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In the Delivery Room with a Surrogacy Delivery
a blog by Pamela MacPhee, June 11, 2012
There are so many expectations and anxieties in any delivery room, but the anticipation of a surrogacy delivery can be especially anxious. Because so much is emotionally invested in a surrogacy journey, the desire for everything to go perfectly can be a bit overwhelming. And then, of course, is the tiny awkward detail of juggling two couples in the delivery room, in addition to the doctors and nurses that are there (four in our case).
So, here’s the good news. Yes, it’s a little crowded in there, but it’s still a private experience, and on the plus side there is a lot of support for each other, so it’s like being on a team with lots of backup. Maybe this team is a little bigger than you originally envisioned when you set out to start your family, but the end goal is still the same: a baby’s arrival. When I was a surrogate, my husband and the parents-to-be surrounded me with words of comfort near my pillow, sharing that moment of expectation together after journeying together for more than a year, all of us anxious and excited and hopeful that their dreams were finally coming true.
On our surrogacy journey, the four of us had met with a third party reproduction psychologist shortly before the birth, who helped us talk about our wishes for the delivery so we could create the experience everybody hoped for. By all means I highly recommend this approach to encourage the best possible experience. We all agreed on our wish for the baby to be handed directly from the doctor to the new mother and father, so they could hold her as soon as possible.
She arrived with a cry and a gasp from her mother. The new parents quickly turned away from the heartbreak of infertility and toward the perfect little being they had waited years to welcome into the world, grasping her tiny little fingers and staring at her with overwhelming awe and gratitude.
And I was given the opportunity to hold the baby later on in recovery to welcome her myself into the world after carrying her around for nine months. Contrary to the concerns of some intended parents, allowing the surrogate to hold the baby does not bond the surrogate with the baby, but instead allows her closure with the opportunity to say hello and goodbye. I believe it actually makes everything much easier. It was not hard for me to give the baby up after I greeted her because I knew she was theirs, I had agreed to be their surrogate precisely for the joyful moment of handing her over, and I was simply giving her back.
So, yes, a surrogacy delivery is a little bit different. But that lucky little baby girl arrived surrounded by caring, love and hope. And it was a truly fulfilling moment and journey for all of us..