I think surrogacy is wonderful. I have read amazing stories of women's generosity, and been in awe of them. What a gift. But why would someone want to do it repeatedly? Surely being pregnant is a strain, an ordeal, a drain on your health?
This show followed Amanda, who decided to be a surrogate after having her own baby. Olga, who was to be the baby's new mum said 'what's the point in marriage if you aren't going to have children?' as if people without children are entirely pointless. Amanda had never been a surrogate before, so it was all a bit up in the air how it might pan out.
I can't imagine how it feels to have to put your trust in a woman to give up their baby. It must be hideous; what a delicate, fraught situation. I am so lucky in a way that I don't want children; no biological clock, no worrying about fertility, no worrying about finding the right man, the right house, or being a good role model. It is very easy for me.
Another surrogate, Jill, had been a surrogate to EIGHT. She just seemed to be addicted to the feeling of being pregnant. All of her babies were biologically hers, but she had never kept one! How weird that she didn't want children, but she loved being pregnant. Now she was 44 and still trying! Time to stop. But it gave her life a purpose. She'd spent 18 years being pregnant for other women and hadn't had sex since she was 20.
Tammy-Lynn was American (no shit, with that name) and on her 6th and 7th babies (twins) for an English couple she didn't actually like. What must her husband think? I felt sorry for the couple waiting outside the room as the twins were born. How frightening to have your fat in someone else's womb.
Next we saw Carol who'd had twelve surrogate children, including triplets. Eek! She said her health is now on poor shape, and she had varicose veins and dodgy teeth. One baby she had for another couple turned out to accidentally be her own husbands instead of the new father's! Apparently the babyless couple were very angry but kept the baby. Carol seemed quite flippant about this, like they should be grateful for any baby, and I guess they should in a way, but it must have been a shock.
It was weird seeing the dynamic when Amanda's baby was born, Olga tiptoeing round, feeling like she was stealing the baby. Amanda was amazing, really; what a big thing to do for someone. How brave. I think it genuinely is that the women know how much they love having children and want to pass that onto another woman. But still she cracked when the baby left. That was hard to watch. I was shocked when she said she'd do it again! It must be like a weird buzz.
Personally, I'd rather have an addiction that's more managable. Luckily I do. Crisps!