Waiting for your baby to be born is a stressful activity for any parent. But, when you’re an intended parent whose baby is being carried by someone else, it can be even harder. It’s normal to feel like you’re missing out on crucial bonding time in-utero — but that doesn’t mean your prep to be a parent starts the moment your surrogate goes into labor.
As an intended parent, you may find you have just as much of an urge to “nest,” or prepare for your baby’s arrival, as any other expectant parent. And don’t ignore it! This urge is a biological instinct that helps expectant parents prepare a safe and secure place for their baby to live after birth. Of course, you don’t have the dangers of the wild to prepare for — just the ups and downs of your future parenthood journey.
If you’re feeling a bit stuck when it comes to your “nesting” instinct, don’t worry. We’ve gathered some helpful suggestions here to help you get started. Whether you feel the urge to nest or not, following these steps can help you feel more bonded to your parenting experience and your future child.
When your little one does arrive, you’ll feel that much more prepared.
1. Clean your house!
Want a clean slate to start preparing for your baby? Embrace the urge to scrub down every last surface, replace old bedding and clothing, and clean everything within an inch of its life.
It’s all a natural part of the process. During the nesting period, expectant parents want their living space to look and feel like home for their upcoming baby. It can help you take control during a time in your life where you have little of it (intended parents waiting for the call from their surrogate can certainly relate).
2. Baby-proof everything.
If you haven’t already, check off that baby-proof list. Babies are notoriously curious; if you don’t take the proper precautions, they can find themselves in dangerous spots around the house before you even know they’re gone.
Baby-proofing your space can give you a peace of mind you may be lacking during the last few weeks of your surrogate’s pregnancy. While there’s not much you can do during your baby’s development in utero, you can certainly ensure they will be safe and taken care of when you bring them home.
3. Set up the nursery.
Haven’t set up the nursery yet? What are you waiting for?
This can be one of the most exciting nesting activities for intended parents. The room is physical proof that, after all this time, you are finally going to have a baby. Go crazy with your decorating, and make sure you purchase all of the supplies you’ll need for your newborn, too.
4. Take parenting classes.
Parenting classes are never a bad idea, especially when you include important information such as baby CPR and first aid basics. You may be worried about what kind of parent you’ll be (as most new parents do), and a parenting class can help you feel more prepared ahead of your baby’s birth. Sure, parenting will always have a learning curve, but these classes are a great place to start.
5. Spend time with your partner (if applicable).
Surrogacy can be a stressful process and, if you’re not careful, it can alienate you from your loved ones. If you’re going through this journey with a spouse, don’t forget to lean on each other and enjoy your last few months as a couple. Try to plan a few date nights and spend some quality time with each other. They will be much harder to come by when you have a newborn demanding your attention 24/7.
6. Create a surrogacy memory book.
Another good way to spend your surrogate’s last trimester? Creating a surrogacy memory book! This can look however you want it to, but many intended parents choose to include photos of and letters from a gestational surrogate, as well as typical baby milestones such as a first ultrasound, footprints and more.
Making a baby book will not only keep you busy, but it will give you a head start on explaining your child’s birth story to them. As they grow up, you can refer back to this surrogacy memory book to normalize and explain your family’s surrogacy journey.
7. Talk with your gestational carrier.
We don’t think you will, but we have to make sure you don’t forget one of the stars of the show — your gestational carrier!
If you’re struggling to create a bond with your unborn child, your surrogate should be able to help. She can give you all the details you want to know about her pregnancy and how the baby is developing. She can share with you pictures and ultrasounds and, if convenient, you can plan dates to catch up and try to feel the child moving in her stomach.
Staying in touch with your gestational carrier is also practical; it gives you updated information on when you can expect your baby to be born, so you’re not completely unprepared when you get the call that she’s heading to the hospital.
8. Research childcare options.
If you haven’t already, you should make a plan for what you will do in the months after the baby is born. It’s normal to get caught up in the immediate post-birth planning, but don’t forget that you (or your spouse) will likely need to return to work at some point — and someone will need to watch your child when you do.
There are a lot of good options for childcare today, but it takes time to find the right fit for your family. Don’t procrastinate on this important step.
9. Pack your hospital bag.
When your surrogate tells you it’s time, the last thing you want to be doing is frantically running around the house, throwing together your hospital bag. So, as soon as your surrogate enters her third trimester, put together a bag for the hospital stay. Include necessities such as a going-home outfit, diapers and toiletries for you, too. Don’t forget to keep your surrogacy birth plan in mind, and pack accordingly.
10. Lean on your surrogacy specialist.
Nesting can be an emotional process, but remember that your surrogacy specialist will always be here to help.
At American Surrogacy, we understand how involved the surrogacy process can be. We know you might also experience complicated emotions along the way. That’s why our specialists are happy to talk to you anytime when you call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). They can always answer your questions and offer suggestions to help you feel more connected to your surrogacy journey. Anything you need, they’ll be there.
Want to learn more about becoming a parent through gestational surrogacy? Contact our specialists today.