After struggling to get pregnant, the exciting realization of my wife and I finally becoming parents was indescribable. It was close to 2:30 am. I put the bags in the car, checked the car seat, and started the car; I was prepared, I even practiced a few times too many, but nothing compares to the actual moment.
Once at the hospital, my wife took some time to settle and rest before beginning the last part of the pregnancy journey and our new one as parents. She delivered a little around 7:45 am, and we welcomed the newest family member—Benjamin, “Benji” for short. The nurses began telling me the stats, he weighed seven pounds and eleven ounces, 23 inches, and so on, but I was in awe of his existence. The magic of his arrival and the faith we shared to overcome our pregnancy struggles, his conception to birth — truly a miracle.
Like many other millennials, we weighed common factors before deciding to have a child. We wanted to be financially secure, gain more career experience, complete additional education, and enjoy our time together before adding another to our family. Yet, unknowingly to us, when we were ready to get pregnant, it didn't just happen.
Our struggle came out of nowhere, and at the time, we were two young people, healthy, with no issues. We didn't understand why it didn't happen, but it increased our stress, anxiety, and frustrations. As our days turned into weeks, months, and finally, a year, we needed help to find answers because not knowing the factors impeding our success was the most frustrating.
Thankfully, my wife, Jasmine, is a physician assistant, and she reached out to her medical network to get the answers we needed. That helped us identify early solutions and eventually conceive. We were able to save precious time and thousands in potential fertility costs. I only wish we had thought of seeking help sooner. Our experience led me to recognize many other patients have or could experience this struggle but do not have the same solution. I shared my story and my idea to help other couples in a group during class at Northwestern. There I met my co-founder, a medical student, who shared my interest in helping patients struggling to conceive.
Our story of Benji is the foundation of Zuri; unfortunately, our unique scenario is not the case for everyone. Zuri wants to ensure that everyone thrown into this unexpected medical situation is afforded the medical answers needed to conceive.
We met through an entrepreneurship course at Northwestern University, where we were randomly assigned to a team. We never expected that Blair's story and the idea would lead us to work so well together or that our project developed for class would blossom into Zuri Fertility. Sometimes, it seems like the right people meet at the right time — which was the case for us at Northwestern.
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