When your spouse first told you of her plans to be a gestational carrier, you may have felt a lot of emotions. Now that she’s in the middle of her journey, you likely share her excitement – and you’re proud of her selfless decision to help create a family.
But, being the spouse of a surrogate can sometimes seem like a passive job. After all, she’s the one doing all the work, and you might have no idea what you can do to help out as she brings a miracle into the world.
Fortunately, American Surrogacy is here to help. Below, we’ve gathered a few tips for spouses of surrogates like yourself. Next time you find yourself wanting to help out your spouse during her gestational pregnancy, remember these suggestions:
#1: Make a Game Plan Early On.
The worst thing a spouse of a surrogate can do is wait until she is in the middle of her pregnancy to start helping her out. While your spouse will be the one carrying the intended parents’ child, her surrogacy journey will affect your entire family. You must all make a plan for this journey before you even get started.
When your spouse first mentions her desire to be a surrogate, you should sit down with her and think hard about how this journey will go. She won’t be able to handle her usual responsibilities at certain points, so how will you cover those as her spouse? Who will take care of your children while she attends doctor’s appointments? What would you both do if she were put on bedrest during the end of her pregnancy?
Your spouse’s surrogacy specialists can always assist you in this conversation, but it’s important that you and your spouse can make a plan that works best for your family as early as possible. That will make the journey ahead that much easier.
#2: Don’t Wait to Be Asked.
When a woman is a gestational carrier, she has a lot on her mind: maintaining a healthy pregnancy, cultivating a relationship with her intended parents, and taking care of her everyday responsibilities. She shouldn’t have to make her spouse a chore list, too.
As a spouse, you need to identify the areas in which your wife or girlfriend may need help. Don’t wait for her to ask you to do the dishes or cook dinner; take initiative and be the first to step in to handle those responsibilities.
Offering to help her with certain things – “I’ll take the kids to baseball practice” – instead of asking her what she needs help with will relieve some of her stress. She’ll be grateful.
#3: Take On Her Everyday Duties.
What exactly can you help your spouse with? Think hard about the everyday responsibilities she has a mother. Whatever tasks you typically see her do, take those on for yourself.
Remember that pregnancy is hard work; your spouse will likely be physically and emotionally exhausted at certain times in her journey. Give her the chance to relax by taking care of her duties before she gets home or starts them herself. It will be a pleasant – and welcome – surprise.
Not sure what your spouse usually handles? Ask your children; they will likely know exactly what responsibilities their mom handles in their everyday lives.
#4: Be There for Emotional Support, Too.
Supporting your spouse means more than just handling the practical details of a household and family. Pregnancy and surrogacy can be emotionally draining, even in the best situations, and your spouse will likely want someone to talk (or vent) to when she’s feeling overwhelmed.
It can be tempting to try to fix the situation that is making her upset, but your spouse is likely looking for validation – not solutions. Let her know you are happy to listen to her at any time, and emphasize with her emotions, even if you can’t relate to them. She likely just needs someone to lean on in the hard times and, once she’s worked through her emotions, she’ll probably be ready to move forward with a positive attitude.
#5: Be a Distraction From the Journey.
As much as your spouse is excited for her journey as a surrogate, there will be certain times where she wants a distraction. As great as surrogacy is, it can be overwhelming – and all surrogates reach a point where they want to go about their everyday life without including a conversation about surrogacy into everything they do.
If you can tell your spouse is stressed or overwhelmed, plan something to take her mind off of her troubles. A date night with a nice dinner and movie may be just what she needs. Remind her that, even though she is carrying someone else’s baby, she is still your spouse – and her identity is more than just “someone’s surrogate.”
When she’s ready to get back to her relationship with the intended parents or her next doctor’s appointment, be there to support her. But don’t be afraid to take time for yourself as a couple – without her surrogate pregnancy hanging over your heads.
Want more advice on supporting your spouse through her gestational pregnancy? Her surrogacy specialist will always be here to help. Give our team a call anytime at 1-800-875-BABY(2229) for personal suggestions to get your spouse through the next nine months.