Our Family: Manuel & Veronica, and Elijah (Manuel's son)
I know that everyone has a story, a need or a want, but all my wife and I want is a happy ending to a long and tragic story filled with heartache and pain. For the last four years my wife Veronica and I have been hoping and praying for a baby. We are fortunate enough to have my son Elijah"”who is Veronica's step-son. Veronica and I are so very desperate to add to our little family. We want so badly for Veronica to have a baby of her own. Unfortunately, she has had several health issues that have lead us to the point that we can no longer conceive naturally.
In November 2010 we hit a road block when our fertility doctor referred us to see an Endocrinologist. At the time, neither one of us had a clue what that even was! What we learned was her thyroid needed to be tested. We also learned that the thyroid helps to control so many things in our body, some main things being"”metabolism, body temperature, mood, and sure enough balanced levels are a key part of conceiving. In short, she was diagnosed with Graves Disease/hyper-thyroid.
In April 2011 Veronica had surgery to have her thyroid removed. In her case, doctors determined it was best to have hers' removed because of her age and our goal for pregnancy. Removing her thyroid means she will always be hypo-thyroid. She has a wonderful endocrinologist that works very closely with her. He is very encouraging and is so hopeful to see her with a "baby bump" as he says. Getting the levels where they are supposed to be is a balancing act, but they are right where they need to be now.
In November 2011 we were so excited to find out we were finally pregnant; it was amazing because she had just been to the Endocrinologist to check her thyroid levels and they were perfect and boom, pregnant!! However, our happiness was short lived. Veronica had to be rushed to the emergency room"”she had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. Her left tube had to be removed during emergency surgery, she lost over half her blood supply and we almost lost her. We are very fortunate and so grateful she made a full recovery. The doctors were optimistic following her recovery and told us in her case it was better to have her tube removed so future pregnancies would go through her right tube"”and that the right tube should be fine. This gave us both a lot of hope.
In January 2012 we had a test to see if her right tube was open, but it turns out it is completely blocked. Our fertility doctor performed the procedure and upon seeing this he said our only option at this point would be in vitro fertilization (IVF). He felt operating to try and repair the right tube was not the best route given Veronica's medical history and the recent surgery to repair the damage from the ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The news was bitter-sweet, it was hard to hear, but we knew it gave us some answers. With one tube removed and the other tube blocked, we no longer have to go through the false hope every month"”we know now it just can't happen naturally.
When we met with the IVF specialist we were informed it was a good sign she can get pregnant, and that it appears she has a tubal issue"”just needs help getting past the tubes. We were then educated on the process and the cost. Unfortunately, health insurance does not cover anything having to do with IVF. Everything is cash out of our pocket and like most people today we do not have an extra $20,000 in the bank to be able to pay for this procedure.
Veronica is the best step-mother that anyone could ever hope for. She is a loving and caring wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister and aunt. The world would be robbed of a great mother if she never has a child of her own. The world would also be robbed of a great brother. Elijah is an amazing kid and wants to have a baby brother or sister just as much as we want him to have that as well. Family comes first for all of us. This is what we live for and not being able to add to our family has been very hard for us to deal with. Our dream is not to have a bigger house or a fancy car. Our dream is to grow our family, to grow old together and to have children, grandchildren and hopefully great grandchildren someday. It has taken a lot for us to gather the strength to share our story in this way. It is not easy to reach out to others and ask for help. We have set our pride aside because there is nothing that we want more in this world than to have a baby.
If you find it in your heart to help us just know that you are making a difference in the life of a loving and caring family that will forever be grateful.
Thank you for your time, kindness and generosity.
On behalf of the Griego Family:
- Valerie Rowe
- Jackie and Courtney
- Leah Ray
- Andrea Mueller
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