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Communication Crisis Control for Surrogates: Part One

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:20am
     So here is the crash course in dealing with intended parents who areencroaching on your personal space. Just who says they are overbearing? You do. or your significantother does. or your clinic, attorney or best friend says it...out loud and many times over "Your IP's are OUT OF CONTROL! You need to do something! " How and why does this happen? First lets have some IP back ground that may shed some light on this type of behavior: Most IP's (and I will just refer to the heterosexual couples here for now) have been trying for YEARS to have a baby. They have tried naturally, IUI, IVF, GIFT and ZIFT.Infertility Answers, LLC - What are GIFT and ZIFT?Perhaps they even managed to get pregnant, several times, but miscarried or had a stillbirth or gave birth to a baby who only lived hours because of birth defects....maybe a disease is involved such as cancer or endometriosis. Whatever the case, they have been through a hell of a lot to bring them to trusting some other woman to carry their baby. Try as some might, giving up that control is near impossible. Being able to communicate with you whenever they want is a form of regaining their control.
     This can go two ways: Intended Parents who are all over you relentlessly, into every corner of your life OR IP's who rarely contact you and are standoffish and seem to be treating the surrogacy relationship with you like a business deal. Today we are talking about the 1st scenario. 3 months Pregnant *you*....tired...stressed...sick...3 of your own kids...perhaps a job...husband...life in general and a surrogacy. Your Intended Parents....Job...and pregnant YOU! (which causes them sleepless nights, stress, and anxiety) They call, e-mail and text. When they don't hear from you in 15 minutes they worry. If they don't hear from you in 24 hours they are calling the agency and attorneys office begging someone to find you! Maybe you skipped the country! (leaving those pesky kids and husband behind!!) This is where you need to regain control of your life...and fast.
     One suggestion you might try is that you first acknowledge why these people are the way they are. In doing that, you look at this behavior in a more sympathetic way, so that when you talk to them your voice conveys that you UNDERSTAND why they are stressed. Because you want to be available to them but NOT 24/7, you need to set up the guidelines for communication. Suggest to your IP's that you talk once a week...say Thursday nights at 8:30 PM after the kids are in bed. Don't miss a call! Also, add that you will call them after each appointment with the OB's office or Ultra Sound visit (given that they are not there for the appointment) Reassure them that you will call at the first sign of any problem related to the pregnancy. If you are going to be out of town, provide them with your schedule. I know you are thinking that its none of THEIR business if you go out of town or not however, if you were taking care of their 2 year old and took HER out of town they would have every right to know...well its the same thing with you being pregnant with their child. It reassures them that you care about their feelings and acknowledge that this is their pregnancy just as much as it is yours. If they still call at any other time than what was set up and they don't have any important information to pass along to you just state that you are busy at the moment and that you will talk to them on Thursday unless they need to change the day or time for some reason.
     This may not solve all your problems but it should alleviate the communication issues. Managing your relationship with your IP's now will, hopefully, allow you to have a good solid relationship with them throughout the pregnancy and beyond.
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