Most mothers-to-be get so fed up and tired by the end of their pregnancy, a common thought is: "Get it out of me!". But surrogate mother Tara Sawyer finds the process so easy, she finds it addictive.
The 37-year-old has given birth to seven children, four of whom are her own, and is at her happiest with a bulging baby bump.
When she isn’t expecting, Tara feels empty and broods for a pregnancy – but not for a baby.
In the past two years, Tara has handed over three children to two couples, and has no plans to stop having babies for other people.
And despite surrogacy laws stating that she is entitled to £15,000 in expenses, Tara is content purely with the “thrill” and refuses to take any payment.
“Surrogacy is very addictive,” said Tara. “It’s a huge rush from the moment the test comes back positive. It’s an amazing feeling to hand over a child to someone who desperately wants it, and I feel at my best whilst pregnant.”
Tara started planning her next pregnancy just weeks after giving birth to twin boys in January, and hopes to be pregnant again by the end of the year.
Shockingly, the first surrogate baby that she gave birth to two years ago was biologically her daughter, but Tara didn’t feel any maternal love for the infant.
Tara said: “I don’t feel like I’m giving up a baby, I feel like I’m giving it back. I don’t feel sad handing over a child that was never mine to keep.”
Tara started craving pregnancy when her twin boys Jack and Noah, now four, were still newborns.
Tara had given birth to the boys at just 29 weeks by caesarean section after they developed Twin to Twin transfusion syndrome, where the placenta is shared unequally by the babies.
She said: “I felt really deprived of the pregnancy. I didn’t want anymore children but I was desperately craving the pregnancy.”
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Tara, who was adopted as a child, had previously considered surrogacy to give parents like hers the opportunity to have a family.
“Surrogacy seemed like the perfect solution,” said Tara. “I would get my pregnancy and a couple would get their baby.”
Surprisingly, Tara’s husband, Matt Sawyer, 37, a truck driver, was supportive of her decision to carry strangers’ children.
"He didn't take a lot of convincing,” said Tara. “He knew I was feeling broody for the pregnancy and he knew that there was a hole that I needed to fill.
"He was more concerned about whether I'd be able to hand over the baby at the end but he was behind me 100%."
With Matt’s support, Tara logged onto Facebook and started scouring surrogacy pages. Within a few weeks she had met a gay couple that were desperate for help having a child.
Tara, who is also mum to Rebecca, 14, and Harrison, 12, donated her own egg to the couple and artificially inseminated herself at her home in Wimblington, Cambridgeshire, using a plastic pipette.
Tara said: “From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was totally hooked – it was such a rush. It was an amazing experience from start to finish.
“When the baby was born there was no rush of love like when I had my other children. But handing her over to her dads was a feeling like no other.”
Tara isn’t worried about the effects of pregnancy on her body, and says she is in better shape now than she was in her twenties.
“I feel at my best physically when I’m pregnant,” said Tara. “I take vitamins, go swimming, do yoga and eat healthily. I hadn’t made as much effort with my own pregnancies but the responsibility was bigger with someone else’s child.
“I love having a bump and people cooing over the precious little gift inside. I don’t even get stretch marks – it’s like I was made to have babies.”
Within days of giving birth, however, Tara was missing being pregnant.
She said: “My husband was worried about me at first but it wasn’t the baby I was missing – it was the bump.”
And when Tara suggested another surrogacy a few months after, Matt was once again willing to support his wife. Again Tara logged onto Facebook and met a couple who were unable to carry children full term.
On January 4 this year, she gave birth to twin boys for the couple, but she has no plans to stop yet.
Tara said: “I’ve been talking to another gay couple and I hope to be pregnant for them by the end of the year. I know that when they are older the children will want answers, especially my biological daughter.
“We’ve all decided that being open is the best approach and I’ll answer any questions they might have – but I’ll be clear that I’m not their mum.
“When I’m not pregnant I feel empty and only a baby can fill that void. I’m addicted to the buzz of pregnancy and if I can help childless couples at the same time it would be insane not to.
“I won’t stop until my womb falls out.”