Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
SIL angry I won't be their surrogate - how to handle?(108 Posts)
Bit of back story - my brother and his wife have been together as long as I've been with my DP (7 years) literally met within months of each other. DP & I have 2 DC's, Brother & SIL have none but have been trying since they met. They are now desperate for a baby and have pretty much given up getting pregnant themselves and came round a few days ago to ask me if I would consider being a surrogate for them. His sperm, her egg and I would purely be the womb - very Phoebe from friends.
I thought for a day or 2 and discussed with DP but have since told them I won't do it.
My reasons -
1. I'm not great at being pregnant, always have health issues, 1st pregnancy I was very anaemic and had 2 blood transfusions and had morning sickness for the whole 9 months, in my 2nd pregnancy I had low blood pressure and kept fainting, 3rd pregnancy (which ended in miscarriage) I had HG and was hospitalised 4 times in 11 weeks
Which brings me to my 2nd point in that I had a miscarriage in September and just don't feel that emotionally I could deal with another pregnancy, particularly one that wouldn't even result in a baby for me! I'm scared I would grieve for losing a baby all over again.
3. I almost died giving birth to DD, my second child, so would be considered a high risk pregnancy and would be terrified of something happening again
So after discussing all of the above it just wouldn't be fair to my family if something happened or if I was ill for 9 months, what about my own children?
So I said no to my brother, he accepted it and I thought all was fine until I heard that my SIL was (drunkenly) being quite nasty about it. She was apparently saying the only reason I won't do it is because if they have a baby all the attention won't be on me and my children anymore! I mean what the actual fuck!?!
So to the point of my post, Should I confront her and tell her that I'm really upset by her comments and that she's asking something HUGE of me and I'm well within my own rights to say no and she's being a bit of an arse?! Or just let it go? WWYD?
...sorry for mammoth post by the way!
I'd so so tempted to tell them both to fuck off! What do they think you are? Rent a womb?
Surrogacy is such a personal thing. If you weren't 100% invested in the idea it would be an absolute mistake.
I would feel aggrieved and would have to talk to her to try and make her see my side, but with such an emotive subject you'd need to tread carefully. Choose your moment and try to be calm (and give her a little leeway for acting an arse, I can't imagine how hard it is for her. Not an excuse, but in this I think it falls to you to be the bigger person, whilst still letting her know that she's out if order).
I'd let it go.
7 years of ttc will mess you up, and she was likely pinning all her hopes on you (unfairly, but she's probably not rational).
Give her time. Maybe reassure her that if you physically thought you could, you would, and you understand how hard it must be for her.
I would broach her about it...but gently. She's misbehaving but she's probably bitterly disappointed by your no, and lashing out.
Yanbu btw - I don't think you should do it.
She is completely unreasonable. As you say it's not as simple as just handing baby over at birth. Overall and especially in your case it appears, it is a very risky thing to do healthwise.
Drunk mouths speak sober thoughts. She overall sounds like a bitch.
I'm in at your SIL.
That is appalling!
Firstly, I'm so sorry for your loss this must have brought up a lot of raw feelings for you.
Secondly, what on earth are they doing asking someone who had health issues and nearly died in labour to be a surrogate?!
It's all shocking.
Could you have a word with your brother about all this? They were unreasonable to even ask you, let alone to be angry with you for saying no (you were so nice to even consider it).
I would assume SIL has lost perspective due to their desire for a child. She is clearly hurting but that doesn't mean she gets to take it out on you.
It's such a difficult line to tread. I doubt anyone hearing her rant would be doing anything but humouring her.
I would say your SIL is feeling desperate and angry at that the injustice of the situation in which she finds herself. Sometimes this leads to jealousy and ugly feelings that would not otherwise be there.
I think, given the history of your pregnancies they were pretty insensitive to even ask, tbh. But they are obviously desperate.
I would not confront SIL about this. I would cut her some slack here given the difficult circs.
How did you hear about these comments?
I can't believe they even asked if you had anything other than dream pgs and you had said that you loved being pg and would do it again but didn't want another baby. And even then, I would consider it slightly dodgy to ask.
It's the kind of thing that should be offered, not asked for. Like donating a kidney or bone marrow, but a lot more so, as it is a much harder thing to go through and will damage your body more.
Maybe she was just letting off steam and her mouth ran away with her.
I'd rise above it and let it go.
She could be mortified she said that once sober.
I'd confront your brother and say that you're really upset by what she said - I don't see why you should just let it go - but I wouldn't confront her.
I would leave it OP. As Micah has said TTC for so long can mess people up and skew their perception. To your SiL, having a child is "The Most Important Thing In The World". She is projecting her anger at herself and her body onto you and blaming you for her not having a child.
Give her time and hopefully soon she will become rational again. Can you talk to your DB about how hurt you feel by what she has been saying?
BTW, I think you made the right decision.
Exactly what did you hear, and from whom?
I agree that 7 years of ttc will do things to your head, so I think I would ignore it for now, but should something crop up again, I think you should have a gentle word with your brother.
She is grieving for a child she thinks she will never have. Unfortunately she got drunk and lashed out (verbally, and in your absence) at you.
With your history, tbh I think it was utterly inappropriate and fairly callous to even ask you. But they're not thinking straight.
One to tread carefully around, I think.
Does she know all the ins and out of your pregnancies?
I had an appalling pregnancy and a near fatal birth experience. Chatting to my sister, who I thought knew all this. she was saying of her (straightforward 10 hr start to finish) birth that at one point she thought she'd "be like me".
I asked her what she meant and she said, oh you know, need a section for failing to progress.
Some people interpret things way differently!
She must be devastated but no excuse for speaking so horribly about you. Are you friends normally? I would speak to her but your reasons are justified and even just no, I don't want too is enough. Hurting the person who five minutes ago you asked the biggest ever favour is rather silly and immature.
I think she is probably feeling some extreme jealousy and anger at not being able to have a child of her own, and in her sober state is probably mortified in her behaviour.
She loves you and respects you to want you to carry their child so i would not mention anything to her if i was you.
Would there not be some health risks of carrying your brothers baby anyways?
I would never be a surrogate.
Were you close before this? If not I'd leave it, if yes id let the dust settle and then have a gentle word.
Has your brother apologised?
Christ on a bike.
Apart from anything else, you can't "just be" a surrogate - you need to go through all sorts of counselling and your health would be taken into account. There is no way any Dr would agree to you going ahead with a surrogate pregnancy under the circumstances - both physical and emotional.
They need to look at organisations that link couples with surrogates. They should not be approaching you for this.
Fwiw I'd speak to your brother and let him know what you heard and that you are upset.
Thank you for all the replies, in answer to a few questions (but I can't remember who asked each one sorry) yes we are usually friends, go out together, are regularly in each other's houses etc
I know what was said because there was someone there who is friends with is both but closer to me and so he told me because he said it made him feel very uncomfortable and because he thought it was really out of order too
They do know the ins and outs of t labour with DD (Mum rang SIL in years after being in the delivery room with me throughout the whole thing) but I I'm honest I don't know how much they know about my other pregnancy problems, although I'm sure they would have heard me moaning about some of it and they definitely know about 1 blood transfusion as my Brother picked me up after it
I realise her head must be all over the place and I can't imagine how it must feel to want a baby that badly and not be able to do it and I appreciate it is probably misplaced anger that's why I didn't know which was the best way to handle it
Would the doctors even let you be a surrogate if you'd be a high-risk pregnancy anyway?
I've considered being a surrogate in a hypothetical way before but I'm not sure I could do it for my brother. That would seem weird. I'd happily do it for my sister though!
My Brother hasn't apologised, I don't know if he knows what was said but he definitely doesn't know that I know
She is being unreasonable. She is also I imagine upset, emotional, grieving for the children she has not been able to have, pinning all her hopes on you. She thought of an amazing plan, in her eyes it was perfect, she saw the future of her baby, of having cousins with a close relationship, a perfect family and now it has come crashing down.
So she blames you. Right now she blames you. It isn't your fault. You have done nothing wrong. But she blames you.
Without even getting into the emotional impact on you, you are not a good candidate to be their surrogate. someone who has high risk pregnancies is really not a good idea! She will see that in time. I wonder if a heartfelt letter might be a good idea, you can keep your personal emotional reasons for not wanting to do it out of it for now and focus on letting her know the complications you have had in pregnancy and how you could not take on such an important task without being confident that you could safely carry their baby. It may allow her to process things in her own time.
AGnu - I'm not really sure if it's even be allowed, possibly not, I don't know how well they really thought it through
Do they know the details of your pregnancies and births? Or that you're interested in having a third DC yourself and had recently miscarried? All of which make you an unsuitable person to ask.
The obvious explanation is they don't, or have forgotten.
Oh Jesus, I am glad you are not considering it so soon after a mc. Having had 2 mc myself (and thankfully 2 dc) I couldn't contemplate it.
Surrogacy is big thing to ask. Do they k ow of your history? I had horrific pregnancies, I wouldn't go though one again for someone else.
Join the discussion
Please login first.