I want to be pregnant… but I don’t want to be a parent

Guest post by Cassie Robertson
By: Sean McGrathCC BY 2.0

I’m slightly obsessed with pregnancy — I even scared friends and family by reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting when I was 14. I was 20 when my biological clock’s alarm started ringing, and no one was surprised when I spent my birthday gift card on The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth. I have a birth plan in place, know that I want to use a birthing center instead of a hospital, and I drink my morning coffee while watching Birth Day. This offbeat reader wants to be pregnant like WHOA. Here’s the tricky part: I do NOT want kids.

I look at pregnant women with envy; I look at mothers with pity. Don’t ask me how I managed to wired this way. I promise, I’m odd in other ways too. So how does a proudly Child-Free woman cope with the desire to get pregnant? It took me a while to find the answer: surrogacy.

It’s perfect. I get to have my cake and give it away as soon as it cries. But wouldn’t you know it, surrogacy isn’t as easy as you might think.

I was 20 when I first looked into surrogacy. I joined the websites, learned the lingo, and quickly learned that I was ineligible to join any surrogacy agency. First, I am seriously overweight and second, I’ve never had a child.

I do understand why those things are a problem. Being overweight can cause some serious pregnancy complications and, as an untried surrogate, who knows if I even can get pregnant? Plus, everyone swears that I’ll change my mind about wanting kids when I feel the baby kick. I smile, shrug, and say “Maybe.” (I know other Child-free women can relate to that!)

So now, at 23, I’ve decide to tackle the first of the reasons why I can’t be a surrogate. I’ve changed the way I eat and the way I work out. I have a lot to go still, but my desire to get pregnant is stronger than my desire for ice cream.

It’s pretty rough knowing that. I wonder, are there other women like me out there? Women who want to change their bodies to put their bodies through hell and then give away the prize? Most people who know about my desire to be a surrogate either think I’m crazy, I’ll change my mind as I age, or they just plain don’t understand. Trying to explain a biological, emotional decision is nearly impossible.

As every reader on this site knows, pregnancy is an incredibly emotional process. I promise you, it is no different for me. I don’t want kids, so I take the pill, but then I hope that an accident will occur and I’ll get pregnant. I don’t WANT to deal with an accidental pregnancy and be forced to choose between adoption and raising a child, but it would take care of that “never had a child” problem, wouldn’t it?

The less logical side of me is very tempted by that idea. I take pregnancy tests with a mix of thoughts ranging from “This is a waste of money. You’re NOT pregnant” to “God, what if it’s positive?” to “Please be positive.” I don’t tell people about these feelings much because I already know that they don’t really get it. Can I blame them? Even on this offbeat site I’ve never read about a wannabe surrogate mother.

People will still think I’m crazy when they hear my story, but what does that matter? A friend of mine wants children but can’t have them. She’s asked me to be her surrogate when we’re both ready. She’s going to be an amazing mother and isn’t that what surrogacy is all about? If I get to fulfill a dream of mine in the process, then that’s just a great bonus.

Comments on I want to be pregnant… but I don’t want to be a parent

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I can really relate. I’m not interested in having/raising children, but a part of me is very interested in experiencing pregnancy and childbirth. I feel that it would allow me to know my body and what I’m capable of as a woman in the most intimate of ways, pain and all.

  2. It was an interesting article to read, but it did leave me with a question. The writer wants to become a surrogate, but doesn’t want “to deal with an accidental pregnancy and be forced to choose between adoption and raising a child”. What would be the difference between being a surrogate for a couple or adopting a baby out to a couple she chooses? Either way, the child is hers genetically and she’d be giving it to a loving family she picked. Not judging, just curious…

    • If she is a surrogate, the child is not genetically hers; she would be implanted with an embryo from another couple’s egg and sperm.

  3. I feel the exact same way and have never told anyone because it sounds crazy. I am always hoping that I can find a gay couple that I could help out

  4. I would love to be a parent and raise a child, but I don’t especially want to be pregnant and give birth to a child. I do think that the desire to give birth to a child and the desire to raise a child are two different things, and it makes sense to me that a person could have one of those desires and not the other.

  5. Parenting and impregnating are similar in their complexities, yet one happens in a flash while the other goes on forever. What I want is the latter–the forever part. Here’s the deal: My wife and I want to be a parents. We both have been parents, she biologically, me relationally. We’re middle-aged, she’s unable to conceive, and I’m still “live.” So, we’re seeking a youngish female willing to do a traditional surrogacy. Why me as the father? Why not adopt? I trust my genetics and health. Everyone in my family is healthy and a professional. I’m a Ph.D. Behavior Analyst and know how to raise any child well. I work with kids with autism in three school districts, which means I deal with severe behaviors and crippling impairments on a routine basis. Very little phases me. As a result of caring for so many challenged children for so long I’ve grown very strong and loving arms and a heart looking to give to one child without measure. I so much want a child in my life and can’t afford the $50,000+ the agencies want to gestate a baby. So — If you want to get and be pregnant, and you’re healthy and would like to give the supreme gift to this loving couple with complete financial and emotional support…give a shout.

  6. This post has really made me feel fantastic!! I’m 21 and from the UK, and have had this uncontrollable urge since I was 15 to be pregnant but not to be a parent! Pregnancy fascinates me and I cannot believe that surrogacy has not been so obvious to me before The last 10 months. I have had some horrifying health problems in the past and dealt with more than a fair share of painful medical conditions and scars galore, and the thought of seeing a “blue line” bellows “YES PLEASE” from my ovaries! I fell pregnant a year ago unbeknownst to me and unfortunately miscarried due to medication – also the cause of my contraceptive downfall. But the idea of carrying a child for someone so unfortunate brings happy tears to my eyes! I embrace every one of my scars as a triumph over death, and during the long hospital stints, I craved to be there again – without being unwell and for the sake of someone else. I’d love to get involved in surrogacy and if anyone knows any UK based programmes please feel free to let me know!

  7. I totally hear you on this. While I’ve never wanted to be a surrogate, I’m nevertheless a childfree person who still has the hormonal urge, so while I anxiously wait it out I find myself wanting to learn EVERYTHING about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. It’s a fairly good outlet for these feelings and I find myself better able to understand my friends who have made a different choice than I have. I don’t think you’re weird for any of this at all, and your decision to be a surrogate is both practical for you and a wonderful gift for another person.

  8. I also feel the same way. I want to be pregnant, i want to experience the feeling of pregnancy but, i don’t want and have never wanted to be a mother. It’s a strange feeling…

  9. Years after the article is published, I find it and I am eternally thankful to know that I am not alone. I think children are wonderful, amazing, completely mind blowing little individuals who are going to be our future everything but I have absolutely -NO- desire to rear offspring of my own, but oh what I am willing to give in order to give a loving family the youngins they deserve.

  10. My thing is,im infertile. So is my husband. I would love to help someone (or eventually several someones) like myself since i have mad awesome uterus lining. Hell, i even have bookoos of eggs, but since we are infertile, i dont have a child of my own. I want to carry other peoples babies and maybe one day have enough extra cash and have the favor returned. I really do hate the “must have birthed and be raising a child” requirement.

  11. I can completely relate to this. In fact I was searching for stories about women who want to experience pregnancy but don’t want children. I even did some research on surrogacy and it bummed me out to know that you have to have already had a child and be a mother.

  12. I found this article because I am 28 and I am in a serious relationship and I have the strong urge to have a baby. However, like the woman who wrote this article, I feel I am more interested in the feeling of being pregnant and giving birth than actually being a parent – which somehow scares me because I am really bad with sleep deprivation. We recently adopted a puppy and the 1 month we spent house-training him and him not sleeping through the night (thus, waking us up whimpering at all hours of the night) was probably the worst month of my life. And I wasn’t even working. But the sleep deprivation affected me so much it threw me off balance. So, I am actually kind of afraid I won’t be a good parent at all because I won’t be able to cope with the responsibility. But I ask myself, how does this make sense with my current, very raw urge to be pregnant? That being said, I completely understand that I am not alone with this feeling. I don’t know what research says but there must be some common instinct that some women have about wanting to experience what it’s like to have life growing in them. My idea is that this feeling makes us feel loved and important – which is not so easily felt on a moment-by-moment basis in every day life. Whereas, being pregnant, having life growing in you and depending on you and your body doing a very good job for you, all those things happen and it makes us feel important and cared for – by – can I say – the universe?? It’s like experiencing strong love. It’s a feeling we are chasing I think. In my case, I am starting to think that’s what it is. Otherwise, my urge to become pregnant should be accompanied by a mature desire and readiness to BE a PARENT.
    For now, I only have the urge. So I am writing here hoping to find some clarity and being thankful to be able to share my very personal experience with you.

  13. I relate so much. I’m now at 31 experiencing what friends call “baby fever”… because I want so bad to be pregnant, but I really can’t do kids, they stress me out so much. I want to be a surrogate like crazy, but since I’ve never had a baby before, I’m ineligible. It’s so frustrating!!!

  14. I’m 19 and I feel the same way. I am NOT ready to be a parent, but I secretly hope I am pregnant every month. I don’t know why, and I can’t control these feelings at ALL. A lot of girls from my graduating class have gotten pregnant, so that may be why.

    Me and my boyfriend have already decided that we aren’t having kids, but I think i’m changing my mind and i’m scared to tell him, we’re only in college.

    • I know this is years later but I’m 19 years old and feel the exact same way! If you see this I’d love to get in contact with you and talk about this more and hear about how your feeling about this 3 years later!

  15. I’m 30 and in a committed married relationship. I’m all about pregnancy, getting pregnant, and birth and feel confident and excited for those things. The raising of the child terrifies me and is something I worry about. Sometimes I wonder if I want to be pregnant because of the tests. I’m a very test-driven kind of person, and really enjoy the pee on the stick part of this. Since I love ticking boxes and scoring well on tests so much, do you guys think I could be motivated by achieving a positive test in and of itself?

  16. Hi! I relate to this so much! I’m 19 years old and am in a long-term relationship and all I want is to be pregnant but do not want the responsibility of a child as I’m so young! I know this is yeaarrrrrsssss after you posted this but Cassie if you somehow see this I would really love to talk about this more with you and hear your journey over the last 9 years, or anyone with this same feeling please I’d love to talk about this!

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