Supporting Surrogates and Intended Parents: What that can look like.
We support all people, from all walks of life. Single parents, couples who are welcoming their first babies, third babies, you name it. We support people in-hospitals, out-of-hospitals at home and at birth centers. I always tell people I will support them whenever and wherever they need support. By a river in the woods, at moonlight? You got it!
While each and every birth is special to us, we absolutely adore supporting surrogates, who put their own needs aside to help people become families. Surrogacy is such a special journey. It's never one that people tread on lightly, and it usually takes years to get from start to finish. So, when potential clients reach out to us looking for us to support them, we jump at the opportunity to be there to help!
Often, labor looks just as it would for one bringing their own baby Earthside, but the smaller details are what set it apart. After a womb-mate comes Earthside, it doesn't go up on the birthing parent like usual, but instead, straight into the arms of the Intended Parent(s). All of the checks on baby happy on that parent, just as they would if it were a Keeper baby.
Sometimes, the spouse of the Surrogate is bedside, supporting their loved one, while other times, they are off in the waiting room, letting the Intended Parents have full control over their birth experience. Sometimes, Intended Parents stay in the birth room for a full two hours after birth, going through all of the newborn things there (skin-to-skin, weight checks, feeding the baby for the first time) while others immediately go to their own, private room for all of that. There is no wrong answer, only what feels right for all parties involved.
I like to include the Intended Parents in the planning of the birth, if possible and if they want to be included. It's nice to have it written down what everyone wants, during active labor as well as once baby is Earthside. Having those discussions beforehand can really give the Intended Parents a good idea of all the decisions that they will have to make for their newborn. We're also happy to supply any resources we can to help the new parents, such as book suggestions, podcasts, baby items, or anything else that can be helpful to them.
While most of our support goes towards helping the surrogate at their birth, we also support Intended Parents in the postpartum, too. Some like to have that extra knowledge and experience as they dive into parenthood with a baby together for the first time, and we are always more than happy to be there for that. Many Intended Parents come from out-of-state or out-of-country, and getting the necessary paperwork needed to take their baby home can take some time, so having us around to help them get settled into parenthood while they're waiting here is something we love to offer.
We are so honored to be invited into such a sacred space to begin with, but even more so when it's a surrogate and Intended Parents. The absolutely selfless act of giving of oneself, watching two families come together for a common cause, it's breathtaking and so, so special. We have the best jobs in the world.