October is Surrogacy Awareness month. You’ve been trying for months, if not years, of trying to have a baby. While on this journey, disappointment, depression, and other stress-related issues will arise, and stacking stress on stress is not the business.
Insurance Executive and author of The Colorless Womb, Kimberly Gowdy became pregnant through surrogacy after experiencing three miscarriages. She had no problem getting pregnant; the problem was carrying to term.
She never gave up on her dream. Although surrogacy wasn’t her first option, when she met the man of her dreams who dreamt of sharing a child with her, she knew that the only way to bring a child into the world would have to be adoption or surrogacy.
When asked what the best and worst part of her surrogacy journey was, Gowdy explained, “The worst part was feeling inadequate. Seeing someone do the very thing that I thought all women were made to do.” She continued, “At times, the pain overwhelmed me, but I knew this was a means to a beautiful end. Being a mother in all its glory was the best part of my surrogacy journey. It is like no other.
Surrogacy journeys can be a long, difficult, and emotional trek weighing heavy on your spirit, mind, and body. However, when you are waiting to become an intended parent, you must take care of yourself.
Gowdy’s surrogacy journey weighed on her body, mind, and spirit. However, she knew that for her to take care of her baby; she had to take care of herself.
Let’s start with Gowdy’s top three self-care tips, consistent exercise, dating her husband, and getting girl time in, to consider during your surrogacy journey.
I knew I was in for some sleepless nights, so I wanted to build up my endurance, says Gowdy. Exercise is powerful medicine. It can reduce stress, ward off anxiety and depression, boost self-esteem, and improve sleep and your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, increase energy levels, and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Walking, hiking, biking and even dancing will keep you energized.
2. Dating my husband.
With a new baby coming, going out on the spur of the moment would be the thing of the past. Going through the journey with your partner can be overwhelming and sometimes cause friction or arguments. Take some time to reconnect with each other—do a staycation or go on a weekend trip. Or maybe get dolled up for a fancy night out. Or relax at home with soothing music, takeout, and amazing sex. It will strengthen ties and give you both a more stable foundation to handle anything that comes your way. You’re a team! Have fun and focus on being a couple for a while. It will strengthen your relationship and help you work as a team for when the baby comes.
3. Getting in girl time with my friends and enjoying time with family.
After waiting so long to become a mother, I knew my complete attention would be on raising my child. Friendships will certainly change when you become a parent. However, many parents-to-be believe fun will dissolve when the baby arrives. Getting in girl time with friends may not be as spontaneous or frequent as before. It is still possible to sneak away and be social.