The Importance of Proper Legal Counsel for Surrogates

Legal Representation Surrogates
Surrogacy is an expensive undertaking for intended parents (IPs), regardless of the method they choose—traditional surrogate or gestational surrogate; egg donor or using own eggs; working with an agency or going independent—so some IPs may think it makes sense to only pay one lawyer in order to cut costs.  However, surrogates and IPs need to have separate legal representation.

Surrogates who are tempted to forgo their own independent legal counsel should remind themselves of the huge task that they are undertaking, which comes with its own set of risks.  They should also prioritize protecting themselves and their families, should these risks become a reality during the surrogacy process.

Both parties using the same lawyer is a huge conflict of interest.  That lawyer cannot look out for the best interests of the IPs and the surrogate.  Believe it or not the two are not always equal.  Should there be a disagreement, then each party needs to have someone representing them—the same can be said when each party sees a different meaning in a certain clause or part of the contract.
Surrogacy Lawyers
While this move might present to opportunity for the IPs to save thousands of dollars; it presents the opportunity for the surrogate to be taken advantage of—intentionally or unintentionally.  Also, in some areas the contract might not be considered valid unless each party has had their own legal representation prior to agreement.

Obtaining your own legal counsel—which IPs should still be paying for—means that you have someone offering you advice and looking out for your best interests.  Your lawyer can point out clauses that need to be modified or removed altogether, or she can suggest things you should ask to be added to your contract with the IPs.

Lawyers are always going to have the best interest of the primary client in mind, so using the same lawyer means  you come second to your IPs, regardless of any claims the lawyer or IPs make about equality.

This is not mutually exclusive to surrogacy.  A single lawyer cannot properly represent two different parties in the same case.  You need your own lawyer.

Finally, both your lawyer and your IPs lawyer should be an Assistive Reproductive Technology lawyer, preferably experienced with surrogacy.  You can find a list of ART lawyers here.
Do not settle.  Protect yourself.  Protect your IPs.  Protect the integrity of surrogacy.

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Surrogates and Lawyers

7 DIY Kids’ Valentines Mailboxes

DIY Valentines Mailboxes
So, if you’re feeling like an over achiever and want to do something fun with your kids over the weekend… Why not help them make the coolest Valentine’s Day mailbox ever?  However, if you just send them to school with a shoebox, tissue box, cereal box, or paper bag then that’s okay, too.  I’m not going to tell, and we can just pretend you never even saw this post.

Follow my Valentine's Pinterest Board!

Because that’s the kind of mom I am.  I would totally be committed to doing one of these cool mailboxes and then BAM! It’d be Valentine’s Day and we’d be lucky if we even had Valentines ready to hand out at school.

However, if you miss the Valentine’s Day train then you can still make a cool mailbox for your home where you kiddo can receive their very own mail.  Studies show that exchanging letters with family members strengthens literacy skills and family ties!

DIY Kids’ Mailboxes

Robot Mailbox via Making of a Mom
Milk Container Penguin Mailbox via Dollar Store Crafts
Hot Air Balloon Mailbox via Making of a Mom
Glitter Coffee Can Mailbox via The Idea Box
Kitty Cat Mailbox via Pretty Plain Janes
Unicorn Mailbox via Artsy Fartsy Mama
Princess Castle Mailbox via Making of a Mom

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DIY Kids Valentine Mailboxes

Easy Last Minute Kids’ Valentines

Raise your hand if you’re a procrastinator? Oh.  You, too?!  They start putting Valentine’s Day decorations, candy, and cards out before they’ve even had time to clear out the Christmas decorations from the shelves. 

However, I’m that person who didn’t take her Christmas tree down until the middle (or endish) of January and not because I was still feeling the holiday spirit still, either.

I’m usually running around like a mad woman before any holiday where it might be somewhat expected for my kids to participate at school through food, gifts, etc.  I always feel like Valentine’s Day just creeps up on me, though one year I tried to super mom it and did an okay job making homemade fortune cookies.

So, if Valentine’s Day has snuck up on you, then here’s some easy kids’ Valentines you and your little one can whip up together without losing your mind.

Easy, Last Minute Valentines for Kids

Valentines Scratch Offs via Dollar Store Crafts
Crazy Straw Printable via Momma Lew
Minecraft Valentines via Atta Girl Says
Monkey Valentines via Beauty Through Imperfection
Ninja Valentines via Merry About Town
Owl Valentine’s Cards via A Spectacled Owl
Cute Animal Valentine’s Day Cards via Food Fun Family
Monster Jokes Valentines via Two Kids & a Coupon
Fortune Teller (Cootie Catcher) Valentines via Atta Girl Says
Out of this World Valentines via The Joys of Boys
Monster Valentines via Food Fun Family
Three Printable Valentine’s Cards via A Spectacled Owl
Valentine’s Day Puzzle Cards via Food Fun Family

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easy last minute valentines

How to Paint Crisp Designs on Textured Walls

Paint Designs on Textured Wall
Today I'm sharing with you how to get crisp lines for designs/stencils on textured walls. All of the walls in my house are textured. The ones in these images are like a popcorn ceiling…except it’s my wall. None of my walls are just a little textured. They're all obnoxiously textured, of course, which is a real pain to paint.

So for everyone out there with a home that had previous owners who embraced the textured phase… Well, this one is for you.  Painting these walls can be a real pain in the butt.  Glad to be here to help!

Step 1. Tape

I advise getting good quality tape, first. Then tape off your design, your lines, or whatever it is you're taping.

Step 2. Caulk

To prevent running paint and leaks, etc., purchase a paintable silicone caulk and smooth a small amount over all paint edges.

Step 3. Paint Roller

Use a paint roller, not a paintbrush, to paint over your tape.

Step 4. Remove

Remove for crisp, beautiful lines/designs! See images below for examples of the difference these steps can make.

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Thanks to Creative Ramblings for inspiring me to try this!

How to Prepare for a C-Section Delivery

Both my biological children were born vaginally.  I had anticipated that would probably be the case when I carried a baby for another couple, too, but I was wrong.  Baby A was breech and we elected for a planned cesarean, even though there are instances where breech babies can and are born safely without a c-section.
However, even though I felt it was the best and correct choice, I was so nervous!  The unknown is a scary place.  I took to Google searches and my favorite mom and surrogate support groups for help.  I was mostly overthinking the whole ordeal, I think, but I did learn a few things about preparing for a c-section that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

Take a Stool Softener

The most common advice that I received was to take a stool softener and to take it sooner rather than later.  Now, by “sooner” we’re talking a day or two before your scheduled c-section.  You should also receive something in the hospital post-op—I was given Miralax—but, if not, then go ahead and request something.
Now, I want to emphasize a stool softener not a laxative.
The stool softener is to help assist in an easy post partum poop, which can be unpleasant regardless of your delivery type.  However, the meds used during a c-section and the recovery overall can leave you more prone to constipation.  Being proactive helps a ton!

Get Some Fiber Rich Snacks

I opted to load up on fiber rich snacks and even bought some fiber gummy vitamins to take.  Fiber is great for pooping and having yummy snacks is great for your soul when you’re at the hospital with a less-than-stellar food selection.  See previous point (above) about pooping.  Look for snacks with 4 grams or more of fiber.

Shave or Be Shaved

You’ll want to shave your lower abdomen area, above your vulva, unless you don’t mind the medical staff doing it for you pre-op.  I know you probably can’t see that area at this point in your pregnancy, so feel free to enlist a friend to help.  Or just do it blind.  That’s what I did.  This is where your incision will be, so it needs to be hair free.

Have a Belly Binder Available

Ask your midwife or OB and wherever you’ll be delivering if a belly binder (also called an abdominal binder) will be available to you.  I called my OB's office and they told me that belly binders weren’t provided by the hospital where I’d be delivering, but they actually were provided.  Most hospitals do provide them, but you can also buy your own, if you prefer.  Trust me.  You want one.

Pack Comfy & Appropriate Clothing

Really think about the clothes you’re packing.  Your incision is going to be very low on your abdomen, just above your vulva.  I ended up buying some silk, high rise underwear and didn’t pack any bottoms that would sit right on my incision site.  Some mid to high waist leggings are perfect. 

After my c-section is when I fell in love with wearing a robe, which I still do all the time.  Get a robe.  They’re amazing, wearable blankets.

Was this post helpful to you?  If so, you might also benefit from my C-Section Hospital Bag Checklist for Moms

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prep for a csection