By: Kelly Rummelhart
I met my best friend about two and a half years ago. Even though we haven’t been friends for very long, I feel as if I’ve known her my entire life. Like most great friends, we have a lot in common. We have the same sense of humor, are married to men who are very much alike, and have, for the most part, identical values and political views. One thing we have in common that most friends don’t: we are both Surrogate Mothers.
It is great to have someone that truly understands what it means to be a Surrogate Mom. Someone who has walked a mile, rather nine months, in your shoes. They know things that most of your other friends will never know, like how sore your backside gets from weeks of multiple injections. How to answer silly questions about the baby that you’re about to give birth to –the baby that isn’t yours –and what it’s like to be in the room, witnessing the Intended Parents meeting their child(ren) for the first time. You can try to explain all these things to people, but only another Surrogate will get it. I mean REALLY get it.
You see, my best friend knows all these things. She also knows what it’s like to have a set of Intended Parents that you can’t openly discuss. When I look back at the last year and a half, I thank (enter your deity here) that I had her in my life. Besides my husband, she was the only person who knew the true identity of my IPs for most of my journey. Whether we were discussing pregnancy progress, busy schedules, or fears of being found out, we knew that we could totally trust each other. I gave birth five months ahead of her, so I knew about something horrible that she was going to have to deal with soon enough.
Once the parents make the announcement that the baby/babies are born there is a type of excitement that happens. After all your hard work, others can now enjoy and celebrate the lives you helped create. However, when your IPs are famous, you will see the stories and announcements all over the internet. Luckily for the both of us, most seem to be positive . . . but the comments are not. I made the mistake of reading some and it upset me greatly. I know people are ignorant and homophobic but I really didn’t think there would be so many hateful comments. I remember wanting to hunt these people down and punch them in the face. How dare they . . . how dare they talk about my IPs that way! By saying such hurtful things (anonymously I must add) it was like they were stabbing me in the heart. I gave birth to those babies. I love their parents. I love that new family that I’m apart of . . . so by saying those things about them, they were saying something about me. . . about the BEAUTIFUL journey that I was lucky enough to be a part of.
My best friend saw these comments and saw how it hurt me and now that her IPs just made their announcement, it has started. The only thing I can do for her is be there for her. To let her know that I know EXACTLY what she is going through and that people’s hateful words will not take away the beauty of what she accomplished. And if she needs me to help hunt those people down, well, isn’t that what a best friend is for?
Kelly Rummelhart writes about her experiences as a two-time gestational surrogate for gay couples. She calls herself a “Uterine Activist” and will be the first to tell you that her uterus is an ally. Kelly also writes at Just The Stork
[The photo is a print of artist Jennifer Moffett]