Bristolian surrogate mum to Osama Bin Laden's grandchild is expecting twins
ONCE you've got your head around the fact you're carrying Osama Bin Laden's grandchild, you would be forgiven for believing nothing else could be a shock throughout the course of the pregnancy.
But Louise Pollard – the Bristolian surrogate mum who agreed to be artificially inseminated with the sperm of Omar Bin Laden, the estranged son of America's "public enemy number one" – has just discovered the Bin Laden babe will be double the trouble.
Louise discovered she is having twins after taking an eight-week scan at a private health clinic in Manchester, close to the Cheshire home of Omar's wife, Zaina Bin Laden.
The 24-year-old surrogate mum says she has had a tough time since her brother allegedly went behind her back to spill the story to The Sun newspaper earlier this year – but she is more keen than ever to help the family.
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"I was stunned when I discovered it was twins," Louise says, as she relaxes in her Henbury council flat.
"You could see it was two babies as soon as the image came up on the screen. Zaina, who was by my side, burst into tears. I just said 'oh my God' – the idea of having twins was a lot to get my head around, even though I've had two surrogate babies before in separate births, as well as my own little boy."
The Jeremy Kyle Show is being broadcast on the enormous flat-screened television in the corner of her living room as we chat – and the irony is not lost on Louise.
"My life has become one big episode of Jeremy Kyle these last few months. In fact, I went on the show recently, so I could get my brother Shaun to take a lie-detector test.
"I knew he'd sold the story to The Sun though – I even knew how much he got – £1,900. So few people knew about the Bin Laden connection, it didn't take me long to work out it was him. I tested my suspicions by telling him I'd done a pregnancy test and the insemination had been successful.
"In fact, at that time it hadn't yet worked, but when that story also appeared in The Sun the next day, I knew it was him who had betrayed me. I felt very upset. But now the whole of my family have washed their hands of him."
Louise says she first started wanting to help childless couples at the age of eight – shortly after the family moved to Bristol from Bradford, West Yorkshire.
"I don't remember it, but apparently I said to my step-dad that I wanted to help people have babies when I grow up."
But it was a few years later, as a teenager, when Louise really started to take the idea seriously.
"I saw a documentary on TV about surrogate mums, and I thought that's what I want to do. I'd just had my own son, and although he wasn't planned and I'm a single mum, I love him to bits, so I know how much happiness kids can bring.
"So I simply advertised myself on the internet. A short time later a couple approached me, and at the age of 21 I gave birth to a little girl, and became the youngest surrogate mum in the country.
"The following year I had a little boy for the same couple, but that was a much tougher pregnancy, as I developed pre-eclampsia. Because I'd been ill, I had to spend much longer with the baby after he'd been born – it was three days before I could hand him over to his real mum, and in that time I'd bonded with him.
"So that was an emotional wrench for me, and my biggest fear with this pregnancy is feeling those kinds of emotions again."
Louise says the biggest problem has come from gangs of youths making cruel comments in the street.
"The adults don't say anything, and I'm not too worried about the things that kids say – though they do try to wind me up.
"One lad approached me and said 'is that a bomb in the oven?' But I can take all that.
"I get more upset by people saying I'm doing it for the money or for the fame. I never wanted this story to get out, but if national newspapers offer me some cash now the story is public, I'd be stupid to say no to it.
"All I want to do is to help a nice couple who can't have kids themselves. What's wrong with that?
"Omar doesn't have anything to do with his father. I've visited them in Qatar, and he's just a normal guy who likes playing with his Playstation and listening to his music."
Louise, who works as a PA in the office of a Bristol-based homeware store, says the only cash she will take from the Bin Ladens will be £10,000 to cover her expenses – primarily for missed work days.
So would Louise consider surrogacy again in the future?
"Yes, of course. I think I've got 20 more years of fertility in me, and that means I should be able to bring 20 more kids to 20 more childless couples. That can only be a good thing."