Karen Erikson is a mom and a former surrogate, who lives in the Inland Empire (Temecula/Murrieta area) and would like others to know what it’s like to become a surrogate.
In 2019 I completed my first surrogacy journey with Extraordinary Conceptions. It is now 2021 and I am over halfway through my second journey with them. Both journeys have been absolutely amazing. One question that I get asked a lot is how delivering surrogate babies varies compared to the delivery of my own babies. That’s right; I’m a mom too, not just a surrogate. I have three amazing kids of my own!
I can’t speak for how this is done at all agencies, but I can speak from my own personal experience with Extraordinary Conceptions. During the second trimester, as you are starting to really think about delivery, you meet with your therapist team (provided by the agency) and complete a Delivery Expectations form. This form outlines how your ideal delivery would go. It’s almost like creating a birth plan that is specific to your surrogacy journey. This form is also filled out by your intended parents and then the therapist meets with you both to discuss any differences you might have for the ideal delivery and how you can compromise.
Some of the questions on the form are:
Who do you want in the delivery room? Are you comfortable with the intended parents being there? Every hospital has different guidelines for the number of people you can have in the delivery room with you, so your answer might change based on their specific guidelines. During my first journey, I was only allowed two people with me. I chose my fiancé and asked if I could have a Doula in the room with me. The intended parents understood completely and willingly granted my wish.
Are you willing to provide breast milk for the baby? Some intended parents will ask you to pump after delivery. If this is something you are comfortable with, it can provide amazing nutrition for the baby, and also give you additional compensation.
Do you want to spend time with the baby after delivery? This is a big one. I wanted to respect the intended parent’s decision but was also hoping that I would be able to hold the babies. Not only did I get to hold the babies, but I was also able to be the one to hand them to their parents. It was one of the most memorable moments of my entire life and I can’t wait to do it again in a few weeks.
Other than needing to take the intended parents’ delivery expectations into consideration, the delivery of my surrogate babies was similar to the delivery of my own babies. The experience at the delivery hospital was the same as if it were a personal pregnancy, although there were a few more legal documents involved.
Don’t worry, your coordinator team will take care of all the pre-birth orders and other paperwork that the hospital needs. During recovery, there is an adjustment period. Your hormones tell you that you should be taking care of a baby, but there is no baby to take care of. Luckily the agency does provide support for you after delivery if you feel like these hormones are overwhelming. Overall, the joy that I felt (and still feel) overpowered any other emotions that I felt after the delivery of my surrogate babies.
If you have specific questions about surrogacy, please feel free to reach out to me on Instagram: @surro_adventures or by contacting Extraordinary Conceptions at (760) 438-2265.