Amazing birth photos capture family's emotional journey through surrogacy

Amazing birth photos capture family's emotional journey through surrogacy

"She took care of my precious little baby. Her body did what mine could not. Together, we formed a bond, a connection.”

Fertility issues can result in years of pain, frustration, and even loss for many families. Kate Austin-Rivas and Didier Rivas are all too familiar with these circumstances. For years, the Rivas' have struggled to conceive.

After multiple miscarriages, the Canadian couple was finally blessed with their daughter, Elle, back in 2010. Two short years later, the couple decided they were ready for another child. Excited to expand their family, the Rivas' tried again for another child. They successfully conceived and even named their soon-to-be daughter Katelyn. Tragically, Kate's pregnancy resulted in a stillborn.

The couple remained faithful and hopeful. Some time after they tried yet again for a child. The Rivas family eventually welcomed a new daughter, whom they named Ireland. But Ireland's birth didn't come as easily as they hoped. The birth led to complications that left both the mom and baby struggling for survival.

In an interview with Global News, Kate said “It was basically a situation where anything that could go wrong, went wrong. She was born with severe oxygen deprivation, which resulted in cerebral palsy, the worst they’d ever seen. My uterus ruptured during the delivery.”

In another shocking tragic event, Ireland passed away after just four weeks.

This presented the family with dark times, and an important decision. The couple decided to file a lawsuit claiming medical malpractice. The lawsuit pitted the Rivas' against Royal Columbian Hospital, Fraser Health, four doctors and a nurse. The case, though opened years ago, is still ongoing.

Despite the many, many challenges that the couple had faced up to that point, they never denied themselves the dream of growing their small family of three. On her blog site, Kate wrote of her dramatic experiences: “We were lost ... depleted, exhausted, our souls wretched. One year later we reached out in the darkness and took a chance, we posted our story on social media.”

Finally, things seemingly began to take a turn for the better because that's when the Rivas' met Christine Hale...


Read more about the Rivas' tragic journey towards birthing another child, and see their astonishing birth photos by clicking next


Christine, a mother of three, read Kate's posts on her blog, and knew she had to do something. Kate spoke of Christine on her blog, “She wanted to help our family. That was it."

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Christine happily agreed to provide her services as a surrogate mother for the Rivas'.

“She wanted us to have a positive experience, a positive outcome, and she was confident she could do it,” says Kate. “I believed her. I was open. Something told me, ‘You must take this leap of faith.’ I jumped.”

Miraculously, one shot at IFV was all that was needed for Christine to become pregnant. In spite of the miraculous success of the IFV, Kate and Didier remained cautiously optimistic.

During the surrogacy and after, Kate regularly took to her blog to share the experience. In one post, she wrote, "“Christine held my hand and my soul. She guided me. We took care of each other. She took care of my precious little baby," Kate said. "Her body did what mine could not. Together, we formed a bond, a connection.”

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Read more about the Rivas' tragic journey towards birthing another child, and see their astonishing birth photos by clicking next

January 22nd of 2016 marked a day that neither Christine Hale nor the Rivas' would ever forget. That was the day that baby Scarlett was born. Though, it should be noted that this birth was not expected. Scarlett was born four weeks early, and was birthed via emergency C-section.

Nevertheless, Scarlett was born healthy and the Rivas' were finally happy again.

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Ashley Marston, a birth/lifestyle documentary photographer, masterfully captured the emotional day in a series of stunning photos.

The Huffington Post had a chance to speak with Marston about the powerful photos and the birth. “All birth stories are moving,” she said in her interview. “But when you get to be a witness to the happiness, the light that comes out of the darkness, to see dreams that you never thought were possible come true. That is something you will never forget.”

When asked to summarize the experience in a few words, Marston said, "“excitement, anticipation, fear and love — almost everything all at once.”

Ashley was there to see Kate and Didier's reaction to the news that the baby was to be born via C-section. She explained that the family was "tenuous", to say the least. “The last time Kate and Didier were in a hospital delivering a baby, the outcome was so terribly tragic. But the medical staff was very cautious and educated decisions were made swiftly.”

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As the Didier and Ashley patiently, and worriedly waited while Scarlett was born, they were blessed to hear the most beautiful sound on delivery day: a baby's cry. Kate, who had been in the delivery room with Christine, emerged through the doors holding her new daughter.

“That moment was everything,” Ashley said of the sight of Kate holding her infant. “It was long awaited and was so deserved.”

Read more about the Rivas' tragic journey towards birthing another child, and see their astonishing birth photos by clicking next

The many trials and tribulations of the Rivas' are nothing short of heartbreaking. But on that day they were blessed to have been introduced to Christine; someone whom they call "an angel".

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Kate and Didier are huge advocates of surrogacy. In fact, they were more than happy to share their story in the hopes that families out there who are desperate to try surrogacy will take the opportunity.

You can learn more about the Rivas' family and their two daughters by visiting Kate's blog site.

READ: Astonishing video of baby delivering himself during C-section

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