Toronto woman turns to Facebook hoping to find a surrogate mother

When Karen Scutt had a stillbirth earlier this year, she promised her husband she was going to keep trying. But after a series of heart attacks, doctors told her another pregnancy might kill her. Now, after posting her story on Facebook, she says women are offering to be her surrogate.

Karen Scutt is unable to conceive normally, had a stillbirth and 4 heart attacks this year

Karen Scutt posted her story on Facebook recently, and a number of women rhave responded with an offer to be her surrogate. (CBC)

When Karen Scutt had a stillbirth earlier this year, she made a promise to her husband that it wasn't the end — she wasn't going to stop trying to have a child.

But her plans for another pregnancy were soon dashed when doctors told her that it could lead to her death.

Scutt is not one to give up that easily though. She has recently turned to social media hoping to find a surrogate to have her baby.

"In January and February, I was pregnant with a baby girl and going over the moon, and by mid-June I had four heart attacks, my baby girl had died and I was no longer able to potentially have children," Scutt told CBC News.

She told her husband driving home the day after the stillbirth, which had happened six months into her pregnancy, that she was going to keep trying.

"I'm not ending my legacy with babies like that ... You don't want the last pregnancy you have to be a stillbirth," she said.

Toronto woman turns to social media to find a surrogate

3 years ago
Duration 5:39
Karen Scutt recently opened up to her Facebook community by posting a message about wanting a second child — and asking for a surrogate. Dwight Drummond spoke to her about the decision — and the journey that brought her to this point.

'Feeling very motivated to just try again'

Scutt, who is unable to conceive normally, had used one of three frozen embryos for that unsuccessful try at bringing a child to term.

But even as she "was grieving the baby," Scutt explained, she was "feeling very motivated to just try again."

"We have two other frozen embryos. I was even considering, if they didn't work, going into a whole other round of [In vitro fertilization]," she said.

But just a day after speaking with her fertility doctor about another attempt, she suddenly felt ill during a meeting with a business partner. 

"I had searing chest and arm pain that was so relentless, I couldn't even speak."

Karen Scutt says she was told by doctors, 'If I used any fertility treatment … there is a good chance I would die.' (Karen Scutt/Facebook)

Her business partner drove her to the emergency room where she was told an hour and a half later she'd had a very serious heart attack, and that it was not the first.

"That was the third heart attack I had that week," she said, adding that her doctors believed it happened because of her pregnancy.

"I was basically told the chance of having [another heart attack], pregnant or not, was close to 50 per cent, and if I used any fertility treatment ... there is a good chance I would die," she said.

"Everything just stopped right then and there."

'It's a big journey'

Scutt said she's hoping to find a surrogate to have her child — someone with whom she can have mutual trust, someone who really wants to do it for her. 

"It's a big journey, it's a very vulnerable journey, a very emotional journey, but the type of woman who would be a surrogate would be a lovely person, giving, sweet," she said.

"She enjoys being pregnant, probably. She'd have very easy pregnancies," Scutt said.

"Then I'd get to see that baby come out, still my baby. Somebody did it for me, and then that's kind of how I end my legacy."

'It was crazy overwhelming'

Scutt said she posted her story on Facebook recently, and a number of women have offered to be her surrogate.

"It was crazy overwhelming, not a negative comment to date ... It's so positive, more than I could ever expect," she said.

Many of the women who responded spoke about the many miscarriages and stillbirths they've had, and how some women they know and love still talk about the experience decades later. And some have asked to meet with Scutt to discuss granting her wish.

"It's amazing when you rally enough women with big hearts what happens," she said.

"I've had probably about six or seven [offers to carry my baby] in a day and a half," she added.

"I thought it was going to be a needle in a haystack. I was incredibly surprised. Every time I read one my heart swells."

A really great support network

Scutt says she has a really great support network. 

"My friends have been really great, my family has been really great, so that's helped; and I think my husband, over everything, he's so, so positive," she said.

She says she's got two more frozen embryos to make one last attempt.

"I'd like to finish that story. And if they don't work and nothing kind of comes out of it, I think we'll be okay — and there's adoption obviously."

With files from Dwight Drummond