When considering to be a Surrogate, all these questions about Surrogacy come up. Here are some considerations to take into account when deciding to become a Surrogate.
Good reasons to become a Surrogate
Given that Surrogacy is much more than a full-time job, we believe that the three best reasons to decide to become a Surrogate relate to these:
Enjoyed being pregnant and think children are a great gift.
Would love to help a couple or individual have the family they have longed for.
Would be satisfied with the amount of money they would be getting in compensation for their efforts and of course you are compensated for your help, but the mission of Surrogacy is to be helpful to those that need a family but can’t give it to themselves.
What requirements should a Surrogate meet and why?
A Surrogate must live a healthy lifestyle (smoke-free environment, no drinking alcohol or caffeine, and no drugs). Eating healthy, well-balanced meals and a wide variety of food is essential in order to have a healthy pregnancy.
Being in an emotionally well-balanced environment is needed as well. It is necessary for a Surrogate to be happy with her own life and willing to give. You must have had a healthy full-term pregnancy/pregnancies yourself. A surrogate must be willing to take the responsibility of caring for the unborn child for the Intended Parents; this includes attending medical appointments and being reliable with communication.
Will it hurt physically or emotionally?
Being a Surrogate is a rewarding experience. Since each woman’s pain tolerance is different, the level of discomfort can vary. Some IVF Centers require injectable medications while others do not. As you can suspect, the delivery of the baby is the pain and discomfort that you will experience. Every pregnancy is different so it may be that your Surrogacy experience is different than what your own was (some for the better and some not).
You may experience emotional ups and downs throughout the Surrogacy such as a negative pregnancy result after an embryo transfer or the possibility of a miscarriage. It is for this reason that having family and friends support as well as the emotional support we provide is so important throughout your surrogacy.
It might be hard when you’re not prepared. Some Surrogates, when they work with agencies that do not provide sufficient emotional support, experience a little sadness after their first experience as a Surrogate. It’ isn’t about missing the baby, but all the outside attention of everyone, directed to them, before giving birth.
How is Surrogacy different from my own pregnancies?
There are many differences when you are a Surrogate than what you may remember while having your own children. As a Surrogate, the IVF Physician will manipulate your natural fertility cycle to trick your body into the pregnancy. This is done with the use of hormones so that your body will accept an embryo even though it was not created by your body. Once you are pregnant, the pregnancy is monitored by the IVF Physician throughout the first trimester.
The IVF Physician will monitor your hormone levels to make certain your body has enough to maintain the pregnancy as well as making sure that the embryo is growing at a normal level. Once you reach 10 – 12 weeks gestation you will be released to your own OB/GYN. It is at this point in the pregnancy that the pregnancy is considered to be “normal”. You will no longer be taking hormones to maintain the pregnancy; your body will be producing the hormones on its own. Most Surrogates enjoy the second trimester of the pregnancy the most. You may continue to have regular ultrasounds with your Physician and you are feeling good. It is also at this point that your Intended Parents begin to relax and understand that the pregnancy is doing well. Once the delivery occurs, this is where the biggest difference is for most Surrogates. So many Surrogates say it is like having a light switch turned off. When you have your own child you experience the excitement of your family and friends for the birth of the new baby. As a Surrogate, you have had the attention of the Intended Parents for nearly a year.
Once the baby is born, the Intended Parent’s focus changes and is now on their baby. When you deliver your own baby, family and friends gather to see the baby and congratulate you, as a Surrogate, they are still there, but they are more ready for life to get back to what it used to be. You may feel overwhelmed with feeling like you need to get back to being the “soccer mom”. Also, when you have your own baby, you begin to have pediatrician appointments and everywhere you go, people, comment on “what a beautiful baby”. As a Surrogate, all the doctor’s appointments are gone (your OB will see you in 6-8 weeks), when you go out your clothes don’t quite fit like they used to, people don’t know that you just had a baby (since there is no baby) and you still have the overflow of hormones working their way out. It is important to recognize that you could feel overwhelmed and need to take time for you. You did just deliver a baby and sometimes you need to remind family and friends of this. We prepare our Surrogates for this so they know what to expect as they reach the end of their Surrogacy.
How will I face the fact of carrying a baby without keeping it?
As a surrogate you are never giving up anything: the baby is not biologically connected to the surrogate. You become s a super nanny for almost a year, but it is very clear that this is not your baby; it is the intended parent´s baby.
Remembering this is very, very helpful when it does come the time of the delivery because that´s really the moment that the surrogate gets in the surrogacy for. You wanted to be pregnant and this happened, but the goal of the pregnancy is the delivery, which is really what surrogacy is all about, and that means giving, not giving up, but giving the dream, to the family whose parents have wanted for, as long as they can remember.
So, when they see the baby, and you, as the surrogate, see what you have done for them, it´s an overwhelming moment of joy and satisfaction and it´s like “I did it, I did it”, look there they are, they are holding their baby, and honestly the parents…We have never seen a parent not come back to the surrogate and just say: “Thank you, thank you, thank you, oh my gosh, I can´t thank you enough” It´s just…it´s so warming and rewarding and this feeling is, truly, for a surrogate, the payoff, to be able to give that gift, and knowing how long they have waited for it and you are the one, and only person in all of the world that could give them that, that baby to them…