Unless you and your partner are LGBT, it is unlikely that you expected to need third-party reproduction in order to build your family. The idea of needing an egg donor, a sperm donor, or a gestational surrogate can be difficult to adjust to initially—it’s not normally what people imagine when they think of having a baby. This change in mentality takes a lot of effort; though once third-party reproduction is decided on and the process of working with an agency begins, life can veer toward being both filled with the excited anticipation of next steps and it all being potentially overwhelming.
Third-party reproduction adds medical appointments, medications, donor selection and matching, legal contracts, agency appointments, case manager calls, and more to your “plate.” All of these are important and mean that, in time, your family will have grown as desired. Therefore, a core part of using a donor or surrogate is being a supportive partner throughout the process—and this goes for both parties. There’s no doubt that the intentions in a loving relationship are good, but it’s the actions that will make the process easier and less stressful for all involved.
How to be a supportive partner
- Keep lines of communication open and a priority: Feeling comfortable discussing your hopes, dreams, concerns, and stressors is important at all stages in a relationship. During third-party reproduction, this is especially important. Both partners should feel at ease with one another, able to vent when needed or be excited when good news is presented.
- Go the extra mile in daily life: Many people often assume that they’re the one doing the most—doing the most chores, handling the most responsibilities, and/or taking care of the most problems—but more often than not, there are things you and your partner both handle and also handle for each other without either of you ever knowing. It’s easy to make assumptions about the load we all take on as adults, but it’s likely an unfair assumption. Making an effort to take care of things your partner might normally handle is a nice first step, and talking about your load if you feel it is unmanageable or unfairly distributed is also very worthwhile.
- Give yourselves a break: No one can be the “perfect” partner, especially not at all times. Putting in the effort and trying are essential, and it’s okay to drop the ball on occasion as long as you are aware that you need to pick it up again. All anyone wants at the end of third-party reproduction is to have their baby and a solid, loving relationship that creates a healthy environment where that child can grow.
If you have questions or concerns about using an egg donor or a gestational surrogate to grow your family, please contact the case managers at Fertility SOURCE Companies today.