Mom Shares Emotional Surrogacy Story After Tragedy

PHOTO: Kate and her husband Didier had their first daughter Elle in 2009.PlayAshley Marston Photography
WATCH Mom Shares Surrogate Story After Heartbreak

After a long journey of heartbreak, a Vancouver woman proudly became a second-time mom to a daughter named Scarlett.

Now, she's sharing her story of tragedy and new-found happiness with the world.

"I was anxious, I was excited, I was terrified and then I was a complete puddle of tears when I saw her come out," Kate Austin-Rivas told ABC News. "She was crying and seemed strong and it's one of those moments that I needed and I will never forget."

PHOTO: Kate had another daughter named Katelyn who was a stillborn in 2012 and a daughter named Ireland who died at 4 weeks old. Ashley Marston Photography
Kate had another daughter named Katelyn who was a stillborn in 2012 and a daughter named Ireland who died at 4 weeks old.

After suffering multiple miscarriages, Austin-Rivas and her husband Didier welcomed their daughter Elle in 2009.

"It wasn’t easy to conceive our first daughter," Austin-Rivas told ABC News. "After her, I became pregnant easily with our Katelyn who was a stillborn. We took a little time to heal and process it, and again, we became easily pregnant with Ireland who I carried to term."

In 2012, Austin-Rivas gave birth to Ireland.

Ireland was born with severe oxygen deprivation, which resulted in cerebral palsy, Austin-Rivas said.

"It was a catastrophic delivery with her and my life on brink," she said. "I ended up surviving and she passed away at a hospice at one month of age."

Austin-Rivas said she was "devastated" by the loss and felt guilty. "It was very conflicting because I was very sick myself and it always has been conflicting knowing that she didn’t survive and I did."

The couple has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and physicians. The case is ongoing.

Wanting another child, Austin-Rivas and her husband of 12 years, Didier Rivas, decided they would consider the option of surrogacy.

Austin-Rivas put her family's story on social media. Three women came forward who were serious about serving as a surrogate for the couple. But it was a Vancouver Island mom, Christine Hale, who Austin-Rivas decided was right for her and her husband.

"Because of everything I've gone through, I realized how valuable it is to listen to your gut," Austin-Rivas said. "She's very responsible. She's a single mom of three kids. Our values are very similar. Shes a very giving person, besides the connection we have."

PHOTO: Kate Austin-Rivas of Vancouver, Canada had a daughter named Scarlett via surrogate on Jan. 22.Ashley Marston Photography
Kate Austin-Rivas of Vancouver, Canada had a daughter named Scarlett via surrogate on Jan. 22.

In June 2015, Christine became pregnant via IVF. Austin-Rivas accompanied her to doctor and sonogram appointments and the two women remained close throughout the pregnancy.

While the Austin-Rivas' were excited about the pregnancy, the couple chose to keep it from their loved ones.

"We were cautious because of what happened with Ireland," Austin-Rivas said.

On the afternoon of January 22, surrogate mom Christine delivered baby Scarlett.

In an effort to capture the unforgettable day, Austin-Rivas hired photographer Ashley Marston for the job.

"Because we have so many traumatic memories from Ireland's birth, I wanted to make sure that we had some positive memories that would be stuck in our minds," Austin-Rivas said. "That was my reasoning for doing it because sometimes you forget. I am so happy we got them done."

PHOTO: Kate had photographer Ashley Marston photograph the day her daughter Scarlett was born on Jan. 22. Ashley Marston Photography
Kate had photographer Ashley Marston photograph the day her daughter Scarlett was born on Jan. 22.

Ashley Marston of Vancouver Island told ABC News that baby Scarlett's birthday was emotional for all.

"There were a lot of tears," Marston said. "I feel really honored being able to document it for them. They really needed a happy ending after so much loss and I'm happy they got it."

Austin-Rivas said she hopes her family's story inspires others.

"Our situation is so unique in a tragic way," she said. "I'm not a big pusher of anything. Surrogacy is not for everyone. But for us, it was our option. Every situation is unique and I think its important people do what they need to do for themselves."

As for her daughter, Austin-Rivas said Scarlett is a "little ball of love" who adores her older sister.

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