Intended Parent Blog

Welcome to Egg Donor Solutions Intended Parent Blog. This is a place for you to gain knowledge about Egg Donation and also talk with other intended parents who can directly relate to your experiences. Feel free to ask any questions and post comments. We want this to be a positive resource for you. We also welcome your feedback and how we can tailor the blog to meet your needs.

Coronavirus Reference Guide and Resources for Assisted Reproduction

http://www.bodolaylaw.com/contact/

Written by: by Stephanie Bodolay

This reference guide is meant for those persons that are going through Assisted Reproductive Services during the current COVID19 pandemic. Please note that this is not a substitution for a legal consult, which you should obtain from your attorney for your particular case. Additionally, the circumstances and current guidelines are changing on a daily basis and while I will try to continue to update this accordingly, please refer to your attorney for the most up to date information pertaining to COVID19 and your fertility journey. Lastly, this is not meant to give or replace any medical advice and a physician shall be consulted with the medical aspect as to any procedure discussed.

Intended Parents & Surrogates in Surrogacy

Contract Terms

The COVID19 pandemic has presented unique issues that have not before been contemplated in most, if not all, surrogacy contracts. Here are some of the contractual terms the pandemic may affect and may want to discuss in conjunction with your attorney when drafting the surrogacy contract:

  • Are there provisions specifying the precautions the parties should take in light of the pandemic and steps to take if coronavirus is suspected?
  • If there is an initial escrow deposit or a monthly reimbursement that begins when the contract I signed? If treatment cycles have been postponed, you may want to modify the commencement of certain payments based on the delays occurring at clinics, if applicable at that time.
  • What is the term of the Agreement? You may want to consider the term of the Agreement in consideration of any possible future delays in medical treatment in the event of a new outbreak.
  • Are there possible situations where another lock down or government closure may affect your ability to comply with the Agreement? In the last few months this has applied more towards international couples as bank closures and flight cancellations had a large effect on contractual compliance, but something to consider nonetheless.

Timeline

Reproductive Endocrinology clinics all currently have their own protocol as to safety precautions and day to day procedures when it comes to COVID19, so I recommend speaking directly with your cycle coordinator at that clinic to see if new transfer/ treatments are taking place and whether there may be a delay or change in practice at this time. Currently, per guidelines, most clinics can have a “measured presumption of care”. Please see below for the CDC clinical guidance recommendations and the ASRM current recommendations for scheduling treatment cycles.

Coronavirus Effects on the Fetus; Maternal Health

Medically little is known about the transmission of COVID-19 in pregnancy, but so far the studies show that there is no vertical transmission from pregnant woman directly to baby in utero and the few studies that are available show that pregnant women are not necessarily at a higher risk of transmission or of adverse results than the general population. Please refer to your clinic and doctor to discuss their practices and guidelines/ plan for resuming treatment and your treating physician’s recommendations for safety during the pregnancy as well as COVID19’s effects on pregnant women.*

  • Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology released an example handout which states: (1) There is currently no scientific evidence showing that COVID-19 is transmitted to or carried by oocytes (eggs) or sperm. (2) There is very little research on a pregnant woman’s susceptibility to catching COVID-19. (3) There is no current approved treatment (medication) for COVID-19 (4) The small amount of data reported out of Wuhan, China and New York does not show any definitive evidence of intrauterine fetal infections with COVID-19; therefore, it is believed that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to a fetus in utero is low or non-existent.
  • ACOG: not giving recommendations to not be pregnant-
  • ASRM: delay in new treatment cycles; most reopening at the moment
  • World Health Organization; Q& A Pregnancy, Childbirth and COVID19: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-pregnancy-childbirth-and-breastfeeding
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Coronavirus, Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding: A message for Patients https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/pregnancy/coronavirus-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding

Travel

If you are traveling by plane to a different state for the birth of your child, please arrive at least 2 weeks prior to the birth (some hospitals are imposing a quarantine and will not release the child to the parents if the parents were recently on a plane or came from a COVID-19 “hot spot”). To avoid any delays in union with your child or participation in the birth, arrive early and communicate with your hospital and attorney to stay up to date with current practices and procedures as all hospital have their own policies at the moment.

Birth

It is important to be up to date with hospital procedures as well as legal protocol during the COVID19 pandemic as timelines and typical procedures may be affected both in the hospital as well as in the courtroom/ administrative government offices.

  • You may not be able to attend the birth. Most hospitals are currently allowing only one person to be present at the birth and that person cannot leave and come back or switch out with another person. Reach out to the hospital for their exact and most current policies and discuss the contract with your attorney so everyone knows ahead of time who that person will be.
  • Some courts have limited staff or access so hearings may be delayed and certain Vital Statistics offices (for the birth certificate) may be closed or short staffed so there may be a delay in obtaining your child’s birth certificate. Currently in Florida, there are no significant delays in hearings, but many counties are experiencing a delay in obtaining the birth certificate.

International Clients

In addition to the topics listed above, there may be other issues with international clients during the COVID19 pandemic. You should discuss the following with your US attorney to ensure you have a plan and then a back-up plan in place during this time, as well as with the counsel retained in your home country to ensure the safest procedure and to be aware of the current allowances (especially for travel).

If you are already here in the United States and your baby is due soon, you may need to consider the following:

  • You may not be able to attend the birth. Most hospitals are currently allowing only one person to be present at the birth and that person cannot leave and come back or switch out with another person. Reach out to the hospital for their exact and most current policies and discuss the contract with your attorney so everyone knows ahead of time who that person will be.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms or have a high fever you should not go to the hospital for the safety of others. Additionally, some hospitals are screening visitors, so they may not allow you access if you are ill or running a fever.

If your baby’s due date is approaching, consider the following:

  • Discuss the current restrictions in arriving to the US with your attorney as they may differ between countries. Many international parents are able to enter since their child born of the surrogacy is a US citizen, but please discuss with your attorney as the law of your state could affect this.
  • You may need to work with your home country’s embassy and/or department of immigration to get a flight to the United States during the current flight restrictions, as some commercial flights are completely canceled to and from certain countries. Discuss this with your attorney so they can provide what you may need to try and get a flight to the US during these times. This process varies on a case by case basis, but certain paperwork can be provided to help your case at the embassy or department of immigration in your home country.
  • Make sure you have an up to date passport and VISA for travel and check the expiration. Renewing might be delayed in your home country due to current closures.
  • Try to get to the US at least 14 days prior to the birth to avoid the possible quarantine requirements of the hospitals as discussed above.
  • Consider not being able to get to the US for the birth. In the event you are not able to arrive, discuss the legal ramifications and possible options for your child’s care so that all of the proper legal arrangements can be made. This way you will have the proper documents drafted, signed, and notarized, and everyone can be informed of the back-up plan.
  • Some courts have limited staff or access (not allowing people to enter the court) so hearings may be delayed and certain Vital Statistics offices (for the birth certificate) may be closed or short staffed so there may be a delay in obtaining your child’s birth certificate. Currently in Florida, there are no significant delays in hearings, but many counties are experiencing a delay in obtaining the birth certificate.
  • Flights for return back home may also be canceled/ nonexistent at this time, so start making travel arrangements and work with your home embassy as soon as possible to evaluate your options.
  • Plan on staying longer than the originally quoted time frame post birth. This may affect your VISA depending on how long you have to stay so discuss options for extending your VISA with your attorney as there are allowances for extending your VISA under certain circumstances.
  • If you cannot get to your home country right away for your child’s medical care, discuss options with your attorney for obtaining medical insurance in the US during your stay. This may involve applying for the Social Security Number as well. Please also note that social security offices may be closed or understaffed at this time, and the application process may not be as usual.
  • Passport: Once your child is born and you have a birth certificate you must obtain a passport for the child to get back home. The passport offices are only taking expedited passport applications for people who have a “qualified life or death emergency” defined as a “serious illnesses, injuries, or deaths in your immediate family (e.g., parent, child, spouse, sibling, aunt, uncle, etc.) that require you to travel outside the United States within 72 hours (3 days).” (you need to have proof as in a death certificate or note from a physician). Given the restriction, most people are applying for a passport with the traditional timeline (not expedited) which is 6-8 weeks. Note*: Many are experiencing that the normal timeline for passport is delayed at the moment as well. There have been instances where there have been allowances made for an expedited passport and passport appointment although not guaranteed, please discuss this with your attorney.
  • Passport Operations in Response to COVID-19 (updated May 1st, 2020)https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/passport-covid-19.html

Attorneys

Other Resource Links

American Society for Reproductive Medicine 

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

World Health Organization

Food and Drug Administration

FL Department of Health

US Department of Labor

US Department of State-Bureau of Consular Affairs

Self Care Tips

Hey everyone! I am so excited to get to share with you all one of my greatest passions- improving your life with essential oils!  This is especially true during a pandemic when you may have new emotions to deal with, new routines, or even new worries.  As a mom of 5, I love getting to travel the country and help women (and men, too) learn all about essential oils!

When I started diving in and researching the safety of essential oils, especially the safety during pregnancy, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only are oils safe, they can actually be your main go-to for almost every daily issue that may arise.

One of the research studies that I stumbled across was an amazing study where they were actually researching how much of what the mom was exposed to during pregnancy was actually crossing over and going into the umbilical cord blood of the baby. They found that there were over 200 toxic chemicals that were actually getting into baby’s cord blood. And these chemicals aren’t minor things. They were endocrine disruptors, they were neurotoxins, they were cancer- causing chemicals.

The more research I did, I found that the harmful chemicals were things that we’re using every single day—the cleaners we’re using in our home, the products that we use to take care of ourselves & many other items you wouldn’t necessarily think about. As we apply products to our skin and as we use them in our environment, they’re actually being absorbed by our body and being passed right in to our bloodstream. So, as a mom of 5, I have become very passionate about teaching other women how to replace the products that we’re using every single day with something much safer.

Essential oils can be useful for creating a healthy body, supporting the immune system, soothing feelings of discomfort, and more. Because of these powerful benefits, essential oils are useful and effective during every phase of life. By following proper safety guidelines & having a discussion with your healthcare provider, you can feel confident in using essential oils for improving your health.

One thing that we need to address right off the bat is that not all oils are created equally.  You’ll find a lot of different things as you scour the internet about recommendations of what to use, what not to use, and even some fear-based articles.  And, a lot of the fear comes when you’re looking at inferior oils. A predominant amount of oils on the market today are actually synthetic or they’re adulterated (FAKE!). You will find a lot of information on the internet stating that during pregnancy you should avoid essential oils.  That is because many of these oils are inferior.  However, doTERRA CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® oil are different.  In fact, based on the third-party studies done on these oils, you will find nothing synthetic or harmful has been added to these oil bottles.  They are so safe that most of doTERRA bottles will come with a “supplement facts” section which actually makes them safe enough to ingest!

Here are some of my top oil recommendations to take care of your body RIGHT now:

Pain: Deep Blue Rub – Rub on any achy joints and muscles

Sleep & Calming: Serenity – Place a few drops in the diffuser or on the bottoms of feet

Anxiety: Adaptiv – Apply a few drops to your wrists or add to the diffuser

Illness prevention: OnGuard – Drink a few drops, place on bottoms of feet, or diffuse

Daily well being: Lemon – Add a few drops to your water daily to remove toxins (use glass or metal cups)

If you are unsure how to use these oils, know that I am here to help.

I take great pride in making sure you are fully supported and educated as you begin your essential oil journey.  If you’re ready to implement these oils into your life, we can meet online to go over your oils and make sure you know how to use them.  You will get 9 days of emails with all of the basic information you need to know to get started, and you will have access to our free, private, members only Facebook group so that you can get your questions answered nearly 24/7.

Here are some great next steps: To view our full pregnancy and oils video go to: https://vimeo.com/213565374

If you’re still on the fence and wanting to learn more or attend an online webinar, simply shoot me an email at Bailey@theoilkings.com and I will be glad to help you individually, or register for my next webinar at www.theoilkings.com/livewebinar

Blessings!
Bailey King

(**We as an agency advise to have your physician & Intended Parents approve your use of essential oils)

For more tips on self care, check out Kelli Gardener’s Guide to a Stress- Free Day https://groomandstyle.com/guide-stress-free-day/

Postpartum Support for all

Meet Chelsea! A busy mom of 2 who offers postpartum support for all of us! 

As a mother of two, I found myself having very different postpartum experiences. With my first, I was prepared for pregnancy and birth but thought everything after baby was supposed to be “natural/easy” and “blissful.” I spent a lot of time after my first wondering what I was doing wrong, how I could project the “perfect mom” image even in my struggles, and why it felt a lot lonelier than I had anticipated. It took me two years to really address a lot of the changes I experienced and I found myself frustrated that there weren’t many people talking about the “taboo” in postpartum.When I became pregnant with my second, I knew I needed to be more prepared-knowing what actually happens inside and outside of my body through the pregnancy/birth/postpartum process and how to be more respectful of myself and my needs. I did so much research, and in the process found that most women had that lonely feeling and wondered why they were so under-prepared for postpartum. I knew I had a gap in my own life and saw so many women feeling that same gap. This was the “birth” of Postpartum Together. Postpartum Together is a 10 week program that brings women together to be more educated on the postpartum transitions and it helps women process their own experience in the safety of a small group. We address the taboo topics, support one another with honesty, no-judgement, and space to both look back to process and look forward in empowerment. It really is what I wish I had after my first birth and I’ve committed to giving this gift to other women. I believe that women who are given this space can then live more connected and empowered. That then has a ripple effect on our whole society. Some education on postpartum (We will discuss some of the changes women experience that they may not realize or that they aren’t taught.) What I found in my own experience and through conversations and connections with thousands of women is that we are not well-educated on postpartum and prepared for how we change.While there are a number of topics, I’ll address three big ones:

1. Brain chemical changes-Our brains change in so many ways from conception through postpartum. This isn’t limited to perinatal mental health disorders, this is ALL of us. Our brains create new neurological connections and we are rewired in so many ways. Women feel confused about how they’ve changed, but it is scientifically backed and totally normal. When women realize that they become “rewired” in many ways, they can appreciate all the things they are navigating and the changes they are experiencing.2. Relationship changes-From communication to sex and everything in between (and honestly it’s all intertwined!) women are often surprised at the strain a new baby can have on a relationship. We see pictures of how blissful a family looks and feels and those are very valid and beautiful moments, but there are often very dark and hard moments a couple experiences. Lack of sleep, new stress, changes in roles, household management… so many things contribute to how a relationship changes, and without preparation and support through that, many relationships become filled with confusion, resentment, and distance (perhaps just for a short season, sometimes for longer).3. Identity changes-A woman spends years finding her identity,and when entering motherhood, so many new things take the forefront and priority. Many women have shifts in relationships, friendships, personal time, work, home duties, etc. These things can cause many women to feel like she has lost her identity and is going through the motions. It can be difficult to find time to work through these feelings (which is why we put a huge emphasis on this in our small groups!)Some ideas for postpartum women (We will offer a tip for your relationship with your partner, your relationship with body image, and motherhood comparison on social media.)It is natural that postpartum comes with many shifts, changing seasons, new joys, and new uncertainties. Every new baby is a shift for all involved. However, being honest and proactive can open a lot of doors to minimize the stress from these changes and be more present in the moment.While there are a number of practices that have proven to be effective for women I work with, I will leave you with 3 things I believe can enrich your postpartum experience and give you space for an honest experience through the highs, lows, and every moment in between.

1. Be very intentional about your intake. This goes specifically for social media. You have all the power to decide what accounts, businesses, etc. that you follow. You are responsible for taking in things that give you life and make you feel connected. If you follow something for “inspiration” that actually leaves you feeling bad, it’s time to step away. If you’re following profiles that trigger shame or comparison, step away. Be intentional about how you use social media.2. Address relational tension proactively. Anticipate that long nights, parenting decisions, etc. can bring some tension. Talk proactively about how you and your partner communicate. Set aside time and keep a list of topics you need to address proactively. Remind yourself that you’re on the same team but also you come from two different perspectives and life experiences. The balance is respecting those differences while finding ways to operate as a family unit.3. Commit to always appreciating what your body has done. There are many physical changes that happen from conception through postpartum. As women, we are often very tied to our physical bodies and our perception of them as well as other’s perceptions. When we feel critical of our changed bodies, it spills into our relationships, our confidence, our identity, etc. Find someone who truly understands the changes and how to care for your body (If you want to exercise, find someone who specializes in postpartum and understands body changes.). It can be very tempting to put pressure our bodies at this time, but all bodies change differently and honoring and respecting that is truly transformational.