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)!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pregnant by the end of August?!

Here is the timeline for the last few weeks:
Monday, June 14- Kari started her menstrual cycle and she started her birth control pills. This is the beginning of syncing our bodies’ timing.
Thursday, June 17- I had a blood work appointment to see if I had ovulated yet (since I don’t get periods anymore they don’t know where I am in my cycle). The results showed I had not ovulated because my estrogen levels were low. I had to check back the following week.
Thursday, June 24- Another blood work appointment was scheduled to check my estrogen levels to know if it is time for me to start my birth control pills; however we weren’t able to keep the appointment because Paul’s Grandmother (“Big Mama”-she will be missed) passed away and we had to go out of town for the funeral. Instead, I was asked to purchase an ovulation kit. I took my test on Thursday morning (right before we got on the road to head to North AL) and I had ovulated! After speaking with the nurse we were told to start my pills on Thursday the 8th of July.
Remembering my response from the first IVF cycle, I am only to take the pills for just over two weeks to keep from suppressing my ovaries too much. So, my last birth control pill will be July 26th.
Thursday, July 8- Kari had her first IVF appointment for our second round of IVF. She needed to have an ultrasound done to check out her uterus and ovaries. Everyone probably knows the story by now…everything looked perfect (as usual)! Dr. Trolice gave us his best wishes on a successful cycle and now off we go! Kari, Cindy, and me all had a good reunion after several months off from our last attempt and it was a lot of fun seeing her again. She gave us our calendars with tentative dates of when to start what med. It looks like we are going to have a retrieval the week of August 9th, a transfer the week of the 16th, and a positive pregnancy test by August 31st! We were all so giddy again, like little school girls.
Cindy gave me a list of all the meds and the quantities so that I could call around to all of the pharmacies for the best pricing. Note: It pays (or at least saves you money) to call around! One particular medication was priced from $499 to $899 at different pharmacies! I gave her my choices of where to order and she sent them off.
Cindy also recommended that I consider using acupuncture for myself this round. I didn’t think I would be so nervous-I am way more nervous this time than last. She said that she has personally witnessed several cases of women with uterine lining that wasn’t thickening and after acupuncture it responded immediately. It is supposed to help with increasing blood supply and calming nerves. Even if it only helps to calm my nerves it is worth a shot.
There is a new financial counselor who is an amazing woman! We got a chance to talk about all kinds of personal things. She has truly helped us feel comfortable about what we will face financially. Each time we talk she comes up with creative ways to save a few dollars here and there. It’s nice to feel the love from every angle in this process.

Monday, July 12- Jon and Kari celebrated their 13 year anniversary!!!!! They also celebrated her first day of Lupron injections!!! Hahaha….what an anniversary, huh? I can’t begin to express how much they mean to our family.
The time has come again for appointments, phone calls, medications and raising money. We have been blessed by our friends and family over and over again by helping us afford the opportunity of growing our family. We just can’t say enough about how it touches our hearts and makes me cry (uncontrollably sometimes due to the birth control…haha). Life is so good and this time I hope we can continue this blog with updates on her pregnancy and the birth of the new Baby Miller. All our love goes out to all of you who take the time to share in this journey with us.
Garage Sale coming soon! Of course, the Paypal is open as well. If you still have a baby bottle it’s not too late to turn it in :) XOXO

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