The journey of infertility and surrogacy is an incredibly complex and emotionally charged experience, impacting individuals and couples in profound ways. It can be a rollercoaster of hope, disappointment, and resilience.
During these trying times, finding comfort and solace becomes crucial for navigating the challenges and uncertainties that arise. Thankfully, songs, movies, and books have emerged as powerful mediums for capturing and exploring the unique emotional landscape of infertility and surrogacy. These artistic expressions provide a platform for individuals and couples to relate to and find validation in the experiences of others.
And let’s be honest… sometimes misery loves company. Knowing that someone else is going through the same thing as you are can be of great comfort.
In this article, we will delve into the world of songs, movies, and books that touch on infertility and surrogacy, exploring how they provide comfort, support, and inspiration to those on this transformative path.
Books About Surrogacy and Infertility
Books have long served as a powerful medium for exploring complex and sensitive topics, providing a window into the human experience and offering solace, insight, and understanding.
When it comes to the deeply personal and often emotionally challenging subjects of surrogacy and infertility, literature has played a significant role in shedding light on these journeys. Books about surrogacy and infertility delve into the raw emotions, struggles, and triumphs experienced by individuals and couples on these paths.
Below I’ve listed a selection of books that navigate the intricate landscapes of surrogacy and infertility, illuminating the joys, sorrows, and transformative power that can be found within these narratives.
Children’s Books About Surrogacy and Infertility
Explaining surrogacy to children can be a delicate task, as it involves complex concepts and emotions. Picture books can serve as valuable tools in helping children understand the concept of surrogacy in a relatable and age-appropriate manner. In this kid-specific blog post, I list cute and colorful storybooks for children about surrogacy.
The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood By Belle Boggs
In this memoir and exploration of the intersection of fertility, medicine, and motherhood, Boggs delves into her personal experiences and the broader societal implications of navigating infertility.
Boggs weaves together her own journey with fertility treatments, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF) , with meticulous research and interviews with experts in the field. She reflects on the emotional and physical toll of infertility, the societal expectations and pressures surrounding motherhood, and the complex ethical questions raised by assisted reproductive technologies.
Throughout the book The Art of Waiting, Boggs examines the cultural narratives and assumptions around motherhood and the pervasive notion that a woman’s worth is tied to her ability to conceive and bear children. She challenges traditional notions of family and explores the profound desire for parenthood that transcends biology.
Saint Ivy – Kind At All Costs By Laurie Morrison
Saint Ivy is a young adult novel about surrogacy from the perspective of a teenage daughter who’s mother is a surrogate for another family. While she is supportive of her mother’s decision to be a surrogate, this does affect her family dynamic and she of course has feelings along the way.
Survival of the Thickest By Michelle Buteau
American comedian and big screen movie star Michelle Buteau suffered from infertility for many years with 4 miscarriages and 5 failed rounds of IVF. She attempted surrogacy twice, and on her second journey she was finally able to become a mother to twin babies. In her book Survival of the Thickest, she tells all about her struggles and opens up her heart to readers.
Movies and TV Shows About Infertility and Surrogacy
The struggles, hopes, and resilience associated with these experiences have captured the attention of filmmakers and television producers, resulting in a range of compelling movies and TV shows that explore the topics of infertility and surrogacy.
Through powerful storytelling, these productions shed light on the physical, emotional, and ethical dimensions of the journey, offering audiences an opportunity to gain insight, empathy, and understanding into the lives of those grappling with infertility.
From heartfelt dramas to witty comedies, these films and series tackle the profound themes of longing, hope, and the indomitable spirit of the human desire for parenthood. Whether delving into the ethical dilemmas surrounding surrogacy or depicting the emotional roller coaster of infertility treatments, these cinematic works provide a little bit of comic relief and insight.
TV Shows Depicting Characters and Storylines About Infertility
Charlotte’s Infertility Struggles on Sex and the City
One of the most notable storylines in the hit TV series Sex and the City revolves around Charlotte York’s struggles with infertility. Played by actress Kristin Davis, Charlotte is depicted as an elegant, traditional, and deeply romantic character who dreams of having a family and becoming a mother. However, her journey towards motherhood is fraught with challenges and heartbreak.
Charlotte’s desire to conceive becomes a central theme throughout the series, as she navigates various fertility treatments, consultations with specialists, and even explores the possibility of adoption. Her journey resonates with many viewers who have also faced similar difficulties in their own lives.
The portrayal of Charlotte’s infertility is a sensitive and honest exploration of the emotional toll it can take on an individual and their relationships. The show highlights the feelings of loss, inadequacy, and isolation that can accompany infertility, as well as the strain it can put on a partnership. Charlotte’s struggle with fertility becomes a catalyst for personal growth and self-discovery, as she confronts her own desires, expectations, and societal pressures.
Throughout the series, Sex and the City tackles the topic of infertility with both sensitivity and humor, capturing the raw emotions and vulnerability associated with the experience. Charlotte’s story arc brings awareness to the prevalence of infertility issues and invites dialogue around the often-taboo subject. Her journey serves as a reminder that infertility can impact anyone, regardless of social status or personal circumstances, and encourages a deeper understanding and empathy towards those facing similar challenges.
In the iconic TV show FRIENDS, one of the storylines that resonated deeply with audiences was Monica Geller’s journey with infertility. Played by Courteney Cox, Monica and her husband Chandler Bing, portrayed by Matthew Perry, yearn to start a family and face the emotional challenges of infertility.
Throughout the series, Monica’s desire to become a mother is portrayed with sensitivity and realism. The storyline addresses the emotional toll that infertility can take on an individual, as well as the strain it can place on a relationship. The show explores the different ways in which Monica copes with her infertility, including seeking support from her friends, and ultimately adopting twin babies.
Also on FRIENDS, Phoebe, known for her free-spirited nature and kind heart, offers to be a surrogate for her half-brother Frank Jr. and his wife, Alice.
Phoebe’s decision to become a surrogate is rooted in her genuine desire to help her family and make a meaningful contribution to their lives. Throughout the storyline, the show explores the ethical and emotional complexities surrounding surrogacy, as well as the unique dynamics that arise within the group of friends.
As Phoebe embarks on her surrogacy journey, she encounters both physical and emotional challenges. The storyline humorously depicts Phoebe’s unusual pregnancy experiences, such as craving meat as a vegetarian and dealing with surges of hormones. However, it also delves into the deep emotional connection that can develop between a surrogate and the baby she carries.
In the TV show Fuller House, a spin-off of the beloved sitcom Full House, the storyline of surrogacy takes center stage with one of the main characters. The show follows the lives of the Tanner family and their friends, specifically focusing three female leads DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy.
Neighbor and best-friend Kimmy Gibbler steps up to be a surrogate for Stephanie when she can’t carry a baby herself, and family and friends chip in crowd-funding-style to help cover the costs IVF.
This surrogacy storyline brings a mix of emotions, as it explores the complexities and dynamics involved in such a deeply personal decision. Stephanie, initially hesitant about the idea, eventually embraces the opportunity to expand her family with the support of her loved ones.
This Is Us
The TV show This Is Us has gained acclaim for its heartfelt storytelling and compelling characters, including a prominent storyline that revolves around infertility. The show follows the lives of the Pearson family and their interconnected narratives, tackling a range of emotional themes, including the challenges of infertility.
One of the central characters, Kate Pearson, portrayed by actress Chrissy Metz, experiences difficulties conceiving a child with her husband Toby Damon, played by Chris Sullivan. While Kate and Toby do end up having a baby boy after IVF treatment, he is born preterm at 28 weeks which causes him to have complex health problems. The portrayal of their infertility journey is both poignant and realistic, addressing the emotional impact it has on individuals and their relationships.
Movies Depicting Characters and Storylines About Infertility
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a comedic film that takes a lighthearted and relatable look at the ups and downs of pregnancy and parenthood. Released in 2012, the movie is loosely based on the best-selling pregnancy guidebook of the same name by Heidi Murkoff.
The film weaves together the stories of five couples who are at different stages of the pregnancy journey, showcasing the joys, challenges, and surprises that come with impending parenthood. It explores a range of experiences, including unplanned pregnancies, fertility struggles, adoption, and the emotional rollercoaster of becoming a parent.
Baby Mama is a comedy film that stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two talented comedic actresses known for their work on “Saturday Night Live.” The movie explores the unconventional journey to motherhood and the complexities of surrogacy.
In “Baby Mama,” Tina Fey plays Kate Holbrook, a successful businesswoman in her late thirties who longs to become a mother but faces infertility challenges. Determined to have a baby, Kate decides to hire a surrogate to carry her child. She chooses Angie Ostrowiski, played by Amy Poehler, a carefree and quirky woman who agrees to be her surrogate.
The film follows Kate and Angie as they navigate the unique dynamics of their arrangement and embark on a humorous and sometimes bumpy road towards parenthood. From fertility treatments to living together, the two women form an unlikely bond as they experience the joys and challenges of pregnancy and preparation for motherhood.
*Note – As a professional who works in the surrogacy industry, I feel the need to mention that the movie Baby Mama is a comedy and doesn’t accurately reflect a true surrogacy journey experience. They take a lot of liberties for the sake of humor. If you plan to watch the movie, take it with a big grain of salt and just enjoy the slapstick-style comedy.
Private Life is a 2018 drama-comedy film directed by Tamara Jenkins. The movie provides a raw and intimate exploration of the challenges, frustrations, and emotional rollercoaster of infertility and the pursuit of parenthood.
The story revolves around a middle-aged couple, Richard and Rachel Grimes, portrayed by Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn, who have been struggling with infertility for years. As they navigate a multitude of fertility treatments and procedures, their relationship is tested, and they grapple with the pressures and disappointments that come with the desire to conceive.
Songs About Infertility and Parenthood
From raw vulnerability to empowering anthems, these songs offer a musical expression of the struggles, hopes, and triumphs that individuals and couples face when confronting infertility and the desire for children. Whether sharing personal stories, offering solace and understanding, or celebrating the joys of parenthood, these songs can make for a calm and reflective solo car drive.
Celine Dion’s Music About Infertility and Motherhood
Celine Dion, the internationally renowned Canadian singer, has not only captivated audiences with her powerful voice but has also openly shared her personal struggles with infertility. Despite her immense success in the music industry, Celine faced a challenging and emotional journey on her path to motherhood. Alongside her husband, Celine endured years of infertility treatments, heartbreak, and immense emotional pain. Her perseverance paid off in the end and she is now a mother to three boys.
Pink’s Music and Struggles with Miscarriages
Musician Pink, known for her punk rock attitude and empowering anthems, has been open about her fertility struggles and experiences with miscarriage. In a heartfelt and courageous manner, she has shared her journey with the world, shedding light on the emotional turmoil and heartbreak that accompany the desire to conceive and carry her children. Through her openness, she has become a source of inspiration and strength for countless individuals who have faced similar challenges.
Her song Happy from the album Hurts 2B Human directly speaks to her first miscarriage as a young woman, along with the body issues that followed this life changing incident.
Small Bump By Ed Sheeran
Small Bump is a heartfelt song by British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. Released in 2011 as part of his debut album “+,” the song explores the theme of pregnancy loss and the emotional impact it has on individuals and relationships. Ed Sheeran wrote this song as a dedication to a close friend who experienced a miscarriage.
Something’s Not Right By Lilly Allen
Singer Lilly Allen experience a stillbirth with her son George. In her song dedicated to her late son, the heartbreaking lyrics read:
“We had forever
We never got it together
I waited for you
For you I made it better
They kept telling me that it was unlikely
All I had to do was keep you beside me.”
More By Halsey
Singer Halsey has been vocal about her strong desire to be a mother, despite having suffered multiple miscarriages. The song More is on Halsey’s album Manic and fans very much believe she wrote this song as part of her healing process while suffering infertility. I am happy to report that Halsey is now a mama to her son Ender.
In the realm of infertility and surrogacy, finding solace and comfort from the stories of others can be a surprising way to heal your own heart. Whether it’s the cathartic power of a heartfelt song, the captivating storytelling of a film, or the intimate narratives found within the pages of a book, these artistic works can provide you with a sense of community, find validation and make you feel seen yourself. They remind us that even in the darkest moments, there is beauty, resilience, and the potential for hope.Learn More