Perfectly Ours. Forever.

 

 

 

I witnessed the greatest miracle of my life on June 4th, 2017. One day after my last post in which I thought we would become parents four days later. Once again, God had other plans.

June 3rd was what we call a ‘Top Ten Day.’ It was perfect. After I wrote my post, Amy and I went and got pedicures, and enjoyed some, much needed, quiet girl time. It was nice to get away and just be friends. We shared lots of laughs, and I still laugh when I think of how cute/silly she is when someone comments on her pregnant belly. She would always just point to me, as if not to take the credit for that sweet baby she’s growing. We would laugh, later, wondering what others thought with her gesture. It’s not everyday that someone carries someone’s baby.

Dave and I then went to Robby and Amy’s house. We surprised them by showing up in Packers gear, and we got some good smiles out of that. The kids were excited to have us out, again, and we just hung out all day. We absolutely love their house, where they have so much beautiful land and amazing views. The kids got tons of attention from us all day and night, which we all loved. Amy and I had heard so many wives tales on inducing labor, so she ate pineapple, got a pedicure, and she ordered a huge storm for that evening. The storm actually did arrive, and it was out of nowhere. Crazy high winds and rain. In manly fashion, Robby and Dave were outside trying to watch the storm, while we girls and kids, were inside trying to watch the news. It seriously got pitch black out, and was very scary. After the storm blew by, Dave and I headed home to our hotel in Green Bay. Hugging Amy goodbye, I told her I needed one more night of sleep, in which she remarked, “I won’t call you tonight.” And, we went on our way. I had text a girlfriend and stated, “Just left a Top Ten Day with their family. My heard is so full. We are so lucky!… Honestly no words could describe how we feel right now!”

IMG_7979

We arrived to the hotel absolutely exhausted, and excited for another wonderful night’s rest. After taking night time sleep meds, Dave and I crashed.

One hour later, she called. It barely rang before I answered. Amy, as calmly as I’ve heard her, said, “My water just broke.” It was 11:51, and we started to figure out our plan. Dave, literally, jumped out of bed and threw all of the hotel lights back on. Amy needed to reach someone to watch the kids, and we needed to drive from Green Bay to Appleton. We had all of our stuff we needed to pack up, as we had settled in to our little home. Dave and I have never moved so fast in our lives. The guy at the front desk of the hotel looked at us, oddly, as we had just arrived for our night, and now we were rushing out with all of our luggage and purchasing caffeine. I told him we were having a baby, and he looked at me like I was crazy.

We made it to the hospital first. I went into the ER asking where to go when you’re in labor, and, once again, got the crazy looks. A few minutes later came Amy and Robby, and we all got checked in quickly. We had figured this would be a very quick labor, as her last baby came very quickly after having her water break. Dave and I were just so excited that the time was finally here… we would meet our sweet son.

Little did we know, it would take a bit longer than we all thought. Our rockstar Amy didn’t have an epidural, and baby boy was stuck, sunny side up. Amy did such an outstanding job, and she was such a trooper. But, I will tell you, it is not ‘fun’ to watch someone endure labor for you. My tears started pretty quickly after we got checked into our room. Watching her contractions was awful. It was a guilt that I cannot ever explain, and unless someone else has carried your child, I imagine you won’t understand. Tears just streamed down my face. Non stop. My heart hurt. My stomach hurt. Everything in me hurt. I was reminded that I couldn’t carry a child. My body had failed me. And, because of that, my sweet friend was in pain; she was in lots of pain. I kept looking up at Dave, and he had the same look of despair on his face. Those moments were hard and so very painful. What I wouldn’t give to trade places with Amy, lying in that bed, her cheering me on. I wanted to take all of her hurt away, and begged God to speed up this process.

Robby coached Amy, and was an absolute saint! They make the greatest team ever. They are basically pros, as they have already been through this twice before. But this labor was different, and none of us knew why baby wasn’t coming out. I stood right by Amy’s head, and Dave right behind me, while Robby was right next to her, helping her every move. We had all made bets on the time he would arrive. Robby- 3:30am, Ashley 4:32 and Dave 3:14. The next five hours were brutal. Amy’s OB, who we love, got there about 5:00. We thought he would be here any minute, but poor Amy had to go through so much more. Shift change for the nurses was 6:00, but these sweet nurses were so vested in our story, they decided to stay. We had a wonderful team of staff. They were absolutely amazing! And so many of us cheering Amy on. I will admit, I was pretty quiet, as I was crying too hard to speak. I was barely able to cheer, I just stood right by her side, tears beaming down my face. I worried for Amy’s safety, and worried about the safety of my baby as well. Amy continued to push.

Brigham Leo Klein was finally born at 6:53am.

IMG_8054

FullSizeRender-9

IMG_0237

He was beautiful. He had TONS of black hair, which I, too, had as a baby. The sobs began. I don’t think there was a dry eye in that room. The four of us all cried, and Dave and I cried like never before. The doctor put a blanket on Amy’s stomach, so that I would receive the first skin to skin. We did delayed cord clamping, and Daddy Dave got to cut the cord.

And, then, that moment was here. I got to hold my baby. I was wearing a gown, and the doctor walked right over to me, holding my son, and laid him right on my chest. And, I’m telling you, he snuggled right in, just as I had carried him, and we had never been apart. He knew I was his mommy. He was so warm, and it just felt so right having him on my chest. I couldn’t see him, but could finally feel him.

IMG_8052IMG_8057IMG_8051IMG_8020

IMG_0296IMG_0297

Someone in this world needed us, and fully depended on us. Eventually, I got a look at his sweet face, and he was the perfect mix of us. For some reason, I had always pictured a mini Dave, so I was shocked to see he looked almost identical to my baby pictures. No matter what, he was ours. And he was perfectly ours. Forever.

 

 

 

 

Shortly after them placing him on my chest, Dave said, “Thank you Amy. And thank you Robby” I barely got it out, “YES! Amy, thank you. Thank you Robby.” And the boys went in for a big hug, which was one of my favorite parts of the morning. Lucky we have the entire birth on video, so we get to relive this moment. But, thank you just didn’t even seem like the right word. And, here I am, two months out, trying to find the right words. There are NO words that will ever be enough. No words in this lifetime, but perhaps Heaven will have those words.

I will never forget what was repeating in my head. I saw God today. I saw God today. I saw God today. I saw God today. Over and over and over. I witnessed the first breath of my child. And, I witnessed the most unselfish act a human can do. She birthed my child. For us. She made us parents. She fulfilled our dreams. She changed our lives. She changed our friends and family’s lives. She changed strangers lives. This, sweet soul, she changed the world. She impacted our lives in the greatest way possible. She showed us a new love. She is THE greatest human we know, and we can never repay her for the sacrifice she made. She made us happier than we have ever been. She brought life into our family. And, so did Robby. This team changed our lives. We are forever grateful and love you both!

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!! You are the greatest person we know, and we are forever changed because of you. Our sweet angel, our hero. And, until we can find the right words to say…..THANK YOU for helping bring our miracle to life. Thank you.

Love, Dave and Ashley

Growing Quickly in Our Hearts.

DSC_9042k

The past month has been a whirlwind. Robby and Amy came to see us in March, and it was honestly one of the very best weekends of my life. We were SO excited to share them with our friends and family, and to share our friends and family with them! We just wanted them to see our home, and see where little baby will grow up. We had so much fun!

Saturday morning we went to a little boutique ultrasound place in town, and we got to see Baby Klein. He has started to get some cheeks, and still has crazy long legs, like his daddy. He is so sweet and cute, of course! He was pretty sleepy during the appointment, so he wasn’t wanting to move very much. Not like his big debut at his 20 week anatomy scan. He finally started moving a bit, and Amy asked if I wanted to feel her tummy, while he kicked! YES!!! Oh my gosh…. AMAZING feeling. Dave ended up snapping some pics, so I will cherish those forever. Our appointment was about an hour long, and the ultrasound tech was amazing. She teared up at the end and told us she would remember this appointment forever. You could tell she was very moved, and she was so interested in how this all works. I love sharing our story with others, and you just see their hearts swell, when they see a stranger carrying my baby.

DSC_9197k

Then we had about fifty friends and family over that afternoon to meet our heroes. It was just such a wonderful day. Our families just loved meeting them and seeing ‘our bump.’ Everyone LOVED both Amy and Robby!!! It’s hard not to smile the minute you meet them, and Amy seriously has THE sweetest smile ever!! She just makes you feel at peace and you can tell how huge her heart is. What a perfect person to carry our baby. We finished the evening, just the four of us, at dinner chatting about everything about that day. It was just awesome to have everyone be able to put faces with names. They loved seeing our life, and seeing all of the support we have, and how loved Baby Klein is already. Saying goodbye to them that evening was SO hard on me. I just didn’t want to let her go, and definitely cried when they left. So many feelings. And I couldn’t help but think that the next time we see them is baby time!!!!

DSC_9243k

I have also been lucky enough to have baby showers the past few weeks. I have had three (and one more this week)… which is crazy, and amazing all at once 🙂 When I started thinking of using a surrogate, I remember wondering if I would still have a baby shower. Yes, of course I would. I have still gotten to experience all of those amazing parts of a new mom expecting a baby. My heart, at each shower, felt like it was going to burst. I know I say that a lot, but that is the best way for me to explain how I feel. We just have such wonderful and supportive friends and family. And, the girls that threw my showers just made me feel so special. I honestly just kept feeling like I was dreaming. I never thought I would get this far. Baby showers have always been one of the hardest events for me. I love supporting my friends, but they were hard, because I didn’t believe that my turn would ever come. Well, my turn is finally here. And, I’m loving every minute of it.

Amy is still so sweet and keeps me in the loop on the progress of Baby Klein. She sends us updated belly bump pictures, and I just love seeing them and seeing my sweet boy. I remember before we started this process, the thought of seeing a belly bump picture of my future surrogate made me so sad, but I couldn’t feel more opposite! Those pictures brighten any of my days. They give me so much hope, and I’m always in awe that some sweet soul is doing this for ME. She sends us heart beat recordings, tells us what she craves, how much he moves, and even does belly buds so he can hear our crazy voices. She has made me feel so special and important in this pregnancy, and I couldn’t have ever imagined a better gestational carrier.

DSC_9005k

Time is quickly passing. I have heard this so many times from my friends that have struggle to get pregnant. They’ve always said that if it takes you years to get pregnant, the nine months of pregnancy fly by. I have been so used to living my life in 2-4 week increments. Patience is a must during the long cycles of IVF. So now that we have an end date/goal in mind, the days are flying. I cannot believe that I will soon hold my sweet precious boy. His nursery is almost complete, and our house is over flowing with all things baby. So many generous hearts out there giving us amazing gifts and continually praying for Dave, myself, and baby.

As happy and excited as I am, I am prepared to feel a little ‘sad’ after the birth. Not sad that he is here, obviously, but sad that this amazing surrogacy journey will be complete. I already know that the bond between Amy and me will last forever. We will still chat often, and I want her to see pics of our son. We have talked about the future, and how we can do family vacations up to WI, and they can bring the kids here sometime in the next year or two. We have made lifetime friends. And we absolutely hit the jackpot with them. They are the reason this crazy ride has seemed so calm. They have changed our path. I thank God for them daily, and they will forever be two of the biggest hearts in my entire life story. I picture myself, after raising my children and looking back on life… and I know Robby and Amy will be that change in our story. We will love and cherish them forever.

DSC_9348k

The Detour to My Bump

When I look back on my life, I can promise you, I always had a clear vision of becoming a mom. I wasn’t always sure what I wanted to ‘be’ when I grew up, but having the mom title was a must and was something I never questioned. Borrowing a bump from someone, however, was not in my plans. Not even a thought.

Borrowing a bump was actually, at one point, my biggest fear. There was no way I could/would ever trust another woman to take care of my baby, and I sure as heck was not interested in not being part of that “pregnant club,” where moms chat about the feeling of kicks, nausea, child birth and loving a child from the inside out. I would definitely want to do that. Child birth stories scare me, but I’ve always known that joy of meeting your first child must be greater than the pain, because it seems most people continue to have a second. I would definitely want two or three, and I knew that pain would be worth it. I actually just couldn’t wait till I could join my friends in that club. I never realized that my time in that club would be such a short stay. A very short lived dream, ending in heart ache.

From that point on, I put my heart and soul into getting back into that club. Each moment of my days, I did all that I could to help myself get back. My obsession was fierce, my passion immense. And each time one of my doctors would mention surrogacy, it made me want to fight even harder to get back in. I gave it my everything. I did all that I could, but I never did get back into that place I wanted to be. I would never get to carry my child.

I had no idea where my turning point would be, and looking back, I can see the days that my heart started to change. I was growing through my pain and heart ache. I entered a new chapter in my book and was scared out of my mind. But, this chapter would end up going down as the most amazing, proud, happy, thankful, grateful chapter. This is where my story turned. And, I took the road less traveled into surrogacy.

So many times in life, we try and try and try. And, no matter what, we just cannot succeed. We learn as children, that if you put your heart to something, you will succeed. That’s not true at all. How many times in life are we told no? We want something so badly, but God says no. And, at the time, we are furious. But, what we need to realize is that he truly has something amazing planned for each of us. Even in our hardest moments, there is purpose. Even if this hurt doesn’t change your own life, you surely are changing someone else’s life. Someone is watching. Someone is learning. Someone is changing. Someone is growing. All because of your pain. He truly does use us for this.

I’ve realized, lately, more than ever, that my story is impacting others. I had many days where I was completely knocked down, and lost the fight by a mile. But I kept standing as tall as I could. Somedays my steps were slower than other days, but I always moved forward. And, I’m so glad I did. Had I given up, I wouldn’t be gearing up to meet my sweet baby boy. I could have said, “enough,” and stopped the fight. But I didn’t. I accepted another path. It has been one of the best decisions we have ever made. This has been the hardest journey I’ve yet to experience, but now is the most incredible adventure I’ve seen.

And, I do believe this is how life is. It’s hard, it’s unfair and you will be thrown more curve balls than you hope. But, it’s absolutely beautiful. We are all going to have so many wonderful times, but we will each get knocked down. What will you do when you get knocked down? Will you stop and give up? Will you keep going? Will you accept another option/path? I hope you do. Because, often, what’s on the other side, will be the most breathtaking view you may ever see.

1,462 days later…HE ANSWERED

kleins-21Things may not have happened the way that we thought
But between us and our army, we fought and we fought
We had so much fear, but always kept our hope
And even though we grew weary, we kept climbing that rope
We did all that we could and we searched high and low
Until we found the best of the best, oh how she glows.
She’s perfect for us, and we are over the moon
She will deliver Baby Klein sometime in June
God answered our prayers and our baby is quickly growing
We, as Mom and Dad, our hearts are overflowing.kleins-47

This is the poem that I wrote and gave to our parents on November 18. We are EXPECTING… FINALLLLLLLY! I know I have been quiet, and some of you may have guessed the reason. We transferred one sweet embryo (yes my egg and Dave’s sperm) on September 27th. We got our positive test four short days later, on October 1. This has absolutely been an amazing experience, and has been the turn in our story. The turn where everything just feels so much better. The pressure taken off of me, has been so refreshing, and if things go as planned, Baby BOY Klein will arrive the beginning of June.

We transferred one of our Colorado embryos, which we shipped to Chicago, IL, transferred in Chicago, baby will be born in WI, and home will be NE. Talk about a little adventurer. Oh, the places he will go and has already been!

We can hardly contain our excitement, but have been just normal to the outside world. We can’t wait for sweet baby to arrive. I have been writing some entries, just not posting, so I will start posting again, as I would love to share our experience with a gestational carrier , Amy, carrying our baby. We are currently 17 weeks, and I want to keep you informed of the pregnancy!

If you are reading this, and you still are trying to figure out how to get your sweet baby, I understand your pain. Please just know, that I was so scared (still am somedays, let’s be honest,) but this surrogacy journey has been the BEST part of our journey. And, so far, has been the most successful. If you find the right agency, which we found the most amazing one, then this process can be awesome. I truly think it can all depend on your carrier as well… and we got the BEST! So, although you may be scared, please let my story give you hope. We are so much closer to our baby. And I will continue to update on here.

Cheers to our best year yet! 2016 will awesome, and 2017 is looking to be even better. Thank you so much for your support!!! We prayed for 1,462 days… HE ANSWERED!

kleins-48

 

 

 

We’ve Been Matched!

This has been a crazy, exciting week!!! Lots of you have been asking for posts, and I’ve been a little quiet. I didn’t really have much to report, except I was crazy anxious and hoping to be matched soon. The anxiety of who she would be was killing me!!

Well, we have NEWS!!!! We were presented a match on Wednesday. I was driving home from work when I got the call, and I literally squealed out loud when I saw who was calling. It was Mary, our amazing agency friend who has made everything better and easier, saying she had a profile for us. Oh, I have seriously anticipated this day for months. We talked for a little bit, but she wouldn’t give info until Dave was on the phone too. So, I rushed home, and then, you know guys…. I flew in the door, ready to call Mary back. Well, he had to get a pop, run upstairs, etc…. I was like, “COME ON DAVE!!!” It reminded me that when my mom went into labor, my dad had to turn around because he forgot his coffee! Ha. They are twins 🙂

Mary told us all about her before sending us her profile. She lives about 8 hours from us, and you guys, she is ADORABLE!!!! She’s in a great marriage and has wonderful support. She’s a mom of two and works as a dental hygienist part time, and her husband is a network applications engineer. Obviously the fact that she wants to carry a stranger’s baby should tell you enough about what a selfless, amazing person she is. She had really easy, uncomplicated pregnancies and would like to help others to become parents. I cried seeing her pics and reading her application. So far, from what I have read and seen, she is everything I would want in a carrier. She is a healthy, active, small town-family girl! So cute! It was a no brainer to say yes to her profile. Then on Thursday, they sent her our profile. I was so nervous during that 24 hours, not knowing what they would think! I go the call yesterday around 11 that they accepted our file and wanted to work with us!!! Tears of joy!!!

It is so amazing to me that women sign up for this for complete strangers. Can you even imagine? These women are seriously saints. They are willing to truly make LIFE come true. They help people like us become parents!!! We finally have a chance to start a family, all because of one sweet soul. We are so thankful that she has decided to put her heart, body, life out there, and is willing to help us with our #1 dream. Thankful isn’t even enough to describe the way I am feeling. I cannot stop thinking about them. I have the happiest heart right now.

So, now, the fun part- we get to meet!!! We are already getting to meet her next Friday in Madison. We were going to be in Chicago that Thursday, and had planned to fly in and out quick for our Dr. appointment, but we threw out that date of Friday, and it worked for everyone involved. So, we will drive up to Madison for our match meeting Friday. We get to meet her and her husband! It’s like a huge blind date! I am sure all of us will be super nervous and anxious. It’s a huge thing for someone to go out on a limb and offer to carry a baby for someone else. Oh, I just cannot wait. Things are finally moving forward.

The support from friends and family has been unreal! Our sweet neighbors/friends gave us this cute May Day treat after we told them about our decision to pursue surrogacy. When I got home work yesterday, I whipped out the tiny bottle of champagne and told Dave, “let’s go celebrate!!!” So, we went to dinner and talked in excitement about the next steps. And, finally slept so hard last night!

FullSizeRender-4

 

The past month just seemed to drag. I just felt like we were in a stand still, and nothing was moving forward. Here we are… July… and it’s going to be a huge month! Thursday, first appointment at FCI in Chicago, Friday match meeting, and Sunday I start my meds for this upcoming IVF cycle.

I’ve been excited about writing this post for a long time. It’s finally here, and I cannot stop smiling! Dave and I are over the moon happy. Please keep us, and our sweet potential surrogate and her family in your thoughts and prayers this upcoming week.

FullSizeRender-3