Sadie Cox had looked radiant in white as she helped celebrate her best friend’s wedding day.
Months later, the 40-year-old chief bridesmaid and mum-of-four had an announcement to make – she was pregnant with the groom’s baby!
In a selfless act of generosity, Sadie acted as a surrogate for best friend Deri Rogers-Wood, 27, and his husband Ben, 30.
‘I was adopted at a very young age and I knew that people didn’t need to be biologically connected to a child to be great parents and give them all the love they need,’ Sadie tells New Idea.
‘I wanted to do this ever since Deri and Ben got together. I just knew they will be the best parents ever.’
It was Sadie who first introduced the pair back in 2013 – and she was one of 10 bridesmaids who helped celebrate their marriage, wearing glamorous white gowns, in 2015.
Soon after the big day, the three friends from the UK embarked on their surrogacy journey together.
Their unborn baby was conceived using Ben’s sperm and a donor egg in a $12,000 procedure at a private clinic.
It took a year to prepare Sadie’s body for the pregnancy, as she had to boost her oestrogen levels and undergo nightly hormone injections before the embryo was implanted in her womb on January 23, 2017.
‘I knew the implant had worked immediately because I was paying attention to my body and looking for all the usual pregnancy symptoms I’d had,’ Sadie explains.
‘Straight away my breasts swelled and I had cramps to signal the implantation in my womb.’
Deri and Ben were able to see their baby’s heartbeat on a screen at a private six-week scan. And at 15 weeks they had a gender scan.
‘We guessed whether it was going to be a boy or girl, then the sonographer said: “Congratulations! You are having a boy,”’ Deri recalls.
‘Ben, Sadie and I just looked at each other – it was so exciting.’
Deri and Ben spoke to Sadie on the phone every day and shared a meal together each week.
They’d share articles online about the baby’s development and Sadie would let them know when the baby kicked.
Then the couple began to prepare for the arrival of their son and bought a new blue carpet for their nursery.
Finally it was time. Due to some complications, Sadie was induced two weeks before her due date.
‘As my contractions grew stronger, I sucked in the gas and air, and eventually asked for an epidural,’ the proud mum explains of the birth.
‘Deri and Ben were pale – they are both very squeamish,’ she adds, laughing.
‘Deri sat on my bed with his foot crossed over his knee, and when a contraction came, I grabbed his foot and squeezed hard. He yelped in pain!’
Adorable baby Lotan was born with a mop of dark hair on October 3, 2017. He weighed a healthy 3.7kg.
‘I took our son into my arms. He was so, so beautiful. Deri and I couldn’t take our eyes off him,’ Ben recalls.
‘There were no words for how grateful we both felt to Sadie. He was just perfect.’
Little Lotan was kept in hospital for a couple of days, but finally Deri and Ben were able to take their new son to their home in South Wales.
Sadie will continue to be part of the little boy’s life, and Deri and Ben won’t forget the gift she’s given them.
‘Sadie is absolutely amazing. She has helped to make our family complete and she knows we adore her,’ Deri says.
‘Our beautiful boy is definitely nocturnal, but he is just fantastic.
‘He has got so much love around him and we are going to cherish every single moment of him growing up.
‘Sadie has given me and Ben the best wedding present ever – she as given us a child of our own,’ he adds.
Sadie says she feels ‘proud’ to have been part of this journey.
‘Lotan is going to be so very loved,’ she says, smiling.