HOUSTON – New parents welcomed twins after swimming through Harvey flooded streets to get IVF treatments.
The Zuniga family can’t stop talking about their bundles of joy, and who could blame them? What they went through rivals most Hollywood scripts, but this is real life, and sometimes, Mother Nature happens.
Abigal and Elijah Zuniga are too young to know this now, but long before they were born, they were already considered miracles.
At Houston IVF, Rocio Zuniga remembers extensive treatments.
“It’s all about timing. It’s all timing,” Rocio Zuniga said.
Dr. Timothy Hickman, who serves as the medical director for CCRM Houston (formerly Houston IVF), helped Rocio Zuniga in her procedure. Rocio was to undergo an extensive treatment plan, where the hope was to retrieve her eggs for fertilization.
Harvey hit Aug. 26, and Rocio’s appointment was the 28th.
You may know nothing about IVF, but know this: it’s not cheap. The clock was ticking -- biological or otherwise -- and Rocio had to make this appointment.
“They kept saying, 'We’re fine, we’ll get there, doc,'” Hickman said.
Things weren’t fine, but it would take until the couple drove to Briar Forest before realizing there was nowhere to go. They parked the car and began swimming. Four miles separated them from the CCRM Houston facility off Gessner Road.
Doubt began to sink in the higher the water rose.
“We got to the point where she couldn’t touch the ground anymore. She was like, 'Mother Nature beat us.' I said, 'No. We came this far. You push me, I push you,'” Alfredo Zuniga said.
What seemed like divine intervention, a boat appears with Amy and Rusty Desormeaux behind the wheel. At that point, the couple was trying to make their way through Buffalo Bayou.
They met Leslie Miller shortly after who would drive them to the hospital.
“They come up to the elevator, and they’re drenched,” Hickman said.
They expected twins, and that’s what they got. It’s no walk in the park, but I’m sure no one would mind.
“At night, it could be a little hard. They’re both screaming their heads off but do it together as a team,” Alfredo Zuniga said.