When Kim Kardashian revealed she was planning on using a surrogate (opens in new tab) to carry her third child early last year, the 37-year-old shared no details about why she was using one (opens in new tab), aside from attributing her decision to "complications" during her pregnancies with daughter North, 4, and son Saint, 2. In a new interview with Elle (opens in new tab), the reality star and media mogul opens up about her "traumatizing" delivery experiences while suffering from placenta accreta (when your placenta doesn't detach from your body) and the ultimate reason why she chose a surrogate.
“After giving birth, your placenta is supposed to come out. But mine was stuck. That’s what women usually die from in childbirth—you hemorrhage and bleed to death and they can’t stop it," she says (opens in new tab). "To get it out—it’s so disgusting—the doctor had to stick his whole arm in me and scrape it off. It was the most painful. To this day, if you mention it to [my mom], she’ll cry. It was traumatic.”
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As for choosing a surrogate for baby #3 (opens in new tab)? After that experience, the choice was simple. But Kim doesn't want you to call her a surrogate. “I refer to her as a surrogate, but it’s completely my and Kanye’s DNA, so technically that’s called a gestational carrier. A surrogate is when they use the husband’s sperm and the surrogate’s egg,” she says.
Kim immediately knew when she found the right candidate. “It was a feeling,” she says. “You know when you can trust someone.” The next step was selecting an embryo. “It’s a really tricky thing. What sex do you put in? I just said, ‘Which one is the healthiest? Pick the healthiest one,’ and that was a girl.”
Her only requests? The baby had to be born in L.A., “where all my babies were delivered, and for her to use my doctor. She was totally comfortable with that.” Otherwise, she told her surrogate she could do (and eat) anything she wanted. “I straight-up told her, ‘Look, I ate doughnuts every single day. If you want doughnuts and ice cream, go for it. Do whatever you feel.’ I’m not going to be picky like that. That’s just ridiculous.”
“I hated being pregnant,” Kim says. “But as much as I hated it, I still wished I could have done it on my own. The control is hard at the beginning. Once you let that go, it’s the best experience. I would recommend surrogacy for anybody.”
As for adding more kids to the Kardashian-West clan? Don't hold your breath. “My home and my heart feel really full right now, in the best way. I don’t think I could handle more than [four children, if that]. My time is spread really thin. And I think it’s important that in all couples, the mom gives the husband as much attention as the kids.”
Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.
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