It goes without saying that pregnancies are some of the hardest experiences life can throw at any woman. So, you can imagine how high the difficulty ramps up when there’s complications involved.
Complications like marital spats and relationship problems, family culture and boundaries, personal illnesses and bodily complications, financial challenges, and heaps upon heaps of other hurdles.
Well, surrogacy is no different, if not one of the most challenging experiences to overcome in such a case. To put things into perspective, consider this bit of storytelling coming from Reddit’s Am I The A-Hole? Community, where a woman had her sister-in-law be her surrogate mother, and it was an emotional roller coaster right from the get go.
More Info: Reddit
Pregnancy is never easy, and there are many ways to make it even more difficult, so you can guess just how hard surrogacy might be for everyone involved
Image credits: Jason Bachman (not the actual photo)
The story goes that OP, throwaway Reddit user u/KindViolinist, has a history of cancer and subsequent treatment. She got better, but at the cost of having her uterus removed. She did manage to freeze some eggs, as per the advice of her oncologist. She knew she’d want to have kids down the road, and her husband felt the same way.
Some years later, when she started thinking about surrogacy, her sister-in-law Bethany volunteered to be the surrogate mother. She herself already had 3 kids, all smooth pregnancies, and was more than enthused—actually, the entire family was all for the idea.
A mother-to-be shared her struggles with her sister-in-law surrogate, detailing how she somehow ended up being “the jerk” and regretting choosing her
Image credits: KindViolinist
Well, unlike her previous pregnancies, this one has been a rough journey. She started experiencing normal pregnancy symptoms that she never used to, but everyone jumped in to help. They took care of the nieces and nephew, drove them to school and extracurriculars, prepared meals, all that so she could concentrate on her health.
That alone seemed alarming to OP, but then it became even more so. The surrogate started doing things OP found uncomfortable. Things like organizing a maternity photo shoot, which included the rest of the extended family. Things like posting about the pregnancy and surrogacy on social media. Things like referring to the baby as “her little nugget.”
The last straw was when she started insisting on a joint baby shower. Granted, it couldn’t have gone any other way other than having two mothers and a dad there, but OP felt like she should for once be at the center of attention and be celebrated as a mother. The sister-in-law, after all, has already experienced it multiple times, and OP didn’t feel like anybody acknowledged that it was her kid.
Having survived cancer, OP froze her eggs in the hopes of having kids one day, and it turned out her sister-in-law was more than happy to help her out as a surrogate
Image credits: KindViolinist
Image credits: John Lawlor (not the actual photo)
The husband, however, was of a different opinion, saying that his sister is taking on this huge sacrifice for them and thus they ought to be grateful in any case. But OP has a sense of impending doom—that the sister-in-law will continue butting into their family even after the birth, as she already has a lot of control, as it seems.
“I am already sensitive about not being able to carry my child, and watching her take this over the top has hurt me. Am I the [jerk] for feeling hurt and wanting my own baby shower?” concluded OP.
OP provided several large updates to the story as comments were piling in asking for more information. Information like other specifics the sister-in-law has done, like another conflict they had about the gender reveal party, not being able to have any privacy with the kid during its first several days after birth, and the question of breastfeeding.
However, it turned out to be hard on many levels as the sister-in-law has become controlling and possessive of the baby that isn’t even hers
She also explained that, on a legal level, everything is properly sorted, so she can rest assured that the baby will be handed over to her. However, the worry comes from the fact that the sister-in-law will continue to be in the picture by other means because she is still family. Hence, her doubts and regrets about picking the sister-in-law.
Given her extensive account on the matters, folks had many takes on it. Mostly, it was an NTA from the community. Many agreed that the surrogate should not have been so possessive and controlling about it. While it did feel understandable, it was in no way her baby and she should have respected that.
Following her original post, OP gave several updates and context in response to people’s questions and concerns
Image credits: Daniel Lobo (not the actual photo)
Others suggested therapy to work through all of their emotions and the state of things between the two mothers and the dad. And some suggested their own approach, which is to grin and bear it until the kid is born, and then leg it so as to solidify her blood bond with the kid and let “Aunty SIL” see her, but within reason.
However, there were those who opted for an ESH, which is “everyone sucks here”. They explained that OP should have been more forward with the sister-in-law when things were beginning to feel uncomfortable with everyone pushing for the surrogacy. She should have put her foot down then, if anything, because it seemed apparent that the sister-in-law was an unsuitable candidate because of her pushy behavior.
In the end, OP had a lot to think about as most said she had the right to feel how she did, but there were those who found fault in everyone involved
Some didn’t agree with OP’s view of attending the birth and staying at the hospital together with the surrogate—after all, the sister-in-law gets to decide who she wants to surround herself with during the very painful and vulnerable moment that is birth.
But, overall, OP was determined to not be the jerk, and people justified the way she feels… with certain things to work on, which OP seems to have considered in her updates. Whatever the case, the post got some modest attention on Reddit, but was reposted on several other websites.
You can read the detailed story and all of the comments on Reddit, but not without sharing your thoughts in the comment section below!
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