Bride Paralyzed at Bachelorette Party Will Be a Mom

College friend to act as surrogate for Rachelle Friedman

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 22, 2014 7:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Rachelle Friedman was paralyzed at her 2010 bachelorette party in a freak accident after one of her bridesmaids pushed her in the pool—but a year later she went through with her postponed wedding, and now she'll get to achieve her dream of being a mom, thanks to an old friend. "The first thing I asked the paramedics was whether I could have kids," Friedman, 28, explains to People. "I was ecstatic when they said yes." But she later learned that the medicine she needs to keep her blood pressure up could harm a fetus. Enter Laurel Humes, a college friend Friedman and husband Chris Chapman, 31, hadn't spoken to in nearly 10 years. Humes had been following Friedman's story, and when she saw the blog post about Friedman's need for a surrogate, her decision was immediate.

"I know Chris and Rachelle will be great parents and I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when they get to hold their baby for the first time," the 31-year-old says. Friedman's eggs were retrieved last month, and the embryo transfer is planned for August. "We're just so excited," Friedman says. "I always thought I would run around the pool and the beach with my child, and while I'll miss not being able to do that, there are so many things involved with being a parent that I'm fully capable of doing. I can do a lot more than what people think I can." Friedman, a motivational speaker and high-profile blogger, recently published a memoir, and often blogs about all the things she can still do, from rugby to surfing. In fact, in January, Humes shared one of Friedman's blogs, in which Friedman wrote, among other things, "The ultimate goal is to get independent and have a family." (Click to read another story of a woman who allowed her best friend to become a mom—four months after that friend's death.)

Rachelle Friedman, a bride paralyzed last year, and husband Chris Chapman, leave their wedding reception on Friday, July 22, 2011, in Pittsboro, NC.
Rachelle Friedman, a bride paralyzed last year, and husband Chris Chapman, leave their wedding reception on Friday, July 22, 2011, in Pittsboro, NC.   (AP Photo/Martha Manning Photography)
In this October 2011 photo, Rachelle Friedman of North Carolina uses a passive gait trainer that uses a harness and motorized parts to move her legs for her at Project Walk in Carlsbad, Calif.
In this October 2011 photo, Rachelle Friedman of North Carolina uses a passive gait trainer that uses a harness and motorized parts to move her legs for her at Project Walk in Carlsbad, Calif.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Rachelle Friedman)
In this June 30, 2011 photo, Rachelle Friedman smiles after trying on her wedding dress in Raleigh, NC.
In this June 30, 2011 photo, Rachelle Friedman smiles after trying on her wedding dress in Raleigh, NC.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
In this June 30, 2011 photo, Rachelle Friedman looks in the mirror during the fitting for her wedding dress in Raleigh, NC.
In this June 30, 2011 photo, Rachelle Friedman looks in the mirror during the fitting for her wedding dress in Raleigh, NC.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
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