By Amy Reast via SWNS

An infertile cancer survivor finally becomes a mom after her Instagram friend offered to be her surrogate.

Marissa Smith, 30, was diagnosed with reproductive cancer aged 25, and despite 17 operations, three years of IVF with husband was unsuccessful.

During the process, she stumbled across Instagram posts about surrogacy by Ariel Taylor.

Ariel, 31, had been a surrogate three times before, and the pair became close, meeting in real life, and becoming best friends.

So when Marissa was ready to try again, she enlisted the help of actor Jesse McCartney, who recorded a Cameo video, asking Ariel if she would be a surrogate.

Ariel said yes - and now she is 25 weeks pregnant with Marissa's baby - conceived via IVF using Marissa's husband's sperm and Marissa's egg.

The baby boy is due on July 9.

Mom-to-be Marissa, a special education teacher, from Toronto, Canada, said: "When I was told I wouldn't be able to carry a pregnancy, it was very, very hard.

"I had hoped for so long to be a mom.

"Ariel and I were already really good friends when we began the surrogacy process - I kind of 'proposed' to her and asked her to be my surrogate.

"It's still surreal when we're together, to think she has my baby in her stomach - I still can't believe it.

"I don’t even have words to describe how I feel towards Ariel - I’ll never be able to thank her enough for what she's done."

Ariel, a social worker and psychotherapist, from London, Canada, said: "It’s so nice for me because I love being pregnant, but don’t want another baby of my own.

"We were friends before but the process has brought us so much closer too.

"I also get to be a part of her getting the heartbeat and the gender reveal, the intimate special moments you wouldn’t normally get to be a part of."

Marissa was diagnosed in 2018 with a cancerous tumor in her cervix and uterus.

She had four surgeries and 12 procedures to her reproductive system in a bid to make her uterus suitable for pregnancy.

But after three years and an unsuccessful round of IVF, she learned pregnancy wasn't an option for her.

Doctors suggested they look into having a surrogate pregnancy in May of 2020.

Marissa was matched with a surrogate and began searching online for more information about the process when she stumbled across Ariel's social media profiles.

Ariel, who has an eight-year-old daughter and two step daughters with her fiancé, had completed three surrogacies when Marissa found reached out.

Ariel said: "We became friends over the fact I was a surrogate and she was using one."

In 2021, Marissa's surrogate's two embryo transfers both failed.

Knowing how daunting it was to start again from scratch, in early 2022, Ariel raised the idea of being Marissa's surrogate.

Ariel said: "We got really close while she was going through that process of losing her old surrogate.

"She was having a really hard time and people don't really understand how it feels - but we bonded so quickly because I got it."

Marissa said: "We started talking about how nice it would be to be on the journey together.

"I knew she liked Jesse McCartney, so I got her a Cameo from him and got him to ask if she would carry my baby - I kind of proposed.

"Obviously she agreed!"

In October 2022, they had the embryo transplant and on Oct. 29, they found out that Ariel was pregnant, and the boy is due in July.

The process has brought Ariel and Marissa closer together than they ever have been - because they are now family.

Marissa revealed they're "over the moon" - but it hasn't always been easy.

She said: "I'm still processing my trauma from my fertility issues.

"Just because something is finally going right, it doesn’t take away the pain and trauma that we went through getting to this point.

"It's very surreal when we’re together, I still don’t really believe she has my baby in her stomach.

"But I couldn’t be happier and I feel so lucky to get a chance to have a surrogate because so many people don't get that opportunity."

Marissa goes to all the midwife appointments and ultrasounds with Ariel, and the pair go on baby shopping trips.

The best friends have already established how things will work once the baby is born - Ariel will become an aunt.

Ariel said Marissa and her husband will tell their son that Ariel was the surrogate, and there will be no secrets.

Ariel, her partner and her children are already like an "extended family" to Marissa's, she said.

Marissa said: "There’s nothing I could do to repay her and show her how much I appreciate what she’s doing.

"We’ll continue our friendship forever - she is now part of our family and we are part of hers.

"There's nothing I could ever do to express the amount of gratitude I feel.

She added: "We’re so, so excited - we can’t wait to welcome our little guy.

"Thanks to Ariel, we can finally experience parenthood.

"We've been waiting forever for this."

The post Cancer survivor finally becoming a mom after friend offers to be surrogate appeared first on Talker.

2023-03-31T17:27:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd