After years of failed IVF treatments, and eight or nine miscarriages, Union was finally diagnosed with a condition called adenomyosis, which causes endometrial tissue to grow on the wall of the uterus, Women's Health reports. "There’s nothing more that I wanted than to cook my own baby," she told Women's Health. The complications associated with adenomyosis, and the fact that she had three embryos left, solidified her decision to use a surrogate. But still, "the idea of [surrogacy] felt like surrendering to failure," she said.
Union said she had concerns about how people would react to her hiring a surrogate. "People want to see the bump, hear that you got hemorrhoids — they want to know you’re like them," Union told Women's Health. "I was like, 'This is going to seem like the most Hollywood sh*t ever. Will I be embraced as a mom?' It’s terrifying."
While more celebrities and high-profile individuals are opening up about their experience using surrogates, it's important to note that surrogacy is not easy, nor is it a cop-out. "Gestational surrogacy" means that a person carries and delivers a baby for another person or couple. Many people who use surrogates — Kim Kardashian West, for example — have medical conditions that make it impossible to carry a baby, or they are in a same-sex relationship. Only 1% of all assisted reproductive technology procedures involve gestational surrogacy, and that likely has to do with the cost. In the U.S., surrogacy can cost upwards of $100,000, including in-vitro fertilization.
The process of finding a surrogate can be challenging in itself. "Some people care about the race, religion, or food habits of their surrogate," Union told Women's Health. "I was like, 'I want a reader.'" Most people use agencies with surrogates who have received medical and psychological screenings, or reach out to a friend or family member. There are also legal implications to sort through, that vary from state to state. "You can’t just take a surrogate and put an egg and sperm [in their uterus]," Kristin Bendikson, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the USC Keck School of Medicine told Refinery29.
The bottom line, as Union said, is that using a surrogate is not a failure. And if Kaavia's adorable and hilarious Instagram page is any indication, looks like fans are embracing Union as a new mom already.