Surrogate Mom: 'You Can Give the World to Someone'

ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Mar 2017
Hands making a heart over belly
Photo: iStock

Mel Holman may consider herself a mom of three, but she’s technically the biological mother of many more. Her eggs have facilitated 18 births and she’s served as a surrogate twice. She’s using her most recent surrogacy experience to share an important learning about women—moms, non-moms, donors, recipients—we are all the same.

“I fell pregnant with my children easily. It never occurred to me that it might not be so easy for everyone,” Holman, an Australian nurse and student midwife, writes on Facebook. “While working as a nurse, one day I came across a woman in tears. She was devastated after yet another round of failed IVF. All I wanted to do was fix it for her.”

Ultimately, Holman did fix it. She became a founder of Egg Donation Australia.

“I first donated my eggs to a woman who had been trying to conceive for 13 years. 18 children have now been born using my donated eggs,” shes says. “A few weeks ago I gave birth to a baby boy. He was perfect—a screaming newborn mess, lifted off my stomach and put gently into his mother’s loving arms. Those arms were not mine…I’m a surrogate, and he was the second baby I placed in another mother’s arms.”

Holman explains that womanhood is about so much more than motherhood. But for some, the two are instrinsically bound. And making motherhood a reality for these women has led her to a revelation:

“While supporting women through infertility, I am constantly amazed at the strength, resilience and determination of these women. Most of all, their endless capacity to love and care for their sisterhood. I now understand how similar we all are.

Holman continues: “They are fierce and bold and determined to keep trying, even when they are scared and feel let down—over and over. For many, their perseverance paid off. Now they’re mums who get a rainbow macaroni necklace on Mother’s Day just like I do.”

Sharing stories of women who cleared multiple hurdles to get to parenthood, from surrogacy and IVF to adoption, is one of the most gratifying things we do. And for Holman, being a part of that process is incredibly gratifying too.

“Maybe you can’t change the world,” she says. “But you can give the world to someone, and change their life.”

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