Landon’s Birth – Castor Oil to the Rescue!

…from a reader

This is the birth story of my now five month old son, Landon. I was due the first of January and of course everyone was excited!!

My dad came from Arizona for a week and said that he wouldn’t be able to come back for at least a year, so I had to have him that week; talk about pressure! I waited a few days, I really wanted Landon to come on his own.

I walked for hours, tried to go on a hike, ate lots of special “labor” foods and drank more than my share of raspberry tea. Nothing was working and my time frame for my dad to be here for his grandson’s birth was quickly closing. I went last to my last resort, castor oil! YUCK!

Well, like most, I went to the bathroom till I couldn’t go anymore, and eventually was able to go to sleep. About four hours, around 1 a.m. I woke with painful contractions. My fiance and I were not sure if this was the real deal, we called the obgyn and everyone and we didn’t get a call back for two hours!!

Chris’ mom finally called around 3 or 4 a.m. and told us to go to the hospital, thankfully it is literally two minutes away from our house. Once I got to the hospital and things started going I found out I was already 4cm dialted! Yes!!

I had planned on going natural, I was bound and determined, maybe even desperate. The doctor broke my water (talk about nasty feeling). I hated having to walk and go to the bathroom while in labor, it was so uncomfortable.

Twelve hours later, I was only to 5cm and they gave me pictocin, more pictocin, and then even more. It send my contractions off the charts I tried my hardest but I eventually ended up getting the epidural, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be at all! I was laughing with the nurses about how funny the epidural guy was and they told me his name was Peter Pan, that’s one of my favorite parts.

Eventually we get to where I can start pushing, that was really, REALLY hard. My whole pregnancy my son stayed under my ribs and bruised them and when I went to push he went back to his favorite place under my ribs. It felt like when you walk for a long time and you get that terrible pain, I tried so hard for what felt like thirty minutes.

Two and a half hours later the doctor came to tell me that it would take another 2 and a half to three hours for him to be pushed out and if I couldn’t do it, then I would need a c-section. I was devastated. I had been hard at work for nearly 26 hours and then I felt backed into a corner, forced to have surgery! I had never had surgery before, and was especially upset because of the personal nature.

They numbed me, but I could feel them moving my body parts around, Landon being pulled out and me being stapled back together, it wasn’t painful but the sensation is definitely not one I’d want to repeat.

Finally my handsome 8 lbs. 14.5oz. son was handed over to me and it was like a wave washed over me, I felt nothing but euphoria. Now that we’re past the tough first two months we are really starting to see our son blossoming as the person he is going to grow up to be. We may be young parents but I would never go back to my old life. We have purpose and meaning now greater than ourselves and its so much better that a monotonous ho-hum life.

What is the best way to tell your own children about surrogacy?

I’m in the early stages of IVF to be a gestational carrier and I was just wondering if you had any suggestions on how I can try and explain what I’m doing to my own children, ages 5 and 2.

I realize that my 2 year old really won’t have that much of a concept that I’m even really pregnant until the very end. My 5 year old however, will be very confused about the whole thing.

I’ve read some suggestions online, but was curious to see your opinion.  Thanks so much for your help!

Reply by Rayven:
Congrats on your journey!

I think we don’t give our children enough credit. My kids were 4 & 6 when we started our first journey, and they did fine with it.

Now, I should mention that we are a very non-traditional family; I homeschool my children, we’ve always told them Santa is pretend, and we pretty much answer every question they have (now ages 7 & 9) with the blunt truth.

I simply explained to them that my friend’s tummy was broken, and she couldn’t carry her babies. I told them that the doctor was going to put one of my friend’s babies in my tummy and that when the baby was born, he would go home with his mommy and daddy.

That was about it. My daughter (aged 4) wasn’t too much more interested, but my son had lots of questions that ended with a trip to the Bodies Exhibit where he was able to see a petri dish with embryos in it.

During the pregnancy, after it was real, they became more aware and more interested. When strangers would congratulate them on their new siblings, they would immediately, nonchalantly tell them that the twins didn’t belong to our family, but to my friends.

When the babies were born, I asked them if they were sad that they weren’t going home with us, and they very firmly told me “No!”. (I think the crying got to them, lol)

So my suggestion is to tell them what is going to happen, honestly, in terms they can comprehend. A 2 yr old doesn’t understand what a womb is, but she probably understands that babies grow in a tummy. The whole “broken” terminology is something they can comprehend, and it won’t confuse them later.

Best wishes!

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Will My Tubes Being Tied Disqualify Me From Surrogacy?

Are you a mother who has considered becoming a gestational surrogate but are concerned that the fact that you have had your “tubes tied” will automatically disqualify you? I am here to tell you not to worry about that. Your dreams of gestational surrogacy can still come true.


If you have been wondering about whether your tubal ligation will automatically rule out as a candidate for a surrogate arrangement, you are not alone. This is actually a fairly common question that women interested in gestational surrogacy seem to have. As a matter of fact, when I first looked into becoming a gestational carrier, it was the first question that came to mind.

I first played around with the idea of becoming a gestational surrogate an entire five years after my last child was born. When she was born, I had had my tubes tied. So, when I started looking into gestational surrogacy, I was afraid that my tubes being tied meant that I would be declined right away.


Fortunately, I was wrong. Since that day, I have been blessed to deliver three healthy children as a gestational surrogate- twins and a male singleton.


So, was I the exception or can other women pursue gestational surrogacy despite having had their tubes ties? In short, yes – you can. However, unless you go through surgery or have an IVF treatment, you will not be able to be a traditional surrogate.


Ok, so you may be a little confused. Let me clear it up for you. There are two types of surrogacy – gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. Both are very commonplace here in the U.S.


With gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother is carrying a child that is not biologically related to her. In other words, it is not the result of her eggs. Instead, the eggs of the intended mother (or an egg donor) are fertilized by the intended father and then implanted into her womb via an IVF treatment. Since the surrogate’s ovaries are not needed, a woman who had had her tubes tied is able to become a gestational carrier.


A traditional surrogacy, however, involves the surrogate donating her eggs. In this situation, she is impregnated with the sperm of the intended father via artificial insemination. Biologically, she is the mother of the child. Since her eggs are necessary for a traditional surrogacy, it is more difficult for a woman who has had her tubes tied to pursue this option. It would involve a lot more money and time.


For women who have had their tubes tied, the best scenario would be to pursue a gestational surrogacy. In fact, women who have had their tubes tied are actually the preferred candidates to be a gestational surrogate. Why? Because there is no chance that she will become pregnant with her own child during the process.


So if you have harbored a fear of what your tubes being tied will do to your chances of becoming a surrogate mother – have no fear. Not only will it not hurt your chances, it may even improve your chances for becoming a gestational surrogate.

How does it feel giving up a surrogate baby?

by Patricia

How does it really feel giving up a surrogate baby? Is it hard? I know I want to do this, but I’m really worried that I will have a hard time when it comes time to give the child up.

Reply by Rayven

You know, a lot of surrogates will downplay this part of surrogacy, but they shouldn’t. The truth of the matter is that it is a different experience for everyone.

For me, I felt not a drop of remorse, sadness, or regret for giving the three children I carried back to their parents. Instead, I was very happy for them, excited, and felt towards the babies the same way you would feel towards a best friend that just had her baby.

I am not an attached person, and knew going in that it would not be a problem. It wasn’t. But I also realize that I am a rare person, and that others feel much differently.

Let’s talk for a moment about the term “give up”. With surrogacy, you are in no way giving up a baby. The baby was never yours to begin with. You are simply giving him back to his parents. A surrogate is a caregiver, not a family member. Just understanding this important point before hand can go a long way towards not feeling any regret over giving the baby back.

Having and relinquishing a surrogate baby is hard, emotionally, for many surrogates. Now, don’t get me wrong, they don’t suddenly decide to keep the child, but some feel remorse or regret for deciding to do it in the first place.

If you feel, right now, that you may find it hard to give back a baby, then surrogacy may not be right for you. Don’t put yourself into a situation where you will have to live with a decision that was bad for you for your entire life. It’s not worth it.

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What’s Hot: Legal Disputes in Canada

A fertility clinic in Canada has been charged with buying or attempting to buy sperm, eggs, and surrogacy services. These actions have been considered illegal in Canada for 9 years under assisted-reproduction legislation and the Criminal Code. Although surrogacy in itself is legal, it is considered unlawful to pay sperm donors, egg donors, or surrogate mothers other than for reasonable expenses. This is as is stated in the Assisted Human Reproduction Act of 2004 (AHA).

The clinic is now facing 27 charges due to the alleged actions. The clinic, Canadian Fertility Consultants, is run by Leia Picard. The clinic would charge a “fixed price” to parents to find a surrogate mother and sometimes to find an egg donor (among other services).

Picard was charged with 5 counts of buying/offering to buy sperm or eggs, 3 counts of buying/offering to buy surrogate services, and 3 counts of accepting money to arrange these services. She was also charged with 4 counts of forgery under the Criminal Code, 8 counts under the reproduction acts, and 4 more forgery counts under the reproduction act.

Two egg donors have come forward and admitted to being paid $5,000 for their donations. The money was meant to go towards expenses, however one of the women admits that the payment was exorbitant as she didn’t really have any costs. The other woman said that she used the money to get her through a tight financial spot. Both admissions seem to support the allegations that the payments made were beyond reasonable. One woman, however, came forward stating that she did not understand the charges as she only paid her surrogate based on receipts that were provided, indicating the services that were performed.

The case has caused a bit of a debate. On one hand you have those who believe that this legal action is necessary to protect human life. Executive director of the Infertility Network, Diane Allen is one of them. She is quoted as saying that “Some things, including human life, should just not be for sale. And it is not odd that many people feel this way. In a famous case, U.S. attorney Hilary Neiman was sentenced for her involvement in a “baby-selling scandal in which surrogate babies were auctioned off for upwards of $150,000.

However, others feel as though the charges are not wholly fair; they feel that Picard is being used as a scapegoat while other people are doing the same thing. Those who actually practice careers in the fertility consultancy business are dismayed. They are fearful about the effects that this ruling will have on the industry as a whole. They are concerned that if legislation cracks down on them that intended parents and surrogates will be left to the mercy of services such as Craigslist, which will open them up to being exploited and experiencing emotional turmoil.

In the meantime, American citizens are still able to come to Canada to donate eggs and receive about $8,000 for their donations. Something that is legally acceptable through a loophole, although it is not something afforded to Canadians. Many people feel as though reasonable compensation for egg/sperm donors and surrogates should be allowed, much as it is in the United States.

Where do you stand on the debate?