The world's most prolific surrogate mum has vowed to stop after giving birth to her 13th baby. She is 46.
Tomorrow, Carole Horlock will formally hand over her latest surrogate baby to a childless couple – and she will never set eyes on the 9lb 14oz 'little man' again.
Carole told the Mirror: "When I watched his parents hold him for the first time and saw the pure joy in their faces at the precious gift I'd given them - nothing in the world gives me more pleasure.
"It's the reason I do this. I love giving birth but nothing could have prepared me for just how difficult it would be this time.
"It has been the hardest labour I've ever had - despite having previously given birth to triplets.
"My blood pressure started to climb a few days before my due date and I began to feel unwell."
After 18 hours in labour, she finally gave birth by Caesarean section in the early hours of Sunday.
Carole, from Stevenage, Herts, said: "All my other births had been such plain sailing - I never imagined this one would be such a nightmare. It's left me shaken and exhausted, and the pure relief I felt when I finally gave birth to him was almost indescribable.
"As soon as I got back from theatre, his new mum was waiting for him and he was handed straight into her arms.
"Then I fed him for the first hour to give him the best possible start in life before he was handed back into her arms. She couldn't stop crying.
"It had been such a tense time because it was such a difficult labour and her tears were a mixture of relief and joy.
"They say 13 is unlucky for some. Well, thankfully, it's not for me - or the beautiful baby.
"But he is definitely my last - I can't put myself through an ordeal like that again."
Back in 1995 Carole was a 27-year-old single mum working in a launderette. She already had two daughters of her own - Steffanie, now 22, who was born in 1990 during her first marriage, and 19-year-old Megan from another relationship.
After reading a newspaper article, she decided to become a surrogate mum to help out couples who, for whatever reason, cannot have children of their own.
Since then, Carole has given birth to eight girls and five boys, including a set of twins and triplets - 15 babies in total, 13 of them surrogates.
She said: "I have always loved the act of physically giving birth.
"It's strange as most people would think you are crazy, but the transition from the baby being inside you to coming out is amazing. For me, pushing down and the whole moment of birth is exciting."
Because payments for surrogacy are illegal in Britain, Carole only gets expenses from the childless couples she helps. The average payment for a surrogate is between £10,000 and £15,000.
More on Parentdish: Mum and surrogate mum both give birth to twins
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