Building a Strong Bond with your IPs can be a Surprising Bonus
Michelle hails from Ontario, Canada but now lives in Nashville with her husband and two daughters (pictured right)
Q: What was one thing that surprised you about your journey?
No question, the relationship I built with my IPs. I was hopeful to get along with my IPs and to have them very involved in the entire pregnancy BUT I was so surprised by the relationship and bond we built throughout the journey. They became an extended part of our family. We hit it off right away during our first FaceTime call and everything just grew from there. I’m thankful we get to continue to be part of each other’s lives and that my family gets to watch little Oliver grow up.
Q: How did you know surrogacy was for you?
My husband and I knew we were done growing our family, but carrying and delivering my daughters was something I truly enjoyed. The idea of helping others by carrying their baby was an amazing opportunity and gift that I really wanted to give. I also found it incredibly important that my daughters understand that families aren’t always made in the traditional sense – families are built on love and that can be different for everyone. Surrogacy was always something that intrigued me and over the last few years I felt more drawn to learning about the process. After doing my research and connecting with an agency, I felt blessed with the opportunity to move forward.
Michelle’s Advice to Surrogates
“Do it…but do it when you and your family are ready. It’s one of the most rewarding yet exhausting things you’ll ever do. Don’t rush into the decision, do your research, make sure you have a strong support system, and be prepared for anything. My first journey was when my kids were old enough to understand what was happening and they got to be a big part of the process. I love that they got to see how families are made in many different ways. I also appreciated that they were old enough to handle mommy being a little less available. The process can take over a year from start to finish and it can include travel time away from the family – plus postpartum down time is something to think about too!”
Michelle’s Advice to IPs
“Get to know your surrogate and make sure you’re all on the same page early when it comes to the big and the small stuff. I think my relationship with my IPs is so good because we had the conversations. We got the uncomfortable stuff out of the way early (our agency and the psych appointment was super helpful in this too) and continued our conversations throughout the entire pregnancy. They checked in on me often and were so supportive. When I think of my support system, I include them, and that was an unexpected benefit.”