Although it can seem in the impossibly distant future, we promise the week will actually arrive when it is time to go to the hospital and prepare to meet your bundle(s) of joy!
What is it like to be the intended parents on delivery day?
How can you best interact with the hospital staff and with your surrogate in that busy, fraught time?
What should you bring with you?
We got you, with answers to all of the above.
Let’s start with a giant “HOORAY!” It’s really happening; you are adding a new tiny family member(s).
OK, now that we are all happy and giddy, let’s take a breath and walk through all of the emotions that you – and the surrogate and your loved ones – will be experiencing once a delivery time is near. Of course, excitement is at the fore, for all involved. With that can come some worry and anxiety that everything will go all right. Medically and health-wise, we want the surrogate and baby to be safe and comfortable at all times. Please remember that giving birth is a significant medical event, even for your surrogate, who has previously given birth. Every delivery is different, and your surrogate likely is feeling a swirl of emotions, including anxiety, about the delivery.
Here is where you come in, as the intended parents. One of the best things you can do for the surrogate is to stay positive and root for her at every step. Remind her of the truth, which is that she is surrounded by professionals and people who care about her and her well-being. Everyone is aiming for the same goals: a healthy surrogate, a healthy baby, and a smooth delivery.
What is the intended parents’ role in the delivery room?
Your pre-birth plan with your surrogate likely outlines who will be in the delivery room. Regardless of whether you are, you should make a point to communicate calmly to the medical team that you are the intended parents. Use clear, simple language that *your surrogate’s name* is your surrogate and that you are the intended parents. Inform the medical staff of your arrangement with the surrogate and tell them who will be present and who needs to be informed and updated along the way.
Try your best to keep any strong emotions, good or bad, in check when you are communicating with the medical team. Keeping interactions professional will work to everyone’s benefit as the delivery unfolds.
What do you need to have with you? And what else might you want?
- Contact information for all related parties: you, your partner, your surrogate, your surrogate’s emergency contact, your emergency contact, etc. Both a hard paper copy and digital information are ideal
- All of your legal paperwork for the surrogacy, with extra copies
- Food and drink (or money for those), for the hours you await delivery
- The car seat/ carrier!
Things you’ll probably want:
- Comfortable clothing to wear while you wait long hours
- A travel pillow and books, magazines, and entertainment to help you relax and pass the time
- Personal hygiene items like your toothbrush and toothpaste, lotions, or soaps, for you for long hospital stays
- A shirt that buttons in the front so that you can have skin-to-skin contact with the newborn
- Outfits for the baby, any special blankets or other items to help transition the baby and welcome him or her home
- A personalized gift for the surrogate, to show your gratitude
Once the baby is born, the newborn likely will stay in the hospital for 1-3 days for observation. During that time, the surrogate should spend time with the baby, and she may want to introduce the baby to her own family.
Everyone will be thrilled! And also relieved. Although it is officially an end to the surrogacy process, it is also a gigantic and fantastic beginning for all.