The decision to start a family is a big one, it is a chance to take the next step in your life or relationship. Yet for some couples making that decision is only the first step in a long road to motherhood.
For women in a same sex relationship, it means making a lot of decisions about how to start the adventure of motherhood together, and how to go about finding a sperm donor and ultimately finding a clinic or fertility treatment centre who can make the entire process the wonderful and magical experience it should be.
A shared maternity allows both of you to be part of the process
The clinic Fertty International in Barcelona is leading the way in fertilization services to lesbian couples, offering a way for both partners to be part of the process. The option is known as reciprocal IVF, and what this means is that the in vitro fertilization cycle is carried out on one of the couple. This stimulates egg production in the ovaries, which can then be collected for fertilization with the semen of an anonymous donor.
The embryos are then transferred into the uterus of the other partner to begin gestation. The second partner will then carry the baby to full term. It is really quite wonderful what science makes possible. For LGBT couples dreaming of starting a family together this is one way to bring motherhood to both women.
What to expect from the first phase
This is the first step you the journey to motherhood and it is exciting. The specialist and experts at the clinic will be there for you every step of the way to make sure you have the best experience. For the woman who will be providing the eggs, several weeks before the procedure there will be some hormonal contraception given.
The purpose of this is to interrupt the normal cycle. This is so that when fertility drugs are then taken the body is ready to produce a few extra eggs in the ovary, rather than the normal one. This gives the best chance of fertilization in the next steps.
What happens during fertilization and implantation
Once the eggs are retrieved they are joined with the donor sperm in a state of the art laboratory for fertilization. If they are successfully fertilized then they are allowed to undergo a couple of days of cell division before the embryo is transplanted into the second partner, via the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus.
It is usual to transplant more than one embryo, and in Spain that number is limited to three in order to reduce the risk of multiple pregnancies which can pose a risk to both the mother and the babies.
Some women describe the process as feeling similar to a PAP smear test. It does not feel comfortable but it does not require any sedation or drugs. After around 10 days or so a blood pregnancy test can be done in order to find out if the implantation was successful.
Any embryos that are not used in this stage can be cryopreserved for the future or even donated to other couples unable to do the first part of the treatment themselves for whatever reason.
It make take several cycles for a successful result
IVF has a success rate of anything between 40 and 70%, depending on a range of factors such as the age of the women, the quality of the eggs and the quality of the embryos produced. It will require a detailed review of each couple’s person circumstances to give an idea of potential success rate.
If multiple rounds are required the couple will need to talk in depth with the medical team to decide how many attempts are best for you.
3 Reasons to Keep Old Family Photos
The decision of whether or not to hang onto family keepsakes is often an emotional one. We can be torn between the need to declutter and the guilt of getting rid of memories. And in the case of family photos, this decision is even harder. After all, they are things you can never replace once they’re gone. For that reason and many more, most people decide to keep them and just find creative ways to store them. But in case you’re still on the fence, here are just a few good reasons not to throw them away.
Old family photos preserve history
The first photograph was taken in 1826 or 1827 by a man in France. It was created using a method he was experimenting with, called heliography. At this point and for many years after, all photos were produced on tin plates. But what’s amazing to realize is that before this, the only images of our ancestors would be pictures people drew. This was a rare skill usually reserved for people of royalty and wealth.
While your family photos might not date back that far, the history of the photograph is still pretty valuable. Without them, we wouldn’t have the clear view of events, trends, and history we do today. Old photos can give us a glimpse into other eras and help us discover what people wore, drove, and ate. But aside from that, these pictures tell your history, which is something that can be passed down to the next generations.
There are many convenient ways to store old photos
Lack of storage space is why many people choose to dispose of keepsakes, clutter, and old photos. But with today’s technology, there’s no need to worry about that. With the development of cloud photo storage, you can easily upload thousands of images to access any time and from anywhere you want. This also makes it easy to share your photos with family members through email or other methods. You can also print any out that you wish by uploading them to a local or mail-in photo lab.
But if you’d rather not destroy the originals, you can also purchase organizers for your prints. Many photo supply stores sell storage systems, such as sectioned boxes, acid-free albums, or plastic files where you can neatly stack and sort the prints for compact storage in small spaces. Of course, even if you do choose to keep the physical copies, it’s still a good idea to scan them into a cloud-based system for back up.
Old photos make great artwork
If you have any open spaces you’d like to decorate, old family photos are a great solution. You can have them professionally enlarged and framed, or you can have them made into canvas prints. Canvas prints are perfect for spots over the fireplace or large walls that you can’t quite seem to fill, but they’re also much cheaper than framed and matted prints or expensive artwork you might purchase from a local vendor. The statement they make is much more personal and elegant than any piece of art you can buy.
If you’re fortunate enough to still have a piece of your family’s history preserved through old photos, don’t take it for granted. Some people never have the chance to see these types of images because their photos were lost or destroyed. Take the time to preserve these memories to pass down to your children. They’re an important part of your past and your family should be able to cherish for generations to come.
A Unique Travelling Experience for the Family
With spring break currently in full force and summer just around the corner, you and your family may be using the free time to plan for a big vacation during the extended summer holidays.
If going to Disneyland or another theme park sounds too typical or superficial, then you can look at the options for short-term educational tours.
Centered around the concept of offering a diverse range of educational fun for the whole family, these tours can prove to be the perfect mix of knowledge and joy for all ages.
To help you form an informed opinion about taking an education tour, here are a few reasons why such a tour could be a fun, enthralling and unique travelling experience for your family.
It Can Provide Firsthand Experiences
Developed with the very thought of teaching through different aspects, an educational tour lets you and your family learn new things during your travels.
You are no longer limited to using your imagination to interpret someone else’s words or using your vision to appreciate a picture on your screen. Instead of only reading about faraway places and their various traits, you can actually experience them firsthand by living through them together with your family. This allows you to use all of your senses to experience things as they are in real life.
This lets you and your family have a greater understanding of what it actually feels like to be in a place instead of just reading about it. That by itself enables all of you to use that experience in a variety of aspects such as work, school and personal life.
It Lets You Appreciate What is There in the World
Whether you are learning about the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu or getting Spanish lessons from locals in Ecuador, an educational tour can introduce you to newfound appreciation and understanding of different cultures and places.
This makes sure that you are no longer limited to filtered sources of information. You can learn the basics of several languages, study the topics of various cultures, and absorb the knowledge of how life is in different places of the world.
It lets you and your family develop empathy for the planet and its inhabitants, and that allows you to make better decisions in your everyday lives.
It Makes You More Confident
Traveling to different places and learning about the life there doesn’t only educate you from a perspective of knowledge, but it also helps you grow from a personal aspect.
Since you and your family members are able to learn through different experiences of various people and explore sights that you have never traveled before, all of you get to grow more confident, perceptive and knowledgeable from the experience.
As such, you are ready to take on any challenges that life throws your way. The older people in your family could learn to apply these skills at their workplace, while younger members could use this assertiveness during their school and college with ease. All in all, it helps you boost your performance, and lets you apply your newly gained education in various aspects of life.
Drag Your Kids Into Nature. It’s Good For Health and Wellbeing
Studies show that spending two hours a week in nature is good for the health and wellbeing of adults and children. In contrast, spending too much time in front of a screen surrounded by the proverbial concrete jungle is detrimental to psychological and physical wellbeing. Sitting for long periods with no exercise has been linked to debilitating diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Experts also conclude that too much screen time causes, near-sightedness, insufficient sleep, headaches and obesity – all of which can have a negative effect on the psychological maturity of children. If your kids are devouring too much screen and not enough green, its high time you dragged them into nature. The short-term and long-term health depends on it. Connecting with Nature Connects You With People Several studies have shown that connecting with nature is therapeutic. The Japanese understand this so well that ‘forest bathing’ or shinrin-yoku is deeply ingrained in their culture. Although scientists are not sure how or why, but it appears humans have an intrinsic connection with the natural environment. You probably know from experience that being in the great outdoors restores your energy and vitality. If you can’t escape the concrete jungle by heading out into the countryside or mountains, take advantage of green spaces near your home. Even playing in the park gives you children an opportunity to connect and socialise with other kids in your neighbourhood – and any type of non-internet related connection is good for their development. Nature Reduces Stress and Anxiety Researchers have discovered that being around nature reduces stress, fear and anger. Living in these unprecedented times, children probably feel more emotional and afraid than they might ordinarily. During the lockdown and school closures, there is also more of a tendency for your children to watch TV more often, playing computer games, or spending more time on social media and the internet. More screen time is potentially damaging to their wellbeing. Heading out into nature will help to distract their minds from the concerns they have about Covid-19. Being outdoors feels more natural to children, and psychologists recommend that you should try to make life as normal as possible. Encourages Children To Develop A Healthy Lifestyle We often take the experiences and habits we develop as children into adulthood. By nature, we are habitual creatures and reenact similar behaviours throughout life. Teaching the little ones positive and healthy behaviours from an early age stands them in good stead when they get older. Show your children the benefits of being in nature now and they are more likely to make an effort to head for the hills when they are older. They will also be a better influence on their children – your grandchildren. I appreciate nature walks may not be all that appealing to kids. However, I have a cunning plan. Why not introduce a variety of games to play that are fun, help to educate your kids and give them plenty of exercise. If you need some ideas of fun games to play with children in nature, check out this awesome list.