I had was, ‘Wow, I was able to do this for them.’”
Scary Mommy had a chance to catch up with Whitney in her first weeks of new motherhood, and it sounds like she’s loving it. “Life as a new mom is great. Of course I am tired and feel anxious every time he cries, but I just constantly stare at him in amazement that all this really happened! He is truly my little miracle angel and we are just filled with so much love and gratefulness that is immeasurable.”
She says Jamie will be little Crews’ “special auntie” and is just as excited to watch him grow up as his parents. Of the attention their story has received, Britt expresses hope that it could help someone else going through infertility. “The amount of love and support people haven given us had been crazy. And many have opened up about their own struggles, which touches my heart. I pray we are able to give others hope in a struggle that often feels hopeless.”