By: Kelly Rummelhart
When you are a Surrogate, there are certain behaviors you may need to change. Of course this is true for all pregnant women, but even more so when the babies aren’t yours.
No Smoking. Hopefully this won’t be a change; I’d hope you were already a non-smoker. Most agencies I know will not accept you as a Gestational Surrogate if you are a smoker. I believe it’s more like you need to not have smoked for at least six months before you even apply.
No Drinking Alcohol. Drinking alcohol in moderation when you are not pregnant is completely acceptable. When you apply to be a surrogate, the agency will ask you about your drinking habits. Of course, when you are pregnant, you will not be drinking at all. Nothing. Not a sip. I know some women who would have a beer or a glass of wine while pregnant with their own children, but would never think of it with their IP’s child. Luckily for me, I’m not a big drinker; not drinking while pregnant with my IP’s babies was not a challenge in the least.
Sometimes things are a little harder to let go . . .
No Sex? Yes, you read that right. When my husband, Rick, and I were going through the interview and counseling with our agency, they discussed how we may have to be abstinent for a while. That made perfect sense. Before the transfer, while you’re on medication to line your uterus, of course you don’t want the baby that “sticks” to be your own. (Sounds funny, huh?) But never in my wildest dreams did I think that at 25 weeks pregnant with my surro-twins my OB would tell me my sex life was over . . . for the next several weeks anyway.
This isn’t true for all Surrogate pregnancies but could happen. I remember being shocked when Dr. Knight told me that I shouldn’t have sex or have orgasms because it could trigger labor. With twins, they want you to make it to at least 35 weeks, so after I made it that far, I got my sex card back. This actually happened with my last surro-twin pregnancy as well. That time, at around 28 weeks, Dr. Park “let me down gently”. But I knew it was coming so it wasn’t a complete shock.
Usually within a normal pregnancy, sex is fine up until your water breaks . . . but because multiple fetuses aren’t “normal”, this isn’t always the case. Other Surrogates I know and plenty of women carrying their own twins have told me they never were told not to have sex or orgasm. Not sure if my OB’s were just very cautious or what. All I know is that my first set of twins made it to one day shy of 39 weeks and the last set made it to 37 weeks! So, if being abstinent helps me give birth to healthy, term babies, that’s something I’d be willing to let go of . . . for a while anyway.
Kelly Rummelhart writes about her experiences as a Two-Time Gestational Surrogate for Gay Couples. She calls herself a Uterine Activist and will be the first to tell you that her Uterus is an ally. Kelly also writes at Just The Stork