A new mom couldn’t help but sob in the moment her surrogate gave birth to her baby girl.
Erin Boelhower, 33, of Woodstock, Illinois, and her husband have been trying to start a family for six years.
But when it came time to welcome their daughter into the world, Boelhower said she couldn’t bear how much pain her best friend and surrogate, Rachel Checolinski, of Madison, Wisconsin, was enduring in 12 hours of labor to give her the baby of her dreams.
“How could I do this to somebody?” Boelhower told InsideEdition.com. “She just looked miserable, and I know she wanted to do it and would do it again, but it was really hard seeing someone you love doing this for you in that kind of pain."
Checolinski, 34, however, said she didn’t even realize her friend was sobbing during the delivery.
"It’s hard for anybody, it’s even hard for my husband, to see someone you care about in pain, and it’s an immense amount of pain," Checolinski told InsideEdition.com. "I’d do it all over again."
Boelhower explained part of her emotional outburst came from the difficult journey that led her to motherhood.
She began trying to for a family shortly after she and her husband got married, but eventually discovered she would have problems getting pregnant naturally.
A visit to the OB-GYN revealed she had an infected fallopian tube, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hypothyroidism.
They began trying IVF and successfully got pregnant several times, but each time led to heartbreak.
“We sadly miscarried right around six to eight weeks each time,” Boelhower explained. “Infertility strips you of so much. You can’t enjoy pregnancy. You’re scared [every day]. Every time you go to the bathroom, you are looking for blood. You’re living injection to injection.”
Meanwhile, Checolinski’s original hopes of her and her friend getting pregnant together and raising their babies together was quickly diminishing as she and her husband had their children. She said she felt guilty that she was experiencing so much happiness in her family while her best friend continued to go through loss.
“I was in the shower, and I was crying out to the Lord, saying, ‘I don’t get it, I wish there was more that I can do than pray,’” Checolinski explained. "And he just said, 'Offer to be her surrogate.'"
Checolinski said she and her husband were finished having their own kids, and she suggested the idea to Boelhower, promising to do it for free so they could afford it.
When she finally gave birth to daughter Scottie, Checolinski said she knew she had made the right decision.
“I felt immensely blessed. It was a feeling of immense gratitude and love,” she said. “I started to cry. I felt like the lucky one that God used me to help my best friend achieve her dream of having a baby.”
For Boelhower, the experience was that much more emotional since her baby was born on the same day on her dad’s birthday, which is why she named her daughter Scottie after him.