“Australia’s oldest surrogate” has given birth at 54 to her first grandson after she carried for her daughter, born without a placenta.

At 17, Meagan White, from Lilydale, Tasmania, was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH), a disorder that meant she could never carry a child. 

She was 28 years old and has a nursing background. However, she worried that her dream to become a mother might never be realized after the tragic death of their baby girl. The child had been carried by a Canadian surrogate.

After much research Meagan’s mother Maree Arnold found out she was a surrogate and had her healthy grandson Winston via C-section in January 2013.

Australia’s oldest surrogate, aged 54, has given birth after she carried for her baby girl who was born with no uterus. 

At 17, Meagan White (right), from Lilydale, Tasmania, was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH), a disorder that meant she could never carry a child

At 17, Meagan White (right), from Lilydale, Tasmania, was diagnosed with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH), a disorder that meant she could never carry a child 

It was planned several months in advance and everything went according to plan. The group arrived at the hospital at 7:45 am and Winston was already there by 9am. 

“It was and still is a true dream. It was love at first glance when we saw him. Meagan shared that “He has filled out our hearts in a manner we never thought possible.” 

“We were both there for the birth. Our doctor was amazing, knowledgeable, and calm. We were not nervous, but excited.

Maree is a grandmother-of-five who also works on her farm. She said that the birth was perfect and was delighted to have her grandson.  

The C-section was planned months ahead and the birth went entirely to plan; the group arrived at hospital at 7am and by 9am they had little Winston in their arms

It was planned for months in advance and everything went according to plan. The group arrived at the hospital at 7:45 am and Winston was already there by 9:15.

I always assumed I would be too old to do such a thing, but this just shows that you need to always ask questions. This is a very special experience and it’s a great opportunity to assist my daughter. 

Maree was already in menopause. She received medications that reversed the cycle and thickened her uterus lining, to help prepare for pregnancy. 

Meagan and Maree both felt a little defeated after three unsuccessful embryo transfers and believed that the process might not work.

The fourth transfer, however, was a great success. 

Maree stated, “I knew that this was my older pregnancy and that I got a lot more tired than I did when I was first pregnant 22 years ago.”

“But I was still out and about, mowing the lawns and all that stuff around the house. I felt great. It’s over now, and I feel relieved that everything went smoothly. I am also amazed at the little person we made.

'I know that I was obviously older with this pregnancy, and I did get a bit more tired than when I was last pregnant 22 years ago,' Maree said

Maree stated, “I knew that this was my older pregnancy and I got a lot more tired than I was when I was last pregnant 22 years ago.”

“My first cuddle was a very special experience that I’ll never forget.”

Maree shared that Winston, their little boy, is all they can ask for. Maree loves watching Meagan with her husband Clyde and she says Winston makes them happy.   

“I only hope that others will be inspired by our experience. I’d do it all over again. 

Meagan was aware of something that wasn’t quite right when she started her period years ago, and all other girls had it. 

‘Mum took me to the doctor, and we discovered that I had MRKH. This means that I was not born with a uterus, and would therefore never get a period.’ She said.

'I just hope our story will encourage someone else to take the same journey as we did - I would definitely do it all again,' Maree said

Maree shared, “I only hope our story encourages someone else to go on the same journey we did. I would certainly do it all over again.”

It also meant that I would never be able to carry a child. However, I do have functioning ovaries and could still have my biological child through a surrogate.

It was a teenage thing for me at that time so I didn’t really think much about it. After meeting Clayde (my now husband), in 2015 I realized that I was ready to have a family, and I want to be a mom.

The pair looked into surrogacy and found a volunteer overseas in Canada through an agency named Allison in January 2019.

We got to know her for nine months online, and then flew to Australia in September 2019 in order to meet her in person. We tried the first transfer, which was unsuccessful, shortly after we returned to Australia. However, the second one succeeded and Allison became pregnant in December 2019. 

Mum and daughter both agreed that this experience has made them closer than ever

'Mum and I are so close; we talk every day. I can't even put it into words how grateful I am for her,' Meagan said

Mother and daughter agree that the experience brought them closer together than they ever thought possible

“Our baby girl was not able to develop kidneys, and she would soon die,” said Dr. Sullivan in March 2020.

“Everyone was devastated, and I felt the need to give up.” The pandemic erupted, and overseas travel became prohibited. Everything felt impossible.

Maree stated that she was devastated by the loss of her child, but she never thought she’d be able to volunteer as a surrogate. She believed that she’d be too old to have a child. Thankfully this wasn’t true. 

Maree may be Australia’s oldest surrogate. Antonietta di Maggio from Sydney made headlines in 2015 when she gave birth to her grandson, Claudia Luca, at 53. 

Both mum and daughter agreed this has brought them closer than ever.

‘Mum is so dear to me; we talk everyday. Meagan shared that she cannot express how grateful she is for her.

“Our love is special. This is the only person I would rather share this experience with.