‘We’ve got our little man’: Mother’s delight as best friend gives her the baby she couldn’t have

She was ‘blown away’ when the friend offered to be her surrogate while out for drinks
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A woman who couldn’t carry a child after cervical cancer has become a mum - after her friend was her surrogate. Cassie Bush, 32, first noticed bleeding after sex in 2016 and was diagnosed with cervical ectropion – a condition where the cells from inside the cervix grow outside.

But as the bleeding worsened, Cassie’s boyfriend Jack Clail, 31, insisted she go back to the doctor. A further test revealed the devastating news that she had stage 2B cervical cancer- this is when the cancer has started to spread outside of the womb.

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Cassie was dealt another blow when she found out the radiotherapy would trigger early menopause and make it impossible for her to carry her own baby. In November 2017 she chose to freeze her eggs on the NHS.

And after months of gruelling chemo and radiotherapy at Royal United Hospital, Bath, Cassie got the all-clear in March 2018.

Cassie and Jack, an electrician, started looking for a surrogate and were “blown-away” when their friend Becky Siddell, 31, offered to carry a baby for them after hearing about their struggle to find a surrogate.

Cassie Bush her partner Jack Clail with baby BarnabyCassie Bush her partner Jack Clail with baby Barnaby
Cassie Bush her partner Jack Clail with baby Barnaby

The NHS transferred one of their viable embryos - made up of Cassie’s egg and Jack’s sperm - into Becky, a mum-of- two, who fell pregnant on the first try in September 2021.

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The pregnancy went “without a hitch” and Becky gave birth to Barnaby, at the Royal Unit Hospital, Bath, in May 2022- weighing 6lb 15.5oz. The couple are now in the process of filing a parental order to become Barnaby’s legal parents and are enjoying time together as a new family.

Cassie, a beautician who owns her own company, from Keynsham, said: “Two weeks before my diagnosis, my life was normal. Then suddenly I was focusing on cancer and thinking about my future.

“We couldn’t believe it when Becky offered to carry our baby for us. We thought it was just something said over a few drinks and not a genuine offer. We’re so grateful to Becky and her husband Jamie - we’ve got our little man all thanks to them.”

Cassie, who was ‘in no pain at all’, didn’t think much of the condition when she was diagnosed with cervical ectropion. But after seeking a second opinion, was sent for an internal ultrasound and a biopsy on her cervix at Royal Unit Hospital, Bath, to find the cause of the bleeding.

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Cassie was shocked to discover she had Stage 2B cervical cancer around a year later on October 4 2017. An MRI scan revealed the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and she needed chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

(L-R) Jack Clail, Cassie Bush and Becky Siddell with Barnaby(L-R) Jack Clail, Cassie Bush and Becky Siddell with Barnaby
(L-R) Jack Clail, Cassie Bush and Becky Siddell with Barnaby

She said: “I thought it was going to be about my fertility – I never thought it was cancer. Jack was amazing at firing all the questions - I just sat there in complete disbelief.”

Cassie was told the treatment would trigger early menopause and prevent her from carrying a child. Her only option for having her own baby in the future was to freeze her eggs and use a surrogate carrier. She had 26 eggs collected – 20 of which were combined with Jack’s sperm to make an embryo.

Cassie underwent five weeks of chemotherapy alongside five weeks of daily radiotherapy at the Royal Unit Hospital, Bath, in November 2017. It was followed by four session of brachytherapy - internal radiotherapy - over two weeks in January 2018, to zap any remaining cancer cells.

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In March 2018, Cassie went for a final MRI scan which showed no more signs of the disease. Despite being cancer-free, Cassie’s body entered menopause and she had to start hormone replacement therapy.

After settling back into normal life, Cassie and Jack joined Surrogacy UK and started looking for a potentially carrier. Despite going to a few events, the couple struggled to find anyone they bonded with and left feeling deflated.

While out for drinks in 2019 with their best friends Becky, a family support worker, and her husband Jamie, 31, a lorry driver, they got chatting about their search. That’s when Becky proposed an idea that “blew” the couple away.

Cassie said: “Jack went to school with Jamie, so we were all really good friends. Out of the blue, Becky said she would be our surrogate – I couldn’t believe it. We text her the next morning asking: ‘are you sure?’

Jamie Siddell, Becky Siddell, Cassie Bush with Barnaby,and Jack Clail shortly after Barnaby's birth. Jamie Siddell, Becky Siddell, Cassie Bush with Barnaby,and Jack Clail shortly after Barnaby's birth.
Jamie Siddell, Becky Siddell, Cassie Bush with Barnaby,and Jack Clail shortly after Barnaby's birth.
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“But she was deadly serious the next day, and we were so overwhelmed.”

Becky, who already has two children, Max, nine, and Evie, five, was able to sign-up to surrogacy UK because she has already carried children of her own.

After all the legal documentation was signed, Becky had a fertilised embryo – made up of Cassie’s egg and Jack’s sperm - transferred into her uterus in September 2021- at Bath Fertility Clinic, Bath.

A few weeks later, on September 15 2021, She invited Cassie over to take a pregnancy test and they were delighted to discover she had fallen pregnant on the first try. he expectant mum then surprised Jack with the news that they were going to be parents.

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At 38 weeks, doctors found Becky’s blood pressure was high, so doctors induced her the week of her due date, at the Royal Unit Hospital, Bath. Her waters were broken at 12pm on May 24 2022 and two hours later, Barnaby arrived.

Cassie said: “I honestly cannot thank her enough for everything she’s done. Barnaby just the best baby - so chilled and happy. I never thought I’d have a baby this way, and now our little boy has this amazing, extended family.

“We all feel very lucky.”

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