If you’re reading this, chances are you’re either contemplating or beginning one of life’s most heartwarming journeys—becoming a gestational carrier. This isn’t just about carrying a baby; it’s about carrying hopes, dreams, and immeasurable love for intended parents who are eager to welcome a new life into their world. But what happens after the surrogacy journey ends?
As the child grows, so too can the friendship between you and the intended parents, developing in beautiful and unexpected ways. The bonds formed during this time often blossom into lifelong friendships that are as enriching as they are meaningful. In this blog, we’ll share four essential tips that will guide you in building a warm and lasting relationship with your intended parents that continues into a lasting friendship that endures the test of time.
Tip #1: Open Communication Starts from Day One
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship, and this principle holds even more significance for gestational carriers and intended parents. Commit to open and honest communication when you decide to embark on this journey together. Establishing a strong foundation for your relationship begins with understanding each other’s expectations, fears, and hopes. Regular in-person and virtual check-ins can help create an environment where concerns can be addressed promptly and feelings can be shared openly.
It’s important to remember that emotions can run high during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Both sides might experience a range of feelings, including excitement, anxiety, and even a sense of detachment. By maintaining open lines of communication, you can navigate these emotions together, creating a safe space for each other to express yourselves without judgment. Remember, a simple phone call or a heartfelt message can go a long way in fostering a strong connection.
Tip #2: Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries
Clarity is key when setting expectations and boundaries for your surrogacy journey. During the initial matching process, you should discuss the level of involvement that you desire during the pregnancy and birth, the extent of your communication, and your expectations regarding post-birth interactions. It’s essential to ensure everyone is on the same page to avoid misunderstandings later.
Defining boundaries is equally important. Determine how you will handle situations such as sharing updates about the baby on social media, visits, and other post-birth interactions. Clear boundaries can help maintain a harmonious relationship, preventing any unintentional hard feelings that might come from unmet expectations.
Tip #3: What Happens If Things Don’t Go as Planned?
While we all hope to have a smooth and uneventful surrogacy journey, sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Discussing and preparing for these scenarios with your intended parents is essential. Talking about what happens if complications arise during pregnancy or things don’t go as planned during the birth can help set expectations and reduce stress for everyone involved.
Some examples to touch on:
- Failed Embryo Transfer: This is one of the earliest hurdles that could be faced. Discuss what happens if the embryo transfer is unsuccessful. Will you try another transfer? Will there be a waiting period before you try again? How many attempts are you both willing to try?
- Miscarriage or Pregnancy Loss: It’s a difficult subject, but it’s crucial to discuss what happens if a miscarriage occurs. Will you try again?
- High-Risk Pregnancy: Discuss what happens if the pregnancy is deemed high-risk. What happens if you’re prescribed bed rest?
- Birth Defects or Medical Issues: Discuss what will happen if prenatal tests indicate a birth defect or medical issue with the baby. What circumstances would cause them to terminate the pregnancy?
- C-Section vs. Natural Birth: Sometimes, a C-section is medically necessary. Discuss this possibility and how you both feel about it.
- Multiple Births: If more than one embryo is implanted, there’s a chance of twins or even triplets. What are the plans in this scenario?
- Premature Birth: Discuss what steps will be taken if the baby is born prematurely, including NICU care. Will you have access to visit the baby?
Discussing these topics openly and preparing for various scenarios can help ensure the surrogacy journey is as smooth as possible, even when faced with challenges. It’s always better to be over-prepared and hope you won’t have to face any of these issues rather than be caught off guard when something unexpected happens.
Tip #4: Celebrate Milestones Together
The surrogacy journey is filled with significant milestones, from transfer day to the day the baby is born. These milestones offer you and your intended parents opportunities to celebrate together and create lasting memories.
Sharing experiences like doctor’s appointments and ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy can help you and your intended parents feel more connected and reinforce your sense of partnership.
Post-birth, ask your IPs if they’re willing to share milestones like the baby’s first smile, first steps, and birthdays. Regular updates, photos, and videos can help you stay connected despite any physical distance. These shared joys are what make the relationship special and enduring.
Maintaining a Long-Term Connection Through Mutual Respect and Empathy
The surrogacy journey is a deeply emotional experience for both gestational carriers and intended parents. While the birth of the baby marks the end of the pregnancy, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship. Maintaining a long-term connection is not unusual, and many surrogates and intended parents become like extended family.
Understanding that life post-birth will be a whirlwind of new responsibilities and adjustments for the intended parents is crucial. They may be overwhelmed with the demands of parenthood, and it’s important to give them the space they need. As a gestational carrier, you may go through a range of emotions, including a sense of emptiness or loss after the baby is born. It’s essential to communicate these feelings openly with your intended parents, as they may be feeling a similar emotional complexity.
If you’re both on board, consider setting up periodic catch-ups or visits. These don’t have to be frequent but can be meaningful ways to stay involved in each other’s lives. Whether it’s a yearly get-together or occasional updates via text messages or phone calls, these interactions can be a precious reminder of the incredible journey you’ve shared.
By nurturing the relationship with mutual respect and empathy, you can create a lifelong bond that extends far beyond the birth of the child. This enduring connection can be one of the most rewarding aspects of the surrogacy experience, enriching the lives of everyone involved.
Get in Touch with Fairfax Surrogacy to Begin Your Journey
Every surrogacy journey requires careful planning, open communication, and a strong support system. At Fairfax Surrogacy, we are committed to guiding you every step of the way.
Whether you’re considering becoming a gestational carrier or are an intended parent interested in the possibility of building your family through surrogacy, our team of experts is here to provide the resources, support, and expertise you need to make your surrogacy experience as fulfilling as possible.
If you’re ready to take the next step or simply have questions you’d like answered, don’t hesitate to contact us. Your dream of building or expanding a family could be just a conversation away. Contact Fairfax Surrogacy today and let us help you turn your dreams into reality.