Do you really have to abstain from sex with your husband for the first trimester??

by kristy

I read that the surrogate has to abstain from sex with their partner for the entire first trimester? Is this really true? If so, why? I’ve had three children of my own and was always told I could have sex as long as I felt like it with those pregnancies. This could be the deal breaker with my husband………

Reply by Rayven
Many surrogates have to do this. Nearly every contract is written where the surrogate will follow the clinic’s instructions on abstaining and in addition, at a minimum, will not have relations with her partner for two weeks prior to and two weeks following the transfer. This is to prevent her from accidentally getting pregnant on her own (and YES, it happens).

The whole “first trimester” thing comes specifically from the IVF clinic, and not all require it (though most do). For me, it was stressed maybe 3-4 times during each journey by the clinic while going over medications and procedures.

It doesn’t really matter what you have experienced with prior pregnancies; IVF is different. They are hoping the embryos will attach, it’s not a foregone conclusion.

And IVF is an expensive medical procedure. The clinic just wants to be extra careful and make sure those babies have the best chance of surviving.

If this is a deal breaker for your husband, then maybe your family is not cut out for surrogacy. (and that’s ok!) This is one of the smaller sacrifices a surrogate family makes for the intended parents and the journey. Annoying, yes, but necessary…all the rules in surrogacy are necessary.

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What is the best way to tell your own children about surrogacy?

I’m in the early stages of IVF to be a gestational carrier and I was just wondering if you had any suggestions on how I can try and explain what I’m doing to my own children, ages 5 and 2.

I realize that my 2 year old really won’t have that much of a concept that I’m even really pregnant until the very end. My 5 year old however, will be very confused about the whole thing.

I’ve read some suggestions online, but was curious to see your opinion.  Thanks so much for your help!

Reply by Rayven:
Congrats on your journey!

I think we don’t give our children enough credit. My kids were 4 & 6 when we started our first journey, and they did fine with it.

Now, I should mention that we are a very non-traditional family; I homeschool my children, we’ve always told them Santa is pretend, and we pretty much answer every question they have (now ages 7 & 9) with the blunt truth.

I simply explained to them that my friend’s tummy was broken, and she couldn’t carry her babies. I told them that the doctor was going to put one of my friend’s babies in my tummy and that when the baby was born, he would go home with his mommy and daddy.

That was about it. My daughter (aged 4) wasn’t too much more interested, but my son had lots of questions that ended with a trip to the Bodies Exhibit where he was able to see a petri dish with embryos in it.

During the pregnancy, after it was real, they became more aware and more interested. When strangers would congratulate them on their new siblings, they would immediately, nonchalantly tell them that the twins didn’t belong to our family, but to my friends.

When the babies were born, I asked them if they were sad that they weren’t going home with us, and they very firmly told me “No!”. (I think the crying got to them, lol)

So my suggestion is to tell them what is going to happen, honestly, in terms they can comprehend. A 2 yr old doesn’t understand what a womb is, but she probably understands that babies grow in a tummy. The whole “broken” terminology is something they can comprehend, and it won’t confuse them later.

Best wishes!

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How does it feel giving up a surrogate baby?

by Patricia

How does it really feel giving up a surrogate baby? Is it hard? I know I want to do this, but I’m really worried that I will have a hard time when it comes time to give the child up.

Reply by Rayven

You know, a lot of surrogates will downplay this part of surrogacy, but they shouldn’t. The truth of the matter is that it is a different experience for everyone.

For me, I felt not a drop of remorse, sadness, or regret for giving the three children I carried back to their parents. Instead, I was very happy for them, excited, and felt towards the babies the same way you would feel towards a best friend that just had her baby.

I am not an attached person, and knew going in that it would not be a problem. It wasn’t. But I also realize that I am a rare person, and that others feel much differently.

Let’s talk for a moment about the term “give up”. With surrogacy, you are in no way giving up a baby. The baby was never yours to begin with. You are simply giving him back to his parents. A surrogate is a caregiver, not a family member. Just understanding this important point before hand can go a long way towards not feeling any regret over giving the baby back.

Having and relinquishing a surrogate baby is hard, emotionally, for many surrogates. Now, don’t get me wrong, they don’t suddenly decide to keep the child, but some feel remorse or regret for deciding to do it in the first place.

If you feel, right now, that you may find it hard to give back a baby, then surrogacy may not be right for you. Don’t put yourself into a situation where you will have to live with a decision that was bad for you for your entire life. It’s not worth it.

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Can a couple use more than one surrogate at a time?

How many surrogate contracts are a couple allowed to have at one time? Need information on how many surrogates can you have a contract with at one time.

Reply by Rayven
Some intended parents decide to use two surrogate mothers at one time, but there are a few caveats to this sort of situation. (I have never heard of anyone using more than two surrogates at one time.)

First, surrogacy is an extremely emotional process, and it is very important that there is open communication with all parties. Meaning, if a set of intended parents wanted to use multiple surrogates at one time, then it is very important that they let all prospective surrogates know this during matching.

Many surrogate mothers would never consider such an arrangement. They might feel that there are more intended parents looking for surrogates than surrogates available, and would feel it would be unfair to other intended parents. They may feel like they would be treated like a womb instead of a person. They may feel like the intended parents are running a baby mill. They may fear that the intended parents would run out of funds during such an ambitious project, and not follow through on their commitments. And they might fear being dropped if the other surrogate gets pregnant first – or worse, if the intended parents decide they only want some of the children.

But other surrogates would not have a problem with this set up.

It would be important to bring this subject up during matching and find surrogates comfortable with this situation. The last thing you’d want to do is have two pregnant surrogates (who may not have agreed to this) find out during pregnancy causing stress to themselves and the unborn baby.

Also, intentions need to be examined. Is it the intent to have multiple children? The parents could end up with “twins” (not born on the same day), triplets, quadruplets or more. Are the intended parents willing to parent that many children of the same age?

It’s been done. But it is something that needs to be examined closely and shared with all parties.

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Gestational Carrier…Should She Hold the Baby?

by samamnta

Do you think it is a good idea that the Gestational Carrier holds the baby after it is born, or just have a clean break?. I dont want to sound mean but is it possible that she could bond with the baby if she holds the baby?

Reply by Rayven:
There are a lot of fears with surrogacy. It is a very difficult and emotional process.

But if the surrogate mother is comfortable holding the baby, there should be absolutely no reason why she should not. She has had 9 months to bond with the baby; holding him is a way of ending a journey, of saying goodbye, and of seeing for herself that everything has turned out ok.

Let me tell you about my two experiences:

The first surrogacy, where I had twins, the nurses placed both babies in my arms after the parents had greeted them. I held them for a few seconds, and then passed them onto their parents. I very purposefully stayed away from them following the birth because I did not want to make the parents feel uncomfortable. But I never, I will repeat never, had any second thoughts or felt any more bonded with them after their birth than while I carried them.

For the second surrogacy, things were a little different. The baby decided to come a week before the parents, who lived overseas, were scheduled to arrive. (We all foolishly waited until the last moment; what were we thinking!)

It took them until 2 days after his birth to arrive. Which meant that I was the only person who “knew” him in the hospital. I felt it was my obligation to room-in with him, to bottle feed him, and basically take care of him until his parents arrived. My children changed his diapers, my husband rocked him to sleep. Though we all cared for him, every one of us was relieved when mom and dad showed up!

Again, not to sound cold about this myself, but I did not bond with him. To me, he was my responsibility to care for until I was able to give him back to his parents, but at no point did I feel or desire him to be my child.

I should mention, that all three children were for the same intended parents. They were always very open and generous. They were very glad I had chosen to stay with him those first two days instead of abandoning him to the hospital nursery, but if they had been uncomfortable with my attention, I certainly would have respected their wishes.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that surrogacy is about trust. A surrogate mother is already being entrusted with the most valuable thing on earth: someone else’s child. Most surrogates will want an opportunity to say hello and goodbye to the baby.

That being said, if the intended parents do not wish the surrogate mother to hold the baby after birth, and it is ok if you feel this way, that needs to be explained to the surrogate during the matching phase, to prevent disappointment and hard feelings from happening at the time of birth.

Best wishes!

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