Your relationship with your surrogate will be an interesting one to co-create. You will likely have several phone calls with her before, and during the pregnancy. You will want to bond with her to a certain extent, but you will have to be respectful of her desire or lack thereof for closeness with you.
It may not be immediately apparent why it is important for you to travel to the doctor’s office and be present for the transfer of the embryo(s) into the surrogate, but suffice it to say it is important.
Being present at the transfer is one way to connect with your surrogate. I suggest that you make the effort to meet your surrogate at the doctor’s office the day of the transfer. This is a way of showing support to the surrogate and acknowledging the doctor’s special contribution. However, it is also a very important experience for you! You will not want to miss it for any of the three reasons mentioned above. Just be sure to be present the day of the transfer. I cannot stress the importance of this day and your presence enough! It is of utmost importance that you be present at the transfer. Do not let it pass you by.
Initially, you will be waiting for news from the doctor to hear if the embryo implanted and pregnancy took place. Then you will be waiting to hear if the embryo stuck and if the pregnancy is viable. Once these things have taken place you will want information from the surrogate, from time to time, about how she is doing and about the status of your baby growing inside her, but you will also not want to crowd her. You will want her to be as comfortable, as possible, while she carries your baby.
It might be best to talk about how much communication you each would like to have and when and how that communication will take place. For example, who will initiate contact and how frequently will the contact occur? Obviously, you will want to hear news, as soon as possible, if something goes wrong, but generally speaking when all is well will contact occur every other week or only after she has seen the doctor? Together you can figure these details out regarding what system works for you. My point is it might be best to hammer out how and when you expect to have contact, so everyone’s needs are respectfully served through out the surrogacy process.
Your surrogate will play a significant role in your life. She will give you one of the most important gifts in your life. She will bring your baby to life. Quite possibly no one other than your own mother at the time of your own birth has given you a gift of this magnitude. A part of you will be forever in her debt.
Depending on your relationship with your surrogate and your surrogate herself, you may even be in the room, while she is in labor and possibly even in the delivery room, when the baby arrives. This is a special relationship indeed.
You will want to honor her in some special way and acknowledge the birth itself. After the birth, you may send her flowers or bring a small gift to commemorate the experience. Your thoughtfulness will touch her.
Since my surrogate chose not see the babies after giving birth, while she was in the hospital, I invited her and her family to visit us at the resort I was staying at. She welcomed the visit and we all spent about four hours together. I believe she felt it was safe to see the babies once she had passed the maternal torch to me and I was firmly on board as their mother. Approximately two and a half weeks had passed between the delivery and the visit, since my boys were in the NICU as healthy feeder growers for 18 days. It was nice to see my surrogate with her family and the twins. Her husband, her son and daughter, her brother and her mother all attended the visit. In addition, the director at SAI, Ann Miranda and her daughter joined us for the visit.
My surrogate’s little girl always wanted to hold the babies. That day, I made sure that little girl got her wish! I like to think everyone was comforted by the visit. The next day my family and I were bound for home via two airplanes and a limo! Don’t worry we did have a friend along for the ride who was very instrumental in assuring that we were safe and well taken care of every step of the way!
I have never forgotten my surrogate and the gift she bestowed upon my family and you will never forget yours. Spend as much time with her as you can. Do whatever you can to deepen your relationship with her. Opportunities present themselves 1) when you initially interview your surrogate, 2) the day of the transfer, 3) the day of the birth, 4) a visit in the hospital after the babies have been born, 5) a visit after the bab(ies) are released from the hospital. These experiences and later memories are important. They become part of your story regarding how you created your family. Enjoy them!
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Coach from Surrogacy Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice of Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio
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