Birthing Dreams

BirthingDreamsDreams are fragile creatures.

Like an embryo in the womb, they require an environment of warmth, nourishment, protection, love, faith. And because they live within, unseen, carrying a dream–a vision, a hope–is often a very lonely experience. Dreams are difficult to describe, and even more difficult to sustain when they are exposed to the questioning and doubting of others (especially when the questions and doubts make friends with our own fears). There always seems to be a few people generously willing to offer their unsolicited wisdom about the impracticality of dreaming. So dreams gestate silently, hidden from view. And when a dream can’t be brought to term, those that bear them also suffer a silent, secret pain–as anyone who has ever loved a dream can confirm.

Nikki Werth and Colin Berdzar met in high school, here in Cortez. When they got married and made this community their home, it was the consummation of years of friendship and love. It was a consummation that carried within it the anticipation of making a family. Their hopes were inhabited by dreams of having children. But what they didn’t anticipate was the agony of hope so long deferred.

For seven years now they have carried their dream, years filled with acts of devotion to the children that as of yet only live in their hearts. There have been cycles and cycles of tests and treatments, consultations and evaluations. So far doctors have only found one possible origin of the pregnancy complications–Nikki has been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. But PCOS does not make pregnancy impossible. And even the challenges it poses are surmountable given the right hormonal treatments, which Nikki has undergone repeatedly. Beyond these, Nikki has received three rounds of intrauterine insemination, without success. So mystery continues to envelope the situation, and while mystery can mix anxiety into pain, it also leaves room for enough hope to allow a dream to continue to breathe.

And that is why I am writing this article. Nikki and Colin have two more options available to them–in vitro fertilization (IVF) and adoption, both of which they are open to. When I spoke to Nikki, she emphasized that what is most important to her and Colin is getting the opportunity to parent, to love, to share their lives with a child–whether the child comes from them or from elsewhere. But as anyone could understand, the possibility of having the child themselves still holds their hearts.

Last year, they entered a nationwide contest held by the Sher Institutes for Reproductive Medicine, the winner of which receives free IVF treatment. Contestants submit a video that shares their journey, which are then voted on by the public. Nikki and Colin’s video received enough votes last year to make them finalists in the contest. Unfortunately, they weren’t selected in the final round. We want to make them finalists again this year, with the hope that this time they win the final selection, so that Nikki can receive free IVF treatment.

I’m sure it’s impossible to understand the isolation, maybe even shame, that a couple feels when what seems to occur naturally for others, inexplicably remains elusive. Add to that the financial burden of facing fertility challenges–insurance offers no aid. That Nikki and Colin, throughout all of this, have remained dedicated to the children they hope to see, not only shows what kind of parents they will be, but the kind of parents they already are. They show us all what it really means to love a dream.

So let’s dream with them. This year’s contest ends on December 1st. All you have to do is go online to in order to vote. After watching their story, click on the hyperlink “Click here and vote” just below the video. Your web browser will take you to a page that lists this year’s contestants. “Colin and Nikki Berdzar” are listed sixth from the top. Click in the circle to the left of their names and then be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Submit Vote!” Each IP address (rather than person) gets a vote, which means you can vote on as many devices available to you that are connected to the internet (each device has its own IP address)–home computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones.

The Berdzars have so devotedly nurtured their hidden hope, and thankfully as word has gotten out, more and more people have stepped in to help support them. At the end of our conversation, I asked Nikki if there was anything else she wanted to share. Without hesitation, and with a tangible heartfelt sincerity, she told me how grateful her and Colin are for all the support they have received. She wanted me to share their appreciation. I hope the support continues to grow. Please go online to vote. We are their community. The doctors will help them have the baby, but maybe we can help them birth their dream.


Written by Dylan Hoffman, Writer

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