A woman has become a surrogate mum for her boss’s baby after she saw her struggling to conceive.
Caitlin Cotton, 28, knew her boss Kate Postlethwaite, 37, had suffered three losses – including a miscarriage and a stillbirth.
The digital marketing assistant from Alderney, Channel Islands, is mum to Imogen, six, and Max, five, but decided to help Kate as she was aware of her struggle and desperation to have a baby.
The pair had worked together for two years, since 2017, when Kate asked Caitlin if she would be her surrogate in 2019.
Caitlin accepted and gave birth to little Joey on February 13, 2020.
The surrogate mum said: “My other colleagues often laugh and say that I’ve gone a bit overboard to be ’employee of the month.’
“I do laugh it off as it’s not everyday that you’re your boss’s surrogate.
“I was aware of Kate’s struggle and as I was more than happy to help.”
Kate says that despite her fertility struggles she hadn’t considered surrogacy until 2019.
She had spoken about it at work, until one day she found the courage to ask Caitlin and to her surprise, she agreed.
The pair sat down and chatted about it, and during the conversation, Caitlin said she was more than happy to carry a baby for Kate.
Kate said: “It was scary watching Caitlin’s tummy gradually appear above the office desk and think, oh my, that’s my baby in there!
“I am the opposite of Caitlin. I am a complete overthinker and I was constantly terrified of something bad happening.
“But Caitlin was amazing, she made me feel so much better.
“She has completely changed my life by giving me my baby boy, Joey, now one. I just can’t believe we done this and here is here.
“Caitlin is more like my family now rather than my friend, I would do anything in the world for her.
“I am so grateful that she gave me the greatest gift.”
Kate and her partner at the time, Matt, who is also Joey’s dad, suffered her first loss in 2016 after she had to terminate her pregnancy due to her baby being too poorly.
In early 2018, Kate fell pregnant again but had a stillbirth at 32 weeks.
After falling pregnant for the third time towards the end of 2018, she then had a miscarriage at 13 weeks pregnant.
After experiencing these losses, Kate’s desire to become a mum only grew stronger, and therefore she says she was gobsmacked when Caitlin agreed.
She added: “I knew Caitlin well, and I trusted her. We also live very close to each other so we were able to see each other a lot during the pregnancy.
“The whole process went so smoothly, it all seemed far too easy. It all just worked the first time. The next thing we knew, Caitlin was pregnant.
“In the space of 12 months and one day, we had gone from our first IVF appointment to Joey being born.”
Caitlin, who had previously had two easy pregnancies with her own kids, says that her pregnancy for Joey was also very straightforward.
Kate says that Caitlin was induced at 40 weeks as she couldn’t wait any longer.
She added: “I was so anxious I felt like I couldn’t breathe towards the end, I just wanted the baby to be born.
“In hindsight, I feel really guilty about this, as Caitlin hadn’t ever had any medical intervention before.
“When we were told Joey was about to be born, I had to leave the room and cry.”
Now Joey is a 13-month-old healthy and strong baby, Kate said.
Caitlin says that all the way through her pregnancy she was aware of the fact there could be some physical attachment, although she had mentally detached herself.
Kate says being a new mum is hard but incredible, especially after splitting with his dad when he was six months old.
She added: “I love just watching him grow every day and doing things like getting his words together. He is the cutest and brightest baby on the planet.
“There is something very special about him.
“I would love to go through the experience again and give Joey a sibling.
“Surrogacy has been such a positive experience for us, I have learnt so much and I would know what to expect next time so I could probably actually enjoy it more rather than worrying.
“Caitlin is just the most amazing person and such an amazing surrogate. I would do anything in the world for her.”