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)!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Another Appointment? - post 21

I really don’t even know where to begin. My mind is racing with worries, excitement, money concerns, medications, appointments, family, friends and everyday life that exists outside of the IVF realm. I seem to have days like this every so often that end up making me break down and cry. I have to keep reminding myself that I am ramped up on hormones and that the overwhelming feeling to let the tears come pouring out is mainly contributed to them. However, I believe this process is so full of ups and downs that even without the hormones it could break a person with stone cold emotions.

My last post left off telling you about our appointment on Thursday, January 28th. Like I said, everything was right on track for a retrieval towards the beginning of the first week in February…well, did you notice that it is now Tuesday (February 2) and I am not typing in all CAPS with excitement? Yep, you guessed it! We have been delayed, once again.

I went to the office on Saturday and after the ovary check they told me that I must just be a slow starter (as far as my eggs are concerned-they are taking a little longer to get jump started) Cindy says this could be due to the fact that I was on full strength birth control for nearly two months and my ovaries just needed a little more time to “wake up.” Dr. Trolice was not concerned in the least, but told me he would like to monitor me again on Monday (2/1/10-Happy Birthday to my sister, Caty!) for a possible Wednesday retrieval. Well, Monday came and it was almost the same story. My follicles are growing and doing fine, but they just aren’t growing at the rate he thought they would. So, now he wanted to bring me in again on Tuesday morning leaning more towards a Thursday retrieval. Not necessarily what I wanted to hear, but ok. At this point, I am fully expecting Tuesday to be the last day of monitoring so that we can get this retrieval over! That was my up….and then I came down…Today (Tuesday, February 2) was a little hard for me to get through.

I could tell that there was something on the doctor’s mind when he was measuring the follicles. He didn’t say anything bad, but it was the fact that he didn’t say anything great either. He measured two follicles that were 20mm and one that was 19mm, which is exactly what he was wanting. However, there were only about 5 or 6 more that were measuring above the 15mm mark. Apparently, the eggs will not fertilize if they are not at least 15mm in size. The problem with my scenario is the fact that there is such a split between my egg sizes. I had one grouping of 6-8 follicles (15mm+) that was in a good size range and I had another grouping of 8-9 follicles (12-14mm) that could be of size if they were given the chance to grow for another day.

The decision the doctor had to weigh: 1) does he give me the trigger shot tonight for a Thursday retrieval so that he doesn’t run the risk of losing the 3 largest lead eggs or 2) does he allow me to stay on stimulation medication for the 12th day in a row in order to give the group of smaller eggs a chance to get to 15mm so we have more eggs to retrieve on Friday.

I think it would have been a tougher decision for him to make if my blood work did not come back with great progesterone and estrogen levels. From what I gathered, my hormone levels were high enough that he wasn’t worried that I would lose the lead follicles if we postponed the retrieval one more day. So, that means another appointment tomorrow (Wednesday, February 3) with a hopeful retrieval on Friday! If the follicles continue to grow like he is expecting he should be able to retrieve between 15-20 eggs! This time has been so exciting, but I think I am totally ready to move past this phase of it. I'll let you know what tomorrow holds.

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