9 Tips for Tracking Your Surrogate’s Pregnancy

Waiting for the arrival of a new baby comes along with plenty of anticipation. As intended parents, you may feel even more eagerness to track the surrogate’s pregnancy from afar. Without the daily reminders of the pregnancy, it’s important to find a tracking system that works for you and builds enthusiasm over time.
At the beginning of your surrogacy process, you and your surrogate—along with your legal team—will determine the best communication schedule for everyone involved. Creating a positive and supportive relationship with the whole teams keeps everything calm and on track.
There are plenty of ways to track the surrogate’s pregnancy in all the in-between moments, including throwing a baby shower, prepping the nursery and finding a surrogate intended parent community. Explore some ways to mark each milestone of your surrogate’s pregnancy as the big birthday draws closer.

  1. Schedule Your Ultrasounds

Depending on the legal arrangement with your surrogate, intended parents are encouraged to attend the 20-week ultrasound. If you have more of an open arrangement, speak with your surrogacy team about choosing other important ultrasounds on the horizon, and use these visits as signposts in the pregnancy. Some intended parents request to record other ultrasounds via Skype or video but be sure to seek permission to make sure this is possible for your clinic.

The 20-week ultrasound is often when you’ll find out the gender of the baby. If you’d prefer to keep this a surprise, be sure to speak with your agency and surrogate beforehand so they can alert the doctor.

You may also want to plan a pre-delivery trip, ultrasound or not, to discuss delivery details and logistics for the big day. This is also a great chance to spend some final quality time with your surrogate mother before the baby arrives.

  1. Make Travel Arrangements

Focusing on travel logistics can also provide a useful focus for this long waiting period.

Once you’ve set all your ultrasound and hospital dates in stone—with flexibility for a change in delivery date—it’s time to focus on travel plans. Getting all of these details in place ensures that you can shift your focus to the emotional preparation of the process.

Whether you’re nearby or across the country from your surrogate, be sure to make tentative arrangements with your job and set money aside for last-minute flights and lodging. Be sure to add several buffer days on either side of delivery, as the baby will normally need at least 48 hours in the hospital before heading home.

  1. Track Your Baby’s Size

Having a tracking system of your baby’s development brings you along on the journey in a more personal way. Consult online communities or pregnancy tracking apps to follow how much your baby has grown each day and how they’re developing. If you’re more a hands-on person, create a chart in your home to help your family follow along with baby’s progression.

Staying up to date with this information will also keep your part of the conversation when you visit your surrogate mother and attend ultrasounds. When you’re in your final weeks before birth, these last few stages can help mentally prepare for the baby’s arrival

  1. Find a Community

The surrogacy and intended parent online community is a tight-knit, enthusiastic one. Seeking out intended parents’ first-hand experiences can help calm any nerves about the pregnancy and delivery. Bloggers speak quite candidly about their experiences with infertility, the IVF process, matching with a gestational carrier and the hospital experience on the big day.

All Things Surrogacy is an organization and blog that speaks with real couples and individuals about their surrogacy experience. They also provide online workshops and book recommendations to expanding your knowledge of surrogacy from every party’s perspective.

  1. Create a Running List of Questions

You and your legal team may choose very specific times to connect with your surrogate mother. In other circumstances, communication may be a bit more flexible. Having clear lines helps everyone progress through the pregnancy in the healthiest way possible for them.

At the same time, you’ll have a lot of questions that come up throughout a normal day. Designate a place in a notebook or on your phone to write down any questions for your agency, surrogate or legal team so that you have them all in one place for your next meeting. This allows you to take note of all your questions even when it’s not the best time to reach out.

  1. Prepare Your Home and Community

Nesting is natural process whenever a baby is on its way. Throw your creative energy into preparing the nursery and rest of the home for the new baby. This also helps you build a gift registry if you choose to create one. Search for your favorite newborn checklist online to get a sense of what you may need.

Begin research for daycare, parent and baby groups and other support systems in your community. This is also a good time to start spreading the word more broadly about your surrogacy process and the baby on the way.

  1. Throw a Baby Shower

Working with a surrogate mother comes along with all the same traditions as other means of pregnancy. Whether you throw a baby shower is completely up to personal preference. Many parents find it quite helpful, both to seek out community support for your upcoming arrival and to celebrate your process.

Depending on your arrangement, many people also invite their surrogate mothers to the shower as a guest of honor. Others also find it best to have a separate gathering with the surrogate to make things more personal. Either way, going through all the traditional steps of baby prep helps ramp up to the delivery date.

  1. Prep for the Hospital

The most exciting time of the whole surrogacy process, you’ll want to be as ready as possible before the big day. Well before the third trimester, you and your agency will speak about what to expect on the delivery date. Be sure to pack a delivery-ready suitcase just in case the baby comes earlier than expected.

Arrange a support system at home in case you need to spend several days away. Speak with family and friends about helping with the transition if necessary.

  1. Choose a Surrogate Gift Ideas

Your gestational carrier has gone through an incredible journey by your side. It’s often encouraged to find a way to thank your surrogate mother for her care. Gifts may include soothing, home-spa gift sets or even post-natal massages and treatments to help her unwind. Personalized gifts to mark your experience together are also quite impactful. If you have agreed to remain in touch after the baby’s birth, plan a family photo shoot and a framed image as another personalized gift idea.

It’s normal to feel nervous during the nine months of waiting—after all, you’ve done so much to get to where you are. Building enthusiasm during your surrogate mother’s pregnancy is a personal experience. Use these tips to both prepare and stay focused on the wonderful gift ahead of you.  Above all, reach out to your surrogacy support team assigned by your agency. They are experienced and ready to answer any questions and help you prepare for the big day.

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