For a mom in Australia who has been a surrogate and has donated her eggs, helping others welcome children into their families has shown her the true strength of women.
Melissa Holman has been a surrogate twice, once using her eggs and once using the intended mother’s. She has also been an egg donor for 17 other babies, including four sets of twins. Holman told The Huffington Post that her surrogacy journey has been “both hard and extremely satisfying.”
“While supporting women through infertility, I am constantly amazed at the strength, resilience and determination of these women,” she said. “Most of all, their endless capacity to love and care for their sisterhood.”
In her post, Holman shared a photo that shows her holding a baby boy she had recently given birth to. This marked the second time she had been a surrogate.
“He was perfect ― a screaming newborn mess, lifted off my stomach and put gently into his Mother’s loving arms,” she wrote. “Those arms were not mine. She’s next to me in this picture.”
Holman, who has three kids of her own, wrote that while watching women experience problems with fertility and learning about their past miscarriages she also learned how tough these women who were once strangers could be.
“In all these women, donors, recipients, those who never conceived ... I found the meaning of strength,” she wrote. “Resilience. And love.”
Holman told HuffPost she originally wrote the post for International Women’s Day, but Hall, whom she described as “all about strong women,” shared it online about a week later.
“I hoped it would promote causes close to my heart, egg donation and surrogacy ― which is altruistic and has a shortage of donors and surrogates in Australia ― and might encourage a few to look into it,” she said. “It has. I’m really happy about that.”
When asked how her surrogacy and egg donation journey has changed her, Holman replied, “In more ways than I ever thought possible really.”
She had never known much about fertility problems until she learned that someone she worked with was having difficulty becoming pregnant. Later, as she began meeting similar women who were looking for donors and surrogates, she was moved by their stories.
“They fight really hard to have what I always took for granted,” Holman told HuffPost. “I admire and respect their strength and courage. I also love when women look out for each other. The sisterhood is a beautiful thing. For me, it’s taught me strength and gratitude for what I have.”
Though it hasn’t been easy (Holman had multiple miscarriages while being a surrogate), she said with confidence that her experience has been worth it and that she has no regrets. In her post, she wrote that she feels especially happy thinking about the milestones that these “fierce and bold and determined” women will experience as mothers.
“Now they’re mums who get a rainbow macaroni necklace on Mother’s Day just like I do,” she wrote.
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