Our road to happiness: IVF

The last time I was asked what it means to be a parent on social media, I could not answer this question in one sentence because the whole life has to be devoted to the child you love unconditionally. Family means the entire world to my partner and me, and our families stood up for us in good and bad times. That is what we plan to share with our child.

I was born in Turkmenistan, the city of Mary. If I tell you that I witnessed a poor educational system and eighty percent unemployment in my native country, you will not see rich colors and dramatic contrasts of light and dark. If we jump to the Turkmen market, we will see many children of different ages helping their parents, wearing old–aged, musty, and dulled clothes. Success for most of them means making money for living, feeding their families, and moving on. Some buy food and resell it on the market; some vandalize cemeteries or steal tools from garages and sell them. Since childhood, I have built my philosophy of success: get educated, find the best solutions for my problems, stay positive in life, and never give up.

The crimes of Mexico, where my husband was born, have been a topic of many books and articles. The readings, however, do not justify the reality of blood and sacrifices; they do not show high levels of impunity and its horrific results. The books and articles do not show the screams and pain of violated children. The readings do not accentuate the whole story of the genocide of thousands of Mayan civilians in massacres, which my partner was lucky to avoid by fleeing to the United States. Despite all the obstacles in his life, my partner grew up strong and never gave up on his dream to get his education.

My husband and I firmly believe that education is power, and we were the first in our families who go to college. When we met, we did not just have a spark; we had a fire together as our dreams, desires, and wishes matched so closely that we were initially scared. Being a part of the underserved community, we did not realize quickly enough what to do when we tried to get pregnant for more than five years being together. After five years, I finally got pregnant!

August 2012, 10:23 am. I will forever remember that hour. While sitting in the lobby of the doctor’s office after my first ultrasound, a nurse came to me and asked if I wanted to take a pill to clear up the tissue…The ignorance that I had was immense. Slowly, I felt myself getting inside the dark cave full of saber-toothed tigers. Since I refused the pill from the doctor’s office, the office discharged me as their patient and did not accept any of my calls. I was left in the dark, alone, searching for answers on online forums about miscarriages, IVF, parenthood, and infertility.

Since then, we have gone through dozens of doctor’s appointments consulting about our infertility. In 2013, I was diagnosed with prolactinoma (pituitary tumor), producing more prolactin than required. Being on infertility treatment, we failed 4 IUIs but never lost our hope of having our rainbow baby. During our struggle with infertility, I completed my Bachelor’s degree. Our IVF treatment in 2015 brought us a successful pregnancy in September 2015. In September of the same year, my partner and I lost our jobs. That was the most significant financial struggle for our family. Our mother nature tried to defy us more by adding preeclampsia to my pregnancy in February 2016. During the darkest days in my life, I experienced the most fear and emotional distress. On June 20th, 2016, we finally felt like ordinary humans for the first time in our lives when we heard the tiny scream of our rainbow baby.

Being infertile ethnic minorities was hugely intimidating to us. My husband and I did not submit to society defining us as minorities. We did not want to surrender to mother nature, and we went to the same fertility clinic in San Fransisco, CA, to get a new baby. And we failed… Being financially devastated, we decided to concentrate on our child and give him the best love and care. Our child, who is four years old, excels in math and science and enjoys hiking, traveling, storytelling, modeling, and puzzles. We train him to be thoughtful and kindhearted. We prepare him to be an essential and independent member of society who will give a hand to a person in need.

Does the pain of not being a parent or trying to be a parent determine our worthiness as a mother or a father? We would not argue with our mother nature. We would defy all odds to become a parent again and again to see a smile on our child’s face. How do we determine the worthiness of us, his parents, in giving him a sibling? Is it a huge financial debt from the previous IVF cycles? In our opinion, no matter what we write about, it will be up to our son to decide, and I believe the only thing he will remember when he grows up is how much love we gave him. Nothing else can make it worthy. Our hearts have stretched so big that we want to share our passion with our son’s future sibling, and we do not want to quit because of our financial situation. Where do we look for help if there is nowhere to look? We pray to God every day to help us and help our child. We pray for each person who wishes to become a parent on their challenging journey of parenthood.


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Our road to happiness: IVF