Erin Boelhower and her husband, Matt, wanted to have a baby immediately after tying the knot in 2012, but things didn’t turn out as planned. That’s when her best friend offered the gift of a lifetime.
While she was trying to conceive, Boelhower's OB-GYN found one of her fallopian tubes had died and she had to have it removed. The 33-year-old still believed she could conceive, but after having six miscarriages and nine rounds of IVF, she began to lose hope.
“We got pregnant six times and we lost all the babies at around six to eight weeks," Boelhower said. "It just got very emotionally exhausting. Physically draining on my body. It was just a lot."
After their sixth loss in June 2017, Boelhower began talking about surrogacy with her husband, but acquiring one can cost upward of $50,000 — money the couple didn’t have.
Enter Boelhower's best friend, Rachel Checolinski, who knew what Boelhower was going through.
"Rachel actually struggled after she got married to conceive her son. It took her about two years. So she kind of understood what I was going through trying to get pregnant," Boelhower told InsideEdition.com.
Checolinski offered to carry her friend’s baby.
“We’ve been friends for almost 10 years and when they started trying and experiencing losses — every time it happened — my heart would break,” Checolinski said. “I said I would be willing to do it free of charge. It was my way of being a friend."
Checolinski underwent IVF and became pregnant in January 2018.
“When you’ve had so many losses, we were excited, but it was hard to be excited because you just don’t know what can happen,” Boelhower said. “I thought it was pretty incredible. I still think to this day it’s the most generous, priceless gift anyone can give you.”
Through fundraisers, Checolinski and her husband were able to raise $35,000 for fertility clinic fees, legal fees, medical exams and Rachel’s co-pays.
Checolinski is set to give birth in late September.
"I finally get to see my best friend hold her baby," she said.