Melonie, Administrative Assistant and surrogate, lives in Tasmania with her 5 year old daughter Poppi.
I became a surrogate because I really enjoyed being pregnant with my own child and selfishly, wanted to have another pregnancy but didn’t want another child myself! I have always felt like I could carry for another person and once I had Poppi and felt that immense joy of becoming a parent, I knew I wanted to help another person experience it. On a grander scale, I wanted to “pay it forward” to the world. My brother and I are both adopted (which I think is pretty special!) so have always known that families are made up in many different ways and how magical that can be. My parents have always been very open about our adoption and their inability to have children and that a wonderful lady gave them the gift of 2 children. So I wanted to do that for other people.
The best thing about my surrogacy journey was having my friends become family and watching them fall in love with their gorgeous baby boy.
The most challenging part of my surrogacy journey was the guilt. The guilt on so many levels. Being sick and not being able to be the parent to Poppi I wanted to be during that time. Knowing that she and my parents were also sacrificing themselves while I fulfilled a selfish need to be a surrogate. Costing my Baby Daddies even more money as I had to finish work at 29 weeks due to illness. Having them live in Sydney and being pregnant as a surrogate in Tasmania was tricky at times.
Also having people in my own family voicing strong opinions and asking harsh questions about my choice to be a surrogate – absolutely baffling considering we come from a family filled with infertility and reproductive issues! You’d think they would be the ones to understand better than most.
I would be a surrogate again because the sacrifices, illness, sleepless nights, in hindsight, are all worth it. As a surrogate, we don’t just make people parents, you make people aunties, uncles, grandparents, brothers and sisters. I am also (hopefully!) teaching my own child that if you have the ability to help people who are struggling, then you should. Surrogacy is teaching her the values of kindness, acceptance and empathy.
My advice for a woman considering becoming a surrogate is not to rush into anything. While it sounds like a romantic and lovely idea to carry a child for someone, once it becomes real, it is VERY real and at times can be downright hard work. And just because your last pregnancy was easy, don’t ever assume your surrogacy one will be – trust me! Join support groups, sit back and read, research, listen, ask questions, learn from those who have walked the path before you. The Australian Surrogacy Community is a very welcoming, supportive group with a wealth of knowledge. Get to know people, make genuine connections……and strap yourself in!!
You can find Melonie at….Team DAMN Surrogacy on Facebook. Do not contact the surrogates who have shared their stories to ask them to be your surrogate.
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You can find out more information about surrogacy, including:
Sarah has published a book, More Than Just a Baby: A Guide to Surrogacy for Intended Parents and Surrogates, the only guide to surrogacy in Australia.
You can find more information in the free Surrogacy Handbook, reading articles in the Blog, by listening to more episodes of the Surrogacy Podcast.