In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical procedure and one of the most innovative fertility treatments in practice today. If you are facing fertility challenges on your journey to create a family, IVF may be your key to overcoming them. Infertility struggles are probably more common than you think. If you are in need of help, you are most definitely not alone. Golden State Surrogacy partners with innovative, highly successful doctors and clinics who guide parents to be throughout the entire process. We enjoy educating our patients and the public about the realities of IVF. We explain the basics of in vitro fertilization below with a step-by-step walkthrough of the IVF process to all of our clients and surrogate carriers.
Christmas trees and lights, singing carols, decorations, gifts, and lots of holiday cheer – we’re very familiar with the most loved Christmas traditions in the US. Here are a few fun annual winter traditions in other countries!
Giant Lantern Festival, the Philippines
The Giant Lantern Festival is held each year on the Saturday before Christmas Eve in the city of San Fernando – the Christmas Capital of the Philippines. The festival attracts spectators from all over the country and across the globe. Eleven barangays (villages) take part in the festival and competition is fierce as everyone pitches in trying to build the most elaborate lantern. Originally, the lanterns were simple creations around half a meter in diameter, made from ‘papel de hapon’ (Japanese origami paper) and lit by candle. Today, the lanterns are made from a variety of materials and have grown to around six meters in size. They are illuminated by electric bulbs that sparkle in a kaleidoscope of patterns.
Gävle Goat, Sweden
Since 1966, a 13-metre-tall Yule Goat has been built in the center of Gävles Castle Square for the Advent, but this Swedish Christmas tradition has unwittingly led to another “tradition” of sorts – people trying to burn it down. Since 1966 the Goat has been successfully burned down 29 times – the most recent destruction was in 2016.
If you want to see how the Goat fares this year when it goes up on December 1st, you can follow its progress on the Visit Gävle website through a live video stream.
Kentucky Fried Christmas Dinner, Japan
Christmas has never been a big deal in Japan. Aside from a few small, secular traditions such as gift-giving and light displays, Christmas remains largely a novelty in the country. However, a new, quirky “tradition” has emerged in recent years – a Christmas Day feast of the Colonel’s very own Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The festive menu will soon be advertised on the KFC Japanwebsite and, even if you don’t understand Japanese, the pictures sure will look delicious with everything from a Christmas-themed standard bucket to a premium roast-bird feast.
Hidden Brooms, Norway
Perhaps one of the most unorthodox Christmas Eve traditions can be found in Norway, where people hide their brooms. It’s a tradition that dates back centuries to when people believed that witches and evil spirits came out on Christmas Eve looking for brooms to ride on. To this day, many people still hide their brooms in the safest place in the house to stop them from being stolen.
Roller Skating, Venezuela
Love Christmas, but think it could be improved by a spot of roller-blading? If the answer is yes, visit Caracas, Venezuela this year. Every Christmas Eve, the city’s residents head to church in the early morning – so far, so normal – but, for reasons known only to them, they do so on roller skates. This unique tradition is so popular that roads across the city are closed to cars so that people can skate to church in safety, before heading home for the less-than-traditional Christmas dinner of tamales.
Cavalcade of Lights, Toronto
In wintry, wonderful Toronto the annual Cavalcade of Lights marks the official start to the holiday season. The first Cavalcade took place in 1967 to show off Toronto’s newly constructed City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square. The Square and Christmas tree are illuminated by more than 300,000 energy-efficient LED lights that shine from dusk until 11 pm until the New Year.
Want to see a few more? Visit https://www.momondo.com/discover/article/christmas-traditions-around-the-world
From our families at Golden State Surrogacy, we wish everyone a memorable holiday season and a beautiful New Year!
The thought of caring for the unborn child of Intended Parents can be an overwhelming. While there may not be such a thing as “the perfect surrogate”, narrowing down the traits to those that are absolutely necessary is a good place to start. Golden State Surrogacy believes these four reasons will guide a surrogate carrier through the best journey possible.
Embryo transfer is a simple procedure that follows in vitro fertilization (IVF) and is often considered the simplest step of the IVF process. After the egg is fertilized and has reached the stage where transfer is recommended by the doctor, the surrogate visits the clinic to have the embryos transferred. Anesthesia is often not necessary, although a sedative may be used. An ultrasound may be used to help guide the doctor as he or she transfers the embryos. A predetermined number of embryos are loaded into a fine transfer catheter and are deposited into the uterus.
Following this procedure, the surrogate usually remains in a recovery room resting on her back and is discharged within an hour after the procedure. The surrogate and intended parents will then wait and optimistically watch for early pregnancy symptoms.
When you go through an embryo transfer you'll probably hear this saying over and over: “Think sticky thoughts.” The hope is that thinking sticky thoughts will make the embryo “stick” in the uterus and grow. Some Intended Parents give gifts during this time that are sticky or represent something sticky for the surrogate to enjoy afterwards.
What happens after the transfer? Some doctors encourage the surrogate to rest for twenty-four to forty- eight hours. Others suggest returning to normal activities as soon as possible. Some surrogates choose to rest because they think that by doing so they are improving their chances. Additional rest also gives them an opportunity to think about the potential baby. Other surrogates decide to return to normal activities to help them avoid worrying that something could go wrong. Along with instructions from the doctor, the state of the surrogate’s body and mind should help her decide her course of action.
Ten days later the surrogate carrier will return to the IVF clinic for blood work to determine if she is confirmed pregnant! It is truly pure joy for all parties involved. Surrogates have the opportunity to surprise their Intended Parents with an ultrasound picture and congratulate them.
Everyone deserves a little pampering – especially during pregnancy! Here are some ideas to care for yourself while you’re caring for the unborn baby. As always, check with your doctor before you begin any new programs!
Golden State Surrogacy provides our surrogates with monthly compensation for the following…
It is an excellent way to relax and stay fit while pregnant. Yoga encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and can have many benefits for pregnant women and unborn babies. Prenatal yoga can help improve sleep, reduce stress, increase the strength and flexibility of muscles needed for childbirth, and decrease lower back pain, nausea and headaches.
Pregnant women love acupuncture, and if you haven’t experience it... You’re in for a real treat! Acupuncture is a healing art that originated in China thousands of years ago. Traditional Chinese medicine views the body as two opposing forces, yin and yang. When an imbalance occurs between the two, it blocks the flow of vital energy along internal pathways, called meridians, in the body. During acupuncture, a practitioner inserts hair-thin needles through the skin at points along the meridians to correct imbalances and restore health. Research has found that acupuncture points correspond to deep-seated nerves, so that when the needles are twirled, the nerves are activated. This triggers the release of endorphins, which block pain signals and may help to relieve a number of pregnancy symptoms, including morning sickness and sleeping problems!
Finding a way to soothe the body and relax the mind? Having a massage, either as a one-off or regularly, helps to improve circulation and disperse the tension building up in back and leg muscles – the perfect bit of pregnancy pampering for aches and pains. Find a spa that specializes in prenatal therapies and talk through your needs with the massage therapist. And relax!
If you’re a surrogate, or in the process of becoming a surrogate, or simply just wondering… How in the world do surrogates explain the pregnancy to their children? Well, most know that surrogacy agencies require a surrogate to have birthed one or two children of her own before becoming a surrogate for someone else. There are a number of reasons for this requirement. First and for most, having had previous experience with a pregnancy helps you know what to expect from your body and how to handle any challenges that may come along. In addition, the fact that you already have had a successful pregnancy makes it more likely that you will have a successful pregnancy with the baby you are carrying for the intended parents. We require a medical screening of all our surrogates because they are accepted into our program.
As a gestational surrogate, you may face the dilemma of what to tell your children about the baby growing inside you! It can be confusing for little ones to understand a complex concept like surrogacy, but if you keep it simple and stick with the basics, your children should come to understand all that they need to about your pregnancy. Here are some ideas for explaining surrogacy to your kids.
For younger children
When you explain surrogacy to a toddler or preschooler, keep the words a simple as possible. You could tell it in the form of a story. “Once upon a time, there were two people who wanted very much to have a little baby of their own. They wanted to have a child, but they couldn’t. So your mommy decided to carry their baby in her tummy for them for a while. When the baby is big enough to come out into the world, it will go and live with this very special family, and they will be so happy!” There is several wonderful picture books out there to read to your little ones.
For older children
If you have a couple of older kids, you face a new set of challenges explaining the pregnancy. Your oldest child has seen you pregnant before. The last time, that pregnancy resulted in a sibling. You’ll need to explain very clearly that the baby is for a different set of parents. Your child may be concerned that you are giving away a brother or sister, simply because you don’t want to keep it; so you need to clarify that this is not a baby made by you and that you are simply just a kangaroo pouch, but this is a very special baby made for another family. Explain that the other mom’s tummy could not grow the baby, so you offered to give them a very special gift and grow their baby for them until it is ready to enter the world and join their family.
An older child may be able to understand terms like “incubator” or “oven,” images that help them grasp the concept of surrogacy and its temporary nature. You can also refer to yourself as the “extended babysitter” for the intended parents. Introduce your children to the Intended Parents; this will help them understand who the baby actually belongs too.
Reassurance and Love
No matter what your child’s age may be, he or she may develop a fear of being given away someday, as you plan to give the intended parents’ baby to them. When you explain surrogacy the first time, and at other times in the future, express your deep love and commitment to your children. Let them know that you planned for them, wished for them, and will keep them forever. Often time’s children get very excited for the Intended Parents. They see the bond their mommy has with the Intended Parents and how excited they are to meet their baby!
Golden State Surrogacy CEO, Shannon’s personal surrogacy journeys.
At the time my son was only five years old and my daughter was just turning two. They didn’t really understand surrogacy at all, but why would they? My son knew I was having a baby for a great friend because her belly didn’t work like mine. I introduced my children to the families I carried for. We would often get together for lunch, celebrate holidays together, or simply send pictures back and forth to each other. My kids knew the Intended Parents as friends and once the baby came they were just happy to have me back home. Our daily routine never changed too much, and once the babies were healthy enough to meet my children, they did! Today I am lucky to say that my children love seeing pictures of our “surro babies” and know that they are just like any other child who is loved!
Egg Donation Story Books
Our mission at Golden State Surrogacy is providing exceptional services for families who acquire guidance to become parents. We thrive to make your journey to parenthood as smooth as possible with our experienced and compassionate on call team.