Becoming a parent is one of life’s greatest joys. As you start the surrogacy process, the last thing you want to think about is your infertility journey. After all, your dreams are finally coming true. Now that parenthood is your destination, you can put those painful memories in the rearview mirror and move forward. What is there to worry about?
A lot, actually.
Before you dive headfirst into the surrogacy process, you need to come to terms with and fully grieve your infertility journey. There’s just no way around it. Any unchecked feelings about your infertility journey will impact your mental health, your parenting experience and your relationship with your child. If you haven’t already accepted your infertility grief, it’s going to be hard to move forward from your loss and give the surrogacy experience your all.
Many intended parents have successful parenting experiences after infertility, but you do need to be aware of the challenges that arise when it comes to parenting after infertility.
Why Accepting Your Infertility is a Crucial First Step
The grief of infertility is a heavy burden to carry. It’s so heavy, in fact, that it will be easy for your child to pick up on any negative emotions that you’re trying to keep bottled up.
Even if you think that you’re doing a good job handling your grief and loss, any resentment you have toward not being able to carry your child yourself will affect your relationship with them and their self-esteem. And often, it can hurt your child for many years to come.
We know that you’re excited to become a parent and that you’re more than ready for this experience. However, becoming a parent when you’re not 100% emotionally ready is not fair to you or your child.
The way you feel about your surrogacy experience will shape how your child sees themselves and how they see the surrogacy process. If you continue to carry around resentment about the surrogacy process, or if you only see surrogacy as the second-best option, your child could start to feel like they’re like they’re the backup plan or like the way they came into this world wasn’t enough for you.
Of course, we know that you never want your child to feel this way. It’s OK if surrogacy wasn’t your first choice, but to prevent your child from ever feeling these painful emotions, you need to heal and fully accept your own fertility loss before moving forward.
You’ll never be able to fully embrace the idea of surrogacy when your heart is still yearning for that pregnancy experience. You might feel like you’re “giving up” by choosing surrogacy instead of sticking with IVF treatments. That’s absolutely not the truth. But, if you’re going to put so much time and energy into this family-building process, then you need to be 100% on board in order to become the best parents a child could ever ask for.
How to Cope with Infertility
Learning how to cope with infertility is the first step toward moving forward. On your journey to parenthood, there are a few ways that you can cope with and eventually accept your infertility.
- Share your feelings: We know that it’s hard to talk about, but infertility affects more families than you know. If you’re one of the many couples coping with infertility, we know that it can be tough to talk about and be open about what you’re experiencing. But just know that you’re not alone. About 1 in 8 couples experience the devastating heartbreak of infertility. There are people ready to listen to what you’re going through. You can always reach out to an infertility counselor when you need advice.
- Allow yourself to truly feel your emotions: Going through infertility is already hard enough, so don’t feel like you must keep everything bottled up. You’re not doing yourself or your partner any favors when you pretend that everything is OK when it’s not. Fully embracing each of the stages of grief is the key to moving forward.
- Be honest with your partner: Your partner will be your closest source of support. What you’re going through right now is incredibly difficult, but it’s important that you don’t suppress feelings that can easily turn into resentment and frustration. Share your fears and worries, and work together to come up with a plan to address them.
Becoming the family you’ve always dreamed of is an incredible feeling. But know that parenting after infertility is not as easy as you might think — especially when you haven’t fully dealt with the loss.
Grieving this loss is often the hardest part about becoming a new family after infertility. It’s not uncommon to have lingering emotions of grief and loss long after infertility. Practice self-care and reach out to professionals to keep yourself as mentally healthy as possible. And, remember, there’s nothing wrong with waiting until you are ready to start your new dream as a family through surrogacy.
Your Child’s Differences Should Be Celebrated
Being born through surrogacy is not something that just happens every day. Your child is going to be curious about this process as they get older, and it is something that should be talked about openly.
Children who are born through surrogacy need to know that their unique story is something to be celebrated and embraced. They need to know their story, and they need to hear it from you.
As they learn more about surrogacy, they’re going to come to you with any questions they may have, and it’s up to you to answer them. It will be hard for you to talk about your struggles with infertility if you haven’t yet healed from that experience.
Start Your Parenting Journey
The grief of infertility is not something that will disappear overnight or when you become a parent. These emotions may come back when you least expect it. But, if you are doing the work that’s needed to cope with these feelings of grief and loss, then you should have no problem moving forward and becoming an amazing parent.
To learn more about how American Surrogacy can help you reach your parenthood goals, please contact our specialists today at 1-800-875-2229(BABY).