One of the foundations of Forward Fertility’s model of service is forward thinking.
Many agencies match the surrogate with the parents-to-be and that may be the last you hear of them! Of course, getting the match right is important, but it’s not everything. The surrogacy process is ever-changing. Just because the surrogate and parents-to-be agree during a 1-2 hour match meeting and like each other on paper does not mean all is said and done! The reality is that treatments fail, twins happen, miscommunications can occur, & questions come up.
Forward Fertility recognizes the work that needs to be done after the match. One Forward Fertility strategy to address the ongoing changes that occur during a surrogacy cycle is the monthly Surro Meet Up. Once a month, all surrogates who are matched and working with Forward Fertility are invited to a 90 minute meet up in Madison, Wisc. Surrogates who live far away can Skype or phone in to participate.
Want a sneak peek into a typical Meet Up?
Here’s the format:
1) Roll call & updates– each surrogate shares what has happened and where she is at in her treatment/process. This is very fluid – others chime in when needed with tips or questions. It can be a time where some information is shared about the process, brainstorming about how to overcome a challenge (lumpy bum from progesterone shots?? Blue colored estrogen tablets placed vaginally??).
2) Topic of the Meet Up – typically there is a 10-15 minute discussion/presentation by Christie Olsen, the nurse practitioner and founder of Forward Fertility. Topics have included things such as: what happens and why at an embryo transfer and viewing/discussing some videos & sharing books or blogs about surrogacy or an aspect of fertility that might be particularly timely or informative. Looking ahead, we will have invited guests to talk about subjects such as: nutrition, stress, acupuncture, birth, or whatever else might be useful along the way.
3) Socializing and Friendship – get any group of moms/women together and inevitably discussion about children, Orange is the New Black, or a sale at Target is going to come up. The Forward Fertility surrogates came together because of their common interest in helping others form their families, but certainly have also opened up their hearts to each other as comrades in the process.
4) Food – what gathering would be complete without some snacks!
Why is this type of support so important?
The Surro Meet Up has a number of functions. First and foremost, it helps create a network of support for surrogates – the sadness of a negative pregnancy test, or the excitement of the first OB ultrasound. These are events that have special meanings when shared with other surrogates. Second, it allows Forward Fertility an opportunity to enjoy face to face time with the surrogates. While emails, phone calls, and texts are exchanged regularly, there is simply nothing like getting together. Third, as a parent-to-be, it is extremely common to feel a sense of out being out of control. Your baby is in the body of a person who may live thousands of miles from you. Knowing that she is welcomed into a supportive group and continuing a relationship with the agency can give you peace of mind when those flutters of anxiety pass by.
If you’d like to learn more about the Surro Meet Up – either as a professional in the field of fertility, as a potential surrogate or possible client of Forward Fertility, give Christie Olsen a call (608-217-7511) or email her directly at: Christie@forwardfertility.com