A woman chose to be a surrogate for her best friend after watching her go through six unsuccessful rounds of IVF.

Caroline Roche, 32, and husband Mark, 35, had given up hope of ever becoming parents after spending over £20,000 on failed IVF procedures.

But mum-of-two Adie Drury, who couldn't face seeing her friend go through anymore heartache, stepped in and offered to carry the couple's baby for them.

Now they are parents to William Roche, who was born at 2.01am on May 24 2020, weighing 8lb 7oz.

Caroline, from Bromborough, Wirral, first met Adie 17 years ago on a fan forum for the band Busted, when Adie lived in Wales.

Mark and Caroline Roche with baby William

Caroline said: "I met her when I was 15, and if someone would've told me that 15 years later this stranger from the internet would have brought our son into the world, I never ever would've believed you!"

Health and Social Care student Adie, 38, added: “She’s one of my best friends - I’ve known her almost half my life and she’s just been a constant.

“When we first met we even lived in different countries.

"I was in Wales while she was in London, and even though when she moved to Chester we were closer I had a new born so we’ve never really seen each other very much.

"We’ve just got a really strong bond.”

Best friends Caroline Roche and Adie Drury

Caroline's husband Mark suffers from neurofibromatosis - an inherited condition which causes tumours to grow in the nervous system.

Tumours can grow along the spine, nerves or brain, leaving a sufferer in a wheelchair or with severe learning disabilities.

Mark has had benign tumours removed from his body throughout his life due to the condition but they didn't significantly impact him.

However, after reading about a mum with the condition whose children were badly affected, the couple decided they didn't want to take the 50/50 chance of giving it to their child.

Baby William was born on May 24, weighing 8lb 7oz.

Caroline said: "I initially just assumed that because Mark only had a mild version, any children we had would also only be at risk of mild symptoms and it would not really be a problem.

"Mark especially didn't want them to go through the regular checks and all the prodding that he has.

"Our genetic counsellor told us that it was like flipping a coin; a 50/50 chance, as to whether it's passed on to an embryo, and then rolling a dice for severity where one would be mild and six would be life-threatening."

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Caroline had pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), where the genes of embryos are checked for a specific genetic condition before being implanted via IVF.

She had her first round of PGD and IVF in April 2015, and experts said there was a high chance of it working first time, because she was just 27 and without apparent fertility issues.

But of the eight eggs collected from Caroline, only one embryo was successful and tested negative for NF.

It failed nine days after the embryo was implanted in her in July 2015.

By March 2018, less than three years after her first round, Caroline had undergone six failed embryo transfers and was "completely done".

Mark and Caroline Roche with baby William

Even after countless tests and thousands of pounds, doctors couldn't tell Caroline why the implantations weren't successful.

She confided in her friend Adie, from north Wales, who she had leaned on from day one of her pregnancy ordeal.

The pair went out for dinner together in November 2018, and Adie gave Caroline a letter saying she wanted to be their surrogate.

Adie said: “I could see the toll it was taking and she just wanted to know why it was happening so I said I was happy to carry, I’ve got a perfectly working uterus!"

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Caroline said: "She said she'd love to be our 'pod' as she can't continue to see me so heartbroken and wanted to help in any way she could!

"She first offered a couple of years ago but I wasn’t ready to ‘give up’ on my body at the time - I still believed I could find an answer as to why it hadn't worked."

Mark and Caroline accepted Adie's generous offer the next day, and transferred one of their frozen and NF-negative embryos into her on September 11 2019.

It was the "poorest quality" embryo - and they weren't even sure it would survive the 'thaw' - but nine days later she Whatsapped her friend a photo of a positive pregnancy test.

Caroline Roche with baby William and Adie Drury

Adie said: “William took straight away, he was the easiest pregnancy I've ever had - a model tenant!"

Caroline and Mark couldn't be present at the birth due to Covid restrictions but Adie texted them throughout the labour.

William was born at 2.01am weighing 8lb 7oz on May 24 2020 - and had no genetic conditions.

Mother-of-two Adie said she feels like another member of the Roche family, and because she is part of their 'bubble' she'd been round to see them every week.

Caroline said: "She got a tattoo to represent the journey, and William knows who she is because he absolutely beams when he sees her!

"I want future parents to know that if they have a genetic condition there are other options out there for you."