About Sara Bailey

Sara Bailey hopes that by sharing her journey of grief she can provide insight and hope for others who experience loss. After losing her husband, Greg, she created TheWidow.net as a way to share her unexpected journey of learning to be the best parent (and person) she can be while nurturing her grief.

Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Involved in Surrogacy

Surrogacy is becoming increasingly common in the United States. Through surrogacy, parents who are unable to have a baby of their own are able to start families. While surrogacy is a promising method of assisted reproduction, many people aren’t exactly sure what is involved or how to get started. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering becoming an egg donor, surrogate, or parent.   What Does Surrogacy Cost? The cost of surrogacy depends on many factors. Most intended parents choose to pursue surrogacy through the help of an agency. A surrogacy agency provides all of the necessary services you’ll need, from finding donors and surrogates to coordinating medical procedures and covering your legal bases. Although you can save money with a private surrogacy, many parents find that the process is too complicated to tackle on their own. It’s recommended that parents only pursue private surrogacies if they’ve already found a friend or family member to carry their baby. Hiring a surrogate through an agency can cost anywhere between $75,000 to over $100,000. This includes medical procedures, legal fees, compensation for the surrogate mother, and insurance coverage. If you’ve already found a surrogate, you can save money by finding an egg donor only. According to Circle Surrogacy, using an egg donor costs about $26,000. This expense covers egg donor screenings, compensation for the donor, insurance, and coordination of the entire process.   Choosing a Type of Surrogacy There are two main types of surrogacy: gestational and traditional. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is inseminated with sperm from a donor or from the intended father. As a result, the surrogate is the child’s biological mother. A gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, involves a surrogate who is completely unrelated to the baby. Often, the sperm and egg are taken from the intended parents and used to create an embryo that is transferred to the surrogate. Gestational surrogacies can also take place using donor eggs and donor sperm. Because legal issues can arise when the surrogate mother has a biological connection to the child, most parents prefer a gestational surrogacy.   Surrogacy Laws Surrogacy laws are complicated in the United States. Since there are no federal surrogacy laws, individual states have set their own regulations. Some states are very open towards surrogacy while others place restrictions on the process and will not recognize surrogacy contracts. Some states have outlawed traditional surrogacy or banned surrogates from receiving compensation for their services. Whether you’re becoming a surrogate or a parent, make sure you take some time to learn about the surrogacy laws in your region.   How to Become a Surrogate Mother Most surrogate mothers sign up with an agency. This is the easiest way to find intended parents and ensure the entire process is handled properly. In order to be accepted by an agency, surrogate mothers must meet certain qualifications defined by the organization. Mothers also have to undergo psychological and medical testing. If you [...]

2021-09-17T04:39:25-07:00By |

How Does Your Garden Grow? (Hint: Hard Work and Planning!)

If you’re ready to start your own garden, you might be a little intimidated by the process. Afterall, it can take an entire summer to reap the rewards, and that’s a lot of caretaking. Luckily, it’s not as challenging as it seems, and with planning, planting, and perseverance, you can enjoy a bountiful, nutritious harvest (while also reaping the mental health benefits of gardening) by the end of the season!   Start here. It might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that your first step is to decide what you want to grow. This might be flowers, vegetables, herbs or a combination. Before you start selecting plants or seeds, however, do some soul-searching to make sure to choose things that you will actually consume or use. You don’t want to take up valuable space in your garden on produce that will go to waste. Next, decide on your location. As a general rule, edibles need at least five hours of direct sunlight every day. Lettuce, potatoes, and some herbs can tolerate partial shade. Now that you know what you want to plant and where that’s going to take place, it’s time to start planning the layout of your garden bed. It’s usually best for your first garden to start small, but if you want to go big and you have the budget to do so, it can help to hire a landscaping expert to help you get started. If you use sites like Angi.com, you can match up with top-reviewed professionals who have the experience needed to build a proper foundation for your garden. Finally, consult the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map to know when seeds, seedlings, and immature plants can go into the ground.   Gather your tools. Before you can plant the first seed, you’ll have to amass a basic inventory of gardening tools. This should include, at minimum, a hoe, dirt rake, leaf rate, shovel, and spade. You may also need to rent a garden tiller to prepare the soil for planting. Gardening Know How cautions that you’ll need to wait until the soil is at least 60°F and dry enough to run a tilling machine, otherwise you may damage the soil or clog your tiller.   Test the soil. As a general rule, you want your soil to be neutral, which means it has a pH of seven. Your local garden co-op can provide you with a test kit to determine if your soil is ready to plant or not. Keep in mind that you can always improve your soil naturally with composted waste. Another step before you actually put anything into the ground is to ensure that the dirt can drain appropriately.   Choose seeds or transplants carefully. Since you already know what you plan to put into your garden, you can keep a narrow focus. But, you will still want to be cautious when choosing plants. If you are buying from a local shop that understands regional conditions and [...]

2021-07-12T15:52:04-07:00By |

Your Guide to Self-Improvement In 2021

Self-improvement comes in many forms; it can be outward or inward, superficial or deeply meaningful. You might decide this year to change your style, lose weight, resolve to keep in touch with family members. Whatever you choose to help you feel like you’re living your best life should be considered self-improvement, and that means doing a little planning. Many people associate self-improvement with physical changes, such as getting fit, and while that can be a worthy goal, it’s important to remember that improving yourself can also be about making better choices for your own mental health or making a decision to be a more involved parent. Personal growth doesn’t have to be something you can see; it can also be about the way you feel and the way you interact with the people you love. Making these changes may not be easy at first; anything worthwhile usually takes a little time and effort. However, if you have a good plan to start with and the motivation to see it through, changing your life for the better is attainable. AlrightNow offers a few tips on how to go about it.   Start with professional goals If 2020 turned your life upside down, you may find yourself rethinking everything from the city where you live to the job you currently hold. Perhaps you’ve realized that it’s time to change up your professional goals. Maybe you’re even ready to commit to launching your own business. Your first few months of entrepreneurship will be very busy, and it’s important to establish yourself as professional and reliable early on. To get started on the right foot, you’ll also need to register your business in your state. Incorporating as a California LLC is a smart choice because it grants you special tax deductions and limited liability. Filing through an online formation service is an inexpensive and convenient way to register.   Get a new wardrobe If you feel you’re in a slump with a career you love, it’s possible that all you need is a new wardrobe for a new attitude. While it may sound superficial, many people have found that buying new clothing in order to dress for the job they want rather than the job they have helps to boost their self-confidence. It might just give you the motivation you need to go for that promotion, or to ask for a raise.   Change something that makes you feel self-conscious Everyone has something that makes them feel self-conscious, whether it’s their smile or the way they interact with people socially. Feeling awkward and insecure isn’t just for teenagers, and it can really affect your self-esteem. If the issue is something physical, consider moving forward with a change that will help you feel better. For instance, you might decide to get dental implants to fix your smile. Or maybe you have a regrettable tattoo that you can now afford to erase through laser removal. If it makes you feel more [...]

2021-03-09T16:22:03-08:00By |