By: Kelly Rummelhart
Last week I blogged about some of the amazing things that Intended Parents have done for their surrogates, so today I’d like to blog about some really cool things surrogates can do for their IPs.
Several surrogates have blogs, and that is a great way to commemorate your journey. Last time, I wasn’t able to publicly blog, so I created a private blog for my IPs. It ended up being more personal than my public one, so that was cool. In the end, they printed out all of my entries and added them to their baby books.
Some surrogates make a photo book for their IPs that they give to them after the delivery. A book of the months the baby/babies spent with the surrogate –so sweet. These can be filled with ultrasound pictures, photos of your belly through the months, and maybe some photos of you and your IPs during visits or doctor’s appointments. A very thoughtful gift!
Throughout the pregnancy there will be tons of ultrasounds, so I say take a few, photocopy them, and send them in cards for your IPs. You can use little thought bubbles to let them know what their fetus is thinking . . . “Hi Dad”, “Happy Mother’s Day!” and “Can’t wait to meet you!” You could also be funny with these too!
Sending your IPs emails or texts of how you’re feeling, what you’re craving, belly pictures, etc. can really keep them “in the moment”. When an IP doesn’t see their surrogate all the time, it’s easy to miss a lot of the process. As a surrogate, you can make it your goal to keep them close in the journey.
We are all mothers and when a baby is coming, sometimes we can’t help ourselves . . . we need to buy stuff, even though it’s not ours. I own a children’s store, so it’s really hard for me to not send my IPs, former IPs, and surro-kiddos gifts all the time. I’ll get in new hair stuff and know they would look so cute on my surro-girlies. I’ll see an outfit and think, the twins need this. I really do try to stop myself but sometimes it’s way too hard. Last year, before Christmas, I sent my wonder twins the cutest outfits for their “FIRST CHRISTMAS” outfits. I also sent both sets of twins Christmas ornaments, as this is something that my own children do every year –pick out each year’s ornament.
If your IPs have special interests, you can base baby gifts on those too. I had these onesies made for my wonder twins because one of their dads is really into magic. So the more you get to know your IPs, the easier it will be to give.
Sometimes, the thought is there but because your life is crazy, there’s not follow-through. For Fathers’ Day last year, I had an artist friend paint something for both my IPs –a symbol of their new family tree . . . they both are still in my house. I guess it’s looking more like a birthday or Christmas gift now. Ah well!
One of my friends always gives her IPs a gift basket full of items they’ll need for the first few days of birth. That way, in case they forget to pack something, they will be set.
I also really enjoy seeing the kids in the gift I’ve given them. Both sets of my IPs are really good at taking pictures of the kids wearing/using my gifts and sending them to me or having the kids wear what I got them during visits. Even three years later, George and Sanj still have the blankets out when I go to visit that I had made for them when the girls were born. The first time I ever visited my wonder twins in LA the guys had them dressed in the outfits I gave them at our 20-week ultrasound when we found out they were a boy and girl. I love that they are all so thoughtful, which then makes me want to get them more . . . it’s like a precious (not vicious) cycle!
My wonder twins turn one in several days and Natasha and Anjali turn three at the end of next month . . . I better get shopping!