There are many differences when you are a Surrogate, than what you may remember while having your own children. As a Surrogate, the IVF Physician will manipulate your natural fertility cycle to trick your body into the pregnancy. This is done with the use of hormones so that your body will accept an embryo even though it was not created by your body.
Once you are pregnant, the pregnancy is monitored by the IVF Physician throughout the first trimester. The IVF Physician will monitor your hormone levels to make certain your body has enough to maintain the pregnancy as well as making sure that the embryo is growing at a normal level.
Once you reach 10 – 12 weeks gestation you will be released to your own OB/GYN. It is at this point of the pregnancy that the pregnancy is considered to be “normal”. You will no longer be taking hormones to maintain the pregnancy, your body will be producing the hormones on its own. Most Surrogates enjoy the second trimester of the pregnancy the most. You may still continue to have regular ultrasounds with your Physician and you are feeling good. It is also at this point that your Intended Parents begin to relax and understand that the pregnancy is doing well.
Once the delivery occurs, this is where the biggest difference is for most Surrogates. So many Surrogates say it is like having a light switch turned off. When you have your own child you experience the excitement of your family and friends for the birth of the new baby. As a Surrogate you have had the attention of the Intended Parents for nearly a year. Once the baby is born, the Intended Parent’s focus changes and is now on their baby. When you deliver your own baby, family and friends gather to see the baby and congratulate you, as a Surrogate they are still there, but they are more ready for life to get back to what it used to be.
You may feel overwhelmed with feeling like you need to get back to being the “soccer mom”. In addition, when you have your own baby, you begin to have pediatrician appointments and everywhere you go people comment on “what a beautiful baby”.
As a Surrogate, all the doctor’s appointments are gone (your OB will see you in 6-8 weeks), when you go out your clothes don’t quite fit like they used to, people don’t know that you just had a baby (since there is no baby) and you still have the overflow of hormones working their way out.
It is important to recognize that you could feel overwhelmed and need to take time for you. You did just deliver a baby and sometimes you need to remind family and friends of this. We prepare our Surrogates for this so they know what to expect as they reach the end of their surrogacy.