Pride Angel Journey - Milkies

July 3, 2015 22:39 by PrideAngelAdmin
It started when she was eighteen hours old. And ended when she was thirty hours old: a twelve-hour milky marathon. When I say it was just the start of things to come, I don’t mean it was often as extreme as that, but rather, Luna was always very keen for her milk – breastmilk that is – she never took to a bottle, even of expressed. In those early days when she woke or fussed and fretted, it was all about working out what she wanted…and we worked out gradually that all she really wanted was ‘milky’. So, feeling lucky with our smooth start to breastfeeding and a baby who wanted little else, I settled down with a book while she fed for hours and hours and hours…

Luna is two now – almost 26 months. She’s fast asleep next to me as I type; half an hour ago, I fed her to sleep. In place of the breasts I once had, I have ‘milkies’: the left one is (apparently) green and the right one purple. And these are some of the most common phrases I hear: “Milkies, want milkies.” “Two out. Get two out.” “Change sides. Want other side. Best turn around.”

It seems unthinkable that she will ever want to stop breastfeeding, which is a perturbing thought – but also, of course, not true; friends with older children assure me that it will just gradually not be her favourite thing any more, and then just not be her thing at all, by which point of course she might be around three or four years old.

So what is the huge advantage lesbian parents have over heterosexual parents? An extra pair of breasts and thus, potentially, a second lactating parent. Of course lactation isn’t essential for parenthood at all…but it is a very handy tool if you happen to have it.

It didn’t go down well with the nurse at my local GP practice last week when, asked how old the baby I as breastfeeding was, I answered, “well there’s my two-year-old and also my twelve-month-old – the biological child of my partner.” I’m not sure whether she disapproved of the LGBT family, the extended breastfeeding, or the combination. I don’t really care. I’m just glad that when one of our babies is a bit sleepy, or sad…or thirsty…or just wants mummy cuddles, there’s always plenty of milky to go around.

Article: by Lindsey, West Yorkshire 3rd July 2015

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Gay marriage legal across all US states

June 27, 2015 22:31 by PrideAngelAdmin
gay marriage The US Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a legal right across the United States. It means the 14 states with bans on same-sex marriage will no longer be able to enforce them.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that the plaintiffs asked "for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." The ruling brings to an end more than a decade of bitter legal battles. Same-sex couples in several affected states including Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Texas rushed to wed on Friday.

However officials in other states, including Mississippi and Louisiana, said marriages had to wait until procedural issues were addressed.

President Barack Obama said the ruling was a "victory for America". "When all Americans are treated as equal, we are all more free " he said.

However, Christian conservatives condemned the decision. Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called it "an out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny".

And Kellie Fiedorek, a lawyer for an anti-gay marriage advocacy group, said the decision "ignored the voices of thousands of Americans".

Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, a state where marriages licences will now be issued to same-sex couples, said the justices "have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court's previous decisions reserve to the people of the states".

Loud cheers erupted outside the court after the ruling was announced, and there were tears, hugs, and cheers of "USA USA USA!".

A sea of rainbow flags overwhelmed the few anti-gay marriage activists who reacted in disbelief, and the demonstration seemed to turn into a street party.

Read more ...

Article: 27th June 2015 www.bbc.co.uk

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Gay parenting on Father's day

June 21, 2015 22:26 by PrideAngelAdmin
gay father's day Parenthood for Brian Brosen and Reggie Monroe means juggling schedules to make sure someone is home when their kids get off the bus. It means going to school events and doctors' appointments and calming their kids' fears and celebrating their successes and sometimes, finding underwear on the kitchen floor and figuring out how it got there.

The fact Brian and Reggie are gay doesn't factor much into their daily lives. That wasn't always the case, but the couple from Colonie and other gay dads will celebrate Father's Day in a world increasingly more tolerant and welcoming of same-sex parents.

While there are no exact numbers for how many gay, bisexual and transgender Americans are raising children, research by the Williams Institute, a think tank affiliated with the UCLA School of Law that conducts research on sexual orientation and gender identity law, concluded 37 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual people have been parents to at least one child in their lifetime, writes David Dodge, a contributor to GayswithKids.com.

A survey of the transgender community found a similar percentage. Gary J. Gates, the research director at the Institute, used estimates of the number of Americans 18 and older who identify as LGBT as well as national parenting figures to come up with a rough number — 3 million — LGBT parents. According to the 2013 American Community Survey, 8 percent of same sex male couples are raising a child. Just as there are with straight couples, there are a variety of ways for gay couples to become parents. Brosen and Monroe chose the foster parent system. Rob Meyer and Vinnie Rossi of Clifton Park wanted to adopt a baby and were present when their son, Luca, was born.

There is surrogacy, which celebrity couples like Elton John, David Furnish, Neil Patrick Harris and Neil Burtka have brought into the public eye, and then men who became parents through a straight relationship.

"The more visibility our families have, the more the typical mother and father understand and accept us. So gay dads are actually helping to create greater social acceptance of gay and lesbians," said Brian Rosenberg, the co-founder of Gays With Kids.

Article: 21st June 2015 www.timesunion.com

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Co-parenting journey: 41+2 and quietly freaking out

June 17, 2015 21:27 by PrideAngelAdmin
pregnancy At 41 weeks + 2 days with an induction date looming for early next week, I’ve spent my weekend fretting, willing my labour to start and even cursing my poor little baby who has no idea about the UK medical profession’s obsession, OBSESSION, with due dates.

This is after the previous week of curries, pineapple, raspberry leaf tablets, walking, stairs and dates. *Sex? Well, this is the only thing we can’t do as it’s the sperm that’s useful - containing natural prostaglandin hormones that can speed up labour – so sorry, no can do.

I’ve had a vaginal examination, a sweep (both as unpleasant as you’d imagine them to be, though bearable as a bottom line necessity); begged the doctor to leave the induction for another couple of days as we calculated a later due date from our conception date and my longer than average ovulation cycle (declined – 40 weeks + 11 days from dating scan is ‘standard’); and a series of frustratingly small symptoms – my ‘show’ over a period of days, contractions so mild that only my partner can feel them by touching my belly (I’ve no idea myself) that stop when I go to bed at night.

With an active NCT (national childbirth trust) group replete with minute-by-minute whatsapp updates, I know exactly what’s going on with others too. And, guess what, I am not alone in this no man’s land of utter lack of progression into labour proper. Most of the group, as well as the other pregnant people I know (many, actually) have needed help actually getting from pre-labour into labour. Weird, huh? And actually quite unspoken about… this is a surprise for each and every one of us. I don’t think we feel quite normal. Through all the antenatal classes, birth classes and talks, no one has ever mentioned how long it can take to get into established labour. Not only is it frustrating, but we actually feel like there’s something wrong with us, we must be doing something wrong.

But with an induction date looming and creating stress, really who has a chance at it happening naturally once you’ve seen a textbook consultant who insists you’re not doing the right thing by your baby if you leave it in there beyond 42 weeks. Of course I know that in France and Scandinavia, 42 weeks’ gestation is the norm. But that’s the extent of my knowledge I’m afraid so I don’t have the power to fight it either. And should I? Well, after the sweep that hasn’t worked and this continued NOTHINGNESS I think I’ve even come around to their way of thinking. I just want my baby out. To meet her, hold her and have her be ok.

What a shame to end a brilliant pregnancy this way. What a shame that when they gave me a due date I kind of believed that it would at least happen by a week either side. And what a shame that already, it feels like it is something I am doing or not doing right – that age-old insidious, misogynist-paternalist idea that every little thing is ‘the mother’s fault’. Even my lovely partner, for all best-intentioned reasons, can’t help it: “Maybe you should be doing x? Try a bit more y.” Due dates should at least be a range – 40-42 weeks – because the idea of a set date is just utter finger waving in the air I’m afraid.

The underlying factor here is that I never, ever thought it would happen to me. I’d convinced myself my baby would be early or on time at the latest (I was, and come from a long line of impatient and efficient-hyperactive women)… And ok, there’s no rationale to that per se, but why is there no preparation for coping with the pressures and stresses of being overdue? My little girl just isn’t ready yet; but what choice do I have? My only consolation is the hope that by next weekend I’ll have my beautiful baby in my arms and the angst will be a distant memory.

Article: Two excited mums to be 17th June 2015

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You are 'what your mother ate' - How diet affects your future baby's health

June 12, 2015 19:52 by PrideAngelAdmin
healthy diet We have all heard of the saying ' you are what you eat'. But it seems that what your mother ate is also important. A study has linked a woman’s diet before she becomes pregnant to the long-term health of her future baby.

What a woman eats in the weeks leading up to conception could even affect her child’s risk of contracting illnesses, ranging from flu and HIV to cancer.

The study came from researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who say pre-conception diet is ‘crucial’. Study author Professor Andrew Prentice said: ‘The potential implications are enormous.’

Colleague Dr Matt Silver said: ‘It’s about not just starting to behave yourself once you know you are pregnant.’

During the research they studied 120 women in rural West Africa, where diets change markedly between the wet and dry seasons. Half had conceived at the peak of the dry season and half at the height of the wet season. The researchers began by measuring the nutrients in the blood of the women shortly into their pregnancy.

Then, when their children were born, their DNA was analysed. The study did not look at the genetic code itself but at its epigenetic modifications, or ‘marks’, that affect how and when a gene becomes active. Under or over-active genes can cause problems.

For one gene, called VTRNA2-1, the marks are set in the first few days of life. It was extra-active in babies conceived in the dry season, when food was plentiful. In its highly-active state, the gene protects against cancer. When it is less active, as in babies conceived in the rainy season, the body finds it easier to ward off viruses, from flu and tummy bugs to HIV.

With infections a much bigger killer than cancer in Africa, the discovery, detailed in the journal Genome Biology, could help explain why Gambian children conceived in the dry season tend to die young.

The nutrients known to be involved in setting the marks include vitamin B2, methionine, dimethyl glycine and folic acid. Good sources include eggs, fish, beans, grains, liver and leafy green vegetables.

Article: 12th June 2015 by Pride Angel

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Pride Angel Journey - The Sling’s the Thing

June 8, 2015 20:34 by PrideAngelAdmin
We tried using a pram once. Luna was only a week or two old. We tucked her in and set off along the street through the fine drizzly mist of a grey day. She looked so small. And further away from us down in that contraption than she’d ever been. After five minutes or so she fussed and fretted so I got her out and, perched on a garden wall, I fed her. And carried her home under my waterproof coat. Fortunately the pram was a hand-me-down, given to us by a friend. We didn’t use it again.

When the hectic hustle of all those early visitors finally quieted, and paternity leave was over, I was left alone with a baby who just wanted to be held and fed. So every day I wrapped the endless lengths of the ‘stretchy wrap’ around me like the NCT lady had shown us, and snuggled her in against my chest. Where she slept. For hours. Day after day. Safe and content, as close to her mother, her milk and her old womb home as she could get.

So slings became our thing.

And now here we are with two babies. Luna on my back: she’s a big girl now – aged two, and will tell you so herself. She gets a good view from up here. But she’ll likely still snuggle her head into my neck and drop off for a nap. Willow’s on my front: eleven months, and walking by himself – but not now…now he’s fast asleep on my chest.

Slinging: your arms are free to do stuff; you can can go in shops, through narrow gaps, and across uneven ground to your heart’s content. It’s one big, long cuddle with your baby. And babies love it.

The sling’s the thing.

Article: 8th June 2015 by Lindsey, West Yorkshire

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Routes to Parenthood Fertility Show - Sunday 7th June 2015

June 6, 2015 19:38 by PrideAngelAdmin
Thinking about your parenting and fertility options? then why not visit the 'Routes to Parenthhood' Fertility show in Manchester - Sunday 7th June 2015 10am till 5pm.

The show will be held at Old Trafford Football club, where their ‘goal’ is to provide local communities with the opportunity to get as much information as possible about starting a family via alternative methods. If you have encountered infertility, or are looking at different ways to become a parent, our show is the place to be.

You will be able to speak to exhibitors and listen to seminars about different options such as fostering, IVF, and sperm donation. Pride Angel the leading connection website for finding sperm donors, egg donors and co-parents worldwide are pleased to be exhibiting, so why not pay them a visit at their exhibition stand.

Click here to reserve your place and book a ticket

Article: 6th June 2015 by Pride Angel

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Top 10 reasons for using a Private Sperm Donor

June 3, 2015 20:59 by PrideAngelAdmin
sperm donor So you considering finding your own sperm donor through the internet? You have heard the downsides from the media and fertility clinics. But what about the benefits of using a known donor.

Well here are our top 10 benefits for choosing private sperm donation:

1) You get to pick your donor based on real life characteristics and personality rather than just eye colour and height

2) You can get to know your donor, he may become a friend or male role model for your child and is only a txt or email away

3) Your child gets to meet the donor before the age of 18, if the donor agrees and you can tell your child more information eg photos or emails

4) Options of knowing how many other donations, half brothers and sisters there are, with the possibility of meeting other families

5) Using fresh sperm for home insemination means the best sperm reaches the egg without medical intervention and has higher success than frozen sperm.

6) Donations can be flexible around the 'fertile window' and change according to your ovulation

7) Donation is mainly free (other than expenses) so you get to spend the money on your child instead of expensive fertility treatment

8) Failed cycles are less heartache and most donors are willing to keep donating until successful

9) Able to communicate with your donor and they will listen and give support to help achieve pregnancy

10) You are able to express thanks to your donor and your donor has the benefit of knowing who they have helped.

or start your search of thousands of sperm donors for free

Read 'Choosing a private sperm donor, is it the right decision'

Read 'How to Prevent problems with your sperm donor'

Article: 3rd June 2015 by Pride Angel

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Top 8 factors which affect Sperm Count

May 30, 2015 22:01 by PrideAngelAdmin
sperm counts One in six couples now have difficulty conceiving, with a low sperm count or poor sperm quality the cause in about 20 per cent of cases

Up to a fifth of young men find themselves with a low sperm count, which is defined as having fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen. If you wear tight Y-fronts, sprinkle plenty of soy sauce on your noodles, and rest your laptop on your crotch?

You could be unwittingly lowering your sperm count, a new study warns.

From sunscreen to abstinence, and bacon to cycling, studies have shown a myriad of things which lower sperm count. A new infographic by Superdrug, compiled using several medical studies, reveals what to avoid to keep semen sprightly...

The graphic shows what people perceive lowers sperm count, the top answers being radiation, narcotics, and stress. It also shows, the factors that actually do lower sperm count, including hot weather, being overweight and too much exercise

Here are the top 8 factors which reduce sperm count:

1) Tight underwear
Wearing snug underwear causes the testes to become too hot. In one study, men who wore tight underwear for 120 days saw a 100 per cent reduction in their sperm count

2) Being overweight
Those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 24 can have a 22 per cent decline in sperm count, and those with a BMI of over 35 are 19 times more likely to experience low sperm count

3) Smoking
Smoking cigarettes can harm DNA, prompting sperm mutations. Drinking alcohol also lessens sperm count and concentration and lowers the percentage of normal sperm

4) PFCs in plastic containers
Non-stick pans and takeaway wrappers contain PFC's (perfluorochemicals) which have been shown to cause a reduction in normal sperm.

5) Chemicals in Suncreen
Chemicals found in sunscreen can reduce sperm count by 33 per cent. One chemical, octinoxate alters hormone levels, and oxybenzine slows sperm production

6) Chemicals in plastic bottles
Plastic bottles and the lining of food cans contain bisphenol A. High concentrations of this chemical affect sperm motility - its ability to move spontaneously and actively

7) Smoking marijuana
Smoking marijuana affects the size and shape of sperm and therefore inhibits sperm function. Experts advise not smoking the drug when trying to conceive

8) Radiation from mobile phones
Studies show the heat and radiation that emanates from mobile phones can reduce sperm motility by 8.1 per cent, lowering fertility

Check your sperm count using the Fertilcount Sperm Test

Article: 30th May by Pride Angel

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How to Prevent Problems with your Sperm Donor

May 27, 2015 13:40 by PrideAngelAdmin
private sperm donor So you have made the decision to find your own sperm donor or maybe you already have someone who is willing to donate? but maybe you are worried about whether you are making the right decision or just want to prevent things going wrong? In this blog I am going to talk about the main areas which people have concerns and about what you can do to minimise the risk of anything going wrong?

The first is finding the right donor for you?
There is a right donor out there for everyone, this is because we all want different things. So firstly identify what is really important to you? is it eye colour, height, intelligence, good looks? or is a good personality more important? are you wanting contact with your donor? or maybe you don't want the donor to stay in touch. The important thing is to prioritise what really matters to you. Don't forget the more exact your requirements are, the harder it may be and the longer it may take, so be flexible.

So when you find your donor and start communicating, be honest with them from the outset. The donor is helping you, so it's only fair that you talk with them about your expectations. If it doesn't feel right, be upfront, move on and find someone else.

What health screening/genetic tests do I need?
Protecting your health from infectious disease is so important. There are three main options either take your donor to a fertility clinic and they will do all the tests or ask the donor to go to their doctors or thirdly a sexual health clinic and get the checks done there. Make sure you personally see the results and check their ID - don't ever just take their word for it.

Ask your donor questions about his health and his family's. If there are any concerns over genetics conditions take the donor to a fertility clinic for genetic tests or approach a private genetic testing clinic.

Should I use home insemination or go to a clinic?
Whether you get treatment at a clinic or use home insemination is a personal choice. Many people wish to conceive using home insemination as it has the advantages of using fresh sperm, being a relaxed environment and its cheaper! However there can be legal considerations depending on your personal situation and the law in your country. Taking a donor to a clinic for treatment is going to be the safest and will protect your rights especially if you are a single woman. If a single woman conceives at home, the donor would be classed as the legal father. In the UK married couples or lesbian couples in civil partnerships can conceive using a donor at home and still be the legal parents but its best to check your rights first.

Should I be paying my donor?
In the UK it is illegal to ask for payment for sperm, but it is reasonable for them to request expenses. Expenses include travel, hotel accommodation and time out of work. If a donor asks for a large amount of money BEWARE!

Many donors will donate for free, but there is a positive side to paying expenses - that it clearly shows that the donor was purely acting as a donor not as a potential co-parent.

Where do I stand legally?
The law in the UK has become much clearer in recent years. If you take a donor to a clinic they will not be the legal parent of your child. If you conceive at home, it depends on your situation, are you single or married or in a civil partnership? It's best to get legal advice to be on the safe side and get something in writing. Legal Sperm donor agreements can prevent future conflicts, so spending several hundred pounds or dollars now, can help prevent costly court cases further down the line.

Should I maintain contact with my donor?
Studies have shown that donor conceived children often want to know more about their donor, so having information about your donor and contact details is important. However whether you maintain regular contact between your donor and child is a personal decision and often depends on how you get on with your donor and the wishes of your child as they grow up. To prevent problems its best to be clear and honest with your donor about your expectations from the onset.

For example, if you want your donor to be an uncle type figure seeing your child twice a year, make sure that it is clearly communicated that you don't want him to be 'dad' and that you don't expect him to 'contribute financially'

Giving mixed messages about how you see your donor's role in your child's life is one of the biggest ways of creating future conflicts! so prevent problems by talking openly.

Read more about getting a legal sperm donor agreement.

Read more about Choosing a private sperm donor, is it the right decision?

Article: 27th May 2015 by Pride Angel

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