Tuesday, July 1, 2014

5 Things to Have Ready Before a Surrogacy Birth

Organized or OCD?

Some will call me OCD, but for the sake of this post we will say it is a healthy balance between the two. It is time to start getting ready. OK so not just getting ready but REALLY getting ready. Now at any point, we could get a call. We must have everything in order, but wait this is not a normal pregnancy scenario. It is a surrogacy which adds a whole lot of other steps and parties into the mix.

1. Create a Mountain of Bags by the Door

One would think we were moving in! But really, we have a lot of people to think about. Chris and I will be staying at the hospital. It always surprises people when we tell people that. It also doesn’t hurt that I will be breastfeeding, hence I am the food source. Aside from the nutritional benefits and the breast being best, another pretty good reason why I wake up every night pre-Jellybean at 3 am to pump. I’m just securing my spot, calling out “Shotgun” if you will on a room. Boobies are a magical thing. A nice rack can get you out of a speeding ticket, buy you free drinks in college and also help you get a room to spend the hospital days and nights with your surro-baby. Who knew?

Pack Our Bag- There is not a lot of “storage” room at hospitals. Hospitals are a far cry away from being a posh-swanky hotel. The mindset is get in and get out, and everyone is cool with that motto.  So we have to pack light and use the “roll” technique.

Pack our bag- a change of clothes for 2 days, minimalist toiletries and makeup, camera, cell phone charger and comfort snacks.

Pack Her Bag- I put together a bag of items to help foster comfort while our wonder-surro was pulling the heavy duty.  Fun toiletries that she may not have, new PJs, comfort snacks/unhealthly delicious junk food, stool softener, pads- AKA- The Red Boats and magazines. 

Pack Jellybean’s Bag- This is hard because what the hell do I pack? For many years I have dreamt about the day I hold my child for the first time. Never once have I put any thought into what to pack for newborn or for that matter, what epic outfit to bring her home in. I did ask the hospital what I should bring and here was the list they recommended: a few onesies/easy access out fits, mits for their little hands (they don’t have these typically and little babies have Freddy Kruger nails), a cap, a car seat- already installed.

2. Birth Plan
It is go time! I imagine Chris and I looking at each other and saying OH SHIT! Then running around bumping into each other in a panicked frenzy so we can get to the hospital before our wonder surro has a messy car birth. At least this is the image I have in my head. Really, that likely will not be the case. With labor, it can take hours. Don’t get me wrong here though,  I will be hauling ass (at a safe speed) like Earnhart Jr. bobbing and weaving through traffic to the hospital the moment we get the Jellybean green light, but no need to have a complete spazout. Through all of that chaos we have to call our lawyer first, and any other family second.

May also want to consider the importance of discussing a head of time how to communicate. At the first sign of physiological change it is good to keep all relevant parties looped in. You want to talk over the method of communication and emergency numbers to contact you at. Obviously a Facebook message, smoke signal or random tweet are examples of ways you should not deliver the “hey I am going into labor, come meet me at the hospital” news. Also, will she want to see the baby that day or rest and wait for the following day? Who should be present via c-section and who should be present if it is a vaginal birth?  Since it is a sensitive time, it is probably best to keep outsiders down to a minimum during the actual birth. Everyone can visit after the baby, wonder surro and parents have had time to clean up, rest and recover.

3. Don't Forget the Nursing Staff

Chris and I are no strangers to hospitals. We have spent many weeks getting to know nursing staff. They have a tough job and they have to deal with extreme situations when emotions are high. So in C&C fashion we made “thank you” baggies to give to the hospital staff.  One for the maternity mother/baby nurses the other for the nursery nurses. Each little baggie is filled with Hershey’s Hugs and Jellybeans with the saying: Hugs and Kisses for taking care of our Jellybean!

4. Furbaby Care

Your furbaby(s) need to have a plan as well. Who will be the caretaker? Do you have a bag of food, treats or ‘trizzles’ (so thug) as we like to call them already packed and ready? We even have a blanket packed in our diaper bag that we will wrap up Jellybean in and then send home to our little cold nose family member so they can get pre-acquainted.

5. Paperwork
Ah, yes the most important item other than the car seat, in order to bring home your little one. Surrogacy creates a lot of paper work.  Bear in mind that every state and hospital is different but this is what we must have with us to make certain everything goes smoothly:

  1. The Entrustment Agreement
  2. Both signed copies of the surrogacy contract
  3. Cord blood paperwork
  4. Affidavit of Physician Performing Assisted Conception
  5. Copy of signed (once baby is born) Entrustment Agreement and a request in writing to the insurance company

 {SCREAM} So much to think about that I needed away to get organized! Check out this idea I got off of my Pinterest collection.  A pretty snazzy folder to organize and help find a place for all surrogacy- hospital- baby related material you have or will acquire throughout the process.  The link above even has print outs, but I wrote in my own since our situation is a little different. Here is a picture of the one I created for Jellybean.

 I added the following tabs:

Surrogacy Documents
Pediatrician Visits
Immunization Records
Nursing/Feeding Info
Birth Certificate and Social Security Card
Receipts and Warranties
Other Health Records
Parenting Articles

Alright, I think we are prepared. Kinda, sorta, maybe? At least now that I have my 5 point check list done along with my baby binder, I will have all requested documents and items at the ready for us to take home our little miracle. Sometimes a little OCDness can come in handy especially when there is so much to remember! Ready or not Jellybean we are ready for YOU!

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  1. :-) I really hope hope that you use your blogs to write a book. You guys have such great personalities and are such awesome writers...and there is soooo much for people to learn through your story...whether they are trying to conceive or not. You guys rock! Love your organization of files. Brilliant! ~Jennie

  2. OMG I know I haven't been waiting nearly as long as you guys but where is Jelly Bean?! I sincerely can't wait to see this bundle of adorable. -Alexx

  3. Ok.......I am stalking.....lovingly stalking. I tell my fiance every milestone you both have made and we are both insanely, and maybe a little too closely, waiting for the big birth announcement. Don't be shy. And don't hold back. This is your moment. SHINE! #WEADOREYOU