'Paralyzed Bride' has found a surrogate

NEED TO KNOW
  • Rachelle Friedman Chapman broke her neck after being pushed into a pool at her bachelorette party in 2010
  • A college friend whom she hadn't spoken to in nearly 10 years volunteered to be her surrogate
'Paralyzed Bride' has found a surrogate

The first thing Rachelle Friedman Chapman asked paramedics as they rushed her to the hospital four years ago is if she would still be able to have children.

Chapman's wedding was a few weeks away, and she had just been playfully pushed into a pool by her best friend at her bachelorette party. During the fall, Chapman's head hit the bottom of the pool, breaking her neck and turning her into a quadriplegic for the rest of her life.

The 28-year-old, who still got to have the wedding of her dreams (albeit it a little delayed), is now getting closer to realizing her dream of becoming a mom after a college friend stepped forward and offered to be her surrogate.

"This is going to be part of her life -- it’s going to be her being pregnant and going to the doctor and in the end it’s for me," Chapman told HLN. "It’s crazy that someone would offer to do that. It’s crazy and amazing and awesome."

Read more: 7 reasons why the ‘Paralyzed Bride’ will inspire you

Chapman said she clicked immediately with the friend -- Laurel Humes -- when they met back in college. But their paths veered in different directions, so she never got to really know her. They kept up with each other through Facebook, but hadn't talked in nearly a decade.

When Chapman was doing press for her book, "The Promise: A Tragic Accident, a Paralyzed Bride, and the Power of Love, Loyalty, and Friendship," she talked about her interest in wanting to start a family and find a surrogate. People from around the country -- including Humes -- had reached out and offered to carry her child.

"Obviously I didn’t want somebody completely random. This was perfect because I knew her and she lives closer to me," Chapman said. "[Humes] had already thought about being a surrogate just in general because her husband had been a sperm donor so it kind of inspired her to do something. She had been casually looking it to. So when she saw my story she was like, 'If I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it for her.'"

While it's possible for paralyzed women to conceive and carry children, Chapman explained that the medication she takes to combat her extremely low blood pressure makes it impossible for her.

She has already completed the first stage in the process -- having her eggs collected. Now the next phase -- having fertility doctors implant her and her husband's embryo into Humes -- is expected to take place in August.

Watch: From freak accident to forgiveness

While the couple deals with the natural nervousness surrounding a new baby, they're also having to worry about the financial toll the process will take on their family.

"We’re financially stable in our lives and we’ll be able to take care of a child," Chapman said. "But even with someone coming forward [as a surrogate] it’s tens of thousands of dollars. So I’m a little nervous about all of that -- we still have a long way to go."

The family has set up a GoFundMe site, where they've already raised several thousand dollars to help offset the costs of travel, lawyers and the medical procedures.

She said it's not the only help she expects to receive as they bring a new life into the world. Being quadriplegic means that someone's four limbs are impaired in some way -- not necessarily that they're paralyzed from the neck down. In Chapman's case, the triceps in her arms are weak and she has no dexterity in her fingers.

Watch: Bride takes unlikely walk down aisle

"I’m just very logical about it," Chapman said. "There’s things that I’m sad about. I won’t be able to run through the waves at the beach with my kid. I won’t be able to play tag and chase them and there’s going to be awhile before I’ll be able to go out alone with them."

But she is planning to get support from her mom, who still lives with them now for part of the week, and also from her husband, Chris.

"I know that it’s not going to be 50/50. There’s going to be times when Chris is going to have to jump out of bed and do things that I can’t do," Chapman said. "A lot of that stuff sucks. But Chris is obviously very able and certainly there are a lot of single parents out there who can do it!"

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