LAFAYETTE, La. – They discussed it as teens, but Michelle Newsom didn’t think her sister, Lauren Hayes, would actually agree to do it.
Michelle was told at age 16 she would never be able to bear a child. Lauren immediately offered to be the surrogate mother to Michelle’s child when the time came. That promise resulted in the birth of Sutten Faye Newsom at 2:02 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1, making her the first baby born in Lafayette in 2017. She weighed 7 pounds, 5.3 ounces and measured 19 ¾ inches.
“At first, when we were teens, I didn’t take her seriously,” Michelle, 29, said Sunday, as she cradled Sutten in her arms next to Lauren at Women’s & Children’s Hospital. “It wasn’t long after I got married in March 2015 that the subject came up. Asking was weirdly simple. We love each other a lot.”
Lauren, 26, already a mother of two young children, said she believes every woman should experience the joy of having a baby.
“We already have a huge family,” Lauren said. “Sutten is just one more for us to love.”
The sisters have four other siblings. But their special bond has only grown stronger over the past year, as the two couples – Lauren, her husband Joshua and Michelle and her husband Patrick – made the journey from in vitro fertilization to delivery.
“We’ve definitely become a lot closer,” Michelle said. “How do you tell someone thank you for giving you a gift like this? Words just seem so inadequate.”
The possibility of having the first baby of 2017 crossed the minds of a few in the family, but that thought was only fleeting, Michelle said, as Sutten’s due date was set for Jan. 8.
“First baby of the new year… miracle baby,” Michelle said. “I’m glad we were able to have her. I want her to be something big. I don’t know what that will be yet. We are going to let her choose.”
As for the role Lauren and Joshua will play in Sutten’s life? That decision was made long before her birth.
“Lauren told me early on that she and Josh were going to be the godparents,” Michelle said. “If I had anyone else in mind, she said I should probably forget about asking them.”
Lauren and Joshua are building a home one mile from the home Patrick, Michelle, and soon Sutten, share in Loreauville, a rural community just outside of New Iberia.
“I never thought this day would ever come,” Michelle said. “I see a lot of bike rides, walks and birthday parties in our future.”