The surrogacy journey can be a roller coaster of emotions for intended parents who are building a family using a surrogate. From the initial decision to pursue surrogacy to the actual birth of their child, intended parents may experience a huge range of feelings. This can include anticipation and excitement to meet their new child, anxiety, and fear while waiting for the baby to be born. Navigating the emotional journey of surrogacy can be a huge challenge, but there are steps that intended parents can take to support themselves. Here is a comprehensive guide to help ease intended parents as they navigate their surrogacy journey.
Why is Surrogacy an Emotional Journey for Intended Parents?
Surrogacy can be an emotional journey for intended parents because the intended parents have a deep desire to raise a child. In order to get this child, they need to have faith that a surrogate will make this deep desire a reality. For many intended parents, the journey to surrogacy may have already been long and difficult. Many people go through years of trying out different infertility treatments, some may have experienced the devastation of miscarriages, and other difficult challenges may have arisen too. Not to mention, entrusting their hope of a child to someone else takes a huge leap of faith. Intended parents may feel especially emotional because of the vulnerable position they are in. As the surrogacy journey progresses, intended parents will go through an array of emotions, including excitement, happiness, anxiety, and dread. Navigating these emotions can be an enormous challenge. However, with proper support and the right resources, intended parents can find comfort and strength during their surrogacy journey.
Set Realistic Expectations
Intended parents need to set realistic expectations if they want to navigate the emotional journey of surrogacy successfully. It is vital that intended parents have a clear understanding of what the surrogacy process entails. They need to be prepared for the ups and downs that may arise. The surrogacy process is complex, and intended parents will need to contend with varying factors such as the legalities of surrogacy within their state, the gestational surrogacy cost, and the medical procedures. To ensure you are prepared for the journey, you should consider working with an agency to locate a surrogate. Surrogate agencies have knowledge of all aspects of the process, and they employ professionals in varying fields who can help you along the way. When it comes to surrogacy, there is a potential for unexpected changes and setbacks. An agency will help you manage your expectations and guide you on your journey.
Build a Positive Relationship with the Surrogate
It is essential to have an open and honest relationship with the surrogate, as it will help you feel more connected to your future child. It will also help you stay involved throughout the process. Try to keep communication channels open with the surrogate, and encourage them to reach out to you. You should also work together to establish boundaries and clear expectations. It is important for you to respect the surrogate’s needs and feelings throughout the process. In turn, it will help you maintain a positive and respectful relationship.
Make Milestones a Big Deal
A great way to manage your emotions is to celebrate each milestone you hit throughout the journey. Surrogacy is complex, and there are many steps you need to take. From the initial matching process to finally holding your child in your arms, every little win is worth celebrating. Celebrating these milestones can help you to feel a sense of accomplishment. They can also serve as a reminder of everything you have had to go through to get to that particular point. Intended parents can celebrate milestones in numerous ways. This includes taking progress photos, journaling or scrapbooking, or treating yourself to something special.
Prioritizing self-care can help you deal with the difficulties of the surrogacy process. This process can be all-consuming, and it is easy for intended parents to forget to do things that ground them. Making time to do things you love can make a huge difference to your emotional well-being, and it will help you deal with the process better. Self-care takes many forms, and what is right for one person might not be suitable for another. People find comfort through exercise, therapy, meditation, and spending quality time with the people they love. The key to practicing self-care is to find activities that spark joy and promote relaxation and to make time for these activities regularly.
Reach Out to Loved Ones
Speaking to loved ones and telling them about your decision to pursue surrogacy can be incredibly difficult for intended parents. It is natural to worry about how others will react as it is a personal decision. Try to remind yourself that you are not alone in this journey, and your loved ones can provide crucial support for you during the surrogacy process. When having this conversation, be open and honest with your loved ones and explain the reasons behind your decision. In addition, it might be helpful to educate them about the surrogacy process too. Give your loved ones space to process their emotions, and allow them to ask any questions they may have. Clear communication can help to alleviate some of the concerns that may arise when sharing your news with them.
Surrogacy is a complex journey that can be both challenging and rewarding. Practicing self-compassion will help ease some of the difficulties of this journey. Self-compassion means treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and acceptance. Acknowledging that the journey you are on is not easy and that it is okay to feel a plethora of emotions—even if the emotions are not positive. If you are in a negative mindset and you are experiencing feelings like fear, anxiety, or grief, acknowledge it. These emotions are valid and normal. Don’t cast them aside. Intended parents can practice self-compassion by giving themselves permission to feel a multitude of emotions, getting enough rest, and accepting support from others. By treating yourself with compassion and kindness, you can better cope with the emotional roller coaster of the surrogacy journey.