Proud Father Praises Mother-in-law After She Gave Birth To His Son
A proud dad has paid a special Father's Day tribute to the 'wonderful woman' who gave birth to his son - his own mother-in-law.
Rees Jenkins, 30, from Rhymney, South Wales, became a father to son Jack three years ago after his wife Jessica's mother Julie Bradford, 49, was surrogate for the couple.
Doting dad Rees says son Jack is his greatest joy - and his mother-in-law is the best in the world.
'Jack is the most beautiful, happy, busy little boy.
I will be forever grateful to her,' he said.
Rees Jenkins, 30, from Rhymney, South Wales, became a father to son Jack three years ago after his wife Jessica's mother Julie Bradford was surrogate for the couple.
Pictured: Rees, Jessica and Jack
When Jessica was told her treatment for cervical cancer would leave her infertile, mum Julie stepped in to be her surrogate
'Some people thought it was a bit weird my mother-in-law giving birth to my son, but if it wasn't for her he wouldn't be here at all.
'I tell them it's the 21st century and however unusual it seems, it's worth it when I hold Jack and watch him play and laugh.'
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Julie acted as surrogate mum when her cancer-stricken daughter Jessica was told she would never be able to have children.
Jessica, now 25, was just 18 when she became one the youngest women in Britain to be diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Rees explained: 'Jessica is my childhood sweetheart and she was born to be a mother.
Jessica, now 25 and pictured with Julie, was just 18 when she became one the youngest women in Britain to be diagnosed with cervical cancer
Julie offered to carry a baby for the couple and began taking medication to help her carry to full term.
Pictured while pregnant in 2016
'But we were told Jessica's only hope of ever becoming a mum was to harvest her eggs and freeze them.
'At first the doctors didn't think there was time because they wanted her started on chemotherapy.
'Jessica begged them to try and and her chemotherapy was delayed for a week.
In that time they took 21 eggs from her and 10 survived.
'She gave me the choice to walk away but that was never going to happen because I loved her too much.'
On 2 December 2016, Julie was induced and went into labour - Jessica, Rees and Julie's husband Calwyn, 50, were all by her side
Jessica had her eggs harvested and fertilised with Rees's sperm on the day she started radiotherapy.
She battled through cancer and is now in remission.
Julie then offered to carry a baby for the couple and began taking medication to help her carry to full term in May 2016.
Rees, a technician at a manufacturing firm, said: 'It was so wonderful of her. We'd talked about surrogacy with a stranger but felt it was safer within our family.
'Of course it was a bit surreal and it's hard to put into words. I guess I was a bit unsure and nervous at first, but Julie was amazing though, http://www.malosh.net/UserProfile/tabid/43/UserID/760856/Default.aspx and she'd tell me and Jessica when our baby kicked and we'd both feel her tummy.
Rees said the birth of Jack was one of the most beautiful moments of their lives and thanked Julie for her kind gesture
'I went to all the baby scans and when Julie went into labour I was right there.'
On 2 December 2016, Julie was induced and went into labour - Jessica, Rees and Julie's husband Calwyn, 50, were all by her side.
Rees said: 'I was going to wait outside but then it just happened.
Jess was holding her mum's hand and I was sat in the corner a blubbering mess.
'When Jack was born Jessica cut his cord and then I held our son for the first time. I was completely lost for words. I just couldn't speak, it was so magical.
'Our baby looked just like Jessica when he was first born. I'll never forget the joy on her face - she was sobbing and saying "thank you, thank you" to her mum.
It was one of the most beautiful moments of our lives.'
Rees recalled: 'When Jack was born Jessica cut his cord and then I held our son for the first time.
I was completely lost for words. I just couldn't speak, it was so magical.' Pictured: the couple with Jack as a newborn
Jack is now three and loves football, his trampoline and watching The Hulk, Spiderman and Toy Story.
Rees said: 'He loves nothing more than helping me when I am doing DIY.
He's always next to me passing me spanners and tools.
'He is always arguing with me and loves to tease me. He's very mischievous but so much fun. He adores our two dogs Molly and Frankie too.
'Jessica was born to be a mum and watching her with Jack is just amazing.
She is my hero.'
Jessica, 25, said: 'My mum is my hero and I love her so much for what she has done for me and Rees - it's the greatest gift she's given us and has shown us what true love is'
Jack calls Julie Nanny but it too young to understand what it means that she is his birth mother too.
Rees said: 'Julie is a really wonderful person and we love her so much.
We can never repay her for what she has done for us. We have such a fabulous family and I'm grateful every day.
'We can never repay her for what she has done. We live just a few doors away from each other and Jack adores his nanny so much.
We are such a close family and I count my blessings every day.'
Doting dad Rees says son Jack is his greatest joy - and his mother-in-law is the best in the world
Julie added: 'We could not control Jessica's cancer but I could do something incredible for my daughter and nothing was going to stop me.
'Jessica is such a maternal girl and she always adored children. She really was born to be a mother and watching her with Jack just fills me with joy.'
Jessica said: 'My mum is my hero and I love her so much for what she has done for me and Rees - it's the greatest gift she's given us and has shown us what true love is.'