It is unquestionable that it takes an exceptional type of woman to become a surrogate. As a surrogate mother, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and great joy in knowing you are helping a deserving couple or individual realize their dreams of parenthood.
You have decided to give a priceless gift, the gift of life, to those who cannot start a family on their own. However, it’s good to know that this unique journey can come with some negatives, and it requires a big commitment emotionally and physically.
Even though every surrogacy is different, my best advice is to be ready! Here are seven things that will help you to have a smooth surrogacy journey. How do I prepare for surrogacy?
1. Educate Yourself
The best strategy when you are considering becoming a surrogate mother is to learn as much as you can about the surrogacy journey. This knowledge is priceless because it will help you prepare yourself and determine if surrogacy is the right choice for you. Remember that when you know better, you do better!
2. Take Good Care of Yourself
From the match to the birth, the surrogacy journey can be physically and emotionally demanding. You will go through the side effects of the pregnancy while still doing your day-to-day duties. Looking out of yourself during pregnancy is important for a positive surrogacy process.
Always keep in mind that your emotional wellness is as important as your physical health during the surrogacy process. Don’t be ashamed of looking for emotional support if you believe you need help to overcome all these challenges. A healthy woman equals a strong pregnancy, which equals a healthy baby!
3. Seek Out Surrogacy Professionals
Whether you want to follow an indie process or work with a surrogacy agency, a lawyer specializing in third-party reproduction is a must. Finding a reputable surrogacy lawyer is important because this professional will be a source of information and will support you with the surrogacy contract, which will often be the foundation, setting the tone for how the rest of your surrogacy process will go.
Read, research, and learn before making your decision!
4. Read Your Contract Twice
It’s good to know that the contract phase is one of the most challenging phases of the journey. Even if all surrogacy agreements have the same basic structure, every surrogate mother should advocate for herself. Read every single word of that contract.
5. Be Organized
Surrogacy is a complex process with several professionals involved, and you will have to attend several appointments (medical screenings, legal appointments, etc.), follow a medical treatment, get regular shots, and so on. Being as structured as possible will help you mitigate stress and anxiety. For example, you can use the calendar on your phone or a paper calendar and color code it to easily identify and follow all your activities at a glance. This small trick will help you keep track of all your appointments and things you need to do.
During this process, you will also have to deal with a lot of documents and mail (surrogacy agreements, retainers, medical protocols, and emails from your intended parents). It’s good practice to keep and organize them. For example, you can use a document holder or file folder for the paper documents and create several folders in your email inbox (one for each professional you work with) to store all your surrogacy emails.
A structured routine and file system will make your journey smother.
6. Be Honest
Be honest with everyone involved in the process, including yourself. You are your advocate, so if something doesn’t feel right, talk about it! The relationship with your intended parents must be based on trust, honesty, and open communication. They will appreciate you speaking up and sharing your feelings and thoughts. This journey will allow you to create a strong bond and grow a long-lasting relationship with them. The stronger your relationship, the better the journey will be.
7. Document Your Journey
This journey will be life-changing for you and your family. It can be worth it to document it to remember it in the future. Some ideas to capture this period are taking pictures or recording some videos during your pregnancy, starting a journal, or creating a blog. Be creative and have fun! This is a unique life-changing journey that will last forever in your memories.
While becoming a surrogate mother is a rewarding decision in itself, there is no greater reward than the look on the intended parents’ face when you give them their baby and witness the beginning of their new family. This exceptional moment alone makes the entire process worthwhile.
What is still to come? Long story short, a roller coaster—a breathtaking, life-changing twisted road that’s filled with laughs, tears, stomach butterflies, and long-lasting relationships.