• Wed, Jan 8 - 3:00 pm ET

I’d Never Be A Good Surrogate Because I Hated Being Pregnant

pregnant

The moment I popped out my second child, I was over-the-moon elated, even before they put that slimy newborn on my chest. Yes, I was really happy to be a mom for the second time, but in a sense, I was even happier to never push something giant out of my lady hole again. What a feeling.

Seriously, I really wasn’t a fan of being pregnant. I’m pretty sure every person in my life knew it too because I always gave them the evil side-eye when they asked the dreaded question, “How are you FEELING?”

I blamed my ragey lady hormones for that one, as much as I could get away with it. I just really didn’t like sharing my body for nine months, and I also didn’t like the anticipation of when my little bundle of joy was going to make his grand appearance. Okay, okay, I’m kind of anal, and I don’t like surprises. So sue me.

As an aside, I know that these kinds of bitchfests are really annoying for women that have difficulty conceiving or are struggling with infertility. For that, I’m truly sorry. But on the other side of the coin, I know there are still plenty of women like myself that were happy to get the “jail sentence” of pregnancy over with and move on to the good stuff—BABIES AND TODDLERS, OH MY!

Just recently, a friend of mine on Facebook shared that she would be starting the surrogacy journey. No, she wasn’t in need of a surrogate; she already has two healthy kids. She is a stay-at-home mom that decided to offer her oven up to another couple in need, and I think that is absolutely amazing. I could never do it myself, but I admire someone who could.

So far, this friend has been documenting her surrogacy experience through her personal blog and on Facebook. So far, surrogacy seems even more complicated and heart wrenching than your average pregnancy. She’s had to fly out for a number of specialty doctor’s visits and to meet the prospective parents. She had one experience where the pregnancy didn’t take, and she was heartbroken. I would have been too.

But just a few weeks ago, she got the wonderful news that all of this surrogacy business finally worked out in her favor. She’s pregnant with another couple’s baby, and she has nine months to go before she delivers the goods.

Maybe if I wasn’t such a douchebag, I’d consider the idea of surrogacy. I kid, but really—I don’t think I’d ever be cut out for such a job. First things first, I wasn’t very strict with my personal rules during pregnancy. I drank wine and caffeine moderately, and I also had sushi whenever I wanted.

I don’t know the specific guidelines laid out in a surrogacy contract, but I would assume that if a biological mother wouldn’t drink coffee or wine herself while pregnant, then she probably wouldn’t want her surrogate doing it either.

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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  • NicknamesAreDull

    I couldn’t be a surrogate because I feel like you have to be stricter with yourself. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I ate healthy but I also indulged in unhealthy food and things that were on my list of things to avoid. I ate raw cookie dough because it was my baby and it was a risk I was willing to take. I’m not sure I could say the same about a baby that’s just renting.

  • LadyClodia

    I wouldn’t really want to be a surrogate, but I have thought about it. My brother and his wife are having some serious fertility issues, and if we were able to get all of the logistics worked out then I would probably do it for them. It’s not something they’ve asked, though, and it seems like it would be out of line to volunteer while they’re still trying.

    • Bethany Ramos

      It seems so different if it’s for someone you know, in a good way. But maybe that could cause more fights? Or maybe I’ve been watching too much TV…

    • LadyClodia

      Yeah, it could cause problems. My brother is the type of guy that he would blame me if there was something wrong, even if he was only “joking.” His wife is really nice, though, and it sucks that she has to go through all of this.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    I offered surrogacy to my gay friends and truly meant it. Then I got pregnant and experienced heartburn from 6 weeks on. Then a cough at 14 weeks that never went away. Then acid reflux in my third trimester that had me vomiting up meals if I coughed (see above) and I had to sleep at a 90 angle for the last two months.

    I revoked my offer, my friends (having witnessed my misery) fully understood and I will never be pregnant again. It blows.

    I’m in awe of women who love it. Their bodies must be kinder than mine. Or they have stronger constitutions.

  • Snarktopus

    NOPE! Nopenopenopenopenopenope. Even if I was good candidate for surrogacy (I’m not: diabetes, what what!?) I don’t think I could do it. I hated being pregnant, and I didn’t even have symptoms that were terrible or unusual. I mean, I’m going to be doing it again, hopefully soon, because the baby made it all worthwhile, but I just couldn’t put up with it without the reward of the baby.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      High-five, fellow Diabetes Club member! Pass the sugar-free candies!

      Seriously, though, that’s pretty high on my list of reasons not to have kids of my own or anyone else’s. My blood sugar is hard enough to control as is, and the chances of having a diabetic child if it were mine…considering I find the thought of a raising completely healthy child to be more than I could handle, I’m right next to you on the Nope! train.

    • Snarktopus

      According to my doctors, it tends to skip a generation. Even so, it’s a BITCH to control blood sugars, so, yeah. I want more kids, so I’m gonna try, but it’s not something I would deal with without the promise of a child. :/

  • Elly

    If I was healthier I’d do it in a heartbeat. I loved being pregnant with my kids, I miss it to this day. Sadly I am probably looking at getting a hysterectomy sometime in the near future which I dred.

    But yeah, I loved being pregnant, loved the birthing experience, and would love to help a family out if I was able. :(

  • SusannahJoy

    I HATED being pregnant too. I was too sick to eat for the first 4-5 months, although I rarely puked. I was still able to be active right up to the end. I did get pretty bad heartburn, but that was about it. So when I tell people that I hated it, they don’t understand. It wasn’t the side effects that I hated. I hated that my body wasn’t my own. The lack of autonomy really freaked me out. And for some reason it never occurred to me that since I was planning on breastfeeding, I wouldn’t get that back after delivery. I just really miss feeling like I’m only one person. Only me.

    My sister, on the other hand, is currently being a surrogate for her friend, even after the first seriously disastrous (like bleeding so much from a miscarriage that she had to have several blood transfusions kind of disastrous), and seems to be enjoying it.

    • MerlePerle

      I remember going for my first run post baby and I was just so excited to have my body back to myself!

    • NicknamesAreDull

      My first run post baby was amazing. I ran an extra mile because I was so happy to not be pregnant.

    • Bethany Ramos

      So I have to ask, if you don’t mind sharing, did your sister do the whole shebang with contracts and everything as a surrogate? I saw another friendly surrogate situation that didn’t seem to go so well, but I don’t think the people used an agency.

  • MerlePerle

    Oh god, being pregnant was the worst. With both pregnancies I landed in the hospital 4 times because I was vomitting for days on end and it was getting dangerous for the babies. I also got really fat…but that was my fault because I ate a lot more than could ever be considered normal!

  • elle

    Eh, maybe I’m in the minority but even if your friend did do it just for the money I don’t really see the problem with that, actually from the way that paragraph is worded I’m not clear on if you have a problem with them being paid or not care to clarify (hope that didn’t sound snarky, I’m genuinely curious). Being pregnant is hard, I think if I were pregnant with someone else’s baby I would work much harder to keep in shape/eat better/ just do everything perfect, and at 40 weeks it is about this close to having a job for a year. I’m luckily in a very financially secure place but if I was still young enough and needed money I would definitely look into being a surrogate.

    • Bethany Ramos

      No, I don’t have a problem with them being paid at all. I was just trying not to sound like I was trashing my friend because she was paid for it. Of course, it takes a huge toll on you, and you should be compensated. I just wouldn’t do it!

    • elle

      Thanks for the clarification!

  • Andy

    I don’t think I could be a surrogate. The fact that I don’t like being pregnant aside (pregnancy was rough on me both times-I’m barely 5 feet tall, so there’s just no room for a baby to really grow), I went into labor early with both kids-37 weeks for my daughter, and 36 weeks with my son (he wound up needing almost two weeks in NICU before he could come home). I’d feel so guilty if I went even earlier with a baby that isn’t even mine-the guilt when I went into early labor with my son was bad enough.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ohladyjayne allisonjayne

    I actually enjoyed being pregnant, but I don’t think I could do it. Technically, I was a surrogate for my kid, depending on which version of our fertility clinic paperwork you’re looking at (some of it named me the surrogate, some of it named my wife as the egg donor. reciprocal IVF is WEIRD guys), so I do know the whole rigmarole involved in getting knocked up that way (estrogen pills that gave me nausea, and 12 weeks of daily injections of progesterone in my ass) and while it was certainly worth it for my own kid, it wasn’t awesome.

    But yeah, it’d be the handing over the baby thing that would be so emotionally hard for me. When I was like, 20, I told my sister I’d be her surrogate if she needed me when she was having some challenges, and I still would if she asked. There are some people I would do it for I think, but that is a very short list. But man. I don’t know. It’d be so hard.

    • elle

      Just thinking about it I actually think it would be easier to do for a stranger. It would definitely be more rewarding to do it for a sibling but having to see the baby all the time (ok my family Is ons of those super close families and we all live in the same area) would just be so hard I think. But with a stranger I think once you got off the initial pain you wouldn’t have to be reminded of it all the time.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Yeah, that makes sense to me!

  • Momma425

    I hated, HATED being pregnant- I was like the worst grouch EVER.
    But that is not the reason I wouldn’t surrgoate. I wouldn’t do it for someone else because:
    My first baby was born still, and I had a miscarriage after my daughter was born. If I were to get pregnant again, it would be considered high risk. As painful as it was to lose pregnancies of my own, I don’t think I would be able to handle the pain of losing yet ANOTHER pregnancy, and have it be someone else’s baby.

  • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

    I really enjoyed my first pregnancy. My second. Gah. Hated it. Maybe it’s because I was pregnant for 42 weeks. Too much of a good thing…

  • aCongaLine

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of being pregnant… but it was more tolerable than the postpartum period. I suffered righteous PPD with both pregnancies, and it was SUCKSVILLE.

    I’d totally do it, as I am pretty good at being pregnant, and am very healthy- I just selfishly can’t handle the after effects of birth again, without having a tiny human to snuggle with. I offered to be the surrogate for my best friend, who I love so dearly, who was struggling with infertility… and danced a jig when she told me she was PG and didn’t need my oven after all. She’s the only one I’d do it for.

    My Hubby suggested it once when we were saving for our house, and he was promptly couched. Hells no, Sucksville. Hells no.

    • Mel

      I don’t think it’s selfish AT ALL not to want to do it, either for your own family or someone else’s. Renting out your body is not something anyone should be obligated to do!

  • ElleJai

    In my country you don’t get paid to be a surrogate (nor can you advertise for one).

    For my best friend, or my close gay cousin, I’d be willing to put myself through the misery again, but I couldn’t do it for a stranger.

    18 months post birth and I’m still sick. I’m not willing to throw my health away for just anyone! And I’m not using my eggs either. Gestational carrier and awesome aunty status at the end or no go.

    • Bethany Ramos

      Yeah, my pp hormones are STILL out of whack and make me angry/weepy. I heard it takes at least a year to get back to normal. Yet another “no vote” for surrogacy for me. :)

  • C.J.

    I hated being pregnant. I had morning, afternoon, evening and middle of the night sickness the whole time for both my pregnancies. Even if I didn’t hate being pregnant I don’t think I could do it. I think it takes a special kind of person to be a surrogate. I have the utmost respect for anyone who can do that for other people.

  • Kheldarson

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who hated being pregnant. Mine got to the point that my mom wanted me to get psychiatric help because I “wasn’t bonding with my child”! And I’m thinking “what child? It’s a little parasite who’s making me want to sleep all the freaking time!”

    Yeah…I wasn’t a happy pregnant person.

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  • Kelly

    I couldn’t even carry the number of children I wanted for myself, there’s no way I’d try to do it for anybody else. I’ve never felt selfish about it either.

  • Jo

    Hahahahaha I love this!!!! “Maybe if I wasn’t such a douche bag…” Lol I’m SO with you!! It baffles me when all of my hippie friends talk about how much they love pregnancy.

  • VLDBurnett

    I don’t have kids and I just had a hysterectomy, so it’s only possible for me to be on the receiving end of surrogacy. While I don’t see children in my future, I’ve been thinking about surrogacy a lot (abstractly) these days because my doctor left an ovary (mostly so I never have HRT) and he mentioned that this was a possibility. And… surrogacy kind of makes me uncomfortable and I don’t think that I could have a surrogate have a child for me. Not because I’m afraid they would want to keep the child, but because I know if they did I would be like “Well, I guess you did just carry hir for nine months and go through labor, what claim do I have?” because, personally, I really can’t see how the fact that I put down a sum of money entitles me to the child. And, in this hypothetical situation, I would feel like such a jerk asking for my money back, because they just had a baby and babies are expensive. I guess what I’m saying is that if I were in that situation, I would feel like the surrogate had a stronger claim to the child than I did. This is not a condemnation of surrogacy overall, because I do believe that it can work if everyone is committed, and I would never tell a mom-to-be who used the services of a surrogate that they don’t have any claim to their child, obviously, I just know that when I put myself in that hypothetical situation, that is how I would feel as a person using the services of a surrogate.

    Plus, if you remember, the Romneys made the news because they had a clause in the surrogacy contract that they could make the surrogate have an abortion if the fetus had health issues, which bothers me. Plus I wonder if the reverse is true: If the fetus had health issues and would likely die shortly after birth and the future parents were radically opposed to abortion, could they force the surrogate to stay pregnant? If the pregnancy puts the surrogates life in danger, does the surrogate have to stay pregnant if the family says so? And then, if there is a miscarriage or a stillbirth, could the surrogate be responsible for the money they’ve received? And those situations its often possible that the grieving family might be looking for someone to blame. I think what it comes down to, as you’ve suggested when you talk about how the surrogate of someone who would not drink or consume caffeine during their pregnancy probably shouldn’t do those things as surrogate, is that because the surrogate is pregnant with someone else’s child, it’s giving over some control of your body to someone else, and I’m just not sure I’m comfortable with that. We talked about this in one of my philosophy classes in college and people said some awfully dehumanizing things like “she’s just an incubator” and it made me really uncomfortable.

    Let me be clear that I”m not judging people who use surrogacy. These are just the reasons why I personally could never use the services of surrogacy. I also think that some of these things are problems in the way surrogacy is actually executed and might be rectified with a contract. However, I don’t know that most people would sign a contract that gave the surrogate rights to end the pregnancy if her health was in turmoil, so I don’t know that problem is easily rectified.

    • Bethany Ramos

      There was an episode of The Good Wife about this!!

  • RW

    EVERY BIT OF THIS ARTICLE I AGREE WITH. The moment I saw the positive symbol on my pregnancy test my heart leapt for joy and I nearly screamed out loud “9 months and I will NEVER HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN!!! The end is in sight!!!”

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