Baby Naella-Keaton

For: The Naella-Keatons
Organizer: Mariah, George & Havvah
$30,766
of $45,000 goal.
Raised by 152 donors
68% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

www.babynaellakeaton.com

We are holding this fundraiser and an online art sale (ART4BNK) in hopes of starting a family with the help of IVF and gestational surrogacy (Mariah's egg, George's sperm, and Havvah's womb!). But it doesn't stop there; we intend to share the journey with the world through a documentary.

A BIT ABOUT US
Mariah – [aspiring biological momma] 34-year-old fashion+portrait+travel photographer and creative director/designer.

George – [aspiring biological poppa] 34-year-old fine art painter and receiving manager/store opening team at Anthropologie.

Havvah – [gestational carrier!] 27-year-old yogi, dancer, foodie, and most importantly, mother of two incredible & vibrant children, Lucah (5) & Haven (6).

Annnd the animals – a dog and a pet pigeon (who we rescued as an egg. See his whole story on Instagram. He's kind of a big deal. @campthepigeon).

BACKGROUND
We have been together for 5 years, married for 1, and have always shared a passion for life, travel, laughter and the desire to become parents. We live in Lincoln Square, Chicago, and love practically everything about this city.

We've always known that IVF (in vitro fertilization) was likely in our future because of damage caused to Mariah's fallopian tubes by a surgery she endured as a child. We had begun that process in February, but then sadly learned that her body is also unable to support a pregnancy, and in order to have a biological child, we would need to work with a gestational carrier.

This was hard news to digest. But we both knew we would continue to support one another & be strong sources of love for the world no matter how our situation turned out.

And then, while exploring other options, adoption included, we received a phone call that changed our course: An opportunity to have a biological child with the help of a trusted gestational carrier – someone we know and love – an old friend of Mariah's named Havvah. In short, while we were going back & forth to the fertility clinic & hospitals, not speaking much to anyone, Havvah had simultaneously been feeling a "calling" to become a surrogate (knowing nothing of our situation, as we had kept it very quiet)! That first phone call is one we will never, ever forget.

And so, we have joined forces intimately over this potentially life-changing journey together, and have spent a great amount of time figuring out the logistics.

OPENING UP
We had prepared ourselves financially for IVF as we've always known Mariah's medical background likely made this necessary, but the need for a gestational carrier tipped the scale. We have kept our medical business very private, and opening up to the world about this was something we debated for months. It is a very personal and difficult (yet increasingly exciting) journey for us. One of the scariest aspects is that there are no guarantees. The procedure might not work. Additionally, we've had to prepare ourselves for the many questions and potential judgements that may come.

But at the end of the day, what's most true and important is that it's our reality; we need the support more now than ever. And through embracing vulnerability and sharing the story with the world we felt that maybe, just maybe, someone can find solace in our story.

THE LOGISTICS
The financial challenge is that in order for Havvah to be our carrier, we need to begin the IVF process this year. And once a surrogate (gestational or traditional) is involved, health insurance coverage exclusions & legal expenses abound. Unfortunately, the laws have not kept up with technology. And so we, and many other couples, have a burden to bear under these types of circumstances. 

**SEE EXPENSE BREAKDOWN: EXAMPLE 1-and- EXAMPLE 2

So, in the face of this opportunity and timeline, we have decided to expose our story to the world and launch a 3-month fundraiser & online art sale in hopes of raising the additional money that we need.

So yes, we're shooting for the stars. Why not at least try?!
Please help us welcome a little one into our lives ♥

HOW TO HELP
There are two ways to contribute & become a "baby-backer":
By donating here through our youcaring.com page or by visiting the ART 4 BNK Shop and making a purchase!

**NOTE: Contributions made through purchases in the ART4BNK shop will be added to this goal tracker the next day, excluding the cost of producing the items.

(BNK = Baby Naella-Keaton)

THANK YOU!
Each and every bit of your love, support, compassion & contributions are appreciated beyond words. Here's a big cyber hug from us to you! And stay tuned.

www.babynaellakeaton.com | www.georgekeaton.com | www.mariahnaella.com

(**video by Jack Whaley Media – www.jackwhaleymedia.com)  ♥

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on August 18, 2014

Posted on August 18, 2014

Thank you to all of you amazing Baby-Backers!!!!!! Our fundraiser is officially over, and wow! What a help this is for us!!!

Admittedly, we were completely uncomfortable with doing this fundraiser in the beginning, but also knew even if we could raise a couple of thousand dollars to help offset the insane costs of this process (gestational surrogacy & IVF), it would make a positive difference for us. In the end, it was Havvah who convinced us to do it, and she has consistently been a strength and light for us all the way through. We can't thank her – and all of you – enough.

THANK YOU for helping to make this pursuit possible. There are still so many unknowns, but we are incredibly excited to be deep in the process at this point, heading in for egg retrieval tomorrow morning! Embryo transfer is scheduled for next Sunday, and we will know if we have a baby in tow around September 2nd!

This is the last update that will be posted here on YouCaring.com, but you can follow our progress on our blog: www.babynaellakeaton.com and also on our YouTube Vlog! ...& an even bigger documentary of sorts is brewing as well (can't say much about it yet! But soon!).

SO MUCH LOVE & GRATITUDE FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. We will forever be grateful for this amazing support from our global community of friends, family & Camp fans!!! ♥



Posted on August 16, 2014

Posted on August 16, 2014

1 day left for the fundraiser! We love you all & are soooo grateful for every single contribution. Still an intense journey ahead, but wow! What progress we've made! Thank you so much for being our "village".

UPDATE:
This week has been quite productive. Havvah was visiting Austin, TX for a week (and fell in love with the city), upon arriving back to the midwest, she stayed in Chicago for a coupe of days, and we went in for ultrasounds & bloodwork together on Wednesday morning.

We are both taking our medications – Havvah for building up her uterus lining in preparation for embryo transfer (!!!!!) and me for stimulating my ovaries to produce eggs for retrieval ♥

The ovary stimulation cycle is going quite fast. Our doctor, Randy Morris, predicted I would be easy to stimulate, and he seems to be right [well, duh!]. We're on day 7 of the stim cycle, and this morning's follicular ultrasound showed that my right ovary is putting in some serious work. Looking good. Dr. Morris switched up my medications again tonight: more low-dose HCG and less Follistim. And I was told to come back in again Sunday morning for another look, seems we are getting close to "triggering" (signaling my ovaries to release the eggs for retrieval!). It's definitely happening next week!

Sooooo much love & gratitude to all of our Baby-Backers & those who have shared our story!

Posted on August 8, 2014

Posted on August 8, 2014

If you want more updates (including photos, videos, etc.), visit our blog at: www.babynaellakeaton.com

We completed our FDA-required [thorough] physical exams yesterday. All is well and we received our 100th approval checkmark on the neverending list of pre-transfer evaluations!

My ovary stimulation cycle meds arrived (photo on the blog – feeling like we're embarking on a sci-fi adventure in baby-making! It's absolutely crazy.). I start my injections tomorrow to turn my body into an egg factory. Meanwhile, Havvah has started on Estrace & is continuing her Lupron injections preparing her uterus lining for our fresh embryo transfer around August 23rd.

(For the record, this is all still super bizarre to us, but amaaaazing!!!)

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