How it all began....

Paul and I were married in July of 2005 and every day since then has been a complete joy! We moved to Central Florida and found an amazing church home at Family Bible Church ( There we met so many life-long friends. In August of 2007, we had our precious baby girl. Her name is McKenzie Renae. She was so beautiful when I saw her for the first time! After the delivery, we had a couple hours to talk and laugh with friends and family before something went terribly wrong. The next thing I knew I was being sent into emergency surgery. The doctor tried everything, but my uterus continued to bleed. So, after I was given 3 units of blood, her only option was to remove my uterus in order to save my life. Although I would have liked for things to turn out differently, I am so thankful that I am able to be with my family and friends. Of course, everyday wasn't all roses as I coped with the idea of not being able to have any more children. Paul and I had always thought we would have four children. After our McKenzie turned one I started to research other options for growing our family. It was solely a God-thing that caused all the pieces to fall into place.

One morning Kari called me up to ask if McKenzie and I wanted to go play at the park with her and Joselyn. It was there that Kari first expressed to me that she and Jon were interested in becoming a surrogate for Paul and me. I was blown away!! I let a few months go by and started to convince myself that it was a nice gesture, but she probably wasn't serious. Little did I know that she would be the "kick in the hind-quarters" that I needed to turn this dream of having more children into a reality! After those couple of emotionally low months, I was given the inspiration I needed to dive into the web of IVF. She assured me that this was something that God had placed into their hearts and they were the people for the job! Kari and Jon continue to amaze us with their eagerness to be a part of this adventure. As a matter of fact, one of the things Kari told me to get me out of my slump was, "We can do this together. This can be our little adventure!". So that is exactly what it has become! I can't wait to see what the future holds; and I hope it holds a new little baby...possibly two...Kari says three would be pushing it! hahaha

How I became "Kari the Carrier"

I remember exactly where I was standing when I was told that Andrea had a few complications post delivery and that her uterus had to be removed in order to save her life. The shock wave hit me like a ton of bricks. I was standing outside the church after a Wednesday night service when Jill broke the news to me. I immediately welled up and started crying, feeling broken-hearted for them. I couldn’t imagine the possibility of not having another child again. Over the next several months, every time I sat next to Andrea in church, a strong compassion would rise up inside of me. I felt like I wanted to help her in any way that I could, and that is when the surrogacy seed was planted in my heart. I never said a word about the idea to either her or my husband Jon, but the seed continued to grow week after week. I believe with all my heart that the supernatural compassion I felt in those moments was from God, preparing my heart for something special.

I decided to ask my husband about what he thought about me becoming a surrogate for Paul and Andrea; his response was an immediate “yes!!!” He was completely supportive and even encouraged me to speak to Andrea about it right away.

A few months later, I was at home with my daughter, Joselyn, and was thinking about going to the park. I called Andrea up and asked if she wanted to bring her daughter, McKenzie, to play with Jos. As the girls were playing, I asked Andrea how things were going and about their plans for future children. She began to tell me about a possible carrier she had in mind and a second person as another possibility sometime in the future, but nothing was definite. The next thing I know, I had said to Andrea, “Keep me in the back of your mind for a possible candidate to be your surrogate too.” I had not planned to turn that play date into a lifelong friendship, but that is what it has turned out to be. The moment I realized that my offer was a real possibility, my first feeling was kind of a “reality check.” However, soon after, and I believe it was by the grace and peace of God, I began to become more and more excited about the idea. I knew that I would never have offered if I wasn’t ready to follow through, so the decision was solidified in my heart. I left for the month of December to visit my family in Montana for Christmas, and during that time I was telling everyone my plans. I was already 6 months pregnant with my son, so I got some pretty funny looks as I talked about being pregnant again so soon. By the time I came back home, I had talked about being a surrogate carrier so much, it was already a done deal for Jon and me. The next time I saw Andrea, I asked when we were going to get this thing going; tears fell and the rest is history in the making.

I believe with my whole heart that this is a God-inspired bond between our families. I have an overwhelming sense of peace and knowing that this whole process will go quickly and smoothly, and I am looking forward to telling you all about our journey together. I am also more and more confident every day that God is a good God and he WILL provide for us. The hard parts are all done, now it is just a matter of walking through the steps and trusting Him…can’t wait to meet the new Miller(s)!

Monday, October 19, 2009

It has started!! - post 12

So, last night was the night! We carefully cleaned our working surface and Paul prepared all of the medication. It took almost 30 minutes before we even got it all ready! We were trying to make sure that we didn’t miss anything, and also we were trying to figure out what some of the things in our “goody bags” were! I was nervous, but Paul acted like he was excited. I think he likes the idea of sticking me with a needle a little too much...hahaha He mixed each vial and pulled it all up into one syringe so I only have to have one stick per day instead of three a day. I was alright at first, but when it came down to actually administering the shot I think Paul got a little nervous. So, in turn, I had a little bit of a “freak-out” moment. I got the shot in my stomach and just like everyone says, it really wasn’t that bad. We will be doing one shot every night for the next 7-11 days.

I have an appointment this Friday the 23rd at Dr. Trolices’ office in Winter Park. I will be doing my monitoring there, since it is closer to where we live. I will have to have blood drawn and another ultrasound to make sure my ovaries are responding to the medication the way they should. I will hopefully be able to talk with a nurse to make sure that Kari and I are on track to having our cycle in December too! I’m so excited (especially now that I know what to expect with the injections)!

Oh, the anticipation... - post 11

I know it has been a while since I have updated things, but I have learned that every detail of this process takes time. In our case, we didn’t even know everything that we were supposed to do until this week! It was kind of exciting when the nurse from the clinic actually scheduled our appointment to show us how to give our injections. However, that appointment got changed four different times…So, this past Monday (October 12, 2009), we finally made our second trip to Plantation, Florida.

I had to have another ultrasound to check on my ovaries. It was a little uncomfortable because the doctor said when the ovaries aren’t anchored to the uterus they tend to just be floating around. It took him a while to find them, but when he did he reassured us that everything was good to go! The nurse had to draw more blood to recheck for STDs and she sent us to a room to watch two videos on how to give the injections. Paul will be giving me the injections (I’m not really comfortable watching needles go through my skin), so he thought it was really comical when the video compared the injection technique to “playing darts.” He says he is pretty good at darts, so we should be pretty good (eeek)! After we watched the videos, we were escorted into another room where there was a table piled full of medication, syringes, and needles. It was a little overwhelming, but funny at the same time. I am so thankful that Paul is here to go through this with me. The nurse went over the calendar with us and the details of what I will be taking everyday. Originally, we were supposed to start on Friday (October 16, 2009), but I received a call from the nurse who asked us to push everything back two days. So, our official start date is Sunday, October 18, 2009! I only have to take the injections for 8-12 days and then we will be doing the retrieval. The latest the retrieval would be is the 30th of October!

WOW! I can’t believe this time is already here. I mean, I CAN, but I can’t….this means that we are that much closer to our own cycle! A great thing about this is the fact that my doctor from Winter Park, Dr. Trolice, will have an exact blueprint of how my body responds to the medication from this donation. That will give us one more thing to add to our already “perfect” scenario. Maybe Paul and I will get the best Christmas present ever if we find out we are pregnant by December!!!

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