When Carmen arrived at Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, Inc. (BVMI) to show the staff and volunteers her little bundle of joy, there were cheers, hugs, and happy tears. “From Carmen’s first visit to BVMI four years ago, she let us know that her greatest desire in life was to conceive a child,” said Vicky Fliman, RN, BVMI’s multi-lingual nurse navigator. Carmen and her husband had been trying for some time. At the age of 35, after enduring a range of treatments, she was ready to give up. Originally from Columbia, Carmen had been living in Bergen County for several years, working in a factory. Previously diagnosed with low hormone levels and a condition in her ovaries, she was convinced she would never conceive. A BVMI gynecologist prescribed treatments, and her pregnancy test came back positive. But then Carmen had a miscarriage. Her subsequent depression brought her to BVMI multiple times to speak with Vicky, who is fluent in Spanish, to talk her through her pain and concerns.
Dr. Inga Zilberstein, a volunteer gynecologist at BVMI, had long conversations with Carmen, with Vicky’s assistance as an interpreter. She recommended a procedure that could help identify the cause of her inability to sustain a pregnancy. By that point, Carmen was not ready to consider doing anything further since she was convinced she would never have children. After more conversations with Vicky, she finally agreed to have the procedure, but then canceled at the last minute, saying she wasn’t ready for more invasive tests. At the same time, because of her depression, she was referred to BVMI’s social worker, who was able to help her understand her options and look more positively on her life.
Soon after, Carmen called Vicky and said she was ready for the procedure. BVMI made arrangements at a hospital in Newark where she could be treated at no cost. She had the procedure and eventually became pregnant. BVMI referred Carmen to an obstetrician for medical care during her pregnancy. Today, she and her husband are the proud and happy parents of a beautiful, healthy baby boy named Louis! Carmen became emotional when she shared what Vicky, Dr. Zilberstein and the entire BVMI team’s medical care, compassion and emotional support have meant to her on this journey. There were many happy tears that day! We couldn’t be more delighted for Carmen and her beautiful family.
For information or to support BVMI, please visit www.bvmi.org.
~ Shared with permission from BVMI.