Infertility is a growing problem for many couples. In fact, 6.1 million American couples are affected by it. Yet, it's an issue many choose to stay quite about, until now.
In a special report, a couple who struggled through years of unsuccessful attempts at conceiving a child speaks out.
Mike and Nikia Zanchettin and their baby Layla are a family. However, for the couple to bring Layla into this world was no easy task for them. Struggling five and a half years to conceive, spending thousands of dollars. Theirs is a story similar to dozens of couples struggling with infertility right here in Amarillo, many silently.
"We knew that we wanted children at some extent, we just prayed about it," said Nikia Zanchettin.
A year and half after trying the natural way, both Nikia and Mike got tested. Resulting in issues that prevented them from conceiving without the help of a medical professional. So, They started discussing their options with Doctor Brian Eades an infertility specialist in Amarillo.
"It's very nerve raking we had a lot of information thrown at us at the very beginning and a lot of options given to us. So, we had to go home and discuss exactly what our next step was going to be," said Nikia.
Those options, artificial insemination, also known as IUI, and/or in vitro fertilization.
"We decided to do the IUI first because it was the least expensive and we could do it here in Amarillo. So we tired that several times unsuccessful," said Nikia.
That's the trick, in Amarillo couples can only stay here to try IUI. For in vitro, couples must travel to either Lubbock or Dallas. Add in those travel costs, plus medications and procedures that insurance companies don't cover, and it can add up.
"All the flights travel, and medications, it ended up costing us a total of $14,000," said Nikia.
It's not only an expensive struggle to have a family, but an emotional one as well.
"Everybody around you is pregnant its seems like whenever you're trying to do that and everywhere you go, its just like they're pregnant, you're finding out on Facebook that's someone's pregnant and it does get frustrating," said Mike.
So then Mike and Nikia tried invitro.
"Basically what the medication does is first you're put on birth control so they can manipulate your cycle, then the next set of medications they give you basically puts you in menopause to shut your system completely down and then the next set of medications which are injections that you have to give yourself everyday are what jump start your cycle so that you produce a lot of eggs at one time," said Nikia.
Finally success! Nine months later Layla was born on July 13, 2012. After years of struggles, ups and downs, they were now mommy and daddy to a healthy baby girl.
"It was the best day," said Nikia.
"She saw me in there and I was like Friday the 13th and she saw the look on my face and said it will be fine it was your day. 13 is our kind of luck number. We were married on the 13th, bought our first house on the 13th," said Mike.
Now they're hoping their story can help someone else.
"Even if our story can help and give encouragement or hope to a woman or couple trying than it was all worth it," said Nikia.
Nikia and Mike said they'd like to see Amarillo start a support group for couples struggling with infertility. They'd also like to see a medical facility here that would cut out those trips out of town to Lubbock or Dallas.