A Day In The Life: Kelsey Gelhaus, M.D.

Kelsey Gelhaus. Photo courtesy of Kelsey Gelhaus
Kelsey Gelhaus. Photo courtesy of Kelsey Gelhaus

Kelsey Gelhaus. Photo courtesy of Kelsey Gelhaus


Where did you grow up? Staples, a small town in central Minnesota.

Where do you live? In the country outside of North Branch, another small town 45 minutes north of the Twin Cities.

Who do you live with? My spouse, Nell; our boys—two-year-old Soren and four-year-old Leif; Tibby, our Corgi; two cats and about 20 chickens.

What is your occupation? I’m a practicing Obstetrician/Gynecologist as well as faculty for the University of MN, training OB/GYN residents and medical students.

When did you come out? Twenty-one years old.

How’d that go? Well, my coming out tactic was basically to bring home a girlfriend and see if anyone noticed. Honestly, my biggest hold-up in coming out was always the fear of disappointing my family, with whom I am very close. So it took a lot of personal soul-searching to come out. I have been incredibly blessed, as my family and friends have stood by me every step of the way.

When do you wake up? Between 5:00 and 6:00 AM, depending on if I am operating that day or not.

Phone alarm or old-school alarm? Phone alarm.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning? I am usually trying to sneak in a shower before the two-year-old wakes up. He is still breastfeeding, so I get about 15 minutes to get ready before he comes looking for “mama milk!”

Breakfast? Always! Typically, fresh scrambled eggs courtesy of our chickens.

Coffee? Also, always.

Cream, or no? Yup, always this too.

How do you spend your commute? I usually drop off the boys for “school,” so we spend our commute hunting for school buses, tractors, and construction trucks.

Photo courtesy of Kelsey Gelhaus

What do you nerd out for (gaming, music, history, etc.)? I nerd out for personal finance blogs and podcasts. American culture pushes consumerism and celebrates lives of unbridled debt. I found the financial independence movement about four years ago, and we are working hard to integrate minimalism and financial freedom in our lives with aggressive debt pay down and saving. We try to value experiences and relationships and not acquiring the coolest new “stuff.” Though it is hard to keep Nell from acquiring more chickens!

What music have you been digging lately? Currently Jon Batiste has me dancing while folding laundry, but there hasn’t been a day in 15 years that I haven’t listened to Brandi Carlile.

Is your work space tidy or a hot mess? My workspace is probably somewhere between tidy and hot mess.

What’s been your favorite job? My favorite job has absolutely been being an OB/GYN. Any given day I might be surgically removing endometriosis, delivering a baby, repairing prolapse or inseminating a same-sex couple. I am invited to so many incredibly intimate spaces with women and their bodies. It’s such a privilege to care for women in this fashion.

Favorite weeknight meal: Go out, take-out, or cook in? Any meal my wife has prepared by the time I get home with the kids.

On a usual weeknight, you are doing what? We live on almost 40 acres of land, so we spend most of our nights outside with our kids doing animal chores, working in the garden, or riding four-wheelers. In the winter, we snowshoe and cross-country ski.

Bedtime? I usually end up crashing while putting my kids to bed between 8:00 and 8:30 PM.

Favorite weekend activity? We try to spend as much time as possible with grandparents and cousins. Our families love to play on the lakes—swimming, pontooning, tubing and fishing.

What are you most proud of, and why? My children. We are a two-mom family and we follow a respectful parenting philosophy, so everything we do is unconventional. It’s been so rewarding to watch the boys grow into kind, confident, happy and fun-loving little humans with their own unique personalities. My wife’s brother is our sperm donor and I carried our boys, so they look a little like both of us, but mostly my wife. Being their moms has truly made our dreams come true.

Words of wisdom to share: Getting outside is universally cathartic and has always been my answer when I feel stuck. Move your body in whatever way possible and get some fresh air. It cures so many ills.

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