This is the heartbreaking story behind Kim Kardashian's decision to choose a surrogate

'I always knew surrogacy was an option, now it's my reality.'

(Image credit: Getty Images)

'I always knew surrogacy was an option, now it's my reality.'

It’s easy to read a headline about the Kim Kardashian surrogacy and dismiss it, but the deeper reason behind her decision is an important one worth talking about. In a heartbreaking post, she revealed the trauma behind her high risk pregnancy with North West and raised awareness about the rare medical condition that led to its complications.

What is pre-eclampsia?

During her pregnancy with North West, Kim Kardashian was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia - a rare condition that only affects a few women. While its exact cause is unknown, it is believed to stem from issues with the placenta. According to BabyCentre UK, it ‘causes the flow of blood through the placenta to be reduced’ and can mean that the ‘baby won’t get enough oxygen and nutrients, which may restrict [their] growth’.

The NHS also explains that ‘the condition can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby’, so Kim Kardashian’s doctors recommended that she induce labour early to avoid further complications. She revealed that she had to deliver North West at just 34 weeks - six weeks early - but it unfortunately didn’t go very smoothly. Immediately after giving birth, Kim was struck with a life-threatening condition called placenta accreta.

kim kardashian placenta accreta

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What is placenta accreta?

Kim revealed her harrowing experience of placenta accreta, a condition where the placenta doesn’t attach from the wall of the womb properly. BabyCentre states that the condition occurs when ‘part of the placenta has deeply embedded itself into the womb’ and can lead to life-threatening blood haemorrhages for the mother.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how harrowing a medical condition can be, but Kim Kardashian delved into her traumatic personal experience.

She wrote in her post, ‘My doctor had to stick his entire arm in me and detach the placenta with his hand, scraping it away from my uterus with his fingernails. How disgusting and painful!!! My mom was crying; she had never seen anything like this before. My delivery was fairly easy, but then going through that—it was the most painful experience of my life!’

‘They gave me a second epidural but we were racing against time, so I just had to deal. They say that this is what some women died from as a result of childbirth back in the day, without proper care. I'm so thankful that my doctor was able to catch this and address the issue immediately.’

A photo posted by on

Even after all that however, she still had to go for two more surgeries to remove a leftover fragment and then to remove her scar tissue so that she could conceive again. It was a success and Saint West came to be, however before her labour she revealed to C Magazine, ‘[My doctors] think I’ll have placenta accreta again, so if the placenta grows a little bit deeper than it did last time, then they are prepared to have my uterus removed, which is a little scary for me.’

Unfortunately, she did wind up having pregnancy complications. She revealed in another post that Saint West was breech, a condition where the baby is turned the wrong way around in the womb, was at risk for gestational diabetes and People reportedly said that she did in fact wind up undergoing placenta accreta for the second time after Saint West’s delivery.

A photo posted by on

She revealed in Keeping Up with the Kardashians that the damage was extensive, leaving her with a hole in her uterus that required surgery if she was to conceive again. Unfortunately, the surgery was unsuccessful and she said, ‘I can’t carry anymore kids…it’s the worst. It’s not going to be happy for me...I had a full break down…I give up.’

Everything we know about Kim Kardashian’s surrogacy

It comes as no surprise that Kim Kardashian has chosen to go the surrogacy route, as she has been quite open about it on her reality TV show. Previously on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, she opened up to her sisters Khloe and Kourtney that she and Kanye were seriously considering surrogacy. She said, ‘I always knew surrogacy was an option, now it’s my reality. Whatever is meant to be will be.’

According to TMZ, she and Kanye West have hired a surrogate through an agency for their future addition to the family. Their surrogate will reportedly receive $45,000 in ten monthly instalments and the Kardashian-Wests will also have to make a deposit of $68,850 to the agency, with additional charges for organ-loss and additional children. They allegedly also have certain stipulations, such as a ban on smoking, drinking, drugs, hot tubs, raw fish, hair dye and other regulations for the duration of the pregnancy.

Other celebrities who used surrogates

Kim Kardashian is far from the first high profile celebrity to choose a surrogate. She joins the ranks of other couples, some of whose decisions have stemmed from fertility issues such as Tyra Banks, Elizabeth Banks, Jimmy Fallon and Sarah Jessica Parker, while others in same-sex relationships such as Neil Patrick Harris and Elton John have also followed suit.

All the best to Kim and her family - after everything she’s been through, we hope it all ends well.

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.