The story of Elena by her mother, Elisa:
Nine months before we even got married, we decided we were ready to have kids. Our parents were getting older and we wanted them to have plenty of time with our children. But things didn’t go as we had hoped. After trying on our own for over a year, we sought out testing and fertility treatment. We thought our first cycle worked. And then our second. But both ended in miscarriages and heartbreak. We had finally reached a point where we were ready to try IVF but since insurance didn’t cover one dime of any of our treatment we were trying to find a more affordable option. Prague, yes the city in Europe, was a popular destination for IVF and was 1/3 the cost of doing it here in Arkansas so I flew to Prague to get started. And then Covid hit, and the borders got closed, and I had to come home before I could even start. Thankfully once clinics reopened we found an affordable clinic in New York and went through the egg retrieval process and got super lucky with some healthy embryos. Five months later, after getting some other labs in order, we flew back to New York to transfer our very best embryo back into my body and hope that it resulted in a healthy pregnancy. We kept this all a secret even from our closest friends and family because if it worked we wanted to be able to surprise them just like “normal” people. So at Christmas we told our families we were expecting a little girl and everyone was overjoyed (and totally surprised)! But then 23 weeks into our pregnancy we hit another bump in the road, I was admitted to the hospital for preterm labor where I would stay for the next 9 weeks for strict bedrest followed by another 4 weeks of bedrest at home. Our road has been unimaginably hard but in the end, not only did our IVF cycle work but we made it to full term with our daughter, Elena. We avoided months in the NICU and got to take her home with us right after birth. Our home was built by my grandparents in 1960 and my husband and I bought it a few years ago with the dream of raising our own family here. So Elena is now the fourth generation in our family to live in this home we love so dearly. To say that she is a dream come true after 3 years of heartbreak would be an understatement, this girl was worth it all and then some. So many shots, so many tears, and we’d do it all again to get to her.