Rachelle Friedman Chapman was paralyzed when a bridesmaid playfully pushed her into a pool at her bachelorette party five years ago, causing irreversible damage to her spinal cord.
But today, thanks to a surrogate, she's a new mom. Kaylee Rae Chapman was born at 10:48 a.m. Sunday, weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces, Chapman told ABC News.
Even though Chapman knew the baby was on its way, because she wasn't the one who was pregnant, the birth was a bit of a shock, Chapman told ABC News, adding that she'd been up since 4 a.m. "Then, all of the sudden, boom. There's a baby."
Chapman, 29, injured her sixth vertebrae in the accident in 2010, making her a quadriplegic. She said she still has the use of her shoulders and arms, but she lacks dexterity in her fingers. So, Chapman will be able to hold Kaylee, but changing her diapers and clothing her will be a learning experience.
"Not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," Chapman said.
Chapman met Laurel Humes, who carried Kaylee for nine months, back in 2004 at East Carolina University, where she also met her husband, Chris. The two clicked, but didn't stay in touch.
Then, Humes saw Chapman's blog post about wanting to have a baby through a surrogate because her spinal cord injury left her with low blood pressure. The blood pressure medication could hurt a developing fetus, but forgoing the medicine could be dangerous, too. Then, "out of the blue" Humes sent Chapman a message that she'd been thinking about surrogacy.
Humes lives a few hours away, but the Chapmans visited her for milestone doctors' appointments, like hearing the baby's heartbeat for the first time. On Sunday morning, she went into labor. Three hours later, Kaylee was born.
"Laurel did amazing and is resting after some hard work," Chapman told her Facebook followers. "Thank you for the most beautiful gift we will ever receive!"
And Chapman said they wouldn't have Kaylee without the organization Surrogacy Together, a group that works to make surrogate pregnancies more affordable, and donations from their GoFundMe page.
They will probably head home to Knightdale, North Carolina, on Tuesday, where Kaylee can meet her furry siblings, dogs Peedee and Roger.