Jordana Brewster Said She Felt “Guilt and Shame” Over Choosing Surrogacy
"I was always like, 'I'm less than, as a mother, because I didn't carry.'"
Jordana Brewster of Fast and Furious and Lethal Weapon fame recently teamed up with Clearblue for the company’s #Conceivinghood campaign, with which Clearblue hopes to “normalize the conversation around infertility and the trying to conceive journey.” Ahead of the April 22nd virtual panel discussion, Brewster talked to People about the guilt she felt when she conceived her two sons, Rowan, age 4, and Julian, age 7, through surrogacy.
I’m really hard on myself and I have a lot of guilt and shame, Brewster said. I think I would have felt this way whether or not I carried, but I was always like, ‘I’m less than, as a mother, because I didn’t carry.’ I just told myself that story over and over again.
She said that she constantly assumed other people were judging her for having gone the surrogacy route and found herself over-explaining her situation, and sometimes her assumptions were valid. “I think [other moms] assumed that I didn’t want to carry, or I didn’t want to go through that experience. I think there’s just an inherent judgment with surrogacy.”
Other times, her journey to motherhood was brushed off with “you’re so lucky” comments. Brewster recalled one fellow mother saying she was lucky because she didn’t have to carry or gain weight. “[I wasn’t sure] if they were joking or not,” Brewster told People.
Once the actual pregnancies were over, the challenge of explaining surrogacy to her sons was the next obstacle. Rowan and Julian “have a tough time” understanding the process, “because it’s a complicated thing to explain, and I am still not sure that they completely grasp that,” Brewster said.
“But I also noticed that it was a way bigger deal for me than it was for my son,” she continued. “One day, I told him, and he was like, ‘Okay.’ And that was it. And then we’ll be driving in the car and he’ll come up with a really difficult question and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I have to deal with this right now. How do I answer that?'”
“I thought [conceiving] would be no problem for me, which I think a lot of women do,” she said. “I feel like we sort of assume, ‘Oh, okay, I’m on the track, I’ve been married and now I want to have a kid, and it shouldn’t be a big problem.’ And then all of a sudden you realize, ‘Wait, this is going to be a little more challenging than I thought.'”
No matter how you get there, parenthood is worth it in the end, Brewster says. “Once you have your kids, it’s all so worth it and [the conceiving] part becomes a blur.”