The hospital stay is an exciting and emotional time for new parents. But when you’re a gestational surrogate, you might be worried about what to expect.
Many aspects of the surrogate hospital stay will be the same as when you delivered your own child. But there are some major differences as a surrogate going through the childbirth experience. To help walk you through it, we’ve created this guide for everything you need to know about the surrogate maternity hospital stay. If you have any questions, you can always fill out our free information form to learn more.
Please know that this article should be taken as medical advice. If you have any questions, please reach out to a trained medical professional.
Create Your Surrogacy Hospital Plan
To help you, as the gestational surrogate, prepare for the big day, you and the intended parents will work together to decide what your delivery and hospital plan should look like ahead of time. Much of this will be decided before you even begin the embryo transfer process, so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare before your surrogacy hospital stay. When you create your surrogacy contract with your attorney, you’ll already know things like how the intended parents will establish their rights and whether they have any specific requests for the birth.
Before you even get to the hospital, you’ll already know what to expect, so you can focus on having a healthy, safe surrogate labor and delivery process.
As you think about what to include in your hospital plan, here are some questions that you might ask yourself:
- Which hospital do I feel most comfortable delivering at?
- What medication do I want to use during childbirth?
- Who do I want in the delivery room with me?
- And more
Like most parts of the surrogacy process, your surrogate hospital plan is flexible. If there any changes that you need to make during your pregnancy, please reach out to your surrogacy specialist. Communication between everyone involved will always be an important part the surrogacy process. But this is especially true when it comes to the hospital stay.
Prepare for the Delivery Experience
Once you’ve created your surrogate hospital plan, it will be time to get ready for the hospital stay. Most of the time, the intended parents will be in the surrogacy delivery room with you. And for many gestational surrogates, that was one of the greatest gifts they ever experienced.
When Megan went in for her cesarean section, the intended parents, Shiloh and Lindsey, were there to support her. Seeing the intended parents hold their twin babies for the first time made the entire experience worthwhile for Megan.
“When they brought the babies in to meet me, with Lindsey and Shiloh, she handed me one and I started crying and she started crying,” Megan says. “So, that right there that was our special little moment. And there’s nothing better in the world than to see that.”
Once you arrive at the hospital, your experience will follow your delivery plan. The intended parents will be there to support you through the surrogate delivery process. Like any new parents, they might be the first ones to cut the umbilical cord and participate in skin-to-skin contact.
Spend Time with the Intended Parents
Once you and the intended parents have experienced the miracle of bringing a child into the world, you’re almost at the end of your surrogacy journey.
Depending on the hospital surrogacy policy, the intended parents might stay in their own room to bond with their little one while you recover from your surrogate baby delivery in your own room. If they’re not able to do that, then they might stay with you in your room (if you’re comfortable.) If not, they’ll relocate to a nearby hotel while the baby stays in your room or the maternity ward.
Now that everything is settling down, take some time to yourself to relax and recuperate. And, of course, you can spend this time with the intended parents during your recovery period. Unlike the period of recovery that you might need from your average pregnancy, you might recover quicker without a newborn to care for.
Typically, you’ll have to wait for a period of 24 hours before you can be discharged. If you and the baby are able to be discharged at the same time, then you can leave with the intended parents. But normally, the baby will be discharged first. So, there’s a little bit of waiting on your part. Before the intended parents leave, their attorney will make sure that any and all important paperwork has been completed before the intended parents can head home from the surrogate hospital stay. Your surrogacy specialist and attorney will also be in touch with you for any additional steps of the surrogacy process after delivery. Once everything is ready, you can leave the hospital and return home. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll never see each other again! Once Lindsey and Shiloh were able to take their new babies home, they were ecstatic that they were able to continue a relationship with Megan:
“I never thought that it would go from complete stranger to best friend and a relationship that will always be there, so that’s pretty neat,” Lindsey said.
Returning home might be a little disorienting at first. Right now, your body thinks that there’s a baby you need to take home, which is coming from your pregnancy hormones. Although you might be recovering well physically, you might still be mentally exhausted for a little bit. So, please take advantage of your maternity leave to rest and recuperate. Don’t feel like you have to push yourself to get back on your feet. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling like yourself again.
It’s hard to believe that you’ve just completed the surrogacy process. After months of hard work, you’ve just given the intended parents the greatest gift they’ll ever have: their child. Getting to see the intended parents hold their baby for the first time is an experience unlike any other, and it’s one that you will cherish for a lifetime.
When Nicole say the intended father hold his son for the first time, she was left with a sense of awe:
Nichole said. “Seeing Nicholas see his child for the first time — it was amazing. A weight was almost lifted off of my shoulders, in a sense that he came out and he was healthy and that I was able to give [Nicholas] everything he had ever wanted.”
We’re sure that you will feel the same way. In the intended parent’s eyes, you will always be their hero and they will be forever grateful to you.
What to Pack in Your Surrogate Hospital Bag
Before you know it, the big day will finally arrive. But before you make your way to the surrogate delivery room, it’s a good idea to plan for what to include your surrogate hospital bag.
Some things that you should definitely include are:
- Your driver’s license
- Your insurance cards
- Your surrogacy contract
- The pre-birth order (if applicable)
Items that you’ll want to include for your own comfort are:
- Socks and slippers
- Nursing bras
- Extra underwear
- A robe to wear over your hospital gown
- Loose, comfortable clothing
- A toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hair ties
If you need other ideas on what to include for your gestational surrogacy delivery, you can always reach out to your specialist.
If you have any questions about the surrogate delivery process, a helpful specialist would be happy to answer your questions. You can always reach out to us through our free contact form at any time for more information.