One of the biggest differences between a surrogate pregnancy and a traditional pregnancy is that, as a surrogate, you don’t bring the baby home with you after delivery. The baby goes home with the intended parents – leaving you wondering what’s next in your journey.
Life after surrogacy can look different for everyone. Some people may find it easier to move on, while others may have a tough time managing the post-surrogacy blues. Physically recovering from birth can also vary from person to person. With all that said, your own situation is unique, and how you experience life after surrogacy will depend on many different factors.
Your Body in Recovery After Surrogacy
After delivering and handing the baby you worked so hard to grow for the past nine months to the intended parents, your recovery from birth will begin. Everyone’s experiences will be different, but here’s the lowdown on what your recovery from a surrogate birth might look like.
First things first, as you can probably expect, you’ll be on a rollercoaster of emotions after you give birth. From pure joy and fulfillment to a touch of exhaustion (okay, a lot of exhaustion), your emotions may go from “OMG, I really just did that!” to “OMG, everything hurts, my vagina is on fire, and I’ll never poop again.”
Physically, you’ll need some downtime to heal. Your body has gone through quite a journey, so expect a bit (okay, again, a lot) of post-birth soreness and tenderness. Your doctor and nurses will be there for you during the first few days of recovery. They’ll keep an eye on your healing and guide you through any discomfort. If you’re breastfeeding or pumping for the intended parents, you may also experience soreness in your breasts and nipples those first few days.
The best thing you can do to recover, in addition to listening to your doctors and nurses, is take things easy and, most importantly, rest. You know that thing you’ve been dreaming about for the past nine months? Well, now’s the time to indulge in some serious shut-eye sans giant belly and even more giant pregnancy pillow. Resting after recovery from your surrogacy journey is crucial to taking care of yourself and healing your body.
One of the big advantages is that you don’t have to worry about those late-night wake-up calls with a fussy newborn. Imagine having the luxury of enjoying uninterrupted sleep and feeling refreshed during the postpartum period. It’s like getting a golden ticket to a smoother recovery after birth! So, embrace one of the many upsides of being a surrogate and relish in the well-deserved rest that awaits you.
Staying in touch with intended parents
Depending on your relationship with your intended parents, you might be able to keep in touch with them after the baby is born. This is especially true if you’re breastfeeding and pumping for the baby. It’s a good idea to keep lines of communication open while you’re still on your surrogacy journey with your intended parents so you can know how best to stay in touch with them. Ask them how involved they want you to be with them after the journey ends, and let them know what level of involvement you would like. Ask them what they feel comfortable sharing, such as milestones, and make sure they are on board with your method of preferred communication.
It’s okay if you don’t want to keep in contact with the intended parents or if you want to stay in touch but keep your distance. You can keep it as simple as sending a card during important milestones like birthdays if the intended parents are okay with it. Some intended parents stay in touch long after the surrogacy journey ends, and others prefer not to. Your situation will depend on what you and your intended parents are comfortable with, so be sure to talk to them about how they’d like to stay in touch after the surrogacy journey has come to an end.
Postpartum emotions and the post-surrogacy blues
Whether or not you choose to keep in touch with your intended parents after the surrogacy journey is a decision between you and your intended parents, but one factor that you should keep in mind when making that choice is what your emotions will look like after delivery.
Just like postpartum blues experienced by birth mothers, surrogate mothers can also face a period of adjustment and emotional ups and downs. It’s normal to feel a sense of loss or emptiness after parting ways with the baby you carried. You might find yourself missing the intended parents or missing the pregnancy itself. These thoughts are natural and can easily tug at your heartstrings, leaving you feeling a bit blue, not to mention the hormones that are wreaking havoc on you.
During this time, it’s crucial to prioritize your mental health, practice self-care, and surround yourself with support. Lean on your loved ones, friends, or even support groups who can offer understanding and encouragement. They’ll be your cheerleaders, reminding you of the incredible gift you’ve given.
Support resources for postpartum surrogates
If you’re having difficulty dealing with how you’re feeling after your surrogacy journey, resources are available to you. Consider seeking out an online support network or reaching out to a local counseling professional who can help guide you through the emotions you’re facing.
Allow yourself to process the complex mix of emotions that come with being a surrogate. Give yourself permission to heal. Embrace self-reflection, journaling, or seeking professional help if necessary. Remember, taking care of your own emotional well-being is just as important as the physical journey you embarked upon.
Cherish the memories created throughout your surrogacy journey, and be proud of the positive impact you’ve made on the lives of others.
Considering another journey
Knowing when you’re ready for another surrogacy journey is a personal decision that varies for each individual. It’s crucial to listen to your own needs, both physically and emotionally, and give yourself ample time to heal and recover from your previous surrogacy journey. Take the time to reflect on your experiences, consider how it has impacted your life, and evaluate your current circumstances.
The experience of helping another family grow can be incredibly fulfilling, and many surrogates find themselves eager to embark on another journey. If you’re considering becoming a surrogate again or know someone who might be interested, contact us for more information. Together, we can continue to create miracles and bring joy to those longing for a family!