Stories From Surrogate Mothers: Part 3

Would you carry a stranger’s baby? How about your sister’s? Over the last few years, surrogacy has entered our pop culture zeitgeist, with stars like Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker using surrogates to complete their families. But surrogacy remains one of the least talked about tools in the fight against infertility. Why do surrogates do what they do? What do they get out of it? And how hard is it to give a child to its parents after having it in your womb for 9 months? Here are five women’s stories about their experience with surrogacy.


Kymberli BarneyThe hardest part was shouldering the burden of infertility.” – Kymberli Barney, 33, Hinesville, Georgia, married with girl/boy twins, 10, an 8-year-old boy and a 4-year-old daughter

My husband and I initially had trouble conceiving. Once the problem was figured out I got pregnant easily – and surrogacy was a way of paying it forward because as far as infertility we got off easy. Even as a child, I was fascinated by childbirth and thought about being an obstetrician. I always wanted to be pregnant, and it hurt when it didn’t come easily for me.

When I delivered the baby by surrogate [in 2007], that was magical. But it wasn’t just one moment. There was the first time my intended mom put her hand on my belly and felt her son move and that look in her eyes. And then the moment of the delivery, when the intended father laid eyes on his son for the first time. I felt like I had really done something that mattered for someone else.

Since then I have been actively involved and matched four times, but it never worked out again. We’ve had several cycles with both couples that resulted in miscarriages due to poor egg quality. By last August I was physically and mentally exhausted, so I decided to “retire,” and I’m there now to help others. The hardest part for me was shouldering a lot of the burden of infertility for the sake of the parent. You have to consider what they’ve already been through and how it has affected them. I appreciated the fact that they entrusted me to have their children. It is hard when it doesn’t work. I was able to compartmentalize my feelings very well, yet every time there was an early miscarriage or a failed transfer I felt sad – but not for myself. Sure, the process is happening to my body but having to watch my friends take in another dose of bad news was what really hurt.


Come back again to read the next surrogate mother story from Kelly Rummelhart.

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