What is it like to be the partner of a surrogate mother? Meet Brandon…

When we talk about surrogacy we often talk about the journey of the intended parents and the surrogate mother, but what about their partner or husband?

We’ve been sent this amazing blog from the Center for Surrogate Parenting, written by Brandon, who is the partner of surrogate mother Tabitha. Brandon explains how he reacted and supported Tabitha when she decided she wanted to give the gift of surrogacy to a couple.

Here is what he had to say…

“I would describe surrogacy as an amazing journey, but at first it was a journey that I wasn’t prepared for.

“In the spring of 2016, my wife, Tabitha (my girlfriend at the time), approached me with what seemed to be a radically insane idea: she wanted to be a surrogate. I had no experience with surrogacy, in fact, I thought it was something that women only did in those Lifetime movies, or for their family members. I had no idea what to expect, or what awaited us both along our surrogacy journey.

“Initially, I was hesitant about the process, I wasn’t crazy about the idea of having my wife carry a child for someone else. As a man, I wanted my wife-to-be to carry my own child someday. I would have to admit that my reservations were rooted in selfish ambition. I immediately shared my objections with Tabitha. I mean, wouldn’t this be a huge inconvenience for us (and by ‘us’ I really meant me)? What would people think? What about our wedding plans/future? What about carrying and delivering a baby that we aren’t keeping? Won’t that be extremely difficult and emotionally damaging to Tabitha? I had a million and one reasons to say no, but I only needed one reason to say yes.

The journey began in 2016

“After a lot of discussion (and even more prayer), we decided to move forward with our surrogacy journey. Tabitha was matched with a couple, and she had her first transfer in December of 2016. Unfortunately, we found out quickly how painful and difficult this process can be. Although the initial transfer seemed to be a success, Tabitha miscarried in January of 2017. She was devastated. She would eventually have a second transfer completed in August of 2017 and her third and final transfer in February 2018. Tabitha was able to successfully carry and deliver a baby girl for her surrogate family in November 2018. What an experience it was; to have the ability to bless another family in such a special way is truly amazing.

To all the men that are struggling along the surrogacy journey with your spouse or girlfriend, I would like to share some words of wisdom and encouragement as I learned a great deal during this process.

My words of wisdom for partners of surrogate mothers

Be intentional: Because of my initial hesitation, during the early stages of the surrogacy process, I wasn’t able to intentionally invest in Tabitha and the sacrifice that she was making. Although the child she was carrying did not belong to us, the difficulties, challenges, and obstacles that come with child bearing were all too real. Your partner needs to know that you fully support her, and that you even admire her for her courage and sacrifice. Make sure you’re being intentional in the way that you support and encourage her, whether it be through words of affirmation, or simple acts of love and kindness. Your woman needs this.

Be available: I don’t mean to simply “be there.” It really speaks to her heart when you mourn with her during times of tragedy and celebrate her during times of triumph. Be emotionally present and committed to her throughout this process. This will require great sacrifice, humility, and effort, as we often have a tendency to disconnect.

Be patient: Remember that your partner is a special part of you that you admire and adore. You must love her well during this time. It’s so easy to become frustrated or overwhelmed by traveling, multiple doctor visits, and all of the difficulties that arise from pregnancy. Just remember, if you’re frustrated and overwhelmed, she must be feeling it even more so. Be patient with her and gently encourage and support her constantly.

Most importantly, be loving: It’s no secret that women experience a flood of emotions and hormones during pregnancy. It is so important for her to frequently be reminded of your unconditional love for her. Let her know that her willingness and courage to take on the sacrifice that surrogacy requires is yet another reason why you love her so deeply. This serves to comfort and motivate your lady.

“These are all things that I had to learn for myself, as I navigated through my role as the significant other to a surrogate. I am by no means an expert, and I didn’t always get it right, but I did learn to enjoy the journey and to love my wife in a deeper way. I would encourage every husband or boyfriend to fully commit to loving, honouring, and encouraging your woman through this journey. It is a wonderful opportunity for you both to grow together.”

Have you been on a similar journey to Brandon? Or are you a surrogate mother who was well supported by your partner? We’d love to hear your story, email mystory@ivfbabble.com

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