Will my Baby be More Connected With my Surrogate than me?
By: Nicole Lawson
The following are some of my thoughts on a common question and/or fear that may come up for Intended Parents, especially an Intended Mother regarding bonding with their baby when he or she is being carried by a surrogate.
For a pregnant mother, it is a common belief that after carrying your child in your womb for 40 weeks or however many weeks before you deliver that you are going to have this instant connection with your baby.
For someone who can’t carry the baby without the assistance of a surrogate, the question often asked is: will they have that instant bond? Will they have any bond? A concern that has often been expressed is that the baby may perceive the parents as strangers because he or she won’t know the parents’ smell, voice or other sensory information.
The insecurities can start creeping in with the question of will my baby love my surrogate more then me since she carried and delivered him or her?
I was an Intended Mother and these are all the thoughts that went through my head when my first daughter was born. When my beautiful baby girl was born, I caught myself thinking, ‘don’t let my surrogate hold her too long or she will want to stay with her.’
The funny thing is, I have heard that these thoughts are normal for women who have carried their own babies too. I came to realize my anxiety about bonding with my newborn was not so much about the fact that I did not get to carry her, but the fact that I was so scared about being a new Mom. I had no clue what I was doing – though, I have found out this is very common. I interpreted my baby crying as, ‘she doesn’t know me and was afraid.’ After a few weeks, of course, I started to calm down and as my daughter and I got to know each other, I realized that her cries had different meanings, such as I’m hungry, I’m tired, etc.
After speaking with many new moms, I have reached a new conclusion: no matter if you carry your child, use an Egg Donor and/or a surrogate that child being born is yours. Some bond with their baby the moment they are born, and for others it takes a few weeks. Perhaps it is a misconception that bonding happens in the womb. For sure, nourishment happens in the womb, and some people believe the true bonding happens after birth, everyone’s belief on this is different, and there is no right or wrong.
By the time I had another surrogate carry my second child, I had realized and accepted that it is more than ok to let my surrogate hold the baby! My husband and I were the first to hold her and to have skin to skin contact, but I was much more comfortable allowing my surrogate to hold her and even give her a bottle the second time around! I saw the value in allowing the surrogate to experience this, and for her family to meet my daughter. They all participated in something incredible that they did for our family and I realized the special bond I have with my baby is all mine – whether I carried her or not.