A labour of love Af­ter three kids of her own, this mum gave birth twice more... and gave the ba­bies back

Central and North Burnett Times - - READ - BY Alexia Pur­cell

HOW could you give the baby away? Be­com­ing preg­nant, life blos­som­ing in­side you, hearts beat­ing to­gether, grow­ing big­ger – to­gether. “Easy,” sur­ro­gate Melissa Hol­man said.

“I’m not giv­ing the baby away. It was al­ways hers (the in­tended mother). I am just giv­ing it back.”

This re­mark­able Queens­land mum has been a sur­ro­gate twice – mak­ing Mother’s Day pos­si­ble for two des­per­ate women.

Melissa said wit­ness­ing the love be­tween the moth­ers and new­borns was a defin­ing mo­ment in life.

“The baby is born. The mother is cut­ting the cord and then they wrap the baby up and give it to her,” she said.

“And I think: ‘wow, I got to be in­volved in this’.” Melissa said sur­ro­gacy was not like giv­ing up a baby. And, from her own ex­pe­ri­ence, it was not like adop­tion.

“From the be­gin­ning it is al­ways their baby,” she said. Melissa also said that as a sur­ro­gate her con­nec­tion was with the par­ents, not the child.

“You get to know these women as close friends,” she said. “You get to see their strength, re­silience and des­per­a­tion.” This is how Melissa first be­came a sur­ro­gate.

“When I first heard about sur­ro­gacy I thought I couldn’t do that and I didn’t con­sider it at all un­til a lady I was go­ing to be an egg donor for told me she’d found out she was preg­nant,” she said.

“She had al­ready had all these mis­car­riages and other health is­sues. We were so ex­cited.

“And then she lost the preg­nancy.

“Her whole world was fall­ing down and her re­silience and strength amazed me.

“And then she was told she could not carry a baby be­cause she could die.

“She needed a sur­ro­gate. I’d of­fered and sud­denly I was needed.”

Melissa said from there the first steps were le­gal ad­vice and coun­selling.

“Then I had to go through some checks with a doc­tor to make sure ev­ery­thing was med­i­cally okay,” she said.

Af­ter that they em­barked on the IVF. Melissa mis­car­ried twice.

“I was ex­hausted by then be­cause I’d been preg­nant for six months but had no baby to show for it,” she said.

“Emo­tion­ally it gave me a re­ally good case to be on the other side of the fence. It was emo­tion­ally hard.

“My friends would say to me ‘when is enough, enough?’ And I’d say ‘when I say it is enough’.

“But she was such a good friend I just had to keep try­ing. “So I said let’s try one of my eggs.”

Melissa fell preg­nant again. And it stuck.

“We saw an ob­ste­tri­cian by eight weeks and did the dat­ing scan. Then saw the ob­ste­tri­cian once a month,” she said.

Be­fore the birth the in­tended mother came and stayed with Melissa.

“She was there for the birth. She had been stay­ing with me for a few weeks,” Melissa said.

“We went in and had an in­duc­tion.

“It couldn’t have gone bet­ter.

“That night I went to bed and she took the baby and looked af­ter it. She’d come in and I’d ex­press milk.

“It never felt like I gave the baby over, it was al­ways her baby.”

In Jan­uary Melissa gave birth to an­other beau­ti­ful baby – this time a lit­tle boy – and hap­pily gave him over to his mother.

“He was per­fect – a scream­ing new­born mess, lifted off my stom­ach and put gen­tly into his mother’s lov­ing arms.

Melissa said although it was hard at times, be­ing a sur­ro­gate was one of the best things.

“Peo­ple say I must love be­ing preg­nant but I hate be­ing preg­nant,” she said.

“And it’s odd when that clucky sen­sa­tion sets in and you don’t have to do any­thing. But with huge risks comes huge re­wards.”

While she has no plans to be a sur­ro­gate again just yet, Melissa said “never say never”.

The 34-year-old is a mum to three: her 13-year-old and nine-year-old daugh­ters and nine-year-old step­son.

A nurse by trade, Melissa is study­ing to be­come a mid­wife. “I’ve al­ways been a huge ad­vo­cate for women’s health and if I can help put the ba­bies in there, I can help get them out,” she said.

“For me mid­wifery is a nat­u­ral fol­low on from nurs­ing and it has been a pas­sion for a while.”

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

One wo­man has given two other des­per­ate women a chance to be­come moth­ers af­ter she acted as their sur­ro­gate.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

◗ Tereasa Trevor, baby Nina, and Melissa Hol­man.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

◗ From left, in­tended moth­ers Kelly, Tereasa Trevor and sur­ro­gate Melissa Hol­man.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.