When you become a surrogate, you’re making one of the greatest commitments you can possibly make. But, as much as you will dedicate your time and energy to helping create another family, it’s also important to recognize that your decision will also impact your own family, especially your spouse.
Women today are required to be raising their own children before pursuing this process, and many also have a partner who will be intimately involved in the journey, as well. Therefore, if you’re considering becoming a surrogate, you’ll need to take extra steps to involve your spouse and children to make sure they’re comfortable and understand exactly what your surrogacy decision will mean for them. For many women, surrogacy is not a choice they make solely on their own — but with their spouse’s help.
What Surrogacy Will Mean for Your Spouse
As mentioned, being a surrogate is a huge commitment, and it will greatly impact the lives of all your family members. When you’re raising children with your partner, necessary work and responsibilities will have to be rebalanced — which is why your spouse should be on board with your surrogacy decision from the start.
Like many pregnant women, you will likely have days where you don’t have as much energy or feel as well as you normally do. Activities that you usually take care of or share with your spouse, like cleaning and watching the children, may seem impossible. Your spouse will need to take on those extra responsibilities during that time. In addition, if you are placed on bed rest or required to miss a great deal of work, this can add to the practical and financial responsibilities for your spouse.
You may also have doctor-mandated restrictions on intimacy, especially when you are preparing for your embryo transfer process. Because you will have heightened fertility, any sexual intercourse with your spouse will be more likely to lead to pregnancy — but not the kind you want. If you’re part of a lesbian couple, talk to your doctor about what intimacy restrictions you may need to adhere to. In addition, just like any pregnant woman, your energy and libido may take a hit during this process, which may mean you’re less interested in physical intimacy. This can very easily drive a wedge between couples, so make sure to address this with proper communication.
Keeping Your Relationship Strong
Your spouse is likely your go-to support system in all other areas of your life, and it should be the same during the surrogacy process. However, because surrogacy is such an emotional journey, it may be difficult to keep the same relationship you’ve always had during potential hard and stressful times. This is why it’s so important that you keep your partner involved, so they feel a real part of the process.
To keep a strong relationship with your spouse, try to follow these tips:
- Ask him or her to come to doctor’s appointments with you, meet the intended parents and be there for the baby’s birth.
- Talk with your partner throughout the surrogacy process, even when things get tough.
- Speak with a counselor if you’re struggling to communicate effectively.
- Focus on the positives, like the surrogate compensation you may be using for a large financial gain, like a down payment on a house.
- Remember that your surrogacy journey is only temporary; maybe plan a special trip or event after you are recovered from your pregnancy.
- Lean on others, like friends and family and other surrogate couples, for support and assistance.
Perhaps most important is something you do before you even begin the surrogacy process — discussing its possibility with your spouse and making sure they support you from the very beginning. Without this support, your surrogacy process will become complicated and could have lasting effects on your relationship. If you are having difficulties explaining the process and your decision to your spouse, you can always contact your surrogacy specialist. She will be happy to help you through this conversation and answer any other questions that your partner may have.
Remember, the most successful surrogates go through the surrogacy process with the full support of their spouse, who is just as excited to be part of such a beautiful, family-building journey. With the proper communication, preparation and dedication, you and your spouse will create a life-changing memory of doing something good that you’ll cherish forever.