When your baby is born, your focus is going to need to be on their needs, and what’s best for them. This is a normal part of parenting, but parents through surrogacy have often had a long journey towards parenting, often involving a series of disappointed hopes. Parents who have dealt with a series of losses on the road to becoming parents may have complicated emotions to cope with, and taking the time to work through those feelings before a baby is born can mean feeling more ready when a new little one arrives.
Working through grief before a birth with a surrogate or gestational carrier
New parents through surrogacy may be dealing with grief for miscarriages, rounds of IVF that didn’t take, or personal health complications. Families that expected to be able to grow through more traditional methods may also mourn the way this pregnancy is going to be different from their expectations. None of these feelings are bad or wrong, and none of them need to have an impact on the way you’ll feel about or relate to your new little one. On the other hand, dealing with these feelings before Baby comes along is a great way to make sure you’re feeling ready and at your best for them.
There are a few different ways to deal with feelings of grief or regret about losses, whether those losses are previous pregnancies or just the idea of the future a family expected to have.
- Allow yourself the time: There’s a lot going on when you’re getting ready for a baby, but allowing yourself to experience emotions that are mixed, or even negative, as you work through regrets or could-have-beens may not feel good now, but it’s an important part of the process of growing into your happy, healthy future family.
- Consider finding ways to commemorate loss: Some families find that, by finding physical ways to commemorate a pregnancy loss, like planting a tree, or writing a letter, they’re able to better deal with some of that grief, and to start working through it.
- Consider talking to a professional: If you’re having trouble dealing with an emotional response, talking to a mental health professional like a psychologist can be helpful as a way to work out the healthiest ways to work through and live with those emotions. This can also be a great time to reach out to support groups, nonprofits, and other outlets for people going through some of the same kinds of experiences as you.
- Remember that none of it is about your gestational carrier: Negative and anxious emotional responses can be tricky, but it’s important to remember that your gestational carrier’s current pregnancy is a separate situation from what’s happened in the past. Sometimes it may feel like anxieties around the pregnancy are specifically about your gestational carrier, but if you’re dealing with the aftermath of losses or disappointments, this isn’t always true.
Your family is moving into an exciting new chapter, but that doesn’t mean the past didn’t happen. As you move forward with this pregnancy, it’s important to be honest with yourself about what your emotions are, and about the healthiest way to acknowledge and react to them while moving through this pregnancy.