Saturday, May 29, 2010

Is My Uterus Heterophobic? (and other things to think about)

In the class I teach at American River College we discuss several things like Heterosexism, Homophobia, Straight Privilege, etc. So when a friend on Facebook asked me why I'm not a Surrogate for straight couples it got me thinking. . . .

Like I've stated in other posts before (Q&A), I've known I was going to be a Surrogate since High School and even back then I knew it would be for a gay couple. I don't think my Uterus is Heterophobic . . . it carried Ruby, Preston and Sawyer just fine . . . WAIT! HOLD ON . . . it actually kicked them out weeks early but carried the twins 3 weeks over Full Term for twins . . . hmmmmm.

I have thought of this before, you have to when you are filling out your Surrogacy Application. They ask you who you want to be matched with . . . Straight? Gay? Lesbian? Single? Couple? International (not living in the U.S.)? Interracial? The only ones I didn't mark were Straight (both times) and International (second time) . . . I can't remember if I marked Single.

My first set of IPs, George and Sanj were Gay, Married, and Interracial . . . they are Canadian but lived only 3 hours away from me in California. My Current IPs are Gay and live in the United States.

Part of my reasoning with selecting Gay Parents Only is I feel that there are already not too many women able to become a Surrogate and of them, only a select few may chose Gay vs Straight. So, I feel like the Straight Couples I don't help, will eventually get that help, and possibly quicker than their Gay Counterparts.

Another thing, and I've mentioned it before, I consider my Surrogacy for Gay Men my own Uterine Activism. I belong to HRC, made donations to organizations fighting Prop 8 (and years ago Prop 22) and this is another thing I can do to let society and my own kids know that I SUPPORT GAY FAMILIES. I belong to several groups on Facebook about this very thing and if I can't donate the Millions of Dollars I'd love to donate to my causes . . . I can put my Uterus where my mouth is.

I do have a few fears of carrying for Straight Couples . . . I'm not sure I would want to deal of any feelings of Jealousy that may come up, call it Uterine Envy, whatever, but I'm a woman and I know if I couldn't carry Rick's children, I may feel some weird feelings about the woman who was carrying our child. Sure, some of those feelings would be joy about being a parent . . . but to see him rubbing some other woman's belly . . . might be a bit much. I knew for sure that Sanj wasn't going to form some bond with me and leave George, I wasn't his type, at all (even though I have an amazing personality and am wildly attractive- LOL). Now, maybe I've seen Juno one to many times but that's just a fear I have. I know there are a lot of Surrogates (some that I know and follow my blog) that have had no issues with this but it is a thought that I have and when you are going into Surrogacy- the last thing you need is any reservations.

The second time around I didn't want an International Couple (who didn't live in the United States) because the best part of the Surrogacy for me is the relationship I form with my IPs. I really got spoiled with George and Sanj . . . seeing them monthly, having them able to come to appointments, ultrasounds and still being able to see the girls every few months. I think it would be much harder for that to happen (and expensive) if I chose an International Couple. Sure, there's iChat, Skype and the like but I'd prefer my IPs to be able to show up to some appointments and know for sure they could make it to the birth within a few hours. That's just me.

I think that as a Surrogate, you need to think of all of these options and what your feelings truly are. You want to have a great match and there is so much more you'll need to agree on besides these things . . . but even if you have a small doubt about your ability to work with someone because of gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. you need to choose what you feel comfortable with. It can be a hard situation to be in, so you want to start out feeling 100% about what you write on your application. You need to be completely honest. I know for me, if I marked International and got the profile of a couple that looks great on paper (has similar thoughts as I do on how the journey will go) I may say Yes because I want to help them out and I feel bad wondering how much longer they'd have to wait for a Surrogate if I said No . . . instead of going with my gut feeling that I want a couple I can see several times throughout the process. I may be matched with them and they'd be great but I'd have this "I thought so feeling" if the journey went how I thought it would go with an International Couple. Luckily for the IPs out there that don't fit my preferences, there are other Surrogates out there that want to work with a Straight or International Couple. One of my surro-friends picked a straight International Couple so it would be completely different than her previous 2 journey's with a Single Gay Man. I guess it's like any relationship . . . there is someone out there for everyone!

Oh, and I'm not sure exactly how to classify my Uterus . . . not sure it would fit the description of Heterophobic but it definitely has some prejudices regarding Straight Couples.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More Pics!

I'm very excited! Rick, the kids and I get to go and visit the girls Memorial Day weekend. We'll be up at the inlaws and have made plans to swing by and visit George, Sanj, Natasha and Anjali one of the days. I'm giddy with anticipation!

Until then, here are some updated pictures to hold you over!

Happy Family!

Here are the girls with their beautiful Aunt Menaka

Here's a few of Natasha

eating corn

and here's some of Anjali

eating corn

Saturday, May 8, 2010

It's Hard to Name Babies

One of the hardest jobs about being Pregnant is trying to plan ahead, which usually includes picking a name for your child. As a Surrogate, this is one stressor you won't have to deal with . . . or even really think about. Although, I did get asked one time by a stranger what I would name my surro girlies. I thought this was really funny . . . why would I think of names for them when they weren't mine? Weird. Hello! I passed the Psych Exam, thank you very much! :)

It seemed as if George and Sanj knew immediately what the girls' names would be. I thought Natasha and Anjali were great name choices and loved hearing stories about the history of the names. Heck, they could've told me they were going to name them Gertrude and Birtha and I would've smiled and said, "Great Choices." See, that's the problem with telling people your name before the ink on the Birth Certificates is dry. . . unsolicited advice . . . and it's rarely nice.

When we were pregnant with Ruby, we had several name choices including Mallory and Kinsey. We were told by tons of people why our choices sucked. We ended up picking Annika until the last month when Ruby Rummelhart had a ring to it . . . dancer, author, actress, whatever, it sounded great! We had several people hate (yes, they used that word) the name Ruby . . . but now she's such a "Ruby", and we all couldn't imagine her named anything else.

Boys are harder to name, if you ask me. What makes a great name at 4, may seem ridiculous when he's 50. We had several names we liked for Preston and even re-evaluated them again when it was time to name Sawyer.

Oh and if you're really looking to hear how all your selections are the worst ever, sign up for a Baby Name Poll on We did this with all of our kids, but with Sawyer, the people at Baby Center contacted us asking if his could be the Spotlight Baby Name Poll. This meant that it would be on their main page for a few days and anyone could vote. Sure I said, I love feedback. Well, if you thought a hundred friends and family posting negatives about your names were fun, you should try this. How about thousands of people who don't know you telling you how your choices are, "snobby" or asking if "you were drunk when you came up with these names?" Yes, very fun. Years later, the comments are gone but the voting %'s are still up- look here!

I guess my biggest thing was that as a Kelly born in the early 70's, the last thing I wanted for my kids was to have a name that a lot of kids already had. Some name choices were immediately off the list because they were in the TOP 100 Names the Social Security Reports . . . the Top 10 names removed themselves! LOL

Speaking of which, there have been several articles about how Isabella/Bella and Jacob are at the top for 2009 and that may be partly because of the Twilight Series of Books and Movies. I think books, movies, television do sway us in baby name choices at times. Heck, when I was pregnant with Ruby I loved Moulin Rouge. As we left the theatre I remember telling Rick, "Satine, that's an interesting name." He quickly told me that we weren't going to name our daughter after a whore, no matter how talented she was. Point Taken.
Later, when I was Pregnant with Preston, before we knew it was a boy, Ruby would dance for hours to Chicago. I was sold, if Ruby had a sister, Roxy Rummelhart, would be her name. It was a boy, so it became a mute point. Instead, Preston was a name I heard on the movie Can't Hardly Wait. I loved the character and the name was much cuter than Lloyd, another male character I thought was sweet. Sawyer was from Tom Sawyer, of course, but hearing it on LOST over and over helped me see it could be a first name. Even if we ended up having a girl, Sawyer would've still be on the girls list too.

So for those of you (including my new IPs) that are in the process of picking names, feel free to use any of my unused names.

My Favorite Girl Names I didn't get a chance to use:

Harper (my IPs did use this one!)

My Favorite Boy Names I didn't get a chance to use:


**Again, feel free to use my unused names for your own kids or pets . . . if I were 25 and hadn't had my kids yet, I would harm you, but since I'm done having my own kids, feel free to steal my unused names. Again, unused. . . not Preston, Ruby or Sawyer, I don't want their names breaking into the top 100 . . . they are getting awfully close!

Oh- and feel free to leave your unused names in the Comments!