Sherry Shepherd’s Surrogate Mom Forced to Pay Child Support? Another Surrogate Mess

Sherry Shepherd

Sometimes a woman marries the wrong man. And then things become more complicated because there are children involved. This man that you should have never married is now looking for a big pay day. However, please do not allow innocent children and babies to suffer because of a highly contentious divorce and certainly do no drag the surrogate mother into your mess.

Surrogate parenting (aka Gestational Carriers) is tricky. A woman is hired to have a baby for a couple with the expectation that the couple will pay her and take responsibility for their child. She is screened very carefully to make sure that she’s healthy enough to carry a pregnancy and that there is mutual agreement with the intended parents. It is a gift not to be abused. It seems that is not the case regarding Sherri Shepherd, former co-host of the popular show, The View.

Shepherd’s estranged husband, Larry Sally, is seeking child support from Shepherd and rejected her original offer of $150,000. He has full custody of their son, who was born on August 5, and applied for Medicaid in California. The State of California is now seeking child support from the surrogate mother whose name is listed on the birth certificate. Shepherd has allegedly not seen the baby since his birth.

In surrogate arrangements, both intended parents and surrogate mom are supposed to have psychological testing prior to the arrangement. It’s uncertain whether this has occurred in the Shepherd-Sally case. Based on what has occurred, it would be prudent for the California Child Protective Services Department to intervene in this case. Someone at needs to protect the rights of the baby. Someone also needs to have an adult conversation with both Shepherd and Sally about parental responsibility. The surrogate mother SHOULD not be dragged into the middle of this dispute.

Agree or disagree? Please share your thoughts.

What Are the Most Important Symptoms a Pregnant Woman Should Never Ignore?

When a woman becomes pregnant, we immediately think happy thoughts: a new addition to the family, a new grandchild, the baby shower, what colors to paint the nursery and of course, the challenging role of becoming a parent. We make the assumption that everything will be okay during the pregnancy but sometimes it’s not. Complications can occur during the pregnancy, during labor and even after the baby is born.

The human body is a fascinating creation and it speaks to us if we have the wisdom to listen. The ability to recognize the “language” of the body can save our lives, especially during pregnancy. What are the symptoms that pregnant women need to recognize?

  1. A headache that occurs during the late second or third trimester and doesn’t go away with acetaminophen. This is one of the beginning signs of pre-eclampsia
  2. Bleeding during pregnancy. There is no such thing as “normal” bleeding or spotting. Bleeding could signify an infection or a problem with the placenta. A pelvic exam should be done as well as an ultrasound.
  3. Gaining 5 pounds or more in one week. This is not normal and could represent the beginning of pre-eclampsia
  4. Back pain that that is beyond a 5/10 scale, especially if it moves to the front of your abdomen. This is a sign of preterm labor until proven otherwise. This requires an phone call to your provider and a trip to labor and delivery
  5. Fever and chills could represent an infection called chorioamnionitis which could directly affect the unborn baby
  6. A headache or high blood pressure that continues AFTER the baby is born. Pre-eclampsia can last for several weeks after birth
  7. Not able to have a bowel movement after a c-section. This could possibly indicate a complication called “bowel obstruction” and is a surgical emergency. You should not be discharged from the hospital until you’ve had a bowel movement

Recognizing these seven symptoms could potentially save your life. Remember, a healthy pregnancy doesn’t just happen. It takes a smart mother who knows what to do.

Dying to Have a Baby: The Death of a 56-Year Old Mother of Twins

Lisa Swinton McLaughlin

It happened again; another heart-breaking horror story. In less than 2 weeks after reporting about the death of Erica Morales, a first-time 36 year old mother who died after delivering quadruplets, Lisa Swinton McLaughlin died at age 56, one week after delivering twins. Their seminaries are uncanny. Both were women of color. Both wanted children desperately. Both were over age 35. Both had infertility treatment. Both spent many years trying to get pregnant. Both eventually became pregnant with more than one baby and both are now dead.

When we think of maternal death, images of impoverished, third-world countries with hard-to-pronounce names come to mind, not the United States. Yet American women DO die in childbirth, despite our advances in technology and medicine.

Lisa was by training both an attorney and a physician. She worked as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Nebraska and 13 years later went to medical school and ultimately worked in a high-level position for the Red Cross. One might call her a “high-achiever” but the one thing she desperately wanted was to be a mother and have children. As a physician, she knew the potential complications but forged ahead down that slippery slope towards motherhood. Sadly, she died of a bowel obstruction, mistakenly thinking that her abdominal pain was from the C-Section.

No one can or should judge Lisa’s decision to become pregnant at age 56 but everyone should know the facts:

• Older women have an increased risk of complications during pregnancy, especially if they are pregnant with more than one baby

• Fertility treatments are risky

• Adoption is a viable option for older women seeking motherhood. Just ask Diane Keaton (adopted her first child at age 50), Viola Davis, Shonda Rhimes, Meg Ryan and yours truly

• The use of surrogates is also an option if you can afford it. Angela Bassett, Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker are members of that sacred club.

It’s admirable when a woman attempts to get pregnant, but it’s a tragedy when she dies in the process.