Maddie Coleman was just 14-years-old when doctors delivered news that many women dread: she would never be able to conceive naturally. She was diagnosed with a condition that affects her uterus and ovaries, and prevents her from carrying a child.
As expected, Coleman and her mom, Megan Barker, were both devastated by this prognosis, but it didn't stop Barker from suggesting a solution as they made their way home from the doctor's office.
"We cried and held each other as we walked to the car. But [my mom] stopped me, looked me in the eyes and said, 'When you get older and want a child, I'll carry your baby,'" Coleman told People in an interview last year.
As a teen, Coleman thought her mother's offer was "totally weird," but after a tumor was discovered on her ovaries in 2015, she didn't think twice about taking her up on the offer.
"I knew how important it was for Maddie to be a mom and I understood there were other options like adoption, but I wanted her to know a biological baby was a viable option," Barker said. "I'm just so fortunate I was able to provide the opportunity and that the IVF worked the first time. It's the greatest gift."
On October 22, 2016, Barker gave birth to her grandson, Gus Wyatt Coleman.
"Just getting to see Tyler and Maddie hold Gus is the greatest reward," said Barker. "Knowing they can be the mommy and daddy they would not have otherwise been able to be is the best prize. This has been the best experience of my life."
Now, a little over a year since Gus came into the world, Coleman and her husband are trying for a second child, and Barker will once again be the surrogate.
Coleman's embryo is expected to be transferred to her mother's uterus this upcoming January, which means, like Gus, the new baby will be born in the fall.
Coleman and her husband have very good reasons for wanting to have another baby in the same fashion as Gus.
"We thought about Gus growing up by himself and wondering, why did my parents want me to be conceived in the way that I was? Coleman told KRCR. "I feel like being able to relate on that level with somebody else so close to him will be great as far as a sibling goes."
Pregnancy becomes riskier as one gets older, and Barker will be 50 by the time the new baby arrives, but she isn't worried.
"It's not a concern to me. I've already done it once, and the pregnancy was fantastic. I felt good," she said.
The only thing the family is concerned about are the expenses associated with the in vitro fertilization. Their loved ones have set up a GoFundMe page to help them pay for the treatment, which isn't covered by insurance because Coleman isn't carrying the child herself.
We wish them luck on their journey and can't wait to see photos of baby #2 next year!