If you’re an intended parent, the road to your baby has probably been an especially long one. You may have waited for months or years to become pregnant on your own before deciding to pursue surrogacy — only to find that the waiting continued as you completed screening requirements and searched for the perfect surrogate.
Now, months later, your surrogate is finally pregnant — but you still have to wait the length of her pregnancy before bringing your new baby home.
So, how do you get through those last months and weeks of waiting? Here are 10 things you can do to keep yourself busy:
There is no shortage of reading material for new and expectant parents. While traditional pregnancy books may not be the most useful while you’re waiting for your surrogate to give birth, you might want to pick up a copy of What to Expect the First Year or another book about surrogacy or parenting your newborn.
On the other hand, now is also a great time to read something totally unrelated to babies, surrogacy and parenting. Do some just-for-fun, light reading to help pass the time.
2. Pamper yourself.
Dealing with the loss of control you might feel during your surrogate’s pregnancy isn’t easy. Do something for yourself to help combat those feelings of stress and anxiety, whether that means unwinding with a bubble bath, treating yourself to a pedicure or going out for an evening with friends.
3. Buy baby things.
If you don’t already have them, now is a good time to start gathering the essential items you’ll need when you bring your baby home. Buy a crib and stroller, and start decorating the nursery.
4. Pack a hospital bag.
On the same note, make sure you’re ready with everything you’ll need for the big day. You never know exactly when your baby will decide to make his or her debut, so start packing a hospital bag now with all of the essentials. Having your things ready to go can be a lifesaver if you end up needing to travel to the hospital at a moment’s notice.
5. Bond with your surrogate.
As delivery day approaches, don’t forget about your surrogate! Check in with her to ask how she’s feeling and if there’s anything you can do to support her during the final weeks of her pregnancy. Consider sending gifts or scheduling some time to spend with her before the baby is born. Bonding with your surrogate is not only essential to a positive surrogacy experience; it also can help you feel more connected and involved in the final stages of the pregnancy.
6. Prepare your other kids, if applicable.
If you have children already, it’s important to take time to prepare them for the arrival of their brother or sister. Make sure your children understand surrogacy (at an age-appropriate level), and involve them in the preparations for the new baby. Ask them to draw pictures or choose special gifts to give to the baby when he or she arrives. Depending on the relationship you have with your surrogate, you may even introduce your children to her to help them better understand the surrogacy process.
7. Plan ahead.
Life with a new baby will be hectic, so try to think ahead if you can. Consider buying gifts or cards now for any important birthdays or holidays happening within the first few weeks after your baby’s due date. Take care of important errands that will be easier to complete without a newborn in tow. Make some meals that you can pop in the freezer and reheat for a quick dinner once you bring your baby home. You’ll thank yourself later.
8. Start a baby book.
Many expectant parents start a pregnancy journal or baby book before their baby arrives, and there’s no reason why intended parents can’t do this, too. Consider how you’ll incorporate your child’s surrogacy story into his or her baby book. Depending on your relationship with the surrogate, you might ask if she would be comfortable sharing pictures of her pregnancy or a letter about her experience in the baby book, too.
This memory book will be a priceless keepsake for years to come, and it can even help you talk to your child about surrogacy as he or she gets older.
9. Meet up with friends.
Friends can be a great source of comfort and support throughout your surrogacy journey and can keep you busy while you’re anxiously awaiting your baby’s arrival. Spend some time with your friends whenever you need a shoulder to cry on or a fun distraction from the surrogacy process — it might not be as easy to meet up for drinks or coffee once your new baby arrives!
10. Spend time with your partner.
Go on a romantic date, see a movie or spend some quiet time at home, just the two of you. Enjoy each other’s company and, if you don’t already have other children, your last moments as a family of two! Once your baby arrives, date nights will require a sitter, and quiet moments alone will be harder to come by. Parenthood will be an exciting new chapter for both of you, but you should also soak up this special time with each other before welcoming your new arrival.
Waiting for your baby to get here can be challenging at times. Try to be patient, enjoy the process and think about how far you’ve come in your family-building journey. Your baby will be here when he or she is ready, and it will happen before you know it.
If you are struggling with the wait to become parents through surrogacy, know that your surrogacy specialist is always available to offer the support you need. Feel free to reach out at 1-800-875-2229(BABY) for more tips and support throughout your surrogacy process.