Alternatives to Naturally-Conceived Pregnancy

If you or someone close to you has ever struggled with fertility, you know all too well how much of an emotional toll it can be for a couple that is not able to conceive naturally as they may have planned. Luckily, for couples who want to start or continue growing their family, there are options available to help them move forward. 

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Fertility Treatments

One of the first steps many couples may take if they are struggling to conceive naturally is to see a fertility specialist. These professionals will often be able to determine the root cause of the problem and offer personalized options to best help the couple.

Fertility treatments may be an option for couples to consider to help address a wide variety of root causes. One of the most common treatments is in vitro fertilization during which the fertilization of the egg will occur in a lab and then it will be transferred into the uterus. IVF is recognized as having one of the highest success rates among assisted reproduction options.

Surrogates

Another option for couples could be to hire a surrogate mother. If using a surrogate, the child will still biologically be created from the father’s sperm and mother’s egg, but the embryo will be implanted and carried to term inside the surrogate’s womb.

Adoption

For some couples, neither conceiving naturally nor undergoing fertility treatments may be an option. If this is the case, adoption is another great alternative to consider. By connecting with an agency, the couple will be guided along every step of the way. They may have the option to choose traits such as age, race, or gender of the child and be placed on a list of adoptive parents available to be matched with children who need to be adopted.

While struggling with infertility is not easy, there are a lot of alternative options for couples to consider to help them through the difficulties they may be facing while trying to have children. 

4 Unique Crafting Ingredients

If you’re looking for something unique and creative to blend into your next craft project, you’re in luck. There are plenty of items you can make that don’t cost much but offer plenty of color and fun. Read on for some ideas.

Feathers

You might not think about incorporating feathers into your projects, but you can actually do quite a lot with them. Use colored ostrich feathers to brighten up a scrapbook page, or decorate a hat with a bright feather. You can collect feathers into a vase as a bouquet or weave them into a wreath. You might even create a framed collage of interesting feathers in various colors or sizes.

Photo by Visual Stories || Micheile on Unsplash

Coffee Mugs

Coffee mugs may seem too run-of-the-mill to be interesting crafting ingredients, but a plain white mug provides a delightful blank slate for all kinds of decorations. You can paint them, stencil them, personalize them and even draw on them. Just be sure to use the right kind of paint and then bake your mugs to make your design permanent. You could also purchase pre-decorated mugs and use them to assemble creative gifts baskets

Flower Petals

Flower petals come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and there are countless ways you can incorporate them into craft projects. Use real rose petals to make a rose sugar bath scrub, for instance, or build a luminary out of silk rose petals, a glass vase and plastic spoons. Decoupage flower petals to create a colorful tray or arrange them in a shadowbox.

Pillows

Pillow allow you to get creative in all kinds of ways. Start with a plain pillow (either purchase one or make it yourself), and glue small pom poms onto it to create a word or simple picture. Use watercolors to dye a white pillow, or stitch on felt shapes to make a colorful, 3D design. You can even customize a pillow with iron-on designs.

Craft projects don’t have to be expensive to be fun. Just try some of these simple crafting ingredients.

4 Great Ways To Find Connection and Community

Whatever season you’re in, it’s essential to seek connection and avoid isolation. Yes, solitude is an important part of a balanced life. But, due to many factors, most people do not get enough life-giving time with others. Interested in some effective ways to establish and maintain connection and community? Here are several ideas. 

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

1. Spiritual Community

Being part of a spiritual community is a great buffer against isolation and stress. Spiritual communities emphasize important matters, including what it means to be human. The bonds formed in these communities are not superficial. Wondering how to find a supportive spiritual group? Try a search using terms such as online Christian ministry Dacula GA to find helpful guidance. 

2. Volunteering

Community service is one of the best ways to bring the gift of connection to yourself and others. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can volunteer; you might be interested in working in a soup kitchen, or doing something completely different. Check out VolunteerMatch to find opportunities in your area. 

3. Interest Groups

Do you have a hobby you’re passionate about? Then find a community around your interest! There’s no shortage of groups both IRL and online that cover any hobby or pastime you can think of. Attend different groups to find the best fit for your personality and level of expertise. 

4. Everyday Contacts

Do something different: Refrain from focusing on your phone when you’re out and about. In this digitally-focused culture, many people in public spaces feel more isolated than ever. Pay attention to your surroundings and other people. If it’s appropriate, make eye contact and smile. Share a kind word. You never know how you might brighten someone else’s day by letting them know that you notice and care about them as a fellow human being.  

Finding connection and community requires a willingness to expand your comfort zone. Give these suggestions a try to increase your level of human contact.