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The Biggest Ask Forums For Surrogates Feeling Stressed

  • Feeling Stressed

    Posted by Ashley on January 10, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    We are a little over halfway through our journey (!), and I am suddenly feeling a little overwhelmed. We left our agency early on as they were not supportive, and left me to navigate the contract alone with a lawyer of their choosing. My IP’s said we could use another agency if I wanted, but at the time did not think it was important, and knew it would save them so much. Later on, I realized many things had been overlooked (for example, I switched to my husband’s insurance at their request as it is surrogate friendly, but the premium is three times what mine was. I am not being reimbursed for this.) All I wanted to do was help my amazing IP’s have a family! I was not thinking of myself (or my own family) as much as I should have.

    Now that things are physically more difficult, and realizing I still have the hardest part ahead of me – I wish I had advocated for myself more and am feeling overwhelmed by this. (And normal pregnancy things – our house is a mess when it normally isn’t because of my energy, etc.)

    Again, my IP’s are so wonderful. I hesitate to even say “I am feeling a little stressed” to them. I am sure they have noticed I haven’t been 100% myself recently.

    I have already talked to a therapist, which was helpful! But they mostly confirmed that I was so wrapped up in helping, that I did not consider what this part of our journey would look like.

    Has anyone ever had a similar experience, or know someone who has? I feel bad even typing this out!

    Ashley replied 2 weeks, 5 days ago 4 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Aostoff

    Moderator
    January 10, 2023 at 9:04 pm

    Hi Ashley,

    I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I do think you aren’t alone in this. I think it’s very common for surrogates to just want to help so badly and forget to stand up for themselves or make sure to protect themselves.

    I am curious if there is anything in your contract that you could re-evaluate about the insurance premium. I definitely think you should be reimbursed for the premium being so much higher than the policy you previously had.

    As far as everything else – I definitely don’t think you should feel badly about letting your IPs know that things are stressful for you right now and even getting into specifics with them. It isn’t an attack on them or your journey, just simply getting all the feelings out. And I honestly think it could be better for all of you in the long run for communicating. Please don’t hesitate to reach out more if you need more help! We are all here for you and so hopeful it can only get better from here for you! <3

    • Ashley

      Member
      January 11, 2023 at 4:48 am

      I came back still feeling guilty for feeling this way and thinking I should delete this all together, and was overwhelmed by two amazing responses. At the time, all of the miscellaneous things felt so insignificant in comparison to how strongly I wanted to help – I could not have known I would feel this way later. Thank you for understanding and for making me feel less alone.

      • MJC

        Administrator
        January 11, 2023 at 7:11 pm

        Hi Ashley! Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your experience with us. I think so many surrogates feel the same way and I know it isn’t always easy being vulnerable. If you’re feeling up to it, I would talk to your IPs about what’s going on and tell them how you’re feeling. Being pregnant is HARD and sometimes I wonder if our brains are wired to forget how hard it is so we do it again 😛 Asking for housekeeping is super reasonable and so is asking that your IPs cover the premiums that went up. No matter what type of surrogacy journey it is, surrogates should never have to pay out of pocket for anything. Therefore, any request to get reimbursed is super reasonable.

        As an intended mother, I would want to know how my surrogate is feeling and if there is anything I could be doing to make it less stressful. I would welcome the opportunity for a discussion like that and i think in the end it can make you guys even closer! Good luck 🙂

        • Ashley

          Member
          January 11, 2023 at 11:54 pm

          Thank you for sharing an IM perspective, while also being understanding! (I so appreciate that.) I know that I would also want my surrogate to come to me with anything if roles were reversed – I just do not want to change our relationship, take away from their excitement, or be a burden. And I also knew going in that my compensation was low, but it did not bother me as I truly would have done it for absolutely nothing. Now I realize that was a little (or very) naive.

  • Tandy

    Member
    January 10, 2023 at 9:08 pm

    First of all, congrats on getting to the halfway point! That’s such a big deal. You are doing such an amazing thing for this family.

    Second, I relate to this so strongly. I had such a great relationship with my surrogacy coordinator (still do, she’s great!), but I absolutely didn’t know what questions to ask and wish I would have received a bit more guidance. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so I didn’t know how to advocate for myself. She was an amazing resource, but I felt like I didn’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. Looking ahead into my second surrogacy journey (same IFs) in the upcoming year or two, there are definitely things that I am going to request in my contract to help set up myself and my family to be better supported. I also felt bad requesting things that seemed extravagant (like a cleaning service for my 3rd trimester!!) at the time of legal review, but looking back on it, that would have really been a huge benefit to me and my family.

    I also understand the feeling of hesitance around mentioning to your IPs that you’re feeling stressed. My IPs have been through so much loss that I didn’t feel that my negative feelings had any space in the relationship. This was totally on me, as they were absolutely amazing and asked me how I was feeling and how they could support me every step of the way. I hope that I can let that go and open up a bit more about my feelings during my next journey with them so that we can all be on the same page and supporting each other throughout the pregnancy.

    ALL that to say, we’re here to support you however we can. I’m so sorry that this journey hasn’t been smooth sailing for you. You are absolutely not alone in your feelings and experiences.

    • Ashley

      Member
      January 11, 2023 at 5:02 am

      Thank you *so much* for validating my feelings and sharing your own experience – I truly felt like I was in uncharted territory. I’ve never heard anyone say that they should have advocated more for themselves. You put it perfectly – certain things just felt frivolous to even ask for (when in hindsight they are not at all) and my feelings did not seem important in comparison to the lengths my IP’s have gone through to build a family. I am so, so happy to be able to make this a reality for them. They are so deserving! I just wish someone had been there to say “don’t forget that you matter, too.”