Support. Friendship. Compassion. That’s what the monthly virtual meetups at Extraordinary Conceptions are all about. Kristie B., a second-time surrogate with the California surrogacy agency, shares why she loves the virtual meetings with other surrogates.
What Are These Monthly Meetups?
The innovator behind the Virtual Monthly Meetup is marriage and family counselor intern at Extraordinary Conceptions, Alison Churn. Even though surrogacy can be an exciting time, pregnancy can sometimes have its fair share of challenges. A surrogate will also explain how carrying a baby for her intending parents was different than for her own.
The monthly meetups ensure that gestational surrogates, no matter if it is their first or second journey, get the ongoing support they need.
What Repeat Surrogates Like About the Monthly Meetings
What seasoned surrogates like most about the virtual meetings are how they can help first-time surrogates. Kristie completely agrees with this.
“Since I’ve been a surrogate before, I sort of feel like an expert even though I’m not,” she said. “But I do truly feel like I can help these surrogates through the process. One example is to at least open their minds to some of the things to expect the closer they get to delivery.”
A common question is if a surrogate will have her intending parents in the delivery room with her. Kristie reminds everyone in the monthly group that every hospital has their own rules and guidelines.
The Surrogacy Sisterhood Bond
In many ways, the monthly virtual meetings are a time for surrogates to bond. Some call it the surrogacy sisterhood bond.
“Being able to talk to someone who is going through the same things as you are is definitely a bonding experience. It’s like taking a pregnancy class or a course of some kind,” Kristie said.
At the monthly meetings, everyone is trying to learn the most they can. And stories from other women who have been surrogates before are priceless. They offer help on coping and relating to new happenings – it’s an opportunity for personal growth.
“We all have something in common, and that makes us feel like we have support. We are not alone,” Kristie shared.
Why Support Is So Important
Kristie is quick to point out how she also benefits from the support of the other surrogates. She said that on a personal level, she is grateful to the women who also believe in the group and share their own experiences.
“Sometimes it’s hard to open up about such a personal part of our lives. We’re very vulnerable, and when the support is there, it’s easier to be forthcoming,” she said. “I also like that Alison introduced a closed group where the five of us had met on the virtual meet-up. This means we could continue to talk through Facebook.”
Kristie said when Alison did that, it really enhanced the experience and made it more enjoyable.
“I can check on the girls daily if I want to,” she said.