Lots of intended parents look at gestational surrogacy purely as a business arrangement, while it is a business arrangement it’s also something much more. Let’s face it when intended parents embark upon a gestational surrogacy cycle its new for them – there’s so much unchartered territory to navigate through. Aside from all that it’s downright expensive so heck yes keeping your mind on the dollars part of this is normal.
I can’t help but think that the contract and business piece of this arrangement is just the beginning much like conception of a pregnancy! Yes, the Gestational Surrogate is being compensated for her time, trouble, pain and inconvenience to herself as well as her family; however, the many surrogate mothers I have talked to over the years tell me that they do this because they want to help. Their own pregnancies have been easy and seamless and this seems like a great way to help another family who can’t do what she’s able to do and also perhaps help her family.
Think of it like this – while your Surrogate Mother will form a bond with your baby she is also creating a lifelong bond with you! Carrying a baby for you is what’s making her very happy and just think how joyful she’s going to feel when that baby is placed in your arms.
When you select a gestational surrogate to carry a baby on your behalf you are going to be forging a lifetime relationship. It’s important for you to think about the type of personal involvement you visualize with your surrogate mother – during the IVF cycle, throughout the pregnancy and of course after your baby is born and as your child grows older.
What kind of a person are you? Are you a person who’s going to want a relationship with your surrogate mother? Are you for instance a “hands on” person who’s going to want to have regular interaction with your gestational surrogate in addition to regular updates about the pregnancy and her prenatal care? Many surrogate mothers enjoy regular contact from their intended parents. It helps make the process more personal. What kind of relationship do you want to have with your surrogate mother even after your baby is born? What kind of role do you want your surrogate mother to play in your child’s life? When you explore the above and can answer those questions it’s going to help you decide what kind of relationship you might embark upon with your surrogate mother it and becomes easier to identify the surrogate mother who is going to be most compatible with your family-building ideals and child-raising values.
First thing’s first – talk, talk, and then talk some more. You can’t talk too much when you are in the discovery phase of selecting a gestational surrogate. Once your surrogate mother is selected treat her how you’d like to be treated. Learn about her likes, her dislikes, what bugs her, what causes her anxiety, what makes her happy. Much like you. Regardless of how we look at this – selecting an egg donor or a gestational surrogate is much like dating, this is all about cultivating a forming a relationship.
See a therapist who specializes in fertility – I can’t emphasize that piece enough. A therapist will help you through those portions of the cycle that you both might feel weird about. For instance you might want to know how the surrogate mother is going to feel when she has the baby and the baby is then given to you. Maybe you might feel weird asking that question.
It goes both ways that the line of communication need to remain open for all parties to be on the same page.
Remember your surrogate mother is wanting nothing more than to make you, the intended parent, happy and feeling good and secure about the choice they made in contracting with her to carry your baby. Again, because this is much like dating sometimes intended parents don’t really know what to say or how to break the ice. This is a woman you don’t know, who is a stranger who’s going to open up her life, her family and her uterus for you so you can become a parent. Kind of intimidating yes?
Skype, call or if you can go see her. Meet her in person. Bring her a small gift, hug her, and send her a card. Let her know how appreciative of her you are. Its super important you are compatible with her and feel comfortable exchanging information and communicating with her.
Schedule regular meetings with her – once a week at least to see how she’s doing or if just to see if she needs anything. This is a great way to show your support. Now I know no one likes anyone looking over their shoulder or micromanaged – these women have been pregnant before they know what it’s like to be pregnant so keep in mind there’s a fine balance! While you don’t want her to feel like she’s a bug under a microscope you don’t want her to feel all alone either.
There’s a lot of trust that goes into this process. Your surrogate mother has common sense and you have to trust her to use it – that means you have to trust her regarding what she eats, how much she sleeps, her overall health, her ability to make her OB appointments and other medical testing that goes with pregnancy.
It’s all about letting go – and relinquishing control which is really hard for anyone to do especially infertility patients who have had to already let go of so much control already regarding their reproductive choices. However, this is imperative if you are going to stay sane throughout this entire process and maintain a positive relationship with your gestational carrier.
The Surrogacy SOURCE staff is here to help guide you through the process, from start to finish (choosing a surrogate mother to joining you at her delivery of your baby).
For more information on The Surrogacy SOURCE, or to view our roster of available surrogates, please visit us at : http://www.TheSurrogacySOURCE.com