OUR MIRACLE: Two families, one egg and a beautiful baby boy
A MATCH made on Warwick Classifieds, 10 years of emotional trauma and more than $60,000 worth of medical treatment are what it took to make the "miracle baby" that is Greyson Arazie.
Now nine months old and lapping up life, Greyson is oblivious to the incredible journey it has taken to bring him into the world.
Two years before his birth, mother Lynda Arazie had given up hope of having a second child.
Diagnosed with secondary infertility, the Warwick nurse had spent thousands on IVF, suffered multiple traumatic miscarriages and been told the only option left was travelling to Spain for an egg donation.
"The waiting list can be years," she said.
"I used to get very upset whenever we talked about it. It was hard to accept you have no control over that part of your life."
So when she opened up to a friend about her struggle to find a donor, Mrs Arazie could barely believe the offer that came next.
Catherine Cazaly said there was no doubt in her mind when she made a spur-of-the- moment offer to donate her genetics to Mrs Arazie, the friend she first met on community Facebook group Warwick Classifieds.
"It wasn't something I ever thought I would do," Mrs Cazaly said.
"But with Lynda and (her husband) Mike, I knew straight away I was comfortable because we all work together atthe hospital and I knew they would look after any baby we had."
As the two families mulled over the offer, Mrs Cazaly said she felt like every menstrual cycle was an egg that could have taken away her friend's pain.
"I knew she had stopped trying, but I could see the desire was still there for Lynda," she said.
The women went on an incredible two-year journey to harvest, fertilise and implant Mrs Cazaly's eggs into Mrs Arazie's uterus.
Throughout the process, Mrs Cazaly had daily injections to stimulate her body to release more eggs at ovulation.
Also a nurse, she described the extreme discomfort she felt as her stomach swelled to almost twice its normal size.
"There are all the raging hormones and then you feel really tight and full because you have these great big ovaries," she said.
But for both women, emotional challenges topped the physical pain.
"The hardest part for me was probably worrying that Lynda would lose the baby and that I would be responsible in some way," Mrs Cazaly said.
"I used to pray every day that it would be okay."
One of the requirements for egg donation is that both families have counselling in the lead-up to the decision.
"That really helped because I talked through the possibility of wanting to keep the baby when it was born," Mrs Cazaly said.
"The counsellor said as long as you accept that those feelings of loss and grief are normal, you'll be OK."
She described meeting baby Greyson for the first time.
"It was surreal," she said.
"I felt really proud of him. He was teenie-tiny and to think I helped make this baby, I kind of felt like an extra parent."
Mrs Cazaly, who has four children of her own, said her relationship to Greyson was unique.
"It is a different sort of connectedness. Every time I have to leave him it pulls at my heart a bit," she said.
But there is no doubt in anyone's mind that Mrs Arazie is Greyson's mother.
"Catherine provided the genetics, but I put it all together," Mrs Arazie said.
With Greyson growing up to be a dream baby who sleeps through the night and is "very chillax", Mrs Arazie and husband Michael consider him their little miracle.
"The things Catherine went through for me is incredible," Mrs Arazie said.
"I think it takes a very special kind of person to be able to do that."
The mothers, who have been open about their decision from the start, are calling for more awareness about egg donation.
The pair said there was stigma attached to IVF and appealed for greater understanding.
"I want women to know it is an option," Mrs Arazie said.
"If more people know about it, maybe there will be more people who will donate their eggs."