Asthma medication linked to infertility in women

Asthma medication linked to infertility in women

Women with asthma who only use short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant than other women, according to international research led by the University of Adelaide.

However, the study of more than 5600 women in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland also shows that women with asthma who use long-acting asthma preventers conceive as quickly as other women.
Published in the European Respiratory Journal, the study was led by Dr Luke Grzeskowiak from the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute.
Dr Grzeskowiak says the results provide reassurance for asthmatic women that using inhaled corticosteroids to prevent symptoms does not appear to reduce fertility.
“Five to ten per cent of all women around the world have asthma and it is one of the most common chronic medical conditions in women of reproductive age. Several studies have identified a link between asthma and female infertility, but the impact of asthma treatments on fertility has been unclear,” Dr Grzeskowiak says.

“Studying the effect of asthma treatments in women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant is important as women often express concerns about exposing their unborn babies to potentially harmful effects of medications.”

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The researchers examined data from the international Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) study, which recruited more than 5600 women expecting their first babies in the early stages of pregnancy.
Ten per cent of women in the study said they had asthma and, overall, these women took longer to get pregnant.
When researchers separated this group according to the types of asthma treatments they were using, they found no difference in fertility between women using long-acting asthma treatments and women without asthma.

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Women using short-acting reliever medication (known as beta-agonists) took 20% longer to conceive on average. They were also 30% more likely to have taken more than a year to conceive, which the researchers defined as the threshold for infertility.
This difference remained even after researchers took other factors known to influence fertility, such as age and weight, into account.
Dr Grzeskowiak says: “This study shows that women using short-acting asthma relievers take longer to get pregnant. On the other hand, continued use of long-acting asthma preventers to control asthma seems to protect fertility and reduce the time it takes women with asthma to become pregnant. This could lead to a reduction in the need for fertility treatments.”

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“There is plenty of evidence that maternal asthma has a negative impact on the health of pregnant mothers and their babies, and so our general advice is that women should take steps to get their asthma under control before trying to conceive,” he says.
“What we don’t yet know is exactly how asthma or asthma treatments lead to fertility problems. As well as affecting the lungs, asthma could cause inflammation elsewhere in the body, including the uterus. It could also affect the health of eggs in the ovaries.
“Inhaled corticosteroids suppress the immune system, whereas short-acting asthma treatments do not alter immune function. In women who are only using relievers it’s possible that, while their asthma symptoms may improve, inflammation may still be present in the lungs and other organs in the body.”
The researchers plan further studies involving women with asthma who are undergoing fertility treatments, to see whether improving asthma control could also improve fertility outcomes.


What’s Food Got to Do With Infertility? Turns Out, A Lot!


Пов’язане зображенняA seemingly simple process of a healthy sperm meeting a healthy egg is followed by another seemingly simple process of the fertilized egg nestling itself in the specially prepared home that is the uterus, for the next 9 months.

While so much has been written about what role does diet play in the health of your heart, or on your chances of developing cancer, not much attention has been given to the effect diet has on the health of the sperm and the egg.

What’s Diet Got to Do With It?

In most cultures, the role diet plays on fertility has been a matter of fable and old wives tales of conventional wisdom and almost no science.

However, the largest and the longest running ‘Nurses Health Study’ conducted by Harvard School of Public Health, which has looked at the role of diet on various chronic health issues including fertility, has helped reduce the gap in our knowledge.

On comparing the diets, exercise, habits and other lifestyle choices of those who readily got pregnant and those who experienced ovulatory infertility, several key differences emerged.


Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs

Like all diet fads, the no carb craze which till recently had many takers, also faded away. The Nurses Health Study shows that eating lots of easily digestible carbohydrates like white sugar, white bread, soda pops etc. will increase the chances of infertility in women.

On the other hand, slowly digested carbohydrates which have fibre, such as whole grains and fresh fruit, improve fertility.

This has got something to do with what is called glycemic load, which is a measure that conveys information about how quickly carbohydrate is turned into blood sugar. Women in the highest glycemic load category were far more likely to have faced ovulatory infertility than those who had a low glycemic index. This is because the finely tuned balance of hormones needed for reproduction is disrupted by insulin levels, which become too high in response to the fast carbohydrates.

Say No to Trans Fats

There is enough evidence to show how trans fats work against ovulation. So eating artificial fat, found in your fast food, in your fried Indian food is not going to do any favours to your ability to ovulate. Instead, opt for good fat whenever possible to boost fertility.

Some recent studies have suggested that more fat in the diet and in some cases the saturated fat, for example butter and ghee, normalizes the menstrual cycle, affecting the ovulation in a positive manner. The good fats increase the insulin sensitivity and decrease inflammation – exactly the opposite of what trans fats do.

So, it is not the total quantity of carbs and fats, but the quality of these that matters when it comes to boosting your fertility.

Make Protein Your Friend

A very surprising finding that emerged from the Nurses Health Study was that adding animal protein, instead of carbohydrate, to your plate leads to a greater risk of ovulatory infertility.

So get more protein from vegetable source and less from animals.

Watch That Weight

Large deviation from the ideal body weight can disrupt normal menstrual cycles and throw ovulation completely out of gear. Women with BMI between 20 and 24 are least likely to have infertility. Same holds true for male fertility.

by Dr Ashwini Setya.

Can stress really stop you from conceiving?

It’s thought a stressful environment can impact fertility – but is there really any truth to it?fertility, conception, pregnancy

If you’ve arrived at the next stage of adulthood, and feel you’re finally ready to sacrifice Saturday morning lie-ins (or a full night’s sleep, for that matter) for baby cuddles and cooing over tiny toes, you’ll probably be reading up on how to improve your chances of conceiving.

Typical advice about how to boost your fertility might include a healthy diet, regular exercise, better sleep patterns and less stress. But sometimes it’s hard to eliminate stress – especially if the reason you’re stressed is that you’re struggling to conceive. So how much of a role does stress really play when it comes to your chances of getting pregnant?
According to Georgia Witkin, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Ob/Gyn and Reproductive Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine – not a lot. While research has of course demonstrated that fertility issues cause stress, there’s no evidence to say it works the other way round.

Writing for Psychology Today, Witkin rubbished “Aunt Fannie’s advice to, ‘just relax and then you’ll get pregnant’.” Labelling it a “myth”, the professor pointed out that “women can conceive under the most stressful circumstances if there is no physiological problem – even traumatised women and war prisoners often get pregnant.”

broken pencil, snap, penis, break,

Of course, we know both physical and emotional stress can interfere with your menstrual cycle, but Witkin insists this doesn’t directly extend to fertility. “When there is a fertility problem that follows stress, the stress was most likely a trigger for a pre-existing medical condition or predisposition,” she explained.

pregnant, pregnancy
While stress won’t physically damage the quality of an egg or sperm, what it can do is cause behaviours that might do so. “For example, women may leave fertility treatment, harm their fertility through drugs, smoking, or drinking, avoid sex, postpone child-bearing, or not follow instructions for fertility medication [when they’re stressed],” the expert said.

And backing up her point, she added: “If reproductive systems are as vulnerable to stress as many believe, the human species would have perished long ago.”

Very true.

conception, conceiving, pregnancy, fertility
So if you’re experiencing stress and are also struggling to get pregnant, Witkin’s fundamental advice is to look after yourself a bit more. “Be your own best friend. Stop blaming yourself and treat yourself to the same supportiveness, consideration and respect you give to others you love,” she said.

Eventually, you’ll start to relieve stress, and while this won’t boost your physical fertility, it’ll certainly make the whole process of trying to conceive a lot more enjoyable for you.

What women need to know about their fertility

Whether you’ve been trying for a while to conceive, or perhaps you have just started to look into having a baby or stuck somewhere in the middle, there are things all women should know about fertility.

In the UK, 3.5 million people are affected by fertility issues and it is important that all women are educated on what factors could be influencing their ability to conceive.

Professor Geeta Nargund, Medical Director at Create Fertility, discusses some of the most important things that every woman needs to know about her fertility.


Get to know your cycle – Gaining a better understanding of how your body works can be a big help when you are trying to conceive. Your cycle should be a consistent length each month and not fluctuate hugely. In other words, if you have a cycle every month (around every 26-35 days), you have a regular cycle. If you often miss periods, you might be dealing with irregular hormonal fluctuations. If your period is consistently irregular, I would advise seeing your GP.

It can take a while to get pregnant, even for young, healthy couples – Most couples assume that when they start having unprotected sex, they will get pregnant straight away. In reality, 85% of healthy young women will conceive within a year of trying. If you’ve had regular sex without birth control for 12 months and are under the age of 35 then I would recommend seeking advice from your GP. However, if you are over 35 then I would advise seeing your GP after 6 months.

Fertility issues affect both men and women – Fertility issues aren’t unique to women, in fact, men are found to be solely responsible for 25-30% of infertility cases and contribute to 50% of cases overall. I would strongly advise that when seeking help, make sure your partner gets checked out as well as you, this will help you pinpoint where the problem lies and allow you to access the right help and treatment quicker.

Age is a major factor, even if you are perfectly healthy – Age is the most important factor that affects a woman’s fertility. Biologically, the optimum period for childbearing is between 20 and 35 years of age. When a woman reaches 35 her fertility dramatically decreases and by 40 the chance of conceiving naturally is further reduced.

Lifestyle factors can play a huge role in stopping you from conceiving – An equal number of fertility issues stem from lifestyle factors and making lifestyle changes can be one of the hardest barriers for couples to overcome. However, lifestyle and fertility go hand in hand and changes need to be made in order to make a significant impact and help you to conceive. Stress levels, smoking, caffeine, and alcohol are all factors that can influence your fertility and cutting down on all of these will help to boost it. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and body weight and to also exercise regularly.

Health conditions can make it harder to conceive – Having a condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis or thyroid problems can make it harder to conceive naturally and IVF might be recommended in some cases. So, if you’re concerned about symptoms such as excessive bleeding, pain during intercourse or rapid weight gain, make an appointment with your GP and get it checked.

Support is out there – An important thing to remember when going through fertility problems is that you aren’t the only one struggling. 1 in 6 couples in the UK are going through the same thing and support groups are available. These can include peer-led groups run by patients, Fertility Network UK or groups run by fertility clinics

Staying Positive and Calm During an IVF Cycle with a Gestational Surrogate

Regardless of whether you are the gestational surrogate or the intended parent an IVF cycle can and is often an incredibly stressful time for both parties.

It’s very normal and easy to ride what we deem the IVF roller coaster regardless of what role you are taking during this ride. Your feelings can go from day to day – or even minute to minute. You might feel incredibly positive that it’s going to “work this time” – this is the one! You just know it. Then, you might feel on a dime that it’s never going to work – gloom, gloom, gloom – you will never become a parent and you will live a life without children, sad, lonely etc…

If you are the intended parent you have a lot on the line – money, time, emotions. You want to support your gestational surrogate as much as you possibly can and it’s normal for you to be biting your nails waiting on the outcome of an IVF cycle.


The cool part about our brain is that it has the capability of being re-wired. (no really!). To quiet your mind during all the phases of the IVF process we have to acknowledge and own all of the old tapes that run in our heads and throw them away. Get rid of that “stinkin thinkin” – you know those negative messages: “It’s not going to work” “We don’t be parents” etc.. Anything negative get rid of it.

For us to change our thinking, recode our brain or change the wiring you have to like anything you want to be good at – PRACTICE. This means we have to embrace a new way of thinking – and like anything the more we practice the better we get at it. So instead of being the half empty glass person we become the half full glass person. The reason this is so important is that the more we embrace and practice positive thinking the more we have the ability to “hard wire” those thoughts to our already established thinking patterns – we actually exchange positive thoughts with old thoughts and the negative thoughts patterns that aren’t doing a bit of good.

Some employ life coaches or reproductive therapists to help them along with this process – especially when we begin to hard wire our new thought process.

During the egg donation stage (if you are using an egg donor):

“My egg donor is going to create lots of healthy eggs”

“We will create many healthy embryos”

“Our egg donor will respond well to the stimulation medication and complete a smooth cycle”

“Our egg donor will experience a positive and easy retrieval”

“I am putting out positive energy to the Universe and the Universe is putting positive energy my way”

During the embryo transfer stage:

“The Universe is hearing my needs and will fulfill them”

“Everything is going to work out the way it’s supposed to”

“The gestational surrogates waiting uterus has a perfect lining like a big fluffy bowl of mashed potatoes just waiting for embryos.”

“Our embryos went to the right spot and have settled in for the next nine months”

“I am enveloped in much love and caring”

“Our gestational surrogate is enveloped in much love and caring”

During the two week wait and after:

“The two week wait is going to go by quickly with a positive outcome”

“The Universe is hearing my heeds and will fulfill them”

“Fear is not in my vocabulary”

“Our gestational surrogate is in the best shape to carry this pregnancy”

“I am going to have a smooth pregnancy and a great outcome for my intended parents”

“My body is smart! It knows what to do even if my brain might not think so”

“Nothing but goodness is going to come to all of us during this IVF cycle”

“The baby is safe and happy”

“This pregnancy is going to be healthy, we love and care about our gestational surrogate”

Gestational Surrogacy Books to Add to Your Library

For many parents-to-be, reading is an important part of nesting. This sentiment rings even louder for many Intended Parents considering Gestational Surrogacy as the answer to creating the family of their dreams. If you are looking to add some of the most helpful and informational books on Gestational Surrogacy to your personal library, begin by checking out a few of these recommended titles:


The Kangaroo Pouch: A Story About Surrogacy for Young Children




This book is a wonderful option for Intended Parents with older children ages 2-8. The Kangaroo Pouch serves as an excellent conversation starter and explains the surrogacy journey from start to finish in ways children can comprehend. This book is also available in eBook format.





A Surrogacy Book for Young Children: Grown in Another Garden



Another story great for the 2 – 8-year-old age group, Grown in Another Garden is a children’s story geared towards explaining surrogacy to children born from a Gestational Surrogate.




Surrogacy Was the Way: Twenty Intended Mothers Tell Their Stories




Surrogacy Was the Way chronicles the journey of twenty Intended Mothers, all pursuing surrogacy from different backgrounds and different reasons but with the same common goal. This book provides candid insight for Intended Parents considering beginning their own Surrogacy journey.






Successful Surrogacy: An Intended Parents’ Guide to a Rewarding Relationship with Their Surrogate Mother



Although a quick read, Successful Surrogacy is chock-full of invaluable information for loved ones and friends as well as vital conversation starters for your partner as well as your Surrogate throughout each stage of your Surrogacy journey. This book is also available for e-readers.



Planning Parenthood: Strategies for Success in Fertility Assistance, Adoption, and Surrogacy



A great mix of scientific information and stories from real-life Intended Parents, Planning Parenthood provides in-depth discussions about the various options available for those wishing to have a family of their own when traditional pregnancy is not a possibility.




Labor of Love: Gestational Surrogacy and the Work of Making Babies (Families in Focus)





Labor of Love takes a well-rounded approach to discussing Gestational Surrogacy covering all aspects from new advancements and higher general acceptance of reproductive technologies to interviewing family members of both Surrogates and Intended families alike. This book is available in both traditional and electronic formats.




Bringing in Finn: An Extraordinary Surrogacy Story




This memoir chronicles one woman’s journey to motherhood with her own biological mother ultimately becoming her Surrogate. Available in electronic, hardcover and paperback formats, Bringing in Finn is a fantastic read for anyone who has overcome hurdles in their own journey or simply desires a greater understanding of Surrogacy.



From Heartache to Healed: Our Journey Through Infertility and Surrogacy



A personal account of one couple’s struggle with infertility and journey through Surrogacy, From Heartache to Healed is newly published memoir available in electronic format.





Pathways to Parenthood: The Ultimate Guide to Surrogacy


Pathways to Parenthood is a handy how-to guide for all aspects and versions of Surrogacy. From the initial decision to embark upon your surrogacy journey through your baby’s delivery, Pathways breaks everything into easy to understand terms so you will know whatever decision you make in your journey will be the right one for you.




IVF A Detailed Guide: Everything I Wish I Had Known Before Starting My Fertility Treatments



This book is a comprehensive breakdown of everything you should be aware of and consider before beginning IVF treatments as well as what you can expect during the process. IVF A Detailed Guide is available in both traditional and electronic formats.





IVF: A Patient’s Guide. IVF: A Patient’s Guide is the perfect book for anyone undergoing or considering fertility treatment


Including charts, case studies, photos and graphs, this little book is a great way to help you reduce stress and boost your likelihood of success.
While educating yourself through your own reading and research is a great way to become more knowledgeable and comfortable on the topic of Surrogacy, the best way to make sure you get your questions answered is to partner with a trusted, experienced, and caring surrogacy agency or clinic. BioTexCom prides itself on the relationships it builds with its clients, Surrogates and Intended Parents alike. To learn more about how they can help you navigate your Surrogacy journey, contact BioTexCom today!


Motherhood after egg donation

Egg donation is often not the patient’s first choice on their journey towards a child. Behind nearly every decision to do egg donation treatment is a history of several failed IVF attempts. However, we are sure that you have done enough to become a mother to a genetic child and we are sure that you have many reasons to be proud of yourself when it comes to everything you have done so far! Now it’s time to increase your chances and finally become a mother!

When you have decided to go through egg donation treatment we know that there are a lot of ethical and emotional thoughts and feelings that needs to be sorted out. We know that you want to go through this treatment and feel normal, feel inner peace, and feel that this treatment will finally give you the child that you have wanted for such a long time. The child project involves emotions, money, focus and time and we know you feel that you deserve a result. You deserve to achieve your goal, your wanted child! You will feel It is not logical for you to go through such a demanding project without a result.

Are you aware that your maternal instinct is actually affecting your thoughts and feelings before your pregnancy? You are wondering if you can bond to your unborn «donor egg baby», if you will feel it’s yours, if you are going to tell, or not to tell the child about the conception through egg donation and you are wondering about how the child will react and grow up knowing this?

You see? You already think as a mother, you are concerned on your child’s behalf because you want to do your best for your child. You have already started your motherhood! Maybe you want to plan how you will react, think and feel after given birth to your child? Why not trust your instinct? That your love and your maternal ability will develop in relation to your child?

Early bonding to the child

During pregnancy you already start the bonding process with the child. When you feel the child inside of you miracles happen. The child responds to your touch, by displaying more movements as a way of communication. The bond extends beyond language.

If someone asks you to describe your unborn child in the latest months of your pregnancy, we are sure you are able to.

You are the one that knows this child, carrying it and protect this child into this world.

how do women that have egg donor babies feel about the experience

Tell or not to tell your child about egg donation?

To tell, or not to tell your child about its conception through egg donation depend on your values, your ethical point of view, your culture and society and what gives you and your partner inner peace. You don’t need to hurry with these decisions. Studies shows, that if you decide to tell, the best age to tell is when the child is between 5 and 7 years old. So you actually have at least 6 years to prepare yourself!

Sometimes miracles come in pairs 

1. There’s a good chance that, if you have twins, they will spend some time in the hospital after they are born. Twins, even lower-risk twins, are often born prematurely. However, hospitals are amazing these days. While your twins are in the Intensive Care Unit, it will feel like the longest weeks of your life, but chances are, they will be totally fine at the end of it. As long as the days felt while they were in the hospital, however, they will feel twice as long when they come home. In your mind, you will be begging for a nurse to come and feed your children just once more so you can get an extra hour of sleep.


2. If you have identical twins, get used to them drawing lots of attention when you go out in public. The attention is not so much directed at them, but in your general vicinity, like whispers on the sidelines but everywhere you go. In fact, it’s kind of fun if one parent takes both twins, and the other parent walks 20 feet behind them to observe all of the faces of people reacting “Did you see those twins? OMG. TWINS!”

4. No matter what kind of twins you have, the first thing everyone you encounter will say is “Are those twins?” People will cross the street to say this to you. They will come out from behind store displays, roll car windows down, leave their vehicles at the gas pump. No matter how many advanced degrees they posses, how many children they have of their own, or how intuitive and erudite they may be normally, they will still ask, “Are those twins? Just say “Yes,” and try not to sound like you’re Cher from Clueless. “Um….yeah!

5. If you’re a Mom of twins, the second question total strangers will ask is, “Are they natural?” Evidently this does not refer to whether they are cyborg or human, but how they were conceived. And yes, it’s a very personal question. Which maybe involves everyone in the conversation imagining you having sex. And also, if you have struggled with infertility, this question may bring up really painful experiences that you would prefer not to recall with someone you have never met and will never see again. But don’t worry, even if you say they were conceived “naturally,” many strangers will assume you’re lying.

6. “I knew a twin!” Everyone has a twin story. None of them are interesting. Your cousins are twins?! Wow! Okay! Your mailman’s brother had twins and one died. Jeez! Wow! Okay! Your grade-school had seven sets of twins and your mom always said there was something in the water! My goodness. Listen: The only people who have interesting twin stories are parents of twins, and they know you’re far too exhausted to hear and/or remember any of them. Older twin parents will smile shyly at you and say “I have twins, too. It gets better. You’re doing great.” They are like unicorns. Take photos with these people and keep them in your wallet.

7. Some people are really interested in exploring the paranormal powers of twin children. If you are someone who believes in extra-sensory perception, mystical powers, the occult, and paranormal activity, then sure, I get that you might also believe in the possibility of secret twin capabilities. But if you don’t believe in these things in any other context, what the hell are you on about? If, when the time comes, our twins independently want to share with the world the unusual qualities of their relationship or abilities, that’s cool. Until then, nobody needs to anticipate a “secret language” any more or less than a “terrible pitch” or “great hand-eye coordination.” We had twins, not M. Night Shyamalan characters.

5. Twins by Evgeniya Semenova

8.Twins’ behavior is often interpreted as being in concert or in harmony, despite significant evidence to the contrary. For instance, if your twins are both perched atop a slide, their little fists wailing away at each other while they contort their bodies and scream, some may think, “Oh, that’s adorable! They’re twins! They are frustrated because they want to slide down together, at the same time.” When in reality, they are fighting to get away from one another, because each wants to go down the slide first. Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt. Let them be super close, super distant, and anything in between; as with any siblings, their relationship should be allowed to change according to their moods and situations.

9. Along that same vein, it’s a good idea to buy two of everything, because at some point, if one twin has a toy, the other twin will also want that same toy, even if there are 99 better toys in the same vicinity. Note that even the two-of-everything approach can backfire, however, if one twin is grabby and insists on having bothidentical toys at the same time. Give a new, wrapped roll of toilet paper to the twin whose toys have been stolen. Your living room will look like a bomb went off, but who can put a price on 10 glee-filled minutes?

10. You may think that changing diapers for two babies requires the same amount of effort as changing the diaper of one baby, times two. This is inaccurate. It’s actually more than twice the effort, because while you are changing one baby’s diaper, you will simultaneously have to keep the other baby occupied so that she will not steal the clean diaper you are about to put on or the poopy diaper you have just removed, or crawl over the head of the baby you are attempting to change, or run screaming through the house pulling wipes out of the wipes box and throwing them on the floor while using your phone to update your facebook status to “e29,28889xmn”. (All of these things will happen. Regularly.)

11. Despite the fact that your twins were born at the same time, and may even look similar, they will not necessarily develop at the same rate. Try to resist comparison. Do not assume that the twin who has not yet learned how to say “ball” is the dumb one, or that the twin who falls down the least amount of times is the “sporty” one. And just tell your Uncle you want a gift receipt for the “I’m with stupid” onesie.

12. You will have no money. Ever again.

13. It’s not a competition: Whether you’re raising one or four, raising children is hard. Don’t be one of those douchey twin parents who discounts the tireless efforts of other parents just because they’re raising singletons. All good parents work hard to raise good children (but yes, twin parents, your job is much harder).

14. Invest in a wholesale club membership. Not only will you save money by buying in bulk, but wholesale clubs have grocery carts designed for two small children, damn near a necessity if you need to buy groceries and the other parent is out of town or otherwise unavailable. It’s either that, or front-pack one child, stick the other in the grocery cart, and walk around the grocery store (note to twin Dads: this expert/martyr Dad move will draw the ladies like ducks to bread).

15. If you already have a young child, and now you are having twins, you have to buy a minivan. This seems like a joke. I wish so fervently that it were a joke. But you literally have to. Go. Right now. The guy who shows them to you is going to talk up the cup holders, as though you care at all about cup holders. Just tell him to quit it with the snow job and find you the cheapest, safest minivan on the lot. Then come home and cry. You just bought a minivan!

16. You will be so tired, you literally won’t remember most of the first three to six months. If given the chance, we would have slept anywhere: on the floor, in a dining room chair, standing up, leaning over. I would have crawled into that space for big items under the shopping cart if I thought I would have been left in peace to sleep. The level of exhaustion is so intense it is like looking into the sun. If you have the money, hire someone to come to your house and when they get there, leave and go to sleep. If you don’t have the money, try to take turns so that you can take breaks. If you have an older child who will need your attention when you aren’t with the babies, invest in a serious coffee maker.

17. Feeding multiples is really difficult. If you are nursing, pumping, or formula feeding. Some mothers can nurse twins at the same time, and that’s amazing. It also means that you’ll need to be at home for the first year. Many mothers do not have that option, but insist on breast milk, which means that the mother will basically have a breast pump attached to her for the first year. My wife, who is an attorney, is incredible. She pumped every three hours for 12 months, even if that meant she had to do so in her car in a parking lot outside of a courtroom.

There are an incredible amount of of bottles and pump parts, however, to maintain. Overnight, every three hours (or two hours, during the first few weeks), my wife would pump, while I would wake the twins to feed them. By the time that the feeding process was over, and the bottles made, and the pump parts cleaned, it was time to wake up again. If you’re lucky, you get to sleep in four hour-long spurts, interrupted throughout the night.

Also, plan to have a good dishwasher, because it will be running perpetually for the first year. This is an actual picture of our countertop during that period.

18. You really don’t have any money. Check your bank account; if there’s a balance, that means you forgot to buy the car seats.

19. If one of your twins gets sick, infect the other one as soon as possible.The other baby is going to get sick, anyway. It is inevitable. It cannot be prevented, so try to manage it. Take the sick baby’s toothbrush, and brush your well baby’s entire face with it. The only thing worse to working parents than two sick babies at the same time is one sick baby who gets better right as the other baby gets sick, which means instead of taking off four days to care for your sick children, you have to take off 7 days.

20. Some may assume that because they share the same womb and/or look alike, that they are the same unit. They often will not be referred to as individuals, but as “the twins.” Recent studies suggest this isn’t great for individuation (you don’t say!?!) so try to do things that help people (including yourself) remember the distinct attributes of each child. This is particularly important because you will rarely know where they are, and sometimes won’t know who is who.


21. Unfortunately, though some may treat your twins as a single unit, that treatment will not extend to daycare, where you will still have to pay for two.

22. If you have identical twins, people will ask you, “How do you tell them apart?” People just assume that, because you are the parents, you will have this magical ability to make the distinction between two completely identical children who have not yet formed personalities. It’s much harder than you think. We kept the hospital bracelets on for a week or two, until one of our twins developed a very small, very faint birthmark, which is all we had to go on. Even still, you will call your twins by the wrong name at least three times a day. It does not make you a bad parent. In fact, during the first year, you will not only call your children by the wrong name, you’ll call your spouse by the wrong name, and probably your boss, as well. There’s a very good chance you will forget your own name from time to time.

23. There’s another reason you may call your spouse by the wrong name, too. Once you’ve seen your spouse at 4 a.m. without pants holding one baby in her arms, while rhythmically patting the other whimpering baby in the crib in a room that smells of diapers, it’s hard to recall the person with whom you walked down the aisle.

24. Cloth diapers? Hahahahahahahahaha!

25. Twins are an experience unlike any other, and you are lucky to have the chance to try your hand at this insanely complicated parenting challenge. Embrace the craziness, and be good to yourselves. It really does get better. Someday. I’m sure of it.

Being an Intended Parent

The journey to create a family has taken many intended parents outside their own country in search of surrogacy arrangements. We understand how difficult it can be to entrust the most important event in your life to someone you don’t even know. We understand that some couples have already been through a difficult journey of IVF treatments and disappointments. However, surrogacy is a big commitment, not only for the surrogate mother but also for the intended parents. Complete and reliable information is absolutely necessary to help intended parents avoid coercion and heartbreak while pursuing their goal of forming a family.


How can intended parents be sure their egg donor and gestational carrier are being cooperative during the medication stage when they are preparing for the egg retrieval and embryo transfer? There has been so much invested by this time, financially and emotionally, the fear of a cycle being disrupted because of an error is looming over intended parents. When dealing with human beings, it is impossible to guarantee everyone will do what they are told, or that no mistakes may happen. We must remember that we are dealing with women who understand the commitment they’ve entered into, and understand the struggles of their intended parents. They have been educated and screened by their agency, the psychologist, and the fertility center staff. There are legal contracts involved for this process as well. The egg donors and gestational carriers are monitored very closely by the team professionals involved with this journey and they have all the support they need.

There is a flood of emotions in the beginning and there is a flood of emotions at the end. Taking away as much doubt and concern is very important, and choosing the right professionals to help with this journey will allow intended parents to feel comfortable with their decision and prepare for parenthood.

5 Reasons to Consider Surrogacy

1. The fetus is legally yours from the start.

This is huge, and no other means of having a child can promise you this.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about birth mothers who change their mind in the delivery room and decide to keep their baby. Then, the would-be adoptive parents are forced to go home empty-handed and cry in a beautifully decorated nursery which might never get used.
Well, that doesn’t happen with surrogacy — because it’s your baby, not hers.
We are talking about gestational surrogacy. In that arrangement, the surrogate is not using her own eggs. There’s a separate egg donor. So the surrogate has no biological connection to the child and thus feels less of a bond to him or her (or in our case, them).
She also signs a mountain of paperwork stating that she doesn’t want — and can’t have — your child. We all just need to enjoy the moment for what it was, because legally, everything was already settled.

2. You can go to all the appointments.

Being pregnant is rough, and it’s full of moments of ups and downs, thrills and panic, a million little bumps and big bumps along the way. And we need to live through it all.
We have an opportunity to watch the fetuses grow week by week and to be at a surrogate’s side –for every important moment, from before conception all the way through delivery. When your kids catch their first glimpses of the world, you can be there.

3. Your relationship with the surrogate can be as open as you want it to be.

Most surrogates, from what I’ve heard, would like to be on your Christmas card list. They enjoy getting an annual reminder of the family they helped create, and they love seeing how the little ones have grown.
Other than that, it’s all up to you — and to a lesser extent, her — to decide.
Some people don’t want an “aunt”, and they’d rather keep things as casual as possible afterwards. There are plenty of surrogates who are looking for that arrangement, too.
One thing’s for sure. The surrogate won’t have any visitation rights with the kids. It’s entirely the parents’ prerogative how much contact you maintain with the surrogate after the birth.

4. The odds are good.

The surrogate is tested extensively before she’s matched with an intended parent couple. In most cases, she’s already carried at least one baby of her own to term, if not several. So her fertility is never in doubt.
The egg donor is also tested beforehand. She’s young and healthy, and she may even have donated eggs for other couples in the past. If your first in vitro fails, you can replace the surrogate and/or the egg donor for your next try.

5. You’re not as altruistic as you think you are.

Adoption is a beautiful way to make a family but occasionally the adoption advocates will imply that they’re better than us, that we’re selfish or greedy or that we’re letting parentless children suffer while we go off and make our designer fetuses. Well, before those people get to you, let us tell you that they’re misguided at best.
Yes, there are plenty of babies ready to be placed with loving families, but there are also plenty of loving families looking to adopt.
The ones who are getting left out of all of this happiness are special needs kids. They’re the ones stuck in the foster system, the ones most desperate for families to take them in. No one ever tells straight couples that they should adopt a special needs kid rather than selfishly reproduce from their own genes, and the argument could just as easily apply to them.
Infertility isn’t a curse or a sign from God that you need to dedicate your life to helping sick children. Not everyone is made for that, and that’s OK.


If you feel a calling to open your home to a special needs child, then I commend you, you are a saint, and I’ll admit it: you’re better than me. But if you’re foregoing surrogacy so you can put yourself on a waiting list for a healthy Caucasian newborn, then I don’t think what we’re doing is all that different.
Ultimately, though, I don’t think the biological argument should sway you one way or the other, because the kid you have is your kid, regardless of how they came into your family. You’re going to spend a lot more time diapering them, playing with them, teaching them, learning from them and loving them than you are pondering their genetics.

Ultimately, though, I don’t think the biological argument should sway you one way or the other, because the kid you have is your kid, regardless of how they came into your family. You’re going to spend a lot more time diapering them, playing with them, teaching them, learning from them and loving them than you are pondering their genetics.
Once you’re a parent, it won’t matter where your baby came from, but getting there isn’t easy, and hopefully this helped someone along the way.