6.7 million women in the U.S. are struggling with infertility, and one option available to some of them is to have a surrogate carry their children. Around 5,000 American children were born to surrogates between 2004 and 2008, the Modern Family Surrogacy Center estimates, and surrogates give birth to nine children in each state every year. Mel Holman is responsible for two of these kids — and for 18 children born from donated eggs.
In a viral Facebook post on Constance Hall's page, Holman opens up about why she decided to carry other women's babies, what it's like, and what she's learned from it, Scary Mommy reports.
"I fell pregnant with my children easily," she explained. "It never occurred to me that it might not be so easy for everyone. 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."
That's when she started donating eggs and acting as a surrogate — experiences that made her respect and admire women even more.
"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," she wrote. "I see the fear, the sadness, and yet the hope and excitement etched on their faces as we make plans — often after a long journey of multiple miscarriages and repeated IVF attempts. Their dreams of cuddling their child seemingly closer. Knowledge that joining a mother's group or doing the school run could soon be a part of their story."
Every pregnancy, including every surrogacy, is different, but many surrogates have found it to be a poignant experience. Patty Resecker in Arkansas is currently carrying a child for her son and daughter-in-law, who are excited about the special bond between their child and its grandmother. Another surrogate mom named Arin told Refinery29 in 2015, "I look at these babies and [know] they are a part of my life. I helped create them."
Soon-to-be parents who use a surrogate "are fierce and bold and determined to keep trying, even when they are scared and feel let down — over and over," Holman wrote. "For many, their perseverance paid off. Now they're Mums who get a rainbow macaroni necklace on Mother’s Day just like I do."