The beginning of a surrogacy journey is often filled excitement and anticipation for the future, thoughts of pink and blue and enough smiles to last a lifetime. Everyone is anxiously awaiting positive news and begins preparing for the arrival of a little bundle (or bundles) of joy. It’s so rare during this time of pure bliss, to hear people talk about the potential tragedies that can happen along the way. If you’ve ever suffered a miscarriage during surrogacy you fully understand the disappointment, grief and uncertainty that accompanies the loss of the child you carried – it’s heartbreaking and can be very difficult to comprehend everything you are feeling. You are not alone in what you are going through and there is no right or wrong way to grieve but we’ve put together a few tips we hope will help you through that process.
Step 1: Accept Your Feelings
You will experience a wide range of thoughts from, “This is all my fault!” to “This isn’t fair, my friend didn’t go through this when she was a surrogate!” Be gentle with yourself and understand there is a grieving process that everyone will go through: shock and denial then anger, guilt and depression and finally, acceptance. Wherever you are at in that process, allow yourself to freely feel whatever emotions arise. The more you try to stifle what you are feeling, the longer the grieving process will take. Also, please know that it is completely normal to be confused by your emotions at this time. Some women are able to move through this loss more easily while others are deeply anguished. There are no “shoulds” in this. You understand that you did not lose your own child which may make you question why you feel such grief and sadness but it’s important to remind yourself you are grieving the loss of something that was so meaningful to both you and the intended parents you have grown so close to. Additionally, the miscarriage represents something you were not prepared for nor were you expecting which can be very difficult to come to terms with as well.
Step 2: Know that it is Not Your Fault
Inevitably at some point throughout the grieving process, you will question yourself and what went wrong. You must know that there is nothing you could have done to prevent this and it is in no way your fault. Most commonly miscarriages occur because there is a problem with the chromosomes that would have made it impossible for the fetus to develop normally –science is to blame, not you.
Step 3: Build a Support Network
Reach out to those closest to you –friends, family, the intended parents, or other surrogates. Allow them to provide their understanding, comfort and support. This is one of the most crucial steps in recovering from a miscarriage. You can’t do it alone so make sure you’re getting the support you need.
Step 4: Seek Counseling
Meet with a psychiatrist, preferably one that specializes in reproductive counseling and is familiar with surrogacy. It’s important to talk with a professional that has experience working others that have had a pregnancy loss. They can offer you comfort and guidance as you work through your grief.
Above all else, take care of yourself, be patient during the healing process, and know that you are not alone. Please reach out to us if you’d like more information or need assistance in locating resources that can help during this difficult time.
Dr. Deborah Simmons
Partners in Healing
10505 Wayzata Blvd, #200
Dr. Deborah Rich
Ivy League Place
475 Cleveland Ave. N. #200
St. Paul, MN 55104