Being pregnant can be a stressful — and exciting — time. Many women who are expecting find themselves swept up in the tasks of preparing to bring a little one home, and their nine months seem to fly by.
But, what if the baby you’re expecting is not yours? What can you do during these nine months to make the time go faster?
In many ways, when you’re a surrogate, your life will proceed as normal. That means you can handle all of your day-to-day activities and responsibilities while simultaneously carrying the intended parents’ child.
However, as important as it is to maintain your daily responsibilities, there are still some very important surrogacy tasks to handle during this time. If you’re looking for ways to stay busy during your gestational pregnancy, check out some of our tips and suggestions below.
1. Involve the intended parents in your pregnancy.
First and foremost, the best way to pass time during your gestational pregnancy is by including the intended parents. This means inviting them to important milestones like ultrasounds and other doctor’s appointments, but it also means taking the steps to establish a long-lasting relationship with them.
As long as it works for both of your schedules, try to set up some activities you can do together — whether that’s a night on the town or something more simple like a lunch date. Remember that many surrogates and intended parents share a relationship long after the baby is born, and the steps you take during your pregnancy to start this relationship will play a big role.
2. Enjoy the time you have with your family.
As you get further in your pregnancy, you may find that you can’t do the normal things you and your family enjoys together. But, that doesn’t mean you have to focus more on your pregnancy than with them. On the contrary, you may find that the extra time you have from not doing more strenuous activities allows you more time to spend with your family. Have a day of adventures out and about, or plan a fun evening at home with your little ones.
Remember that your spouse and your children will be affected by your decision to be a surrogate. In addition to keeping them in the loop about your journey, take the time to make sure they are appreciated and that they know how much you love them, even while you are carrying someone else’s child.
3. Plan for your hospital stay and postpartum recovery.
Just as you would if you were having your own child, you will need to think about your delivery experience and your postpartum recovery when you’re a gestational carrier. It will be different from your past pregnancies; your intended parents will be an active part of your delivery, and you won’t have a little one to care for while you’re at home recovering.
Your surrogacy specialist will help you plan for these steps in your surrogacy journey. You and the intended parents will create a hospital plan together during your pregnancy. You will also need to speak with your employer and your insurance provider to determine what kind of postpartum recovery leave and benefits you may receive. Collecting and organizing the proper paperwork can take some time.
4. Think about how you’ll use your surrogate compensation.
You probably thought about the benefits of surrogate compensation when you first explored this pathway. But, as you receive your compensation throughout your pregnancy, it’s important that you think hard about what you’re going to do with it — to prevent yourself from spending it right away.
Maybe you want to take your family on a vacation. Maybe you want to save up for your child’s future college expenses. It may be a good idea to speak with a financial advisor during your pregnancy to ensure you are taking responsible steps toward your goals.
5. Record your story.
Your intended parents will grow up telling their child about their surrogacy story and your generous assistance. Consider helping them out by contributing to a baby book or writing a journal of your experiences. This way, when your surro-baby is growing up, they can look back on your memories to learn more about you and what their parents’ journey was like.
6. Share your story, if you want.
At the same time, you may wish to share your story with your friends and family. Surrogacy is still a highly misunderstood process, and you may receive certain comments and questions during your pregnancy. If you want to, you can serve as a surrogacy ambassador during your pregnancy — documenting your story via blog or social media can help others understand what you are going through and see the beauty of this family-building process.
7. Stay in touch with your surrogacy professionals.
One of the most important things to do while you are pregnant is keep your surrogacy specialist, surrogacy attorney and obstetrician up to date on your pregnancy and how you are feeling. Surrogacy is a journey with many moving parts, and it’s possible that something may not go as expected along the way.
Whether or not this is the case, staying in touch with your surrogacy professionals will make sure that you take care of every necessary step along the way and reduce the risk of any possible surprises.
8. Pay close attention to your body.
When you become a surrogate, it’s tempting to believe that everything will be the same as your previous pregnancies. But, no two pregnancies are the same — and the health of this pregnancy is arguably much more important, because you are carrying someone else’s child.
That said, pay close attention to your body and the baby’s development. Keep your obstetrician in the loop, and don’t be afraid to speak up if something seems off. While many surrogates deliver healthy, happy babies after an easy pregnancy, there are just as many surrogates who develop complications they never experienced before while carrying their own children.
9. Plan your post-surrogacy relationship.
If you haven’t already, you should talk to your intended parents about their desires for a relationship after you give birth. It’s important that you all are on the same page about topics such as how often you will communicate, whether you will meet in-person or talk over the phone, and more. If you decide to have a post-surrogacy relationship, you can hammer out the details with the intended parents during your pregnancy, making it more likely that your future relationship will be as successful as you all envision now.
10. Enjoy your pregnancy.
It’s easy to get caught up in things designed to keep you busy during pregnancy. But, if you’ve become a gestational carrier, it’s likely because you enjoy pregnancy — so why the rush? While it’s important to get all of your necessary tasks done while you are pregnant, don’t forget to enjoy the experience along the way! Revel in every small change your body makes, and remember the joy of feeling the baby move inside you. After all, it’s part of why you became a surrogate in the first place.
Remember: When you become a surrogate with our agency, your surrogacy specialist will be there for you throughout your pregnancy. To learn more about surrogacy with American Surrogacy, please contact our specialists online or call us at 1-800-875-BABY(2229).