New mum’s hap­pi­ness be­yond words

Cromwell woman has baby girl thanks to her sis­ter-in-law’s self­less­ness

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By MIKE WAT­SON

Cromwell’s Natasha Banks is home with the best mother’s day gift she could imag­ine – the baby she could not have.

Lit­tle Ge­or­gia Banks was born last Wed­nes­day at Blen­heim’s Wairau Hos­pi­tal to sur­ro­gate mother Pam Banks, Natasha Banks’ sis­ter-in-law. The baby was cre­ated from a donor egg and sperm from Natasha Bank’s hus­band Mar­cus Porter.

Natasha Banks said ‘‘words can’t de­scribe’’ the gift her sis­terin-law had given by agree­ing to be the sur­ro­gate mother.

‘‘It has been pretty over­whelm­ing. Some­one pretty well giv­ing you a life and it’s amaz­ing.’’

A baby girl was what she had hoped for, she said.

‘‘I’m ec­static. There’s no words to de­scribe how I re­ally feel, I’m so happy.’’

Natasha Banks said she was look­ing for­ward to her first Mother’s Day.

‘‘We plan to cel­e­brate it as a fam­ily – just me, Mar­cus and Ge­or­gia – at a cafe in Blen­heim be­fore we head back home,’’ she said.

Porter said he was a ‘‘proud dad. We never thought we would have a bubba. And we wouldn’t have with­out Pam.’’

The sur­ro­gacy hap­pened af­ter Pam Banks of­fered to carry a baby when Natasha was first di­ag­nosed with can­cer and the of­fer was made again when the hys­terec­tomy hap­pened.

But it was not till Pam Banks was seven months preg­nant with her youngest child that Natasha Banks de­cided she wanted to take up her sis­ter-in-law’s of­fer.

The two women have spo­ken out about their ex­pe­ri­ence to let peo­ple know that sur­ro­gacy was a nor­mal thing. About 50 sur­ro­gacy pro­ce­dures are ap­proved ev­ery year. Legally the baby is the child of the birth mother so adop­tion is re­quired to for Natasha Banks and Porter to be­come Ge­or­gia’s par­ents.

Pam Banks said she did not be­lieve what she had done was a huge thing.

‘‘I’m do­ing a favour for some­one and I don’t want a lot of credit for it. I just want Tash to have a kid,’’ she said. ‘‘It is only a small part of my life but it’s a huge part of (Natasha’s).’’

Pam Banks said the preg­nancy had been dif­fer­ent to those of her three chil­dren.

She had not felt preg­nant till 28 weeks.

‘‘I didn’t feel like there was some­thing grow­ing in­side of me. There’s no emo­tional at­tach­ment. There is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent at­tach­ment – it’s not a moth­erly one,’’ she said in an in­ter­view be­fore the birth.

Peo­ple’s re­ac­tion to her car­ry­ing a sur­ro­gate child de­pended on what she told them, she said.

Pam Banks said the birth of Ge­or­gia went fine in spite of a frus­trat­ing de­lay as she was in­duced sev­eral times un­suc­cess­fully on Mon­day be­fore be­ing given a syn­thetic hor­mone three days later.

‘‘It was a fan­tas­tic birth, it went quick, but it was frus­trat­ing when it did not go to plan,’’ she said.

The only part miss­ing was the pho­tos im­me­di­ately af­ter­ward, she said.

‘‘Ev­ery­one was pretty ex­cited and they for­got to take some pho­tos straight away.’’

Sur­ro­gate baby Ge­or­gia Jas­min Callander Banks is cra­dled by her mother Natasha Banks, left, of Cromwell, as sur­ro­gate mother, and Natasha’s sis­ter-in­law, Pam Banks, of Blen­heim, looks on. Ge­or­gia was born on Wed­nes­day at 5.51pm. Photo: SCOTTHAMMOND

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