If you’re wondering what it is like being a surrogate mother because you’re new to the process, you’ve come to the right place.
Many women are drawn to surrogacy because they want to change a family’s life for the better and because they love the feeling of bringing new life into the world. Even if you’re sure that you want to be a surrogate, there is a lot that goes into carrying someone else’s baby. Every surrogate is different, so every surrogate’s journey will be different. The surrogacy process can be demanding but incredibly rewarding. When all is said and done, you are giving a family the priceless gift of a child.
You can always speak with a surrogacy professional who can answer your questions about what to expect. In the meantime, we created this article to give you an idea of some common things you can expect during your surrogacy process.
Preparing to be a Surrogate
If you’re asking yourself “What is it like to be a surrogate?” you should make sure that you are fully prepared to carry someone else’s child.
There are questions you should ask yourself, such as:
- Do I like being pregnant enough to carry someone else’s child?
- Am I prepared for the time commitment that comes with being a surrogate?
- Am I emotionally prepared to give the baby to their family after they’re born?
If you feel you are equipped to handle the ramifications of being a surrogate, you can apply. Before you can officially become a surrogate, you will be required to undergo a thorough screening process. This screening is to ensure that you are emotionally and physically prepared to become a surrogate. This process will consist of:
- Background checks
- Review of your medical records
- A physical screening
- Providing documentation of previous pregnancies
- And more
The Legal Side of Becoming a Surrogate
Once you’ve made it through the screening process and have been approved to become a surrogate, you will be able to be matched with intended parents. This step of the process is much easier, safer and more rewarding with the help of a surrogacy agency. An experienced agency can make sure you find the best match, which will ensure you have the best experience with your surrogacy journey.
Once you’ve matched with the intended parents that you feel align with your surrogacy goals, you’ll need legal representation. Your attorney will make sure that you understand your rights and the legalities of your surrogacy decision. They will sit down with you to draft a legal contract that will discuss expectations, responsibilities and how any potential complications may be handled.
If you’re wondering, “What do I have to do as a surrogate?” listed below are certain things that may be outlined in the contract for you specifically are:
- How much you expect to be compensated
- Willingness to terminate
- How many embryo transfers you’re comfortable with
- Who you want present with you at appointments
If you have any questions about the legal aspects of your surrogacy or issues with the contract, it’s important that you bring them up with your attorney as soon as possible so that these concerns can be addressed before the contract is finalized.
The Embryo Transfer [Surrogacy Medical Process]
Before you can begin the embryo transplantation process, you will need to undergo a series of fertility treatments in the form of injections to make sure that your body is prepared to support the embryo. You will also be expected to attend many doctor appointments to ensure that you are healthy and that the fertility treatments are doing everything they’re supposed to.
It’s important to note that it sometimes takes several embryo transfer attempts before one results in pregnancy. This can be emotionally difficult, but it is not your fault. In fact, this is more common than you’d think, just as it is with traditional conception.
When your pregnancy is confirmed, you get to experience all of the joy and excitement, and you’ll be able to see the happiness of the intended parents as they become one step closer to having a family. You are making an amazing and selfless choice, and you deserve to take some pride in that.
Carrying the Baby
Once you are pregnant, the surrogacy process is pretty straightforward! Over the next nine months, you will have the privilege of carrying the baby for the intended parents.
One concern many surrogate mothers have is “Do surrogate mothers get attached to the child?” While this may come as a surprise, most surrogates do not have this issue. We don’t recommend becoming completely unattached, as this would detract from the joy that this experience is meant to bring.
Instead, look at it like you’re babysitting. You care for the child and want to make sure you keep them safe and healthy so that at the end of nine months they can go home with their parents. While they feel connected to the child, many surrogates don’t feel as attached to the child as they did their own.
It may help to know that, as a gestational carrier, you will have no biological relationship with the baby. The IVF process involves the transfer of an entire embryo — which means your own eggs are not used. This helps many surrogates put their relationship to the baby in perspective.
This is also why “surrogate mother” is not the most accurate term. While you will be carrying a baby, you will not be a “mother” because there is no biological relationship between yourself and the baby. Rather, you will be a “surrogate” or, more technically, a “gestational carrier.”
No matter how dedicated and happy you are to your surrogacy, it’s perfectly normal to have difficult emotions. This is mostly because of the pregnancy hormones. If you are experiencing difficult emotions and are in need of support, never be afraid to reach out to a friend, family member, your surrogacy professional or the intended parents. While it might be tempting to hide any unpleasant emotions from the intended parents, confiding in them can enforce a foundation of trust and can be a great relief to you. After all, you’re in this together.
Giving the Gift of Parenthood
What is it like to be a surrogate? It all leads up to the big, life-changing moment when your generosity gives the intended parents the biggest gift of their lives.
This is the day everyone’s hard work and dedication has led up to. Your delivery day is the day you bring a beautiful newborn into the world and give the intended parents the child they have waited so long to have.
This will be an emotional day. If you’ve been emotionally preparing for this day and have formed a strong bond with the intended parents, you will likely experience feelings of joy and excitement. However, because of pregnancy hormones, it’s perfectly natural to experience a whirlwind of complicated emotions that you might not have been prepared for.
When all is said and done, nothing will compare to the joy you will see on the faces of the intended parents when they hold their baby in their arms and the gratitude they will feel towards you. You’ve given them the ultimate gift. The contact you will have with the intended parents and the baby will depend on the arrangement you made before the embryo transfer. Regardless of how close you are with the intended parents, this is an experience that will bond you together forever. If you’re ready to embark on your surrogacy journey, contact a professional today to get started.