"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
**Want to donate AND win 7 nights in Costa Rica? Details below!**
SEPTEMBER UPDATE: Thanks to all of the generous people who donated, we were able to hire the lawyers necessary for the legal contract and pay down a portion of medical! That being said, the month of September has been a huge success!
Shannon, our surrogate, will be flying in to Houston in one week! We are very excited to get to know her a little better and get some medical things out of the way because before we know it, she will be back for the embryo transfer! She's equally excited to be our "baby mama" for 9 months! As she would say:
As for October, this is going to be a huge month! We could be potentially getting pregnant this month! There will be an initial appointment with our doctor to set up the "official" timeline of her transfer. The dates are based on lab work and ultrasounds. Shannon will need to start on fertility meds and then return to Texas for the embryo transfer shortly thereafter. We still need to raise money for both of these things: the meds and the embryo transfer procedure. The rest of the medical will be approx: $3,900 and the hormone meds are around $1,000.
I really want to take a moment here to say thank you to all who have contributed so far. Our faith has been very shaken this year and in our despair, you showed us compassion. You showed us kindness. Even on days when I am down and I wake up with a huge, gaping hole where Everest was, I know that I have people who love us and truly want us to get our precious angel baby. Everyone's prayers, support and hope have made a huge impact on my life. We want to thank you for completing us in Gods love.
As for the Costa Rica vacation! With every donation of $25 or more, you will receive a chance to win 7 nights free in Costa Rica. My mom and Chris have been generous enough to donate their vacation rental, which is 3 miles from the national park AND runs for $1,400 per week!
Click the donate button below to join the raffle and unite for the cause! #uniteforbabysaad
Stay tuned for an update on the visit with Shannon!
In loving memory of our prince in heaven, Everest Valor.
This week has been so eventful! For those of you who have been praying for us, God has been answering those prayers! Doors have opened and closed in a clear way that has really defined the path and lead us straight to Schaumburg, Illinois! (Details below)
We still don't know why God took Everest from us so soon but it has been my personal goal to stay faithful in spirit and prayer, without allowing my heart to grow sour or bitter. We know that God wants us to have the desires of our hearts and that He wants us to entrust ourselves in Him, so we are believing in His promises despite how we feel at times.
This scripture is for me and I'm living for it:
So in faithfulness, our prayers went upward and upward, asking God to provide comfort and help. Within a week, I was shocked to see I had several messages from girls offering to be a surrogate! Most of them came from a mommy's group where I had been sharing the story of Everest. That was the first sign that we knew God was involved. All of these were amazing girls and after considering both their health and availability, the right match became obvious. Her name is Shannon, and that is what leads us to Illinois.
Shannon is 32, healthy and has 3 kids of her own already. We are so excited to announce that she is 100% committed to being the best host for our baby that she can be! She had been following our story since the beginning and watching Everest's progress while he was here on earth. It pained her to see our immense sadness and she contacted me in compassion through my mommy's group. She had considered being a surrogate previously and was familiar with the process already. She's a loving, intelligent and resourceful woman who has always had a heart for infertility.
With this detail ironed out and with an embryo awaiting its grand debut, everything else has swiftly fallen into place. The right people with the right qualifications are in the wings and ready to shine. It's all a matter of the funds and the science now. This is where we are trusting in God.
A friend of mine had a beautiful stillborn baby boy and despite her fear, God gave her a baby girl to complete her family. Her loving words to me was that just like her deceased son handpicked their new precious daughter for them, Everest is in heaven handpicking our new baby to send to earth 👶🏻 That is the visual we are praying for and asking for!
We ask for follow up prayers and for donations because this process is costly and must be done right. We have eliminated unecessary expenses to cut the budget, but legally certain things must be done in accordance with the FDA.
Please know that 100% of what we receive will be applied to the costs of this process (lawyers, doctors etc).
We appreciate it more than you can ever know and your generosity is making our misfortune and sadness become a triumph and journey of faith.
We will keep you all in the loop, and follow up with more details soon!
In loving memory of Everest Valor, our angel in heaven
As many of you know, Joe and I have been on quite the fertility journey from 2 ectopic pregnancies, one miscarriage and eventually the $25,000 venture of IVF. We finally got our dream, a beautiful baby boy, though he came to us in the most traumatizing and heartbreaking way.
At about 6 months pregnant, 23 weeks, I developed preeclampsia and was admitted to the hospital. We were concerned but our faith did not waiver. My blood pressure was very elevated and there was protein in my urine, which definitely meant that I needed to stay in the hospital as long as possible to keep both the baby and I safe up to delivery. I was monitored closely and at various times told that I was developing HELLP syndrome, but the perinatologist was able to keep things somewhat under control with medications. I was insistent that I did not want my son born early but the doctors said not at the cost of my life.
***Sidenote: HELLP is unpreventable and still highly misunderstood in the medical world. It is life threatening and can cause many medical complications, such as morbidity, seizures, lung failure, renal failure, reputed liver hematoma, placental abruption and many more.
HELLP only affects 0.2-0.6% of pregnancies!***
After 7 days, the doctor drew labs, which were declining and my blood pressure increased. The doctor said my liver could no longer support the pregnancy and that I was in imminent danger. We had to deliver immediately. I knew something was wrong as well because of the intense pressure between my ribs-apparently an inflamed liver.
They wheeled me into the operating room and it was completely surreal, a combination of feeling elated, terrified and hopeful all at the same time. Joe and I sat together in 'cap and gown' as they began delivering Everest via c-section. I just remember tears streaming down my cheeks with the excitement of meeting him and the horror that he was only 23.6 weeks.
After they closed me up, we went into the recovery area and eventually got to meet him. Everest Valor, our one pound prince, was more beautiful than I could have EVER imagined. He was literally perfect. He had beautiful hands, feet, tiny little head of fine hair and overall innocence that I couldn't really even take in. He was so proportionate and delicate, just like a little doll and so soft to the touch. I was in awe of this little marvel of ours.
Everest Valor Saad
1 lb, 10 inches
The first few days, we learned later, was what is called the "honeymoon phase" in the NICU. Everest performed relatively well, with decent oxygen levels and blood pressure. He was wrapped up in tons of tubes and lines with fluids and medications but he was "stable".
After that, it was a steady decline. His oxygen, his blood pressure, his levels... he just wasn't maintaining and we started getting "the talks" letting us know statistics, possibilities and potential of death.
All the while, we were believing. Don't get me wrong, I was breaking down in tears and overwhelmed with emotion but my faith never waivered that God was going to heal my baby! He was going to show us His power by performing this miracle and I had no doubt though I was afraid. The days went by and he continued to go downhill. We were getting anxious but still had faith in His irrefutable ability to heal Everest and give us the desires of our heart.
By day 7, he no longer had a readable blood pressure. We happened to be in the NICU and the neonatologists informed us very lovingly but urgently that it was time. Everest could not fight any longer.
The pain and devastation was overwhelming like a bulldozer ran right through that NICU. We could not believe it and initially asked for chest compressions or more medications but alarms started to sound on his machines and everyone looked frantic. They said he could not recover and we needed to hold him NOW.
We sat down together beside his incubator with nurses urgently grabbing at all of his tubes and lines, handing him to me with the most saddened faces and tears. They seemed to feel as much empathy and compassion as people who had personally experienced this loss.
Both his eyes were tired but open and he looked up at us so sweetly. We kissed him and told him to go be with Jesus, and that we love him so much. We told him he was so very special and strong, and we thanked him for fighting. We asked him to visit us and to be the one to greet us in heaven. His eyes gently closed, the doctor confirmed time of death and we just sat there hollow, burdened with pain because even up until this moment, we believed God would resurrect him. Why wouldn't He? We prayed day and night, and we were faithful.
After awhile, they brought Everest to us in our hospital room. We were able to spend several hours with him, holding him and kissing him. These were the most adorning, precious and also traumatizing hours of my life. It was such a shock holding our beautiful son with such pride and anguish at the same time. I still can't fathom how or why any of this came to be.
Eventually they took him away and we were left with nothing but a box of keepsakes from his short time here on earth; a hat, his gown, his footprints, some balloons... As women were being wheeled into the hospital and out with their newborns, all I could do was cry in hysterics, feeling like such a huge part of me was missing. My body having been butchered, my breasts running with milk and my heart broken I could not and still cannot fully understand what the purpose of all of this was or how our sweet angel could not be with us any longer.
We have prayed much over this and we are choosing to believe that there was a reason and a purpose for all of this. We believe God is in control and Everest's life held more meaning than we can even know. I know that I was chosen to be his mommy. I can definitely say that his name and his sentiment brought so many people together in prayer and definitely strengthened our faith as well because we have to believe through this crisis that God is good! We have to believe that the bigger picture is what it's all about.
God has already put things in motion for surrogacy in the future and we have been praying for both the connection and the signs. God has already divinely given us a surrogate and this is one of the most complicated pieces! She is a young, healthy woman who has been following our story since the beginning. Please pray that God puts His hand of favor over us as we continue.
God has equipped us now and as we mourn we look to the future with the belief that God will use my remaining frozen embryos to bring us the child we have dreamt of. Everest is rejoicing in heaven as he watches us walk in faith with our new reality now. I know he is with us in spirit and I know he wants us to be happy.
Below is a button that says "donate" for the Gofund me that was set up to help us in our journey to have our miracle baby. If you feel compelled to give, please click the link below. We will treasure and appreciate this blessing more than you know!!
Thank you for all of your prayers and please continue to be with us as we grieve for our Everest.
With the divorce rate at 50%, that means many blended marriages and "step" children to follow..Someone needs to voice this! It's tough! Nitty gritty! Hardcore and without exception of blame! This blog is to not just inform but solidify how difficult, awkward and how severe the power struggle can be as a "step-parent"