Every mother understands the unconditional love and bond that she feels with her child. At Coppersmith, we see many families every day. As parents ourselves, we understand the special, unique bond that parents share with their children. That’s why we couldn’t wait to share our hygienists’ amazing surrogate story with you!
In March 2011, our Dental Hygienist Barb Nimchuk made a generous decision that would change the lives of two families forever. She decided to be surrogate for Certified Dental Assistant, Katie Welsh.

Over the years, she had watched her friend and co-worker go through the emotional turmoil of trying to conceive a child and getting nowhere. Despite her heart-transplant, Katie visited several clinics hoping to still get pregnant despite her health problems. If she stopped taking her medication, it could have a negative effect on the baby’s growth. No matter how many clinics she went to, the doctors always came to the same conclusion ─ Katie couldn’t risk getting pregnant. One day after a doctor’s appointment, Barb found Katie crying in the hallway. “It doesn’t have to be this much heartache”, Barb told her, “I have a body that’s healthy and I’m more than willing to do this for you”. Katie was overwhelmed by her friend’s generosity. Barb met with Katie and her husband, Matt, the next week to sort out the details of the surrogacy. They talked for hours about who would be in the delivery room, how much contact Barb would have with the child over the years, and what would happen if Katie and Mark moved away. Finally, they were ready to make it official by setting up a meeting at the Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver.

Barb and kids

The Pregnancy

In the summer of 2011, Katie and Barb began taking medications to prepare for the pregnancy. Barb had to prepare her body for the injection of the embryos. Katie had to take medication to stimulate the growth of her eggs. Finally it was time to transfer the embryos to Barb in a quick five-minute procedure. Two weeks later, Katie received a phone call with great news – Barb was pregnant! “It was the best day ever”, said Katie, “I started crying, and it was difficult to even call Barb and my husband because I felt like I couldn’t speak”.
Barb was extra cautious all throughout the entire pregnancy. Katie and Barb were good friends before the surrogacy, but the pregnancy instilled a whole new level of trust between the friends. Katie had to trust Barb to make the best decisions for the baby every day. Fortunately, both friends were so committed to the baby’s best interests that there was never a conflict. Katie was involved in every step of the pregnancy by attending every prenatal appointment, talking to the baby bump every day and setting up the nursery.

Barb and baby

The Delivery

Barb went into labor on May 29, 2012 at 1 a.m. After hours in the delivery room, the baby’s heart rate had dropped and the doctors discovered that the baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped around its’ head. The doctors acted quickly to remove the baby and after 30 seconds of silence, a baby’s cry filled the delivery room. Katie was so grateful and overjoyed! Barb was in good health and Katie was finally a mother to a beautiful, healthy baby boy.

Two families together

A Lasting Friendship

The two friends have continued to maintain their friendship over the years and will always have an unspoken bond. Katie and Charlie, who is turning two next month, still meet with Barb once a month for lunch. Their families love to get together and have taken a vacation to Maui so the kids can play together. Barb has never once regretted her decision to be a surrogate and Katie’s family finally feels complete.


To learn more about Barb’s story, visit her at Coppersmith Dental today or look for her story in the April edition of Chateline Magazine!