After giving birth to a perfect baby girl, Elsie, at her Coffs Harbour home on Nov. 26, 2014, Shannon Garner watched as the newborn's fathers, Jon Cole and his partner Justin Worthy, tenderly scooped her up and fed her colostrum, which Garner, 36, had expressed.
Seeing “the boys,” as she calls the pair, lovingly attend to Elsie, was all the confirmation Garner needed that her decision to be their gestational surrogate had been the right one. “They are the best dads I’ve ever seen,” Garner tells WHO.
The decision to be an altruistic surrogate took a personal toll on Garner, who is not biologically related to Elsie. “I underestimated the weeks of feeling ill and how that would drain me and put a strain on my relationship with my husband,” says Garner, a married mother of two. “I was very distant.”
Nonetheless, she’s preparing to do it all again. In October, Garner will undergo another embryo transfer in an attempt to give Elsie, now 19 months, a sibling. “I hope it’s a boy this time,” says Garner, whose memoir, Labour of Love, chronicles her surrogacy journey. “I’m excited!”
For more on Garner, her calling to be a surrogate, and the loving modern family she’s helped create, pick up this week’s issue of Who, on sale now.