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Birth Stories: The surrogate birth of baby Benji

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

*Disclaimer - any birth advice given here is my own opinion and not medical.

a mother holding her surrogate baby for the first time
Charlotte holding Benji for the first time

Birth stories are always special and every woman remembers her birth or births.

If you ask her, you will always get a very detailed story.

But this mother is going to remember another woman’s birth.

I didn’t know what to expect meeting this amazing surrogate and the parents of the baby boy she was carrying for them.

When I met them I saw a beautiful and moving relationship, of love and real care between the three of them.

It was a three person pregnancy. When it came to the delivery, they were there with her, supporting her and encouraging her in every way they could. And although she had to be induced and although the baby wasn’t in the best position, she did so so well.

And that moment when a biological mother, who wanted to have a baby and had so many heartbreaks, is meeting her baby boy for the first time… that moment took my breath away.

I met Vicky, Charlotte and Robbie for a coffee, on a sunny afternoon, to discuss the photography of the birth of their son.

Vicky was Charlotte and Robbie’s surrogate. After many health issues which didn’t allow her to carry a healthy pregnancy, Charlotte and her partner Robbie decided to find a surrogate.

They described it like dating as a couple. Looking and chatting until you find a spark with someone. It was so clear they were meant to be together.

It was a first for me. I was intrigued and pleasantly surprised. Vicky is a midwife and a mother and she was carrying their baby with much love and empathy. I was amazed to see the relationship between the three of them. It was like they knew each other forever.

It was late in the pregnancy when we met. Charlotte and Robbie came up to Manchester from London to be here for the last few weeks before the birth.

Vicky wanted and prepared for a home birth but for medical reasons she had to be gently induced by getting a sweep. So instead I met them at a natural birthing suit in the hospital where Vicky worked. I think she felt at home there anyway… She was being cared for by two midwives, her friends. One of them even delivered her first baby.

When I arrived, Vicky was already in active labour, and there, holding her hands, giving her drinks and snacks, supporting her every step of the way, were Charlotte and Robbie.

Tragically, in 2017 Charlotte gave birth to her daughter after losing her at 25 weeks gestation. Robbie was with her the entire time. Robbie was therefore a lot more prepared for supporting Vicky. Charlotte was not sure what to do other than hand holding because she remembered that being so important when she gave birth.

They both did their best. It was so heartwarming to see. Especially knowing how much it all meant to them