It’s common for best mates to do all sorts together – such as shopping trips, meals out and holidays abroad.
But one duo has taken it a step further – after they decided to help four strangers become parents at the same time.
Selfless Rena Miras-Pye and Jemma Black embarked on the special journey together, and say they’re so grateful they had each other to lean on during pregnancy.
They first met online when teacher Rena received an egg donor query from Jemma, after writing an account of her experience so far.
Teacher Rena, now 40, had written a sparkling review that caught sales assistant Jemma’s eye.
The pair from Birmingham, West Mids, then went on to meet up and eventually started their surrogacy journey together.
However, it wasn’t plain sailing for Rena as she had two unsuccessful transfers whilst Jemma fell pregnant on the first attempt.
But thankfully, they had each other to lean on for support during the tough times.
Rena, who is a mum-of-three, said: “Jemma and I both had easy pregnancies with our own children.
“We both felt lucky as we had close ones in our lives who were struggling to have babies which made us want to help.
“I donated my eggs when I was 35 and they went on to have twin girls and a daughter. I don’t know anything else about the family but it is amazing to know I have helped make a couple of parents!”
Jemma and Rena hit it off online in 2016 and eventually met up after discovering they had a passion for helping others fulfil their dreams of becoming parents.
After donating her eggs, Jemma couldn’t help but feel like ‘something was missing’, prompting the friends to join Surrogacy UK in 2018 and the rest is history.
Jemma said: “After donating my eggs, I went on to be a surrogate.
“Rena was in two minds so initially joined as known egg donor but then found a couple she wanted to help.
“Sometimes I felt guilty as the first round of IVF worked for me but it didn’t for Rena. I was always at the other end of the phone for her.
“Rena actually knew I was pregnant before I knew – she said she could tell by my face then two days later, the test was positive!
“It is an amazing experience sharing the baby joy with the intended parents, my best friend and my family.”
The second transfer was unsuccessful but Rena never gave up and fell pregnant in October 2019.
Three months later, Jemma was pregnant again with another couple’s child and the friends enjoyed being surrogates together.
Rena said: “We were pregnant for five months together. I can’t even put it into words, it was the biggest support I could have ever asked for.
“It was amazing to go through it with a friend and my children Nathaniel, ten, Scarlett, nine, Iris, five were able to relate to Madison Cadby, eight, Melody, six, Carter, five – as their mum is a surrogate too.
“I was there to hold Jemma’s hand when she had terrible sickness with the first baby. And Jemma was there to help when I had a few losses before falling pregnant.”
Rena donated her egg as well as carry the baby who was born in June 2020, while Jemma gave birth in October 2020.