Elizabeth Banks Says She Felt Like “Less of a Woman” and Opens Up About Her Pregnancy Journey
Among women aged 15 to 49, about 1 in 5 cannot get pregnant after one year of trying. For many women, it gets very frustrating and affects their psychological health. We should remember that society needs to take time to understand them more and stop judging people who don’t have their own families or kids.
In 2011, Elizabeth Banks welcomed a baby via surrogate, but before she became a happy mother, the actress had to experience a hard time with infertility. Not so long ago, Banks decided to share with the public something that is not often discussed but is worth exploring.
“I’ve never been pregnant, and when I was young, I thought it was because I was really good at taking the pill, which I definitely was. But I have no idea. There’s a small percentage of women who basically have unexplained infertility, and that is me, I’m in that category. I had always had plenty of eggs, I never had trouble making embryos, but they did not implant. For whatever reason, my uterus is hostile, I don’t know what’s going on, but they just will not stay in there. So I had a broken belly, is what I told my kids, mommy had a broken belly.”
The actress talks about one important thing that affects modern women: public judgment about the decision to pick a surrogate. “This is a long time ago before surrogacy was like a Kardashian thing. Nobody was doing it back then,” Banks said. And she’s right — that route wasn’t popular 11 years ago, and you could hardly explain to society that you wanted to have a big family.
Another thing that can mess with your psychology is that women are often judged if they don’t have a husband or kids. “But for women, especially in a society that’s like, this is why we value you, we don’t value you because you could be a CEO, we value you because you can procreate and keep the race going. So if you can’t do that, you are less of a woman. That’s the message,” explained Banks. “And my fertility was something I had to mourn. I had to grieve for it. It was a loss. And I had to really work through that before I could invite someone else to help me make my family.”
Despite all the physical issues, the actress tried to do everything she could do to increase her chance of giving birth on her own, but in the end, she realized that her goal wasn’t to be pregnant but to be a mom, and that’s when her decision was made. Surrogacy was chosen as a way to be a parent, even if it would come with some gossip among the public.
Banks still keeps in touch with the surrogate mother, who has 3 kids and a husband of her own.
Time has passed, and Banks now realizes that people’s judgment shouldn’t stop you from making the right decisions, saying, “Now they get to judge me for how I parent. It starts all over again, it’s a whole other side of the cycle.”
How many kids do you have? What difficulties did you have on the way to being a parent?