Surrogacy is about one thing – having a baby. But then again at the same time, surrogacy is about many things at once – not only having a baby (or to clarify, one woman having a baby in place of another), but it’s also about pregnancy and the transition into parenthood. Although surrogacy may be simple in its goal, all of its components are actually quite complex.
Much of the focus of the surrogacy process is placed on getting the gestational carrier pregnant, and understandably so. That can seem like the most complex and daunting part for many people, especially if they’ve struggled with infertility. But if all goes as anticipated, concerns over achieving a pregnancy soon give way to watching the baby develop, monitoring the health of the surrogate during her pregnancy, and then finally, the birth.
Some intended parents are at ease with stepping out of the pregnancy and childbirth spotlight and taking the role of caring and interested observer of their surrogate. And there is nothing wrong with this approach, if it’s the most functional and satisfying path toward parenthood for them. But other intended parents may want more – they may desire not only a close and communicative relationship with their gestational carrier, they may want to forge their own unique way of experiencing the pregnancy (albeit not first hand, but in their own special way), the delivery, and their transition to becoming parents.
Recently I had the pleasure of taking part in the Empowered Pregnancy Summit, an online series of interviews hosted by Krystina Sloan. Krystina is a doula (someone who offers labor and post-partum support) and lactation consultant (someone who offers breastfeeding support) and through this summit, she’s gathered a range of voices in the pregnancy, birth, and parenthood space.
I was thrilled that she asked me to participate and talk about my experiences as a gestational carrier – specifically what the pregnancies and births were like and what I got out of the various surrogacy journeys I completed. And let’s be honest – after going through 10 pregnancies, 11 births, and delivering 12 children, I’m at no loss for what to say about the topic!
But I admit that at first I was hesitant about sharing the link to the whole summit with you, because I know pregnancy and motherhood can be a sensitive and often painful subject for those who are still undergoing infertility treatment. So for those of you still in the thick if it, I offer you love and light and very fertile thoughts that your dreams are soon realized in the new year.
And for those of you expecting a baby through surrogacy, I think the Empowered Pregnancy Summit is a really special chance to explore some of the issues surrounding pregnancy, birth, and the transition to parenthood in a relaxed, flexible way. You can pick and choose which of the seminars to watch – you can watch just mine, or all of them, or anything in between that strikes your fancy. Krystina details the various sessions here on her Facebook page, if you’d like to read more before signing up.
Or if you’re ready to watch and listen now, you can access it here. The sessions are free and available until Sunday, December 18, so don’t wait and lose out.
I hope you enjoy the webinars!