When you’re an intended parent, you often have to sacrifice some big experiences found in a typical pregnancy journey. But, you don’t have to sacrifice having a baby shower!
As you go through the surrogacy process, you may have friends or family members approach you about throwing you a baby shower. Or, you may want to throw a baby shower yourself. Either way, you may be unsure of how to approach this celebratory event if you’re not actually the one giving birth.
The good news? It won’t matter. Regardless of how you get to parenthood, you are expecting — and you deserve all the love and appreciation that any other parent-to-be would receive from their friends and family.
In many ways, your baby shower will be the same as any other parent’s. However, there are a few things you’ll want to consider ahead of time to have the most positive baby shower possible, for yourself and for your gestational carrier.
Remember, you can always contact our surrogacy specialists for tips and advice anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229). In the meantime, we’ve offered a few tips to guide you through your party-planning process.
1. Be Involved in the Planning of Your Shower.
In a traditional pregnancy, many expectant parents leave the planning all up to the friend or family member who offers to host. But, because the family-building process is a bit more complicated for those pursuing surrogacy, it’s important that intended parents play an active role in the planning of their baby shower. That way, they can ensure the process is represented truthfully and positively.
Involving expectant parents in any baby shower is also a good logistic move. Parents-to-be are often busy as can be in the time leading up to their child’s birth (especially so if they are coordinating a gestational surrogacy). If a friend or family member is throwing your baby shower, talk to them about your desires for a party, including:
- Guest list
- Time and date
- Gifts or no gifts
- Food and game list
- And more
This is your baby shower, so it makes sense that your loved one will want to create an experience you will enjoy! Don’t be afraid to make your preferences known throughout the planning process.
2. Think About Whether You’ll Include Your Gestational Carrier.
One of the more complicated parts of throwing a baby shower for a gestational surrogacy is the addition of a gestational carrier. While it may make total sense to you to include your surrogate in the festivities, your loved one throwing the event may worry about including her for fear of confusing other guests, hurting your feelings, or taking attention away from you and your spouse during the event.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to invite your gestational carrier (and determining what role she will play) will always be up to you.
If you have a great relationship with your surrogate, it may seem only natural to include her in this important event. Including your surrogate won’t draw attention away from you; she will be excited to simply be a part of your journey, and she’ll make sure to talk to your guests about your journey as parents, not her own as a surrogate. If you want to invite your surrogate, make sure to give her the heads-up on what she can expect and emphasize that she is in no way obligated to bring a gift. After all, she’s already giving you the best gift possible.
What if you’re not sure you want to invite your gestational surrogate? Maybe you’re worried how your loved ones will treat her or that her inclusion might cause a bit of awkwardness. Perhaps you just want your baby shower to be a small gathering of close family and friends. If this is the case, it’s completely your right to exclude her from the list — but it’s a good idea to explain your decision in person, so she doesn’t feel slighted or un-appreciated. Maybe offer to take her out for a nice lunch or dinner (if possible) to celebrate the baby’s impending arrival on your own.
If you’re having trouble with this conversation, don’t hesitate to reach out to your surrogacy specialist for guidance and suggestions.
3. Make Sure Your Guests Understand the Surrogacy Process.
When you’re having a child via gestational surrogacy, you automatically become an ambassador for the surrogacy process. So, expect your guests at your baby shower to be a bit curious about this process and what it entails on your end.
Many intended parents want to enjoy their baby shower with their friends and family, not answer questions about surrogacy throughout the whole thing. And no one wants a loved one discovering you’re going through surrogacy when they first arrive at the baby shower. To avoid this awkwardness, and to help all of your guests have a base knowledge beforehand, make sure your announcements include the fact that guests will be showering the intended parents and a gestational carrier. You can also include some basic information about how surrogacy works to reduce the likelihood that you’ll spend your party answering the same questions over and over again.
Another note: If you’re planning on including your surrogate in the festivities, make sure your guests know who she is, and make it clear whether or not gifts are also expected for her during the gathering.
With a little bit of preparation, you can have the baby shower that you deserve after your long path to becoming a parent. Surrogacy can be complicated, but approaching every step in the process with an open mind and the right information can make all the difference.
Want more tips on hosting the best baby shower for your family? Talk to your surrogacy specialist or to other intended parents for advice and suggestions as you get ready for the big event.