10 Daily Reminders for Surrogates

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When taking on something as large as surrogacy, it’s unsurprising that surrogates can forget about the little things. We find that women who make the most successful surrogates are often so filled with the desire to make others happy that they can forget about making themselves happy in the process. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 10 things surrogates should remind themselves of on a daily basis.

  1. Keep an open mind, and let your heart guide you. Whether you’re reviewing profiles or planning for the birth, keep an open mind to all ideas. This is a new experience and may, at times, feel foreign to you. Keeping an open mind will allow you the possibility to have the best experience possible. Even so, always let your heart be your guide.
  2. Great things take time. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Your process may take many months, sometimes more than a year, to complete. And the length of the race is different for every runner. When you feel exhausted, remember that the finish line is well worth crossing, no matter how long it takes to get there.
  3. This is as new for your intended parents as it is for you. It can be easy to get frustrated during your journey. Try to remember that, even if you’re a repeat surrogate, this is very likely your intended parents’ first experience with surrogacy. You’re all learning as you go. Remembering to be empathetic, patient, and kind will help keep your journey positive.
  4. Use your network. From your nurse coordinator to your case specialist, you are surrounded by professionals who are here to help you. These professionals want to make your journey better and welcome you to reach out for help. This network of professionals is provided as a benefit to you, and your call is never a bother to them. If you have a question, no matter how silly it seems, we want you to use your network.
  5. Your IPs are so grateful for you. Not all intended parents have the best communication skills. Sometimes that lack of communicative prowess can leave a surrogate feeling underappreciated. No matter what level of contact you may have with your IPs know that they value you immensely. You are making their dreams come true, and it’s a level of gratitude that they may never find words to express.
  6. Seek Community. You’re not the first woman to become a surrogate. Finding others who have done this before you, or who are currently doing this, can offer a world of support. Through social media and the internet, it is easier than ever to find a community of like-minded women with whom you can share your experiences.
  7. A negative pregnancy test is not your fault. When a transfer fails it is all too easy to blame yourself. We understand this reaction. But understand that this is not your fault. In most cases there is nothing that you did, didn’t do, or could have done differently to lead to a different result. Sometimes things just don’t work. What is important is to keep swinging the bat, eventually you’ll hit the ball.
  8. This is YOUR journey, no one else’s. Being a surrogate grants you access to the ranks of the hundreds of women who have traveled this road before you. Many of them may currently be on the same path you’re walking. It’s only human nature to compare your journey to theirs. But it’s important to remember that your experience differs from theirs in many ways. Try not to compare your experience to those of other surrogates, it’s the quickest way to not enjoy the journey that you’re on.
  9. Take care of yourself, you’re worth it. Be sure to get the sleep you need and drink plenty of water. Take the time to make yourself a priority, you’re worth it.
  10. Have faith in yourself. No matter what you experience on your journey to creating a family, never forget that you can do this. Have faith in your body, your heart, and your dedication to this process. You’ve got this.
Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.