Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Being a Stay At Home Mom and Loving It as a Surrogate

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Being a Stay At Home Mom and Loving It as a Surrogate

We meet a lot of women who consider becoming a surrogate on a daily basis, but consideration goes only so far.  You need to be a dedicated individual who knows what she wants and how she wants to get there.  As with most of our Conceptual Options surrogates, many women are supplementing own income or they are using the money to allow themselves the ability to stay at home with their children.    But, being a surrogate is not for everyone, nor should it be.
In fact, one of current surrogates just let us know that she is glad she decided to become a surrogate – and she is loving the ability it gives her to be at home with her kids.

Jenny, Jessica, Tina and Staff – thanks so much for the opportunity to join your group of wonderful surrogates at Conceptual Options.  All of you there have given me the ability to stay at home and raise my kids.  I know that it is not for everyone, but it works for me and my husband.  Thank you again !  I am enjoying this entire experience beyond belief (although not so much in the morning with this morning sickness 🙂

Rachel

Need we say more?  Learn more about becoming a Super Surrogate at Conceptual Options here.

Conceptual Options Become a Super Surrogate

Conceptual Options Become a Super Surrogate

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: The Real Face of Surrogacy

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: The Real Face of Surrogacy

At Conceptual Options all of us have come across friends and family that know nothing about surrogacy.  But, we have also found out over the years that what we often come across people who could really benefit from surrogacy but were always to afraid to ask – until now.  Well, that just happened to one of our staff members last week.  She sat down with friends for dinner that she hasn’t seen in almost a year, and they got right down to business, so to speak.

A little back story on this couple, they have been trying to have a baby for over 10 years. They have tried it all from holistic medicine to IVF. Their savings is quickly dwindling, as fertility treatments can be quite expensive, and they are tired. They are over it. They just want a baby. They wanted to know if Conceptual Options could do to help.

They were ready to start today. They weren’t afraid of the cost, they understood all the medical risks .. what they were afraid of was related to all the negative stories they have been seeing the last few days about Baby Gammy. Could the surrogate decide to keep their baby? Could she prevent them from being with their child?

She told them, just as with anything in life, there are never any guarantees, however there are certain precautions they can take to ensure a safe, healthy and happy surrogacy journey. Not all surrogacy stories are negative, in fact I can list hundreds of positive stories as well.

Deciding to use a surrogate to build your family is the hardest part. Once you decide, you need to start doing your research. Find an agency that you feel comfortable with, ask yourself what type of relationship do you want with your surrogate, what type of experience are you looking for – do you want to be fully involved or do you want to take a hands off approach? And understand that the process is costly. Agency fees, surrogate compensation, psychological evaluation fee, health insurance, IVF costs, attorney fees, court fees.. they all add up. So be prepared.

Our recommendation to them was to interview three different agencies, speak to three different reproductive attorney’s and three different IVF doctors. Then go with the agency they feel most comfortable with, one that matches their style and aligns with their values.

Do your research, ask questions, be involved and be patient. Surrogacy is and can be a beautiful, life changing event for everyone. We all just need to work together to make sure it stays that way.

*Note that all parties approved of our disclosure of their story.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Options

Conceptual Options Surrogacy Options

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: A Royal Sickness – an Update

As we all know, Princess Charlotte was just born to the royal couple, Kate and William, last month.  But, Kate’s morning sickness was the original media story – for both Charlotte and George.  Instead of speculating on the gender and possible name of the new royal baby, all news outlets had been focusing on Kate’s horrendous battle with morning sickness.  Now, that the worst is behind Kate, we wanted to remind everyone about morning sickness, and how you can counter the effects to provide you a safe and healthy (and happy) pregnancy.

As was with her first pregnancy, the Duchess has once again been diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). Unfortunately, this isn’t just your regular “I feel a tad nauseous” type of morning sickness, we are talking about a sickness so severe that it can cause hospitalization and even death if not properly treated.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, more than 50% of all pregnant woman experience some sort of morning sickness during their first trimester. Whereas only a very small percentage of women (1% – 2%) are diagnosed with HG.

What is the difference between your typical morning sickness and HG? Below is a chart by the American Pregnancy Association, detailing the differences:

Morning Sickness: Hyperemesis Gravidarum:
Nausea sometimes accompanied by vomiting Nausea accompanied by severe vomiting
Nausea that subsides at 12 weeks or soon after Nausea that does not subside
Vomiting that does not cause severe dehydration Vomiting that causes severe dehydration
Vomiting that allows you to keep some food down Vomiting that does not allow you to keep any food down

Additional signs and symptoms of HG include:

  • Rapid Weight loss
  • Malnutrition
  • Headaches
  • Fainting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Low blood pressure

Why does HG and or morning sickness even happen? Although research has not nailed down the exact cause, it is believed that it may be due to a rise in hormone levels. Specifically, the rapidly rising levels of the hormones: human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen.

What is hCG? When an egg is fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall, the placenta  starts to develop. This developing placenta then begins to release hcG. The function of this hormone is to basically ensure the production of progesterone, thereby preventing a woman’s body from having her period, which in turns helps to maintain a pregnancy.

What about estrogen? What is it and what does it do? During pregnancy, estrogen is also produced by the placenta. It’s role is to help the uterus grow, and to maintain the uterine lining, it also helps increase blood circulation and after birth helps with milk production.

The increased combination of these two hormones can throw things off in your system, producing the symptoms mentioned above. However, typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or your baby, in fact, many doctors think morning sickness is actually a good sign! Studies have found that women who have signs of morning sickness are less likely to miscarry and even have a reduced risk of preterm birth. But, not having morning sickness does not mean that you are at a higher risk of these things either, just means you lucked out!  Although typical morning sickness is not harmful to you or baby, hyperemesis gravidarum, if severe enough and left untreated, can be harmful.

How is it treated? For mild cases dietary changes, antacids and rest will do the trick. However for more severe cases, the mom-to-be will most likely be hospitalized so she can be hooked to an IV to replenish all her lost nutrients and electrolytes.

According to research,  here are some things you can do to relieve morning sickness:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day
  • Drink fluids before or after a meal, but not with meals
  • Eat soda crackers 15 minutes before getting up in the morning
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid warm places since heat can add to nausea
  • Acupressure  also has been used by many to help relieve the duration and severity of the sickness.

During pregnancy, a women’s body is put through a million different physical changes.. some pleasant and some not so pleasant. Regardless, it is very important for all women to be their own advocates. If something does not feel right, please speak to your doctor right away.

Read more here about Morning Sickness and How to Treat it in a healthy way for you and baby.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Morning Sickness

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your period.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your period.

How much do you know about your menstrual cycle? A recent poll done by yours truly, indicated that many of us do not really understand what happens to our bodies every month.

I recently had a conversation with a woman in her 30’s about her fertility and menstruation. I was shocked by her lack of education about her own body. I was curious to know if this was an individual case or if other women lacked this knowledge as well. I started asking other women questions about their body’s – specifically about their periods. I was again surprised by how little women seemed to know about what was happening inside their own body.

So for this week’s blog topic, I want to discuss your menstrual cycle.

Your menstrual cycle has four distinct phases:

1. Follicular
2. Ovulation
3. Luteal
4. Menstruation.

1. Follicular phase
The follicular phase lasts about two weeks. The last 5 days are considered your fertile window. As an aside, a woman is only able to conceive on six days out of her entire cycle. So, women can only get pregnant on the day of ovulation or during the five days before ovulation.  Amazing!

Back to the follicular phase. During this phase your endocrine system specifically your pituitary gland, (a pea-sized structure located at the base of the brain), releases a hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone better known as FSH. This hormone stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles.

Ovarian follicles are cells that each contain one immature egg. Although anywhere between 10 and 20 ovarian follicles may initially develop, by the end of the follicular phase, only one will remain. This means that you will only have one mature egg which will be released during the ovulation phase.

During this time the lining of your uterus (known as the endometrium) begins to thicken so it can be ready to receive a fertilized egg.

2. Ovulation
The day before you ovulate, your estrogen levels peak, triggering the lutenizing hormone (LH). The rise in LH causes your ovarian follicle to burst and release the egg. The egg moves into the fallopian tube and towards the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg will disintegrate.

 3. Luteal phase
During this phase the follicle that released the egg releases large amounts of hormone known as progesterone, this is to maintain the thick endometrium in case fertilization occurs. If fertilization does not occur, the progesterone levels will decline and the lining will disintegrate.

4. Menstruation
Menstruation occurs when the disintegrated endometrium flows out of the vagina.

There you have it, the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle.
Read more here about understanding your period.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your Period

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Understanding your Period

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

Conceptual Options Surrogacy & IVF News: “Test-Tube” Baby No Longer a Rarity

There are reports that now claim that “Test tube babies” are not that rare these days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.5% of babies born in the US are conceived using what’s called Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), of which the most common procedure is in vitro fertilization (IVF).

According to Business Insider UK,

Though thousands of IVF cycles are done every year in the US, it’s tricky to get a sense of an individual woman’s chance of conceiving with the procedure. Graphs from the CDC show exactly how often IVF resulted in a baby for women who went through the costly treatment using their own eggs, not donor eggs. A single IVF cycle costs an average of $12,400, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), and women often need multiple tries to get pregnant.

About 36% of IVF cycles result in pregnancy, and 29.4% of cycles result in a baby…

A live birth rate of about 30% for IVF cycles is really pretty respectable. A healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has about a 20% chance of getting pregnant without assistance every month that she tries, according to the ASRM. That decreases to 5% chance each month for women aged 40.

For couples who try to conceive through IVF, a lot more is at stake financially, emotionally, and physically, even if the success rate is often better than the traditional method.

While looking at the national averages for IVF success rates is a good start for dispelling misconceptions, pregnancy and live birth rates differ from clinic to clinic, and the data don’t tell the whole story. There are many different causes of infertility, and IVF does not address the direct problem for every cause. Only a doctor can say what chance IVF has of success for a particular couple.

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies

Conceptual Options News: Test Tube Babies

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Kim Kardashian is Pregnant – Hold the Surrogate!

Conceptual Options Surrogacy News: Kim Kardashian is Pregnant – Hold the Surrogate!

For those of you who have been watching all of the media attention surrounding Kim Kardashian and her quest for a second baby, even if it involved using a surrogate – we have good news!  Kim K is pregnant.  We congratulate her and her family on the news.  And, we are happy that she and her family were willing to share their fertility struggles before the cameras.

Conceptual Options Surrogacy: Kim Kardashian is pregnant again!

Conceptual Options Surrogacy: Kim Kardashian is pregnant again!