Childless Kirkland couple gets 'mother of all surprises'

Childless Kirkland couple gets 'mother of all surprises'
For many women, getting pregnant is a heartbreaking struggle.

A local couple tried to become parents for 10 years. Now, that decade-long wish is finally coming true in the most unexpected way.

This story begins in Indianapolis, Ind., where Amber Pluckebaum is at a doctor's appointment.

"My stomach is so tight," she told her doctor. "It hurts so bad."

Amber is pregnant with twins. And like any excited mother-to-be, she is willing to endure the pain and sickness.

But when the babies are born, her payoff will come in the joy of her best friend, Misty Baker of Kirkland.

"I want her to know what it's like to hold her own baby," Amber said. "And that's really the root of what got me even thinking this."

Amber is Misty's gestational surrogate.

Misty and her husband Brian have been trying to have a baby for 10 years.

"The desire's still the same," Misty said. "You know, it's a longing in your heart."

Past in-vitro fertilization attempts failed and Misty's sole pregnancy resulted in miscarriage.

So the couple went to Indiana - where they used to live and Amber lives now - and created embryos with the help of Dr. William Gentry.

Gentry implanted Amber with the two healthiest embryos, and implanted Misty with four others.

Based on experience, Misty hardly expected success.

But she got it - times four.

"Both pregnant with twins," Amber explained. "I mean, complete and utter shock. I mean the doctor was as shocked as we were."

"Never both getting pregnant with twins at the same time," Dr. Gentry agreed. "I've never had that happen before."

It could be that Misty's pregnancy took because, for the first time, she wasn't worried about her results.

She knew she had Amber.

"She thought her surrogate would be successful, so 'what have I got to lose,' so she was chilled out," Gentry explained. "And who knows how that affects the immune system to protect embryos."

"We really feel like she was the missing piece that not only allowed us to have the children she's carrying but also to have these two," father-to-be Brian Baker said while rubbing Misty's belly.

Now the Bakers are preparing for four children.

Two of the Baker babies will be born at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland.

Misty is carrying a boy, Connor, and a girl, Hope.

Amber will give birth to girls Madison and Victoria in Indianapolis.

Being 2,000 miles apart is heart-wrenching.

"I know these babies know my voice, and they know Brian's voice," Misty said of the twins she is carrying. "And our babies there, don't as much. But they will."

Pregnancy complications prevented travel, but they are connected.

At a baby shower for the Bakers in Indiana, they Skyped from Kirkland.

Amber and her husband Brian say they will always have a special bond with the twins Amber is carrying.

But with their own kids, 6 and 4, Brian jokes, he's glad his baby duties are over.

"I'm done! I'm done changing diapers, I'm done waking up at three in the morning and getting two hours of sleep," laughed Brian Pluckebaum. "Yeah, no problems at all. Here you go, Brian and Misty!"

It is the ultimate gift from a friend.

"I know this was something in my life I was supposed to do," Amber said.

This family will treasure its roots.

"There's no question these children were loved and desired and wanted," Misty said. "And they have been prayed for and they're our little miracle babies."

The two sets of twins are due in June.

If you would like to follow Misty and Brian's quickly expanding family, they have a blog at www.brianandmistybaker.com.