You know how great love stories end with Happily Ever After? The whole love story builds up until the couple finally ends up together… but… what happens afterwards?
Something similar occurs in Surrogacy. A Surrogate must be a very caring person because, in essence, that is what a Surrogate does. A Surrogate cares about the Intended Parents, the wellbeing of the child, and her own efforts to be as healthy as possible for the process. There is so much love and support going around throughout the pregnancy right up to the birth…. but after the whole hustle and bustle is over…. and the baby is gone…. What then?
Surrogacy Post Birth
Being a Surrogate is a noble thing to do. You can watch videos on the internet about how great it is to bring family moments to life for people that face infertility. There are also stories about how some women love being pregnant, but have no wish for more children of their own. This is all good, but what about afterwards?
What do you do, or who do you go to after you have given birth and it is all technically “over”?
As a mother, a Surrogate’s mind and body will automatically go into physical “mom mode.”
This means that you will want to hold the baby, your breasts will swell and burst with milk and colostrum for a non-present baby, and hormones will go into overdrive, just like when you had your own kids. You may have an agreement to pump for the parents and have the milk sent to them. If not, you can donate the milk to a breast bank. You will be dealing with your body and how it reacts to having been pregnant.
Understand your feelings. Ask yourself, do I have any idea of what I will be feeling? As a mother, you know how you feel after you have a baby. If this is your fist time as a Surrogate you might not know how your heart and body will react to handing the baby over to its parents. You know in your mind why you became a Surrogate. This is what you wanted to do, but are you ready to deal with what your body and mind have in store for you?
Talk about it. Your support group is a great help at this time. Talk about the feelings you may have or ask other Surrogates. Omega Family Surrogates has a Facebook group called Omega Surrogate Stories, where current Omega Surrogates can be reached and they can respond to your questions and feelings. If you would rather do it privately, you can always ask each of them directly on their personal journey pages or go to a Surrogate dinner and ask them in person.
No matter what you’re feeling, it´s ok. After birth, you may not understand what you are feeling. You can ask a friend to help you out. This is why having a support group is so important during the Surrogacy Journey. Omega Family Surrogates has a great Surrogate Liaison team that can support you in the best way possible. The team includes women who have been Surrogates, so they know Surrogacy first hand. They can relate to what you feel, because at some point, they may have felt it themselves.
Ask for help. Your support group, no matter who it may be, needs to know that you need their support. They need to understand what it is they can do for you. Make sure you ask for help; there is nothing wrong with needing a little TLC. It is also important to understand that they might not know what it is you need. Do not assume.As a Surrogate you have blessed a couple with a child that without your help would never have come into existence. You are amazing, you are special, and you are entitled to support. The only way anyone of your support group can help you is if you ask for it. Omega Family Surrogates can help you through their Surrogate Liaison Team. They will be there for you in a heartbeat, but you must let them know. They are very careful not to intrude on you or your family’s privacy.
You will never be judged. No matter what you feel, or how you feel, nobody within the Omega Family Surrogates community will judge you. You are entitled to your reactions, and you are worthy of the attention you need to deal with the feelings that post birth brings. Lean on your support circle; that is what they are there for. Feel empowered after the wonderful thing that you did. Not everyone has what it takes to be a Surrogate.
It takes a special type of woman and her family to provide the gift of life for another family unit. The women in the Omega Family community are there to listen, to be shoulders to cry on, or to share moments of happiness and laughter. Omega Family Surrogates, far from being just a Surrogacy Agency, is a community of people who help those who face infertility through Surrogacy. Some members of the community are spouses to the Surrogates, some are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and daughters of Surrogates. The community is there for you: lean on it, contribute to it, and hold on to it if you need it.