Questions for IP’s regarding Birth, Hospital, and Postpartum

In an effort to help other Surrogates (and IP’s) I have decided to post my entire list of questions with answers that I went over during my (long anticipated) conference call. Each journey is unique and there may be questions in here that wouldn’t be applicable or you may need to add some questions/details. Either way, I hope this is a helpful jumping off point for any surrogates finding themselves needing to get some answers from their IP(s) regarding birth, hospital, and postpartum care.

Questions for IP’s regarding

Birth, Hospital, and Postpartum

  1. When will you (IP’s) be arriving to the area?

    Beginning of December. IM will arrive first, IP will arrive later.
    They will bring baby home together

  2. Would you like to attend some prenatal appointments? They are currently scheduled out through the estimated due date.

    Yes, IM would like to attend some December appointments. Please email with all December appointment information.

  3. Do you want me to receive a fresh TDAP vaccination?

    Yes

  4. Will you be present for the delivery if possible? At the hospital or in the room?

    At the hospital, we will wait outside the room. We will come in after you and baby are ready.

  5. Would you like me to wechat you a message when I go into labor? Or how would you like to be notified?

    Tell the agency and they will alert IP’s.

  6. What is the plan if baby boy is born before IP’s are able to arrive?

    Hoping for a full term delivery but if baby arrives early the agency will help out and IP’s will arrive ASAP.

  7. Would you like to have birth photography?

    They are OK with pictures but prefer no blood or private body parts.

  8. As soon as baby is born do you want him on my chest until placenta is birthed? Or with the nurses?

    Ok with either, it is up to me and my strength level.

  9. If you are at the hospital would you like to cut the umbilical cord? Or do you not have a preference on who cuts it?

    Anybody can cut it. We will wait for baby to be all cleaned up.

  10. Do you want baby to receive vitamin K shot and eye drops after delivery? (On birth plan)

    Yes

  11. Do you want baby to nurse?

    No

  12. Would you like me to pump for baby?

    Yes

  13. Do you have any birth/postpartum wishes?

    No

  14. I would like to email my birth plan to the agency for you. I would like to have you sign off on my birth plan so that the doctor and hospital know we have discussed it (can be digital).

    Email it to coordinator

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Interview With A Gestational Surrogate’s Husband

“Making the decision to become a gestational surrogate is an extremely rewarding, yet life changing experience not only for the surrogate herself, but also for her spouse. Although you will have the support of your agency, friends, and family, your spouse will be your greatest source of physical and emotional support before, during, and after your surrogacy journey. Having spousal support during surrogacy is so vital, in fact, that in many cases, it is a requirement to work with a surrogacy agency.”   Source: surrogatesolutions.net

 

Q: What was your initial response to your wife expressing interest in becoming a gestational surrogate (G.S.)?

A: I honestly don’t recall what my first response was but I do remember having a whole bunch of thoughts, worries, and questions. I suppose that it wasn’t a huge surprise knowing our friend, who works with our current agency, has been a surrogate several times and my wife has an extremely big heart.

Q: Did you have any concerns? If so, what?

A: I still have concerns. This in uncharted territory for us and I think that people tend to forget that pregnancy and child birth can be life threatening. I worry about the stress it will put on her body. I worry about how we will both feel about going through a pregnancy and birth together and watch the baby leave. Never to be seen again. I suppose it’s somewhat different knowing that, at least in our situation, the child will be zero percent of either one of us, genetically speaking. Only time will tell. I worry about the move back to California and all that it will entail, especially with how scary things have been with the company I work for. So many people have been leaving that I worry that I will still be employed with this company that has allowed me to work remotely. I also have concerns of how our oldest daughter will handle this. Will she understand when I have to help explain to her why the baby didn’t come home with us?

Q: What was your level of support in this decision?

A: I support my wife in this decision. It is, in my opinion, the most selfless act a person could do and it’s just one more thing that amazes me about her.

Q: How will you handle this topic with other people?

A: I believe in knowledge and truth. I think this is an amazing gift to give and I’m happy to speak with anyone that wants to know anything about surrogacy from my point of view.

Q: How will you handle the pregnancy with your young children?

A: I will be honest and explain the best way I can.

Q: What will your involvement be before, during, and after the pregnancy?

A: My level of involvement and support is that of what any husband should do to support his pregnant wife, regardless of whether the baby is ours or not. Mental, emotional, and physical support. Being there for her in any and every way possible.

Q: What if your wife experiences a failed transfer or loss?

A: I will mourn and grieve with her over the loss and support her in any way she needs or wants.

Q: What if your wife receives a request for elective reduction/termination?

A: We have it in the contract that this must be before 12 weeks. I pray it doesn’t need to happen but I support my wife and will honor the wishes of the IP’s and contract.

Q: What is your understanding of the G.S. process?

A:

  • The surrogate is picked by the IP’s.
  • Intended surrogate and IP’s have meetings to see if they think they are a good match.
  • Once a decision is made to move forward, several things happen. Medical and psychological clearance is required for the G.S.. Medical clearance is also required for the G.S.’s partner. Contract is drawn up. Both parties review, amendments are made if necessary and then both parties sign to include G.S. partner.
  • G.S. menstrual cycle tracked.
  • Hormones taken to get body ready when transfer is to happen.
  • Extraction and fertilization of egg(s).
  • Determine which egg(s) will be transferred.
  • Plant fertilized egg(s) in G.S.
  • Monitor gestation and development.
  • All goes well, deliver baby (or babies) which are immediately taken from G.S. in most cases to be taken care of and delivered to the IP’s.

Q: Do you think this experience will affect your relationship in any way? (good or bad)

A: I don’t think it will hurt us. It’s another life experience that we will navigate together.

Q: If roles were reversed, would you consider being a G.S.?

A: I don’t think I can answer that as I can’t possibly know or ever will know what it’s like to bear a child. But from an emotional stand point and personality stand point I’d have to say yes. Otherwise, how could I honestly support this decision?

Q: Any closing thoughts?

A:  While everyone can’t, and in some cases probably shouldn’t, be a surrogate, I think it’s important to understand what it means to be a surrogate.  Research and find out if it is for you.  Talk about it with your spouse and family.  Like many other life events, having a support group is key and crucial.  Know as much as you can about what you are taking on and make sure that your support group is on the same page as you are.  Surrogacy is an amazing and selfless act.  What a great gift to give.  The ultimate gift of a child.  Someone who couldn’t have been called “mother” or “father” without your generous and giving heart.  Being a father I know that joy that being a parent brings and it brings me further joy that others, such as my wife, are able to spread that joy to others.