Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Take on the STAR article, since you asked . . .

Several of you have asked to see the article outing me in Star Magazine and for me to discuss it. I have the issue (of course) and the PDF file that the guys sent me before it hit the stands, so I have saved sections as jpegs so you could see it best. More of my comments at the end.

First of all, here's the article in its entirety- Do you like how I kept it small so you can't see the horrible picture of my face?

Now here are some sections that you can actually read.

Box with Picture "Hey! Who cut out the face?" Yeah, that would be me! Whenever I complain about this picture, people always say, "You were about to have twins," like I'm pissed because I'm so big. Let me clarify . . . I could care less about how big I look in the picture because #1 I'm not a skinny girl and #2 I was almost 37 weeks pregnant with twins. I post up belly pictures all the time, even naked belly pics, so that wasn't it. It was the grimace on my face . . . my face that had no make-up on and my hair was pulled back like a woman on bed rest who was able to get out of the house on the days she had Doctor's appointments. Anyone want to guess what October 1st was? Yup, a Dr's appointment.

Oh and I love that my HRC sticker on my van is showing . . . it's like they knew keeping it in would soften the blow of the picture :)


Left Side

Right Side

So- big Thank Yous to Star for the following things . . .

* Running the article before I turned 36.

* Not disclosing my actual City where I live and work.

* Mentioning my boutique, Ruby Q's . . . I'll take the free advertising.

* Mentioning my blog . . . Again, I'll take any traffic I can get.

* Keeping the HRC sticker in the picture.

* Giving me props for helping out another gay couple (Yay, George and Sanj!)

* Sending the PDF to the guys so they could give me a heads up.

* Saying I had a "healthy sense of humor" and mentioning my "Big Heart" numerous times. (Better that than Big-Boned) LOL.

Things that are either wrong or I find it interesting that they left out . . .

* I find it convenient they left out that I'm a College Instructor. What, do they not want to let it out that some Surrogates are actually educated? Hmmmmm . . . . .

* My NOH8 photo is my profile picture on blogger and twitter, both of which they mentioned visiting . . . so they could not have used that picture? Or referenced it somehow? Dang it!

* They always get the part about shopping around for Surrogates wrong. At Growing Generations, Intended Parents do not get to look through tons of profiles at one time. They get one. If they don't like her, they get another.

In Conclusion, in all the articles I read in Star about my Intended Parents there are numerous false statements, some of which I won't even talk about because they are personal in Nature. But my biggest complaint in the article about who I am, is that when they discuss me "carrying NPH's babies," and "before she gave birth to NPH's daughter and son-" . . . ah, remember there are two dads in this story. I think it would've been more accurate to say, when I was carrying their babies and before I gave birth to their daughter and son.

Being involved in this and knowing the truth regarding these things, it has taught me a lesson about these types of magazines. I was reminded that the stories they publish are not accurate but I never realized how off they could be. How they would say they have a "source" and what the "source" supposedly said was totally false. When you read these magazines, blogs and websites, I'd be careful what you believe because yes, I am big hearted, have a healthy sense of humor and in fact, am beautiful . . . but other parts of these stories are not always so true and sometimes, very hurtful.

One last thing. I have to say I am grateful that the article, although it had issues, was very kind to me. Other Surrogates for famous couples have not had the same experience. So, Thank you Star for being nice to me and not trying to make the wonderful thing I did seem horrible. I help make gay men fathers, it's a calling really, so thank you for not tarnishing that.

Okay, the People article came out and they discuss how they used each partner's sperm. . . . That was the other thing that bothered me . . . all the articles would just talk about Neil using his Sperm. What's up with that? Why would they assume that they'd just use Neil's? Haven't seen the pictures in the article yet, but David better be in them. I get so pissed when they have a picture of "Hollywood Babies" and they only have the most famous parent with them. HELLO?! If I were Mario Lopez's girlfriend, I would be upset if I wasnt' photographed with their baby. What, she just carried her and gave birth to her . . . and is her mother. But I digress . . .

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Ornaments Arrived!

I am so excited about my new ornaments. Now, every year when my family puts up our Christmas Tree and decorates it, I will remember my extended family, my two sets of surrogacy twins and their Daddies!

Here is the Ornament for my First Journey- "Natasha and Anjali
My Surro Girlies 11-28-08"

Here is the Ornament for my Second Journey- "The Wonder Twins
Gideon & Harper 10-12-10" although it photographed blue, but it's really lavender.

And here they are hanging on my tree!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I just received a photo holiday card from Gideon, Harper, the dogs and their Daddies . . . and I'm in Love all over again. Of course it's nice to see pictures but I also get this awesome feeling about how I took part in their card this year. I helped them have two beautiful, healthy and smart (I can tell) babies for that awesome card. It's like a pat on the back for a job well done. Yay, Babies!

I can't wait to see the card from George, Sanj and the girls and even more so, seeing the pictures from the holidays from both families I helped create. It's like the gift that keeps on giving . . . every few days/weeks I get to see pictures of two beautiful families enjoying each other. It is quite amazing.

Remember when I blogged about . . . How To Remember . . .? Well, along the same line, I decided to have Christmas Ornaments made. So every year when my family decorates our tree I can be reminded of Natasha & Anjali and Gideon & Harper. When I receive them in the mail, I'll post some pictures. I thought it was a great idea. My friend Ashley sent me a picture of her ornament and I thought, I need one of those . . . or actually two.

Lastly, I know all my followers are not on my Holiday Card mailing list, so I thought I'd share our card and my letter this year. As, you can see, my Holiday letters are a little like my blog . . .


Well, well, well . . . here we are, the end of 2010. Man, I can’t believe the year is almost over. Honestly, it feels like a little over 350 days, but what do I know? Regardless, it’s time for the letter of all letters. Yes, hold onto your seats, I give you the Rummelhart’s Yearly Wrap-up.

Ruby is doing great. After starring in her critically acclaimed, one-woman show on Broadway she received early admission into Juilliard. Preston has also had a spectacular year, or should I say Dr. Rummelhart? In the last 12 months he has graduated high school, college and Medical School. He is currently doing his residency and will no doubt finish by the time you read this letter. After Sawyer’s youtube video hit over 10 million views, he was asked by Lady Gaga to join her for the remainder of her World Tour. The costumes are a bit much for a four year old, but how can you pass up on an opportunity like that? Even if he’s in rehab by 6, he’ll be out soon enough to star on Skating with the Stars, so it’s really win-win.

All kidding aside . . . Sawyer is learning a lot in preschool this year as he gets ready for kindergarten next year. We thought Ruby and Preston were “smarty pants” but Soy-town seems to be blowing them away. He loves being outside in the sandbox and enjoys playing games on my phone and iPad. I’m sure you saw him in newspapers across the country and all over the internet. How funny was that?

Preston turned 7 in June and is having a great time in the second grade. He excels in reading and math and adores his teacher. He still likes to play xBox 360, build things with his legos and loves to read in bed at night.

Ruby is still our little dancing queen, well not so little anymore since she comes up to my shoulders now. She is loving the 4th grade and is in her 7th year of dance. We can’t believe she’ll be 10 next year- yikes!

Ricky and I are still doing the same things as the last several years . . . working, trying to be the best parents we can be, working, having babies for people, working and loving each other. Speaking of which, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary this year. Well, not quite celebrate as I had just given birth to twins, but squeezed hands and got Chinese Take-out.

As I mentioned before, on October 12th I gave birth to Gideon and Harper and a week later landed in Star Magazine. I would’ve included a copy of it here but with the picture they published, they should be happy I didn’t decide to burn down their offices. They are doing well and I’m excited to fly to LA to see them in January. At the end of November, the family and I were able to celebrate the 2nd birthday of my first set of surrogate twins, Natasha and Anjali. It has been amazing seeing them grow. I’m lucky that George and Sanj have added us to their family.

We are excited to see what the next year holds, so bring it on 2011!
The Rummelharts

Monday, December 13, 2010

2 Months and You've Got Me Thinking . . .

The Wonder Twins reached the 2 month mark yesterday. They are doing well and getting bigger. I sent them the cutest Elf outfits for Christmas and am counting the days until I get the pictures of them wearing them- I'm also counting the days until my trip down there next month.

It feels like more than 8 weeks since I gave birth to Gid and Harper. Now that I'm back to work I get asked (over and over) if I plan on being a Surrogate for the third time. Actually, this question usually starts even before I've given birth. I think I'm being asked even more this time around for some reason.

So will I? I don't know. I've thought about it the whole time. Twenty years ago when I thought about being a surrogate, I certainly didn't think I'd do it more than once. A few months into my first journey I thought I would do it a second time and Natasha and Anjali's birth sealed the deal. So when Growing Generations asked me a few weeks later if I saw myself doing this again, I told them Yes, but that I wanted a several months of not being pregnant. A few months later I was matched and my second journey began. Even back then I thought about a third journey. Would that be crazy? What would people say? Would I be pressing my luck? Would I be too old by then?

My answer is, I don't know, because I really don't know. I would LOVE to go round three . . . there are couples out there who need help and I enjoy being pregnant but I'm not sure how everyone would react. I'm not usually a person who cares what people think but I have to admit, a third surrogacy might push some of my family and in-laws over the edge. However, they know me well, so I'm sure they realize this is something I'm thinking about.

I may do a Positive/Negative chart post, so you can see exactly how Rick and I are coming to our decision but for now I know if I do go Round #3, I may need to change it up a bit. A friend of mine who is also a Surrogate asked to be matched with a straight international couple. That way it would be a totally different journey, so it wouldn't take away anything from her first journey. Well, even though my second journey was also for gay men, it was TOTALLY different . . . I think most of you know why.

I see my matches like my children. I have 3 kids. They are all different but I love them the same. I remember when I was pregnant with Preston (my #2 bio) I thought, is there anyway I could love him as much as Ruby? And I did. I love my #3 bio kid Sawyer too. And my Intended Parents are the same. I remember after Growing Generations approached me about being a Surrogate again. I was thinking, Would I feel the same about them as George and Sanj . . . it didn't seem possible. But I found out that my heart was big enough for the 4 of them, and luckily, so was my uterus :)

Now, I have been asked by Growing Generations if I'd be interested in being a Surrogate a third time. Just like last time (and the time before) they already have an idea of a great match for me. They've done a great job matching me so far, so I trust that this new couple they have in mind would be great too. There's just one "catch" . . . it's a straight couple. **crickets** I know, I was surprised as well. This is not something I've really thought about before. In all honesty, I haven't thought about it too much until now, well besides debating if my Uterus was Heterophobic. But I've been having some interesting conversations with myself (again, another post for later). Last time I felt a little like I was "cheating" on George and Sanj. With this opportunity, would I be "cheating" on Gay men everywhere?! Who knows, it may just be the different type of Journey I need . . . we'll see.

In Conclusion, I have a lot of thinking to do. Do I help one more family or do I retire? I know one thing for sure . . . I don't want to be the Brett Favre of Surrogacy. Wait, let me clarify. I don't mean I'm going to text someone a picture of my uterus . . . I mean I don't want to keep going back and forth about my decision. I want to make an educated decision and stick with it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Catch Phrase for me?

I was following the live coverage of Prop 8 today on Twitter and one of the things brought up was Procreation and if it was a valid argument. To summarize, Judge Smith asked if the argument was about procreation, doesn't that survive rational basis review. Stewart said, "It does not. Gay couples procreate too." Which then stirred a rash of tweets about can the GLBT community procreate. My first thought was, if Gay Men can't procreate, then who the hell did I just give birth to? I know 2 babies and 2 toddlers that would beg to differ.

Which brings me to my new catch phrase that will join "My Uterus Is An ALLY" in my own Hall of Fame.

Drumroll please . . . . . . . .

Kelly. Helping Gay Men "Procreate" since 2008!

I think it has a ring to it! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Surrogacy Blues (aka My Longest.Post.Ever)

I swear I haven't been avoiding this topic this time. I just knew I'd really need to think about what I wanted to post and discuss it in a serious manner . . . Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm usually sitting here drunk at my keyboard, half-assing my other posts, I just need this post to be as accurate as possible. You see, this is one of the subjects you won't hear too many Surrogates discuss, well, this and money. In retrospect, I think last time, I was too embarrassed to blog about it. I didn't realize at the time that what I was feeling was perfectly normal.

First of all, "The Blues" that sometimes follows your Surrogacy birth is hard enough to talk about with other Surrogates (if you even know any) . . . let alone trying to explain it to Non-Surrogates who won't get it. When I had Natasha and Anjali, I didn't know any other Surrogates. I didn't meet Stacie (online or otherwise) until after I gave birth. So when I went through it the first time, I was alone. From then on, I've tried to make it my job to seek out other Surrogates and introduce them to each other or at least Follow their blogs publicly and make supportive comments, so they knew they were not alone. It really makes a difference during your journey to have someone who knows what you're going through (for the most part). Yes, each journey is different, but there are several things that are very similar, if not identical, for us all.

After I gave birth to Natasha and Anjali, I came home feeling great about what I accomplished. I went through all my pictures (there were tons) and revisited my blog to remind myself what happened . . . Later, I would do this whenever I felt down. I think the first few days back after my second surro-birth were a little tougher. Out of respect for Gid and Harper's Parents, I didn't take any of my own photos. So when I got home, I had nothing to look at except for the special blog I created just for them. I was so thankful when hours after I left the hospital (a day after they left) they texted me pictures of the babies. A few days later they emailed me tons of pictures from our time in the hospital . . . it was exactly what I needed. Pictures of me with them, of them with their babies, of my kids with their babies, everything I needed to remind myself of the beautiful outcome to our journey.

Pictures or not, the first week or two are the toughest. I am a crier. I cry at cheesy movies and Oreo commercials. So, imagine a woman who has all these hormones from being pregnant, who just gave birth, who doesn't know what to do with herself and who has time to sit around and think of it all. For me, I would be fine, then I'd just start crying . . . for no reason and I couldn't control it. At first it was several times a day. Then after a week or two passed, a few times a day. Then a few weeks later, maybe once a day. Anything and everything could trigger it, like I said, I couldn't control myself. Then eventually, for me about 5 weeks, you notice you went an entire day without crying.

And here's where it is easier to talk to other Surrogates . . . most people, including my friends and strangers would see me crying and might think I missed the babies. Not so. What I THOUGHT it was, was me missing the contact with the IPs, but that wasn't it either. Both times after the birth the Parents would email, text and call me on a weekly basis. So in my head, I thought I was being abandoned, but I wasn't, NOT AT ALL . . again, no control over the feelings . . . even those that are totally unfounded or flat out wrong. I remember thinking the first few weeks, that they were ignoring me . . . but if I would rationally think about it, they had sent me flowers, cards and emailed me new pictures, called me to tell me about how the babies were doing. Heck, we'd even make plans to have them visit me or have me fly down and visit them. Is that being abandoned? NO! And even though I could rationally think of all of that and how it didn't add up to the way I was feeling, my behavior wouldn't change. Having no control of my feelings was tough, especially when you're a woman who is usually in control of everything.

I emailed some of my Surrogate friends 3 days after I got home from the hospital (6 days past Birth) when I finally figured it out. Here's an excerpt from that email. . . .

"In the past I've compared it to planning a wedding . . . how you spend almost a year planning for your wedding, this one day and in a matter of hours it's over. Yes, you're happy but later you're left with a "now what do I do" since you spent so much time on the planning . . it's like you feel empty in a way. But I finally realized what it's really like for me. . . it's like I got fired from a job I loved. My job was over and the company needed to downsize. I had done my job well but there isn't really anything else left for me to do . . . I don't like (feeling this way) this stage and I'm glad it doesn't last long."

Then about a week later . . .

"Can someone remind me how long "the blues" lasts? I can't remember . . . I'm over this not being in control of my tears. Went grocery shopping (for the first time since bed rest) and lost it in the store. LAME"

Here's that story- I knew I was still crying over whatever but needed groceries. I figured, it would be good to get back to normal, so I took off. About 15 minutes into my trip, with my cart half-way filled, I had a woman in her early sixties approach me. She said she had seen the article of me in Star Magazine and wanted to Thank me. She then told me her older brother was Gay and that when she told him about me, he started to cry. Well, that was all I needed to start bawling inside Safeway! I couldn't stop. I told her I was sorry. I thought about leaving my groceries and getting the hell out of there but my kids needed food. So I took several deep breaths and continued. A few aisles later, I ran into a friend who could tell I had just been crying. She made the mistake of asking me what was wrong . . . TEARS! I kept apologizing and telling her I couldn't control myself and that unlike my appearance, I was in fact okay. (I don't think she believed me). I don't think anyone would believe you in that situation . . . but that's how it would always play out. Whether it was Safeway or my dining room table, when I'd start to cry (for no reason) I'd start apologizing to whoever I was with and tell them I was okay. It was almost like an out of body experience. I was looking at myself thinking, "Jesus Kelly, pull it together" but just couldn't.

I think having a c-section doesn't help you get over the blues any quicker because as much as you try to get things back to normal, you can't. You are physically not capable of doing so. Hell, I had Sawyer (MY last baby) on Saturday morning and walked Ruby and Preston to school on Monday. This doesn't happen with a c-section. I am also well known for pushing my limits (Hello! Disneyland at 29 weeks pregnant with twins) so I have to make sure I take it easy. This means no going to the gym to get your mind off of it.

Lastly, one of my surrogate friends told me that she finally felt back to normal when she went back to work because for her, her job is her life. I think that's a great point but for me, I think I've made Surrogacy my life, part of my identity. It's what I do. It's who I am. It's what I blog about. It's how I spend my free time (following other blogs). It is something I can't get away from . . . and why would I want to? The Blues pass, but I will be me forever.

My Name is Kelly and I'm a Surrogate Mother.

For other Surrogates who read this, when you get to this part of your journey . . . if you need someone to talk to, you know where to find me. I am here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Look Who's Two

Finally, the pictures I promised. I am only going to include a few since I don't want you to overdose on cuteness.

Here's Ruby with Anjali- the girls are wearing the silly sacs we gave them for their birthday. A monkey for Natasha and a cow for Anjali (which I hear, days later, they are still wearing)

When we ate lunch, Anjali insisted on sitting on Rick's lap

Here's our try at a group picture. Even though it was 1 day before their second birthday, they have already mastered the skill of not cooperating for family photos :)

And Last, here's a video of singing Happy Birthday. My apologies (in advance) for our singing voices :) Not sure how to make it smaller so if you'd rather, here's the LINK