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)!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Transfer done and now we wait... - post 27

I’m sorry about the delay of information. To tell you the truth, I didn’t feel much like recapping Monday’s events right after it was finished. I had some strange emotions come over me and I had a hard time getting past them. I thought for sure after the retrieval was over that I would have a sense of relief come over me, but for some reason my mind went to a place of uneasiness. Instead of sharing in the overwhelming excitement that Kari, Jon and Paul had about the baby in her belly, I felt distant and even somewhat scared. I don’t really know why, because I know the plans that God has for us are good. My worrying isn’t going to change the outcome, but simply cause me unneeded stress! It is Wednesday (2/10/10) now and I am feeling much better today. I actually feel like my baby is growing and becoming acquainted with its new home inside of Kari. Two days down, only 12 to go! Now to catch you up on Monday:

Like I stated in my previous post, an hour before we showed up to the transfer, David called to tell me we were down to only one embryo and that he thought we might want to consider “assisted hatching.” Assisted Hatching is a process which uses a laser to make a small opening in the “shell” of the egg to help the embryo hatch out of its protective layering and implant into the uterus more easily. Again, this process is typically used in patients that are older than 35, but because of the way that my options for embryos dwindled each day, he wanted to “pull out all the stops” to give the one embryo the best chance at survival. He gave us this option and told us to talk about it before we got there with our decision. That part was tough to swallow, so again….tears, tears….dried up by a strong, faithful and encouraging husband (As a little side note: Most guys don’t know what to do/say when a woman is crying her eyes out, but my husband always knows exactly what to say and when to say it. I love him!)

So, we dropped our kids off and all four of us jumped in our car to head out to the clinic. The nurse called us back and told Kari to put her hospital gown on and sign some papers. There was so much joy between the four of us in that room that you would have never been able to tell the weight of the situation. This is exactly why I love all of them so much. After we signed our lives away (haha) the embryologist came in to talk with us about what was ahead. It was then that he took out a picture of our baby! It had divided into 7 cells by that morning. How many people can say they have a photo of their baby a little over 2 days after conception?! Absolute craziness! After we asked all of our questions (some comical, some not so much), I was handed my “marshmallow suit.” I didn’t realize that I was going to get to go back with her. Kari and I were escorted to the operation room where the nurse prepped the station for the doctor. She walked us through as the doctor did a test run putting the catheter in her uterus before the actual transfer. We were able to see a white line go across the screen and then back. The doctor has to play like the game “operation” when he puts the catheter in because if he touches any of the sides of her uterus it could cause her to start cramping, which is not a good environment for an embryo to enter in to. The boys were escorted to their waiting room with the monitors. One showed the microscopic view of the embryo seconds before it was transferred and the other monitor showed the ultrasound of the uterus as he placed the embryo in. If that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what would! After the practice run, the doctor called for David, who was in the lab adjacent to the operating room placing the embryo with some fluid into the rubber tubing. He walked over to the doctor, repeated both my name and Paul’s (I’m sure to prevent any embryo mix-up…eeek) and we got to see the white line again, but this time a flash of white came out of the end of the tubing at the back of her uterus. That was it! It’s insane how much life can change in a matter of minutes!

After the procedure, she was wheeled out to the big room where the boys met up with us again. I was in a fog, the guys were excited about what they had seen on the monitors and Kari had the biggest grin you can imagine. 30 minutes later, she got to use the restroom and get dressed to go home. We scheduled our beta test (pregnancy test) appointment for February, 22 at 10am. So, that is the official day to find out if our future holds another tiny baby.

I am trying my best to fill up every day of my calendar for the next two weeks! So, anyone that is looking to hang out or wants to drop their kids off at my place feel free!

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