The surrogacy journey is long, but, like all good things, it eventually must come to an end. However, not everyone’s surrogacy journey ending looks the same, and many people may not realize that their story as a surrogate or intended parent doesn’t end in the delivery room. It can be helpful to know what to expect as you transition out of surrogacy and bring your journey to an end.
The transition out of surrogacy
The process of handing off the baby from the gestational surrogate to the intended parents is not the only transition that takes place during the end of surrogacy. Both the surrogate and intended parents will experience a significant transition, both physically and emotionally, as the birth of the baby initiates the closing of the surrogacy chapter and the start of an entirely new journey.
For the surrogate, giving the baby she gestated for nine months to the intended parents represents an important milestone; she has successfully given her intended parents the ultimate life-long gift.
For the intended parents, they will shift into a completely new lifestyle, one that they could once only dream about.
As a result, for both parties, there is a wave of emotions during this transitory period. It is completely natural for both the surrogate and the intended parents to have a lot of feelings during this stage of the process.
No matter what kind of emotions you feel, know that they are validated. For surrogates, the majority will feel an immense sense of accomplishment and joy. However, there are some who may feel a sense of loss, especially those who have developed a strong relationship with their intended parents. This is also a completely normal feeling to have, and it is one that can be mended by continuing to maintain a relationship with the intended parents after the journey has ended.
Similar to surrogates, many intended parents also can feel a variety of emotions, all of which are completely normal and valid. Some new parents feel extreme joy and excitement, while others feel overwhelmed and anxious. These feelings of nervousness make sense, however – it’s daunting to even just think about such a small, helpless child being completely reliant on you. Luckily, there are many ways intended parents can bond with their new baby after surrogacy.
Bonding with a child after surrogacy
For intended parents, the main concern that is often on people’s minds is developing an emotional connection to their new baby. New parents can establish a connection with their baby in many different ways, and it’s important to know that not all parents feel an immediate, instant connection with their children. Getting skin-to-skin contact, snuggling with the baby, talking to the baby, and familiarizing the baby with its new environment at home are great ways to bond with the baby and create a strong emotional connection.
Returning to surrogacy
For gestational surrogates, the feeling to immediately want to jump back into surrogacy may arise. A lot of surrogates will experience this desire after handing the baby off to the intended parents and watching as they cradle the gift that they were selflessly given, a gift they will be eternally grateful for. It comes alongside an immense amount of joy and fulfillment. Some intended parents wish to pursue surrogacy a second time, so it’s possible that a surrogate will have the opportunity to work with their intended parents more than once.
The transition that takes place after the surrogacy journey ends can be difficult. There are a lot of emotions that can be felt on both sides. For the intended parents, many feel a sense of joy, as well as fear. For gestational surrogates, many feel a great sense of satisfaction, but sometimes loss. It’s important to be aware of the feelings you may encounter as your surrogacy journey comes to an end. Understanding these emotions can help you transition better as you close this chapter of your life and reflect on your experience for the future.
Your relationship and communication with your surrogate or intended parents are going to become different after the surrogacy journey ends. The surrogate will move on after pregnancy, and the intended parents will have a newborn to care for. A good way to make the final transition more pleasant and meaningful is to find a way for the intended parents to keep in touch with the surrogate, even if that just means sharing significant milestones. This can help both parties maintain a positive, lasting relationship.