Future parents have a lot to prepare for during pregnancy. When you’re expecting a baby, a lot of questions might come up. When you’re expecting a baby via surrogacy, those questions more than double. Surrogacy can bring in a few additional emotional challenges to couples as they prepare for parenthood.
It can be overwhelming to navigate the journey of becoming a parent through surrogacy. There are several things to take into consideration when planning for your baby, including mentally and emotionally preparing to connect with your future little one. As your baby’s due date approaches, here are some ways to help you ease into your new roles as intended parents.
1. Have patience.
If you’re worried about bonding with your baby, it’s because you care. You wouldn’t be going through the surrogacy process if you didn’t care. You already have the compassion and strength to make a connection with your baby, but it won’t happen immediately, so have patience—and be kind to yourself during the process.
2. Be as involved as possible with your surrogate’s pregnancy.
As an intended parent, it’s important to be involved in the pregnancy. If possible, attend your surrogate’s doctor appointments. If you can be in the office with her doctor, you’ll be able to ask questions and know what’s going on every step of the way.
3. Start reading.
Most new parents will do some sort of research—usually reading—before their baby arrives. There are millions of pages on the internet and in books that are dedicated to parenting, and a good fraction of those focus on surrogacy. With so much information available, it can be a little overwhelming but start somewhere—that way you know what to expect.
4. Connect with others.
You’re not alone in the surrogate pregnancy process. At Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, we’re here to answer your questions and lend an ear whenever you need us, and we know that meeting with other future parents in your shoes can be extremely helpful as you’re on this journey. You’ll find additional support, and maybe even creative ideas for connecting with your baby, within a community of other intended parents.
5. Celebrate your baby’s upcoming arrival.
Just because you’re not carrying your baby, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate their arrival. The steps you’re taking to become a parent should be celebrated and honored. Allow your friends and family to throw you a baby shower, it’ll help you develop a sense of attachment to your baby, and it’ll get them excited for the birth of your little one as well.
Since you’re not seeing your own (or your partner’s) belly growing, the birth of your baby may not seem as imminent. We’ve seen surrogate parents wait to the last minute to put together their nursery and baby-proof their home. Nesting early on in your surrogate’s pregnancy can help you bond with your baby because it makes their arrival more real.
7. Talk to your baby.
Because your baby is inside your surrogate’s womb, they’re going to hear her voice all the time. That doesn’t mean they can’t become familiar with your voice too. If possible, talk to the baby during in-person meetings with your surrogate. You can even record yourself reading a book, talking, or even singing, and send them to your surrogate for her to play.
8. Prepare a hospital kit.
You’ve probably pictured the day you bring your baby home for months now, so make sure you’re prepared for when the big day arrives. Gather all the items you’ll need to bring baby home safely, like car seat, blanket, and going-home outfit. You may also want to bring a few items for yourself as well, in case your surrogate is in labor for more than a couple hours. Getting these things together helps you physically provide for your new baby and get into the mindset of being a parent.
9. Be flexible.
No matter how much you’ve planned for the day you bring your baby home, it might not go exactly as you pictured. Be flexible during the pregnancy, and keep in mind that your baby is your baby, even if your journey is a little different from others. You very well might face emotional challenges during the pregnancy, but being able to hold your baby once they’re born will solidify all the decisions you’ve made to get you there.
10. Enjoy the journey.
While you may not get to experience the pregnancy firsthand, you do get to be involved in a special way. Everything changes once you bring home your baby, so enjoy the nine months you have until then. Enjoy and appreciate every minute of your unique journey, and remember our team at AZCREI is here for you every step of the way.
Remember, every parenting experience is different, and ultimately, you’ll never be fully prepared for the joys and challenges of having a baby. If you have any questions about surrogacy or your other pregnancy options, contact us online or call (520) 326-0001.