New mum’s happiness beyond words
Cromwell woman has baby girl thanks to her sister-in-law’s selflessness
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