'It’s a miracle': Sally Obermeder's baby news

Sally Obermeder's dream of having another child was dashed after treatment for deadly breast cancer, until a woman across the globe offered an incredible gift.

The Seven presenter and husband Marcus welcomed daughter Annabelle in 2012 but during the pregnancy Sally was diagnosed with cancer.

"She was like, 'I’m really sorry but you have breast cancer, and it looks like it's stage three. It's really aggressive'," she told Sunday Night.

After soon as the baby was born Sally underwent drastic surgery and began chemotherapy to save her life.

"We had a few minutes to enjoy it, not that long before they separated mum and bub and took Sal immediately from there to start treatment… like immediately," Marcus said.

"The prognosis wasn’t great. It was pretty bad actually."

Sally and Marcus had just four embryos saved after her cancer treatment
Sally and Marcus had just four embryos saved after her cancer treatment

They didn’t know it yet but there was more bad news, Sally tackled the cancer but carrying another baby would risk ir returning.

Just four embryos remained from their IVF treatment to conceive Annabelle Sally was warned against attempting to get pregnant again.

They had to find a surrogate.

In their home of NSW, like most Australian states, it’s illegal to offer financial compensation to someone willing to carry your child so they headed to the US.

Sally was swept into surgery to treat her cancer once Annabelle was born
Sally was swept into surgery to treat her cancer once Annabelle was born

In LA they met Dr Kim Bergman who has been helping families find surrogates for more than two decades.

In the US surrogates are usually paid around $25,000 but Dr Bergman also has women on her books who are willing to help other families for free, and these are the ones she matches with Australians.

"There are a lot of people in Australia who want to have babies through surrogacy. Altruistic surrogacy is a lovely idea but there are not women in Australia coming out of the woodwork wanting to do it."

Rachel was a dream come true for Sally. The Wisconsin mother of three daughters had been a surrogate once and wanted to do it again.

After experiencing one miscarriage, Rachel is now into the second trimester with Sally and Marcus' child
After experiencing one miscarriage, Rachel is now into the second trimester with Sally and Marcus' child

"How do you even repay someone, like a bottle of perfume just doesn’t cut it. The gift, I mean, it is priceless."

"How amazing that there are people like Rachel in this world, like a woman from the other side of the world who I don’t even know who would do this for me?"

In December 2014 Rachel traveled to Los Angeles to have Sally’s embryo transferred.

Sally flew in from Australia, and the two mums met for the first time.

The schedule of hormones is gruelling for a surrogate and it takes months to prepare
The schedule of hormones is gruelling for a surrogate and it takes months to prepare

Just two weeks later, Sally and Marcus received the call to congratulate them on a successful pregnancy.

But the baby didn’t survive and they received the terrible news during Rachel's 12-week scan.

"I felt so helpless," Rachel told Sunday Night, "I wish she was with me and we could give each other a hug we could console each other, we had to do it from afar."

Rachel insisted they try again after she had recovered, but twice more IVF was unsuccessful.

Annabelle Grace, 4, announced the pregnancy this week on social media
Annabelle Grace, 4, announced the pregnancy this week on social media

"It started to get to me I started to question whether I was the right person for Sally," she said.

Their last attempt has been successful and Sally recently visited Rachel in Wisconsin to accompany her in person for an ultrasound.

"I knew it was there but to see it for myself you know we were both in the room together there’s just, there’s no words," she said.

There is still a long way to go, but Sally and Marcus are excited to share their good news after so much heartbreak.

"I kind of feel like it’s a miracle, it’s just a hard experience because it’s like I still feel like I’m not carrying this child but I also feel like it’s the most amazing most special experience."

Sally Obermeder has found her surrogate, Rachel, in Wisconsin, USA with the help of Growing Generations, a long-established and experienced agency based in Los Angeles. Sally and Marcus produced the embryo when they underwent IVF in Sydney.

As surrogate, Rachel is carrying the growing child who is entirely the genetic product of Marcus and Sally.

Although Growing Generations does facilitate commercial surrogacy in the US, it has told Sunday Night that Rachel's surrogacy for Sally Obermeder has been arranged without payment because of Australian laws. Sally is not paying Rachel for the surrogacy.

Growing Generations: the surrogacy agency used by Sally Obermeder in the US

Sally Obermeder's fashion, life and style site.

Surrogacy Australia: the organisation which unites families pursuing surrogacy in Australia.

Article from the Human Rights Law Centre on surrogacy in Australia.

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