By: Kelly Rummelhart
I went into the hospital on Friday June 29th and was discharged Monday July 2nd. Alexander is still in the NICU but looks as if he’ll be discharged in the next few days (if you can believe it!).
Here are some other pictures from his 2nd and 3rd day on earth….
By: Kelly Rummelhart
The morning of Friday June 29th, Stacie and I walked into labor and delivery to get my “leaking” checked.
About 8 hours later we headed to the operating room. Having my best friend with me was an amazing experience. We were only three days apart in our journeys so wanted to document the bellies one last time together before mine turned into a baby.
The delivery team got me all set up and then Stacie joined us with multiple cameras and phones in her possession. Since my IPs were not able to be at the birth of their first child, we wanted to make sure it was well documented for them and she did an amazing job!
Here I am prepped for surgery and ready to have Alexander make his exit.
The doctors got down to business and at 6:29pm on 6/29/12, Alexander takes his first breath.
Alexander could breathe on his own
but they did give him a little bubble assistance.
Stacie joined Alexander to take pictures while I was taken to recovery.
About an hour later, they wheeled me in to visit Alexander
The entire time Stacie and I were texting and emailing pictures to the dads, who were stuck in Australia until the next day.
More to come . . . .
By: Kelly Rummelhart
Whenever I go in for the 3D/4D ultrasounds, I’m blown away with how much you can see. It’s like getting a sneak peak at the baby . . . you get to see exactly who you will be meeting in a few weeks, AMAZING! So, above is Little Man! The ultrasound tech said that he had TONS of hair and very large feet! I have already heard in the past that his long bone (leg) measured very long . . . so looks as if he’ll be tall. We shall see.
Now, we had an internet glitch, so the live streaming didn’t work out- BOO! But she did still get some great videos and images that I sent to the parents via cell phone immediately, so that was great. I am also sending out the video tomorrow so they can play it at their baby shower on the 7th of July. I am supposed to Skype in for it, so that should be fun.
It is amazing that we are coming towards the end . . . only a few weeks left. Crazy! Here’s a picture of me taking a break from packing my house up for the big move . . . showing off the 33-week belly.
Here I am. My first Mother’s Day as a single mom. So far, so good. Yesterday the kids and I went with my surro-best friend and her family to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and today we are hanging out at the house until we join another friend and her family for an impromptu swim party.
All of my children made me a sweet Mother’s Day Card and the two youngest brought home items they created for me at school. My oldest was concerned about getting me something, so I told her I’d buy myself something that I wanted and she could say it was from her. She loved the idea- and I love the new hat she got me. I loved all my cards and gifts from the kids, just like every year. But more so, I love the TIME I have with my children.
One of the things I have learned in my new reality of single mom who has to share custody is not to take my kids for granted. For years I have had control and have been able to be with my children everyday. Now, with my ex deciding to leave our family, I am limited to the time I have with them. It has really made me change my thought process: quality, not quantity. In the last five months I have tried to make sure the time the kids are with me is not wasted. Knowing that I won’t have them on Wednesdays and Thursdays and every other weekend has really made me change the way I spend time with them. It’s actually a positive that has come out of this whole ordeal.
I love my children with all my heart and being. A mother has been the most challenging and rewarding job I’ve ever had- I wouldn’t trade it for the world. With all this being said, I guess I should stop blogging and go hang out with my kiddos! So Happy Mother’s Day to all.
By: Kelly Rummelhart
One of the things that is so awesome about knowing other surrogates is that only they will understand the things that you’ve gone through. A friend of mine, with the help of several other surrogates, has created an awesome page on Tumblr that shares several surro-experiences.
We tried to use people who we consider sexy . . . various races, ages, genders, etc.
Some are funny, regardless if you’ve carried a baby for someone else, but most you’d only truly get if you were ever a gestational surrogate.
I give you Hey Girl Surrogacy . . . enjoy!
By: Kelly Rummelhart
. . . or, for me, a lack there of
The last two weeks we’ve talked about being a single surrogate and I received a great question about having sex as a surrogate, single or otherwise.
Now, I know different agencies have different guidelines, as do the various doctors surrogates will see throughout their pregnancy. There aren’t a lot of universal rules when it comes to your sex life, although I’m sure “don’t whore around” would be one.
When you’re leading up to your transfer, most will opt not to have sex. There have been some potential surrogates who have accidentally gotten pregnant before their transfers. Nothing like going in for monitoring appointments to find an embryo already there! YIKES! Usually, you are put on birth control pills at the time of your screening for this reason and to help control your cycle when the time comes to align with an egg donor.
After the embryo transfer, most surrogates are told to remain on “pelvic rest” for anywhere between two weeks to the first ultrasound appointment (aka confirmation of the heartbeat). Knowing several surrogates at various agencies with various RE’s, there isn’t one set rule.
Some surrogates may be placed on extended pelvic rest in the first trimester if they end up with bleeding or get pregnant with multiples. In the third trimester, some will be put on pelvic rest again if they have issues with early contractions, etc. Again, it seems to be on a case by case basis.
For most surrogacies, just like regular pregnancies, there is usually no problem having sex throughout your pregnancy if there are no extenuating circumstances. Of course, for surrogates, this will need to be monogamous with the partner that was medically screened with them, whether they are married or single.
I am a good example of someone who screened with my husband and now that I’m single, per contract, the only way I can have sex with someone would be to have them medically screened. Now, since your IPs would have to cover that cost, most surrogates decide to just abstain through the pregnancy. Now there are some activities that you could participate in since they don’t usually transfer sexually transmitted diseases.
Before transfer, my husband and I usually stopped having sex about a week before the transfer. He had a vasectomy so pregnancy wasn’t an issue.
After transfer, My husband and I abstained from sex until the confirmation of the heart beat at the first ultrasound.
During the pregnancy, for my first set of twins, I was placed on “pelvic rest” for the first trimester because they were identical twins. I was also then placed on pelvic rest again at 26 weeks for the same reason. At 35 weeks I was given the green light to let the orgasms happen. For my second set of twins I had a different OB and was not placed on any pelvic rest until around 31 weeks when I had some contractions. This time, my husband left before the confirmation of the heartbeat, so I will more than likely be abstaining throughout the whole pregnancy. Since it’s a single and I’ve had no issues, I will most likely not be put on pelvic rest . . . we’ll see!
Point of clarification: when I mention pelvic rest, this implies no orgasms . . . which could be no sex, oral sex, masturbation, etc. Of course there is nothing you can do about great dreams that lead to involuntary orgasms. I mention this because lately a lot of my surro-gals have been reading Fifty Shades of Grey and I am sure have no control over pelvic rest at many parts of the three books.
By: Kelly Rummelhart
Two more surrogates share their answers to questions about their experiences as single, gestational surrogates.
Were you single when you applied to be a surrogate? If not, at what point in the process did you become single? Are you single (as in alone) or are you single with a partner, you just aren’t married?
S: First time I was engaged when I applied to be a surrogate. I became single right before the transfer. Second round I was in a committed relationship and became single just after the contract was drafted. Right now I am single, as single as can be. Maybe that will change soon.
V: Yes … I had a jerk of a boyfriend that I got rid of shortly after beginning my application. I’m single with a partner. We met shortly after my 2nd transfer.
For married people, usually their husband is their major support system . . . who is yours?
S: I have a lot of support. My friends, family, co-workers. They all think what I do for other families is amazing. Luckily I haven’t had any negative people around me at all.
V: My major support is my awesome boyfriend. He’s been here for me thru everything when there was nothing holding him here except for the chance of what could possibly be. He could have walked away without looking back but he chose to stay with me.
What do you see as being the positives and/or negatives of being a single surrogate?
S: The positive of being single is you can be moody and sleepy all by yourself and not have to worry about making someone else deal with it. The negative is that if you do meet someone, it can be hard to explain the situation and the fact that if they are really interested they are “cut off” until the contract is up.
V: Positives, everything was at my discretion and I didn’t have to answer to or check with anyone. Everything was up to me and the parents.
What are your thoughts on dating while being a pregnant single surrogate? Open to it? No way? Why or why not?
S: I met a guy when I was six months prego the first round. I didn’t have a baby bump so I didn’t tell him on our first date. I didn’t tell him on our second date and when he wanted to watch a movie I just acted nervous to cuddle with him. (I didn’t want the baby to kick him!) I finally had to tell him and he was totally supportive about it. He thought it was amazing and wasn’t worried about it at all. That was a relief. The guy I’m talking to now, possibly moving forward with is also very supportive. He thinks it’s an amzaing gift and says I’m worth the wait for sex. He’s a keeper, Now I’m completely open from the start. No reason to hide it because if they are not supportive, I can choose to end that relationship.
V: At first I was against it … then I became lonely and thought if can find someone now, then they almost would have to be the perfect person because of everything that was about to be gone thru. I’m so incredibly glad that I took a chance to find someone because I ended up finding the perfect person for me and my children. It’s hard looking for and finding the perfect person. You definitely see a lot of “bad seeds” because a lot of guys are only looking for a random hook up. Luckily I found an amazing man that wanted the same thing I wanted: a family!
Would you be a single surrogate again?
S: I would be a single surrogate in a heartbeat. I have plenty of support from family and friends and my son thinks it’s awesome too, so why not? Until I’m too old to help, I’m all for it.
V: Yes, because I had an amazing experience.
By: Kelly Rummelhart
If you remember, weeks ago I shared with you that after thirteen years together (and eleven married), my marriage ended. We are approaching four months since my husband decided to leave and I have to say that I’m doing great.
I have had several people say in so many words that it is awful that I am pregnant during this. I disagree. I think it would be awful if this were my own baby, but being pregnant with this surro baby has actually helped out in my opinion. Let me quickly explain:
I wasn’t able to turn to alcohol. I’m not a big drinker anyway but a few friends talked about getting together for wine, shots or margaritas, etc. It was much easier to say no, thank you, because I was pregnant. However, I have since started a whole board on Pinterest with yummy alcoholic drinks to try in August!
I didn’t go out and get tattooed. I have wanted more tattoos for awhile, but with constantly being pregnant or screening for surrogacy, I was unable to add any. With that said, I’m sooooooo glad I was pregnant because I’d probably have a few tattoos that I didn’t think through. This way I’ve been able to fantasize about what I’d like to have done and will have been able to have thought about it for almost a year by the time I do it. Again, I have a pinterest board dedicated to tattoos, some of which are ideas for myself.
I can’t sleep around. The first two listed would’ve been more so in the beginning when I was freaking out over the big change in my life. This one is for the next few months now that I’m feeling back to myself. First of all, not too many people are lining up to date a pregnant lady, so that helps. Also, per contract, any partner I have sex with needs to be screened for STD’s and needs to agree to be monogamous. Not an issue when you’re married but quite a big step for a new partner.
I figure my next few posts will be about being a single surrogate and I have about five other friends who are single and surrogates. It will be fun to interview them for the blog and also get advice for myself.
Kelly Rummelhart writes about her experiences as a 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.com
By Kelly Rummelart
We’re 19 weeks and that makes us half-way to the birthdate of Little Man. Pregnancy is about 40 weeks, however, I’ve never made it that far and know I won’t this time either. When you’ve had a c-section, they usually try to get you scheduled before you go on your own.
Past Babies I’ve birthed
Bio Baby #1- 36 weeks
Bio Baby #2- 38 weeks
Bio Baby #3- 37 weeks
Surro Girlies- 38 weeks, 5 days*
Surro Wonder Twins- 37 weeks*
*I never made it to either of my planned c-sections. I went the day before the first time and a few days before the second time. So this time, the OB has discussed planning the birth that last week of July. We’ll see. But that means, we’re over halfway there!
Oh and guess what? I can feel him move now! FINALLY!!!
By: Kelly Rummelhart
Have you played Draw Something yet? Well I have and I am addicted. It is basically a cross between Pictionary and Hangman.
My surrogate friends have become enablers, so to speak. Nothing like starting a new game and having dozens of women to play with immediately. I currently have about thirteen games going and ten of those are surrogates. I could play against more people but then I may not shower.
While my pictures look pretty much like stick figures and chicken scratch, my surro-friend Alicia’s are amazing. At my request, she drew the picture above . . . I told her the word was “surrogacy”.