Fertility Source Companies Blog

Resource Spotlight: LA LGBT Center Creating a Family Conference

Our Fertility SOURCE Companies team is so excited to participate in the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s Creating a Family: Half Day Conference for Prospective Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Parents this Saturday, October 6, 2013, from 8:30am-1:00pm.

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This workshop will offer intensive workshops on adoption, foster care, insemination, and surrogacy to help guide parents on their pathway to parenthood. It will also include a lunchtime resource fair (where we’ll be waiting to chat with you!) so that prospective parents can talk to resource organizations and services providers directly.

Looking forward to meeting future parents! RSVP here if you’d like to attend! The event is free and open to the community!

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Traci Medeiros-Bagan

FSC|Third Party Reproduction LGBT Coordinator

Traci’s academic background is in Gender Studies with a focus in Sexuality and her career background is in counseling and diversity education. She believes in the strength of families of choice and is passionate about offering affirming options for egg donation and/orsurrogacy to the LGBT community looking to grow their families. You can friend Traci on FB to stay up to date with issues pertaining to assisted conception for LGBT individuals.

Resource Spotlight: Esteban Molina – Surrogate Hypnotherapist

Hi there!  I am a new blogger for Fertility SOURCE Companies and I am excited to virtually meet you!  I have been getting slowly introduced to the work Fertility SOURCE Companies does with LGBT folks building families and am excited to be diving in and getting more familiar with the in’s and out’s and getting to know YOU!

Recently, Fertility SOURCE Companies had the chance to help put together Path to Parenthood: a free workshop for future dads.   Several players in the reproductive community near and in San Diego, California presented their work and expertise to share resources and stories with one another.

One expert who we had the chance to talk with was Esteban Molina – certified clinical hypnotherapist and a certified HypnoBirthing® practitioner.  You might be wondering what hypnotherapy has to do with surrogacy and assisted reproduction – Or perhaps just wondering if the new blogger is a new age hippie.  But when we got to talking to Esteban, it became clear to me just how valuable this work is, especially for families utilizing assisted reproduction, and more specifically utilizing surrogacy.  We discussed the pressures put on surrogates, as well as the lack of connection from surrogate to child and how this can affect a child’s development.  While working with surrogates and other clients,  he focuses on assisting his clients in finding their inner light, experiencing balance and feeling a sense of overall well being.  Esteban currently specializes in hypnosis for fertility which has been proven to double the chances of achieving a pregnancy during IVF. He also works with pregnant women, using hypnosis and other energy psychology techniques with the  aim of alleviating their morning sickness symptoms,enhancing their levels of energy and tranquility. He also coaches pregnant women for childbirth, so they can experience a more comfortable birthing process at the same time creating a better environment for your newborn baby.  Supporting the health and well being of your surrogate, of course supports the pregnancy and well being of your baby to come.

Esteban has a background in Psychology from his native country, Colombia. He worked as a psychotherapist in a medical institution before moving to the United States, where he continued his studies in hypnosis, Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) and Energy Psychology. He has been working in the fertility field with intended parents, egg donors and surrogate mothers since 2009. Esteban has a deep understanding of the third-party-reproduction process, giving him the experience to effectively guide his clients through a smooth, stress free process.

 

Feel free to contact Esteban for a free initial consultation. He works from his office in San Diego, California or via Skype.

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Skye Bigari

Fertility SOURCE Companies LGBT blogger

Surrogacy – Complications and Simplifications

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The New York Times posted an article this week about surrogacy – Particularly highlighting reasons why surrogacy is generally preferred to be utilized in the U.S. as well as the history behind using gestational carriers rather than traditional carriers.

While choosing all of the players in a team to help build your family, here are some things to consider along the way as presented by the NY Times.

See the article here. 

Skye Bigari

Fertility SOURCE Companies LGBT blogger

Resource Spotlight: Nikki Helms is Practically Postpartum

by Fertility SOURCE Companies LGBT blogger Skye Bigari

As I am still reeling from the slew of amazing resources I discovered at our event, Path to Parenthood: a free workshop for future dads – One particular person is still sticking out in my mind.  Meet labor, delivery and postpartum doula extraordinaire Nikki Helms.

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Nikki is a master of many things birth and baby related, but what stood out to me mostly was her work with “Practically Postpartum.”

If you are worried that you might spend weeks, months, years getting ready for your child and then find yourself at home with all of the gadgets you could possibly imagine, all of the trinkets and parenting magazines and still feel up stream without a paddle once your baby is home?  Nikki is the one to call.

If you felt ready, on the ball and totally prepared to bring baby home and find yourself days, weeks or months into parenthood and your awesome diapering system is not so awesome anymore and your laundry, cooking, bathing system is out of wack – Nikki is the one to call.

A maternity pro, Nikki found herself at home with her baby and in over her head.  It happens to the best of us.  Now, a few years down the road, Nikki has trouble shot these parenting dilemmas and works to consult expecting and new parents on practical systems to make your life as a parent easier and more enjoyable.

Nikki also teaches a Newborn 101 class in the San Diego area that includes topics like:

What healthy new borns are like, family sleep habits, getting your home ready for baby, change of family roles and much more.

Learn more at http://www.practicallypostpartum.com

 

Research Supporting LGBT Parenting

by Fertility SOURCE Companies LGBT blogger Skye Bigari

A new Australian study researches the health and wellbeing of children of same-sex parents with unsurprising results that make me want to say “Told ya’ so.”

In essence, this study takes into consideration challenges faced by children of same sex parents and finds that despite these challenges, children of same sex parents are more likely to have good health and family cohesion.  One of the largest contributors cited by the study was the tendency for parents to share household responsibilities in more equitable ways, with influence on task being related to skill rather than socially designated gender roles.

Further research is being administered to address the issue of stigma and discrimination to further support healthy development of children.

Read the article HERE

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Surrogacy: Safe Risk Taking

I’ve been seeing a lot of bad media around surrogacy recently, and I just have to say…There are some horror stories out there.  There are people who have gotten a terribly raw deal.

And there is a stark truth that surrogacy has also had big beautiful results for families, and has forever changed lives in positive ways in so many instances.

I’ll be honest…I consider myself a skeptic, and sometimes even a pessimist.  It’s easy to get sucked in to the stories and believe there’s no way out.  But let’s face it – LGBT folks have been creating families and having babies since the beginning of time and it has been the struggles that occur within the process which have inspired new design, innovation, technology, laws and relationships to be created to help the next couple that might face the same challenges.  When we get stuck on the barriers, we can’t see the solution – And I frankly don’t want to live in a world that doesn’t support a little safe guarded risk taking.  Especially in terms of parenting.

Parenting is risky business.  Even if every legal, medical and emotional step of becoming a parent is seamless, it doesn’t mean your kid won’t turn out exactly how you didn’t expect.  And just because something doesn’t go according to plan, doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.  We choose to be parents because of the challenge – because we get to be terrified, nervous, excited, protective and on.  Because it reminds us that we are alive and we are okay.  That we can skin our knees and they will heal, that we can get our hearts broken – and they too will heal.  Our children remind us to take risks, to be present and to go with the flow.

So we decide to have children, and we take precautions to do so as safely as we possibly can.  And we trust ourselves to deal with whatever else might come up.

And hey…It’s all a learning process.

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Because in the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?

 

Blog by Fertility Source Companies LGBT Coordinator: Skye Bigari

Pregnancy Photoessay

As I sip my Sunday morning coffee, my partner sends through this article to me… An autostraddle “Photoessay: “Modern Conception” Perfectly Captures Queer Pregnancy, Features Michelle Tea.”

Before I share about this article, as I may have previously noted – The term “queer” can be a trigger word for some, so I think it’s important that I share the context in which I use it.  I am a person who identifies as queer of many things – gender, sexuality, personality and much more.  To me, queer is anything outside of the heteronormative, “traditional” ideas of success and family building.  The word “queer” has always been a way to be empowered to live outside of expectation – especially in the sense of family and love.

If you are a person that just doesn’t like “the Q word” because of the violent ways it’s been used in – I totally hear that and hope that you will read past that to enjoy the amazingness that is the story in this Photoessay.

This article is gritty, real, and honest.  The photo series and essay discuss expectations along the way and the romance of baby making and meeting, which is actually sometimes not so cute or simple.

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I love hearing stories of family building, I love to share in the joy and happiness of growing families.  And I also really appreciate when we are able to move past the romance and allure of “perfect pregnancies” and “seamless conceptions” and admit the truth that life is messy sometimes.  Perhaps I focus too much on the challenges that come with parenting, but I feel it’s important to share that I don’t see these as exclusively LGBT challenges.  Yes, there are challenges which are unique to LGBT families, and when we are willing to look at the challenges, and not so fun aspects of life, but admit that it’s all still worthwhile and even fun – We set ourselves up for contentment and joy.

And if that’s not the point of parenting, I don’t know what is.

 

Blog by FertilitySOURCE Companies

Assistant LGBT Coordinator: Skye Bigari

Skye@fscagency.com

Resource Spotlight: Forming a Relationship With Your Surrogate

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A relationship with your surrogate is like no other type of relationship and yet it also has similarities to many other types of relationships you might have more familiar models of in your life. Building a family through assisted reproduction is a long an intimate journey that often starts with enlisting the help of a complete stranger to play one of the most important roles in the creation of your family to be! Read about some considerations for nurturing a relationship with your surrogate on the Surrogacy SOURCE blog!
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Traci Medeiros-Bagan

FSC|Third Party Reproduction LGBT Coordinator

Traci’s academic background is in Gender Studies with a focus in Sexuality and her career background is in counseling and diversity education. She believes in the strength of families of choice and is passionate about offering affirming options for egg donation and/orsurrogacy to the LGBT community looking to grow their families. You can friend Traci on FB to stay up to date with issues pertaining to assisted conception for LGBT individuals.

Parenting Self Care

Being a parent is tough work.  Managing schedules, meeting new financial and emotional needs, adjusting to changes, the list goes on…

As people who often put in a lot of footwork  before their children are even conceived, we sometimes find ourselves over planning for each minor detail in our child’s life, which can be a huge gift and also a dramatic shock when the inevitable surprise need pops up.  We can plan and plan and in the end, our children will get sick, choose an unexpected path, and have needs we did not plan for.  As parents, we must adjust to ensure our children’s needs are met – and we will do so unquestionably.

When addressing the needs of our children begins to challenge our own self care, how do we find balance?

Here are The Three Golden Rules I have gathered from my queer parentage community:

1. Take care of your body: Work exercise into your schedule by walking your kiddos to the park, watching a yoga video during nap time or finding a gym that has a great childcare center with video monitoring.  Try to eat healthy with your kids to support your immune system and set a good example.  Remember – Everything you do is WAY harder when you and your kids are sick, so take preventative measures.

2. Take care of your brain and heart: Integrate into your day things that make you happy.  Talk to your partner on your drive to work, leave love notes in your kids lunches, find a fascinating podcast that you can listen to during your day.  Do things that remind you what you love about the world and why you wanted to bring babies into it.

3. Simplify: As much as possible.  Simplify.  If those eco-fabulous cloth diapers are making you miserable and time sucked – Don’t feel guilty if you go disposable.  You’re already a superhero as a parent, you don’t need extra credit. Simplify your finances, your schedules, your communication so management is as easy as possible.  If you need tips, check out our friends at Practically Postpartum for help.

We all know the speech when you get on an airplane and the attendant reminds us to place the oxygen mask on our face before assisting others – It’s because if you’re unable to breathe, how are you going to help someone else.  The same rule applies to you parents out there.  Take care of your kids – but make sure you’re also on the “to care for” list.  For their sake as much as your own.

As marginalized people, practicing self care is an act of radical resistance and self preservation.  Teach your children well.  Teach your children self care.

Fertility SOURCE Companies LGBT Blog Maintained by Assistant LGBT Coordinator Skye Bigari

Email them at: Skye@fscagency.com (they, them, theirs, + he, him, his)

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