Kim Kardashian wants to set people straight. Having a baby by surrogate is not the easy way to do it. In fact, despite two difficult pregnancies, Kardashian says having her third child via surrogacy is “so much harder”.
“You know, it is really different,” Kardashian told Entertainment Tonight. “Anyone that says or thinks it is just the easy way out is just completely wrong. I think it is so much harder to go through it this way, because you are not really in control.
“And, you know, obviously you pick someone that you completely trust and that you have a good bond and relationship with, but it is still… knowing that I was able to carry my first two babies and not my baby now, it’s hard for me.”
Kardashian says she “hated” being pregnant and thought surrogacy was going to be easy.
“But you know, even in how much I hated it, if I could do it myself I would have preferred that. So, that inner struggle is kind of hard, but I am just rolling with it and it is what it is.”
There are some who have scoffed at Kardashian’s statements that surrogacy is harder than being pregnant. Certainly, for her, it’s a big call, considering how traumatic her two pregnancies were.
She was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy with her daughter North, who is now four. At 34 weeks, she had to be induced. Following the birth, she was diagnosed with placenta accreta, a life-threatening condition where part of the placenta becomes embedded in the uterus.
“My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails,” she wrote in a post. “How disgusting and painful!!!”
LISTEN: Shannon Garner on what it feels like being a surrogate mother, and that moment after birth. Post continues after audio.
Kardashian went through similar issues with her son Saint, now one. Doctors told her it wouldn’t be safe for her to give birth again. She underwent a surgical procedure, to give herself a chance of carrying another child, but it wasn’t successful.
“Kanye was really nervous about the surgery… but I know he would want to have more kids,” she said earlier this year. “I feel like surrogacy is the only option for me.”
According to TMZ, Kardashian and husband Kanye West have hired their surrogate through an agency. They are reportedly paying her $US45,000 in monthly instalments.
Kardashian has just shared that the baby the surrogate is carrying for her is a girl.
In Australia, commercial surrogacy is illegal, but “altruistic” surrogacy is allowed. That means the woman carrying the baby is only supposed to be paid the money that would cover her expenses, not more.
The ABC reported earlier this year that surrogacy in Australia was experiencing a “quiet boom”, after countries such as Cambodia clamped down on foreigners paying women to carry their babies.
The president of Surrogacy Australia, Robert Reith, agrees with Kardashian that having a baby via surrogate is not the easy way out, and can be harder than being pregnant.
“I think those feelings would be felt by most intending parents,” he tells Mamamia. “There’s no valid excuse for people to be having a go at her.”
He says many couples in Australia who turn to surrogacy have been trying for years to have a baby themselves.
“To have to relinquish that control is a huge emotional burden to get over,” he adds.
“My wife and I just had our first baby via surrogacy in January and in our experience there were 10 years of a lot of emotional, financial pain. To relinquish it, for many women, there’s a sense of failure and a sense of ‘my body’s let me down’, which is a pretty hard emotional thing to get over.”
LISTEN: Shannon Garner. The woman who will let you borrow her uterus. Post continues after audio.
As Kardashian says, being able to trust the woman carrying your baby is vitally important.
“To give someone the ultimate responsibility of carrying your baby, it’s a really tough thing to do, because everyone has their own ways of looking after themselves,” Reith explains. “Even the small things can be magnified. Have they taken the right vitamins? It can be as silly as if one person drinks a lot of soft drink. It’s just being out of your control and not the way you would do it, if you were carrying a baby yourself.”
Meanwhile, Kardashian has also come under attack for supposedly not inviting the surrogate to her lavish, star-studded baby shower held last weekend. But Reith says the amount of contact the surrogate has with the intending parents is something that’s discussed at length before the surrogacy arrangements are finalised.
“Some people don’t want anything to do with the surrogate, and some surrogates don’t want anything to do with the intending parents,” he explains. “So in that sense it really is a personal choice.”