Stephen and Karen Kitchens Achieve their Miracle through Faith and Perseverance!
On June 11, 2011, I became the luckiest woman alive, and I got to marry my best friend. We would start trying for a family around October; and I would be pregnant by December. I remember sitting there as the lady was painting my nails with my bridesmaid and I looked at her and said, "I have this feeling that it isn't going to be easy for us." At the time, I had no idea how true those words would be.
In October 2012, I went to see an OB/Gyn. She wanted to send me to a reproductive endocrinologist immediately. We found PREG and Dr. Nichols and we made an appointment. The night before our appointment, I was a nervous wreck. We walked into PREG and had our first meeting with Dr. Nichols. We went over all of the tests we needed to have run, and then off to the exam room for the ultrasound. I banished Stephen to the waiting room. If we couldn't have children, I wanted him to hear it from me and not from someone he just met. In those few moments alone in the exam room, I prayed so hard. It was like my soul was on its knees in front of God begging him to please make it so that we could have children. Dr. Nichols came in and within seconds. He said, "Well, we have options". When I was finally reunited with Stephen, I shared our first bit of good news.
It was shortly after that when we realized what we needed to do. We came up with a plan.
~One, we had to renew our faith. We have always been Christians. But this was something different. We needed to be closer to God. We needed his grace, mercy, unconditional love, and his peace in order to make it through. We became more involved in church. We started reading the Bible and praying together every day. We have our faith and our hope high.
~Second, we needed to do fundraisers. The only way that we were going to be able to afford an IVF cycle is with the help of others. We did yard sale, raffles, sold t-shirts, bake sales, collected cans, had a Zaxby's night, and a chili cook off. It was adding up and we were getting closer.
~Third, we need to tell everyone about our struggle to have a family. We never want anyone to lose hope when it comes to the struggle of being parents. We talk to different people and do what we can to make sure they know that they aren't alone.
God blessed us and we were able to do an IVF cycle in December 2013. I was so excited that I couldn't even contain it. We were going to be pregnant at Christmas! What an amazing Christmas this was going to be! Every night after our prayers, I dreamed of our family's faces as we told them that we were expecting a baby.
We talked to Dr. Nichols and he advise to either do an egg donor IVF cycle or to do embryo adoption. We looked at our finances and decided to use everything that we had left and to do the embryo adoption. We adopted three beautiful embryos. I lovingly referred to them as my 'little embies'. On July 16, we transferred two beautiful embryos. Then on July 28, we went for a beta test. Lindsey, from PREG, called that afternoon. Our beta was 55. I screamed and started rejoicing. I could only muster "Thank you Jesus". Stephen came inside, and I finally said the words I had been dreaming of, "Baby, you are going to be a daddy!" Every time we went to PREG, we had a cheering squad standing behind us. Sadly, on August 29 at 3:45 am, our sweet baby went to heaven.
It was less than a month later when we applied for a grant with Pay It Forward Fertility. Stephen told me that has he held our application, he prayed, “Lord if it’s meant to be then bless this”. And just like that all of our hopes and dreams were off in the mail. Then in December 2014, Ms. Faith called and said “Karen, you guys won the grant!”
We waited for the most perfect time. We both worked out, lost weight to be as healthy as we could be to maximize our chances. On April 17, 2015, we transferred two of the most beautiful embryos.
For the next two weeks, we enjoyed every single moment of being pregnant until proven otherwise. And then it was time for our beta. Stephen, my rock, wasn’t even nervous. He just knew that this was our time. And the call came… IT WORKED! And then came the ultrasound. That is when we saw our perfect little Nugget and heard the baby’s heartbeat. We were given a due date of Jan. 6, 2016!
The day came that we graduated from PREG. It was the most bittersweet day. How could we ever say see you later to the people who have given us everything? They fought so hard to make our dream now a reality. We were fortunate to be able to do a gender reveal with them. That’s when we found out that we are having a little girl. Our very own Makayla Anne!
We will always be thankful that God lead us to such wonderful people. The staff at PREG is our family. Makayla Anne is blessed to have so many aunts and uncles, people who fought so hard to bring her to us. Stephen and I are counting the days until we can bring her to meet all of the people who loved her when she was just a dream. We will forever be thankful and consider each of them our forever family.
Blessed and Thankful,