Surrogacy Pregnancy is Confirmed! What Happens Next?
The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here…your surrogate is pregnant. But what are the next steps in the surrogacy process? You’ve got nine months to wait until your little bundle arrives. What can you do to prepare for the birth in these coming months?
Here’s what you need to know about the next steps in your surrogacy journey.
The first thing that happens after a confirmed pregnancy is prenatal care for your surrogate. She’ll start seeing a doctor, either her choice or you may have decided to agree on a doctor together. If possible, try to attend all appointments with your surrogate. This will help you bond with her…and make you feel more connected to the pregnancy. During the first trimester you’ll be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat!
Get Ready for the Questions
Perhaps your family has been aware that you’re going through the surrogacy process. Or perhaps this is the first time they’ll learn of your journey. Either way, expect the questions to start coming when you confirm and announce your pregnancy.
Surrogacy isn’t that common – your friends will be curious about the process. Be prepared to tell them as much or as little as you feel is right for you.
As the intended parents, you’ll be encouraged to be involved with the pregnancy in any way you can. The more involved you both are the more connected you’ll feel to your surrogate and your baby. Most surrogates are open to having a relationship with you. Make time to bond, spending time together over dinner or coffee. Show your surrogate the baby clothes and toys that you’ve bought in preparation for your baby. Be involved as much as your surrogate is open to it.
Get to Know Your Surrogate
Your surrogate has a life of her own. She’s not just your surrogate, she may be a mother and wife with a family of her own. She’s a friend to others and someone’s daughter. Learn who she is and what her life is like. Make time during the week to check and see how she’s feeling. Not only can a pregnancy be physically demanding, being a surrogate adds a whole new set of emotions. Always remember that she’s a woman first – one who has made the wonderful commitment of helping you build your family.
Your Surrogate’s Family
As you bond with your surrogate, keep her own family and partner in mind. These are the people in her life who’ll help her through her own journey of surrogacy. Those days when she has morning sickness and doesn’t want to get out of bed. Or those later days in the pregnancy when it’s getting harder for her to move around. Some surrogates are open to intended parents meeting her family. This will bring you all closer through the surrogacy process.
Decorating and Baby Showers
It’s not just doctor appointments that are important – you’re pregnant and having a baby! This means there are things to do before you bring your baby home. Have fun decorating the nursery. Start buying all the items a new baby needs.
Plan a baby shower so you can celebrate the excitement of your pregnancy with family and friends. As the intended parents you want to go through the same steps other parents go through when they’re expecting.
Surrogate at Your Baby Shower?
Depending on what type of relationship you’re building with your surrogate, consider having her at the baby shower. This is a nice way to introduce her to your family – and a great way to let her know how important she is to you. If you’re looking for some tips on throwing your surrogate a shower we have a blog dedicated to that!
Time Off After Birth
Intended parents should decide ahead of time when to tell employers of the coming birth. Will you both be taking time off after the birth of your baby? Or will you stagger the time off, so you can delay paying childcare costs until you both have to work again. If you both do need to return to work, this is a good time to start thinking about childcare. Do you already have childcare arranged or do you need to put yourself on a wait list?
Relationship with Your Surrogate After Birth
Make some decisions with your surrogate about the relationship you’re going to have after your baby is born. Will your surrogate remain an important part of your child’s life? How often will you stay in contact? It’s important that you know ahead of time what’s going to work for all of you.
Expect Challenges…and Conquer Them
There will be some emotional challenges along the way. After all, you’ve got a lot to think about now that you’re pregnant. You won’t be going through the hormonal changes of the pregnancy, but you’ll certainly have days when you’re feeling anxious and worried about the birth of your baby. The best way to conquer these challenges is to meet them head on. Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling – and encourage them to do the same.
Get Ready for Parenting
Load up on the parenting books and find out all you need to know about caring for a newborn. Babies are unpredictable – no matter how prepared you are, expect the unexpected. Talk to other parents of babies. They’ll be able to offer you some tips for those early days after birth, boosting your confidence that you’re going to be a wonderful parent. Some great books for LGBTQ Families can be found here.
Join a Support Group
Consider joining a support group for intended parents of surrogacy. Find a support group in the area you live. Or find an online group or forum where you can talk to others going through the same experiences and emotions that you are. Never feel alone on your journey. Other intended parents are just as eager as you are to share what they’re going through. A list of great online communities can be found here.
Enjoy the Nine Months!
The emotions you’re feeling about the upcoming birth of your baby are joyful and exciting. You may never have this experience again, so revel in the nine months, knowing that you’re soon going to be a family.
Take some time for yourself before the birth of your baby. Go on a trip. Take that class you’ve been meaning to join up for. In nine months, your baby will be with you and your next journey will begin.