My best friend & I are both single & got pregnant at the same time using sperm donors – we're raising our girls together

LAUREN Harris, 34, and her best friend Jess, 36, had always wanted kids – but worried time was running out as they struggled to find The One.

So the pals made a pact to have kids together – using sperm donors.

By January this year, Lauren and Jess were both mums to daughters – who they're raising together in Flordia, where they're next-door neighbours.

In an exclusive chat, they tell their stories…

When Jess and I met through my dad, who she worked with, we instantly bonded.

At 31, Jess was two years older and like me, she was desperate to be a mum.

But neither of us had found the right man to settle down with.

Over the next three years, we both had relationships and countless first dates, hoping one of them would turn out to be our happily-ever-after.

By the time I reached 32, I could practically hear the ‘tick, tick, tick’ of my biological clock.

I felt hopeless and Jess was the same.

"I don’t want to give up on my dreams of being a mum," she said. "But time’s running out."

Why don’t we get pregnant on our own?" Jess said one day. I trusted Jess with my life and I knew we’d support one another, just like a partner would

We’d always joked about bypassing the relationship part and having babies on our own using a sperm donor. After a while, I wondered if it really could be a possibility.

‘Why don’t we get pregnant on our own?’ Jess said one day.

I trusted Jess with my life and I knew we’d support one another, just like a partner would.

The more we talked about it, the more sense it made.

So, we began researching the process of using a sperm bank and discovered a community of women having babies alone, calling themselves Single Mums By Choice.

We each thought about it realistically, calculating the costs of raising a child alone.

We visited a fertility clinic to assess our options and then underwent tests.

I stayed by Jess’ side as the contractions took hold. Despite being five months pregnant myself, I was determined to be there for her

One night out at a bar, we pulled out our laptop to have a look at sperm donors.

Over drinks, we scrolled through different profiles, assessing their height, family history and everything in between.

‘It’s so surreal to think one of these men could be the father of my child!’ I said.

While I had planned to wait until I was 35, the tests indicated my fertility was declining and I realised it was now or never.

So, after six months, I told Jess, ‘I really want to do this.’

‘So do I!’ she said.

Thankfully, we were met with love and support from our family and friends.

By November 2018, we’d decided on our sperm donors and, two months later, Jess was inseminated.

Nine days after that, she rang me on a video call.

‘I think I’m hallucinating,’ she said, waving a pregnancy test in front of her camera.

‘No, you’re not,’ I shrieked, ‘it’s positive!’

As I had my insemination later that day, I was feeling hopeful too.

But two weeks later, those hopes were dashed when I didn’t fall pregnant.

‘Next time,’ Jess told me.

Despite my disappointment, my excitement for Jess never wavered, and at six weeks, we went to her first scan.

I held her hand as we looked up at the screen.

Over the next few months, Jess’ pregnancy progressed well but my journey wasn’t so smooth.

By April 2019, I’d had three unsuccessful inseminations and I decided to try IVF.

Daily injections followed, before I had my eggs retrieved and fertilised with donor sperm.

Just over two weeks later, in May 2019, I rang Jess.

‘I’m pregnant,’ I said. After five months of heartbreak, I sobbed with happiness and relief.

At my six-week scan, it was Jess’ turn to clutch my hand as we stared up at the screen.

The ultrasound showed I was carrying twins but a few weeks later, I lost one of the babies.

Then, a few days before Jess’ due date, the nurses noticed her blood pressure was high so she was induced.

Despite being five months pregnant myself, I was determined to be there for her.

I stayed by Jess’ side as the contractions took hold and, after 29 hours, she pushed her baby girl into the world.

‘Is she really mine?’ Jess said, gazing down at the bundle on her chest. She was perfect.

Then at 38 weeks, the doctors noticed my baby had stopped growing.

I was induced, and now it was Jess’ turn to squeeze my hand as my contractions grew stronger and stronger.

Jess, 36, says:

'As friends, we faced many highs and lows on our journey to become mums.

It was incredibly hard watching Lauren struggle to conceive, knowing she longed for a baby.

So when she fell pregnant, I was over the moon.

Now I can’t wait to watch our girls grow up together.'

On January 18, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl – who I called Hannah Jane.

As she placed her in my arms, my heart swelled.

Back home, I got to grips with being a single mum. It was overwhelming at first, but both Jess and my family have been amazing.

Jess and I even bought houses next to each other.

Now I hope our story encourages other women to seek their own path to motherhood. 

Because having a baby with my best friend made my dreams come true.

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