Tess’s journey to motherhood couldn’t have been further from how she expected. After a beautiful pregnancy, the traumatic birth of her first born ended with a hysterectomy, in order to save her life. Welcoming her beautiful daughter Indi earth side was shadowed by grief from the inability to carry future children. An experience which has undoubtedly made her a more formidable mother. It is our privilege to introduce Tess, as she candidly shares her journey of surrogacy, the joys (and struggles) of welcoming their son Ziggy to the family, and how she is guided by the selfless, unwavering love and support from her own mother.
Tell us about THAT moment, when Ziggy was earth side and in your arms.
It was so incredibly amazing, and hard to put into words. We’d been wishing and waiting for him for over 2 years, and to finally have him with us and in our arms was quite surreal. The moment Rebecca pulled him out of the water and he took that first breath, it felt like I could finally breath again after holding my breath for so long, like I took that first breath again with him. He was here, he was safe, he was ours. It was hard to believe! But at the same time it felt so natural and right. We just melted into our own little family love bubble.
When Indi met Ziggy? How has she taken to her role as big sister?
Indi was gunning for a girl, so we had decided not to tell her his gender before she met him, thinking that she’d just love him when she met him (even though she was dead set on a girl). My sister actually let it slip to her before Indi met Ziggy, so she had a bit of a meltdown, but that actually worked out really well as by the time she met Ziggy that was all out of her system and she was just so excited to meet him and smother him in love and kisses. She even said “I’m so lucky” and my heart melted into a big giant puddle.
She’s the most adoring, loving, caring (if somewhat aggressively sometimes) big sister and has taken the huge change in her life in her stride. There has definitely been an adjustment period for us all, including her. She’s only wished him away twice so we think that’s a win!
Tell us about your mum. What you’ve learned from her, and the key values you hope you pass on to your children.
My mum is my best friend. We are extremely close, we have been through a lot together, and if we don’t see each other (which we do most days) we talk multiple times a day. Her love and support for me has never wavered, no matter how much I’ve tested her (hello teenage Tess). This is something that has made me feel so secure and loved throughout the years, knowing she always has my back, and I know I will pass this onto my children so they know they can trust in my love and support for them, knowing i’ll be there and love them through anything and everything without judgement. She was a nurse for over 50 years, so is a carer by nature and is so generous with her time and love for others. Nothing is ever too hard or too much of a bother. She does everything with so much love and selflessness, something that I am continually working on as it is such a beautiful trait and I see how much people adore and admire her for it. Her love for her family is unconditional and never ending. I love seeing her love my kids, and feel so honoured and lucky to be raising them alongside her and Dan, she is pretty much their third parent, and the epitome of a GRAND-parent.
AND, from Tess' mum Paddy....
What does motherhood mean to you, how has that changed since becoming a grandma?
Motherhood has been the most rewarding and deeply influential event in my life, and changed me in so many beautiful ways. Falling in love with my 3 daughters at their birth, and then seeing them grow into amazing, stunning, responsible, loving women and then parents is magical. Motherhood grows your heart and fills you with love and the joy you share is beyond words. And then becoming a grandmother, you think you couldn’t love again at that depth, but you do. And it is now even deeper and more meaningful because you see your child being the most amazing parent and your relationship deepens and widens and expands. And the joy of being a Nannan fills my heart up. You are filled with such pride in your grandchildren and the unconditional love you share is so special.
Motherhood has absolutely been my greatest achievement.
The thing you admire most about Tess
How can I pick one? I love Tess’s creativity as a mother. By 10am some mornings she has made play dough with Indi, baked bliss balls, painted pictures , along with singing and dancing and having the best fun. Her capacity to laugh and play and be silly and enjoy Indi, and now Ziggy, with total joy is so precious and magical. I love the fact that she does her market research on all aspects of motherhood and then puts that into practice with the most consideration and care and love possible, and this shows in how happy and bright and joyous her children are. I so admire Tess’s bravery through all the heartache from Indi’s birth, and dealing with the challenge of having another baby via surrogacy. I am just so proud of her, and to be her mother.
Stay in touch with Tess HERE
Tess wears Big Sis Tilly, a compact crossbody to stash her essentials while keeping her hands free for more important things. Tess gifted her mum a Frankie handbag. One of our most coveted styles due to its intuitive functionality and ability to seamlessly transitions from work to weekend.
Spoil them with Saben or treat yourself. Its only the hardest, most rewarding job in the world.