When you first hold your new baby, you will experience a rush of emotions. You probably expect to feel love, warmth and joy, but you may be surprised you also feel afraid or overwhelmed. If you think you would be less nervous if you had carried the baby yourself, that is not the case. All new moms feel lost or overwhelmed, whether they start their family through pregnancy, adoption or surrogacy.
Pregnancy offers no special advantages in knowing whether your baby enjoys a swaddle, what’s the most efficient way to burp them or why they always seem to cry just when you’re trying to get things done.
Read everything you can, talk to experienced friends and family and try to find moms to share with. Seeing a variety of experiences will show you how many different parent-child relationships there can be. Remember, like you, your baby is an individual. They will have their own preferences and personality traits.
Build a nest.
No doubt you’ve been preparing for the possibility of a child for a long time, now that it’s about to become a reality, create a warm, safe and inviting environment for your new baby. It’s a fun way to get ready for the big day.
When there is a new baby in the house, you will get nothing done. Seriously, nothing. Laundry will pile up, dust will accumulate, you’ll forget to eat. Do what you can to lay the groundwork before you bring your baby home.
Smooth the transition.
Stock your freezer with meals or compile a list of restaurants that deliver healthy meals. Hire help where you need it, like a house cleaner. When someone offers help – take it. Your friend will be delighted to hold the baby while you take a shower. Your mom won’t mind folding laundry while you chat.
Get some skin.
As discussed in a previous blog, skin-to-skin contact can go a long way toward bonding and provides a positive experience for both parents and baby as well as helping the baby to thrive.
It’s not you.
Newborns get fussy or irritable. People get overwhelmed. Parents make mistakes. It has nothing to do with surrogacy. Pregnancy does not impart motherly instincts that allow a mother to know a baby better than the mother of a baby born through surrogacy. Don’t be hard on yourself as you muddle through getting to know your child and dealing with the roller coaster of emotions that goes along with it.