Then the midwife called. She told Kelley the ultrasound showed the baby had a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in her brain and serious heart defects. They couldn't see a stomach or a spleen.
The next ultrasound was three days away, and Kelley grew increasingly anxious with each passing day. By the time she walked into Hartford Hospital on February 16, 2012, she was 21 weeks pregnant and "absolutely terrified" of what the ultrasound would show and what the parents' reaction would be.
An emotional standoff
With the parents standing behind her, the ultrasound technician at the hospital put the wand on Kelley's stomach. The test confirmed her worst fears: It showed the baby did have a cleft lip and palate, a cyst in the brain, and a complex heart abnormality.
The doctors explained the baby would need several heart surgeries after she was born. She would likely survive the pregnancy, but had only about a 25% chance of having a "normal life," Kelley remembers the doctors saying.
In a letter to Kelley's midwife, Dr. Elisa Gianferrari, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Hartford Hospital, and Leslie Ciarleglio, a genetic counselor, described what happened next.
"Given the ultrasound findings, (the parents) feel that the interventions required to manage (the baby's medical problems) are overwhelming for an infant, and that it is a more humane option to consider pregnancy termination," they wrote.
"Ms. Kelley feels that all efforts should be made to 'give the baby a chance' and seems adamantly opposed to termination," they wrote.
The letter describes how the parents tried to convince Kelley to change her mind. Their three children were born prematurely, and two of them had to spend months in the hospital and still had medical problems. They wanted something better for this child.
"The (parents) feel strongly that they pursued surrogacy in order to minimize the risk of pain and suffering for their baby," Gianferrari and Ciarleglio wrote. They "explained their feelings in detail to Ms. Kelley in hopes of coming to an agreement."
The two sides were at a standoff. The doctor and the genetic counselor offered an amniocentesis in the hope that by analyzing the baby's genes, they could learn more about her condition. Kelley was amenable, they noted, but the parents "feel that the information gained from this testing would not influence their decision to consider pregnancy termination."
The atmosphere in the room became very tense, Kelley remembers. The parents were brought into the geneticist's office to give everyone some privacy.
After a while, Kelley was reunited with the parents.
"They were both visibly upset. The mother was crying," she remembers. "They said they didn't want to bring a baby into the world only for that child to suffer. ... They said I should try to be God-like and have mercy on the child and let her go."
"I told them that they had chosen me to carry and protect this child, and that was exactly what I was going to do," Kelley said. "I told them it wasn't their decision to play God."
Then she walked out of the room.
"I couldn't look at them anymore," she said.
$10,000 to have an abortion
The next day, according to medical records, the mother called Hartford Hospital to ask about different types of abortion. It was explained to her that they could induce birth (the baby wouldn't survive) or they could do a dilation and evacuation, in which case the pregnancy would be vacuumed out of the womb. The mother, after asking about whether the fetus would feel any pain, said she thought the second option was best.
She asked if the procedure had been scheduled. No, she was told. Only Kelley could do that.
The mother noted that the surrogacy agency was getting in touch with Kelley, and a few days later, Kelley received an e-mail from Rita Kron at Surrogacy International telling her that if she chose to have the baby, the couple wouldn't agree to be the baby's legal parents.
"You will be the only person who will be making decision about the child, should the child is born (sic)," Kron wrote.
CNN contacted Surrogacy International, and a woman who said her name was Rita answered the phone.
"You have to understand something -- there is a privacy that exists and that's the end of the story," she said and then hung up. Kron did not return CNN's e-mails.