Lizzie & John


With a long family history of infertility on both sides, Lizzie & John were worried conceiving the first time would be hard, but they had good luck the first month they tried and their son Luke was born after an uncomplicated pregnancy.  3 years later, and ready to have another, what they thought would be smooth sailing turned into all the things they were worried about the first time. Welcome to Secondary Infertility...

The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine and Motherhood by Belle Boggs as discussed by Lizzie can be found wherever books are sold. 

Useful links with more information on Endometriosis can be found here:


So far through the show we've had good discussions about miscarriage ectopic pregnancies azoospermia, genetic issues, and the havoc infertility can wreak on a marriage.

Some experience infertility through basically just never being able to get pregnant. Others find getting pregnant to be easy but actually bringing the pregnancy to term and having an actual baby in the arms the possible part. This is waiting for babies. I'm Steven Mavros. And today I want to bring you a story about what it's like when you start off not infertile. Here's an example. You're a couple you get married when you think it might be a good time to have a child with a goalie or any other euphemism you want for stopping the use of contraception. And it just happens. You get pregnant. You have a normal pregnancy you give birth have a healthy child.

You treasure and enjoy what it's like to be a parent even though the concept of eight hours of sleep seems like a forgotten dream a year or two or three later you decide you want to give your child the Sibyl and grow your family. So you do the same thing you did last time you play the goalie and. Nothing happened. You try some more. And still nothing happens. You think wait I've done this before. What's different. This is what's known as secondary and for two and for some it can be just as devastating as what those who've never once been pregnant go through.

Today's story comes from Lizzie and John Rothwell who are in their early 30s when they first thought about having a child. One of the first questions I always ask when interviewing someone is whether they always knew they wanted to have kids but I've never gotten this response. I felt like. My whole life since I was in adolescence I have been making monthly payments on a very expensive power drill.

That I would be really upset if I never got to use it.

So there is a biological drive to have children in addition to wanting a family.

Yeah I have no analogies I just knew I wanted kids. It was easy.

Now Lizzie's down payments for her power drill seemingly paid off and they conceived very quickly. Now I say quickly but it wasn't easy. Right before they started trying Lizzie was struggling with something that at first appeared to have nothing to do with fertility. Basically from May of 2012 until I got pregnant with Luke in October of that year I was in constant abdominal pain.

And I've gone to see a gastro intestinal doctor once in Philadelphia and we sort of ruled out like scary stuff like Crohn's disease and stuff but we hadn't gotten any further. And then I got pregnant and that all went away.

I felt miraculously better. Like instantly it was yeah. It was.

Yeah that was really a trying period because you know it was terrible.

You were laid up. There were some nights you couldn't get out of bed. So we would play as Yeah. So we.

So had you noticed a correlation between the pain and your periods.

No I always had really bad periods. But it was like that spring they got like really bad. And then like just more and more it wasn't just during my period it was like all of the time. And it was like it was really disabling like I started a new job and I felt like I couldn't really cope with it because I just was in pain all the time. I was very surprised that I got pregnant then because I wasn't we didn't burn in the mood at least I wasn't in the mood at all but I was in a lot of pain.

So abdominal pain and sex don't necessarily mean they're not the best.

So that kind of you know totally came out of the blue. And statistically speaking I think we just got really fucking lucky.

Did you ever find anything that was helpful outside from getting pregnant.

I tried on showers. We got some. Ideas.

Meditation is kind of like a weird purchase.

It was very very well very highly recommended people who have IBS situation.

So when did you do that meditation. I don't really remember get very first let's. It wasn't just here. I'm just general meditation too. So I just got solidarity and I get to the only part I remember was that you entered a room like a vault that had a wheel and you could spin a wheel to either speed up your digestive track or the other way to slow that.

Yeah. That's yeah. And you visualize your pain level as a dial too and you try to dilute that.

And you feel like it was helpful.

I don't know maybe maybe if I had stuck maybe if I hadn't gotten knocked up I would have stuck with him.

Maybe if you had maybe if you had IBS opposed.

Well but you do I mean that's just the center of it so.

So sure I had it it just wasn't the root cause of the problem. Right. As far as I can tell.

Now Lizzie at this point had done enough Google research and suspected she probably had endometriosis. And this is why getting pregnant solved her problem. Her GI doc who hadn't thought of sending her to a good ecologist yet essentially confirmed her thoughts.

And when you finally did get pregnant and you followed up with that gastroenterologists.

Yeah I was like I felt a great deal like oh that makes sense we were starting to suspect that maybe there was end of it and she said like I just need to stay pregnant for the next 15 years.

I was like oh cool.

You have a prescription for that?

Let's take a moment to talk about endometriosis for a second. So the endometrium is the layer of cells that lines the inside of the uterus. These cells are responsive to hormones particularly estrogen and plump and grow over the course of a cycle and then slough off during a period. OK. Can we all agree slough is just a weird word? anyway endometriosis is when cells that act just like the endometrium start growing in places they shouldn't notably outside the uterus on the ovaries and anywhere in the abdominal cavity basically places you do not want.

Cells that grown reaction or hormones can either get in the way stretchin and inflame surrounding tissues or in some cases even causal organ and tissues to stick together which you definitely don't want. One of the difficulties have been endometriosis is that it's hard to diagnose. It's rare to be able to see it on an ultrasound. And often the only way to confirm that someone has it is by doing a laparoscopy or a surgery where you take a camera and look into the abdominal cavity. Not exactly ideal. So the main symptom of endometriosis is abdominal pain. For most women the symptoms are at their worst around their period. But for some this pain can become chronic. And last of all month long the other complication of

endometriosis can but not always be infertility. One of the clues that someone has endometriosis is a near complete relief of symptoms after a woman becomes pregnant and suddenly the hormonal balance in the body has changed and shifted and estrogen is no longer the dominant force. So those cells sort of become quiet. Mind you it doesn't cure the problem but when someone is pregnant and often during breastfeeding when a woman is not getting a little psycho The symptoms can stay away. Coming full circle given that Lizzie had this intense abdominal pain it did get worse around her cycle and then started to become chronic with no signs of gastrointestinal problems and disappeared completely with pregnancy.

The theory was she most likely had end ended the truce. So Lizzie with her chronic pain finally calmed from getting pregnant but went on to have a normal pregnancy and she gave birth to their son Luke when she was 32 years old.

After giving birth and breastfeeding for a while her periods return and thankfully weren't nearly as bad as before and she wasn't getting any pain between her periods. So after three years of enjoying life with her new son John and Lizzie decided it might be time to try for another child back before conceiving Luke. Lizzie was pretty sure she was going to have a hard time conceiving the first time around even before she had the bout of abdominal pain. So the second time around she was very sensitive to how long things were taking. Being 35 at this point she was quick to seek help when she didn't conceive as fast as she did last night. I have to admit because I thought it would be hard like.

There was a little part. It was like a little smug about the whole thing and I was like oh I dodged that bullet like for to go. I'm just 35 now so I should be fine. Like we're getting it's all done just right on schedule.

So yeah. But once we had gone like three or four months I was like now we got to see the doctor right now which is pretty fast I guess. Like I don't think most people would necessarily assume that but you had your eyes on the clock and like when we knew exactly what I was on the list.

And like yeah I ovulate pretty regularly. That's not my diet. That wasn't the issue.

And also the longer term clock which is if this was going to continue to be a problem you didn't want to have to.

That's true. Like I said. Yeah.

I didn't I didn't want to draw out the process of having more children for indefinite years. Yes.

So very quickly she got a referral from her. She went to see a fertility specialist. And after her first visit a few issues quickly became apparent.

Probably our first deployment they were like oh yeah you've got a kid at home like this should all work out.

And then they did you know like the basic tests and saw endometriomas on my ovaries.

So at that point once they saw that and then my you know at this age and age levels which were all kind of borderline then they would you know at first they were like oh we would say you guys should drive by yourselves for another three or four months and once they saw all the numbers and they said Now let's get going.

They also quickly found out that when you're trying very hard to conceive that window where you need to actually you know do the thing doesn't occur at the most convenient times.

Yeah. We did one cycle there was Clomid only one when you just. Well no it wasn't even an IOI. It was just a Clomid cycle. When we were in Florida because it was really awkward we had to kick your brother and tell him room was super super awkward.

Are there other brothers wedding and we have all been booked into one room because there were limited numbers of rooms.

So that's where it was.

How did that go down. You know.

At some point I put them aside and I said can you come back. Can I make sure you get back later. There was no other way to do it.

Did you ever say no to this.


I was a little bit of a throwback. Oh god I'm remembering because I definitely when I had to ask my rather than immediately felt awkward and started like explaining it he called back and I actually looked like you say have known.

That there was an older guy sitting in the room. We didn't know that that guy wasn't going to come back and tell him Matt Kelce just told I think we trusted your brother to take care of me.


And this was the first time you were like a good family.

But that didn't work.

So with Clomid by itself not working for a few cycles they started combining the Clomid with you were intrauterine insemination. They did this three times and again had no luck. Secondary infertility is interesting because there's already a child in the picture. So even the word infertility particularly John and Lizzie didn't feel right.

I don't know how often I felt called upon to like call it anything I didn't like if I didn't get pregnant.

I mean that's what it takes to realize it. The question of infertility is like shit are we ever going to have a baby.

Instead of the concept of infertility Lizzie had a slightly different thought process.

No it made me think about death a lot. But I mean yes that's not. Not that I felt my death was imminent in any way.

But I just certainly like wow this is this period of my life is over like significantly sooner than I thought it would be. So your own mortality what you were thinking like your own death or just the of my own mortality my parent's mortality just named you really ruminate on.

The life span of people.

You know there's a great book that came out about a year ago like sort of right when I was doing IVF called the art of waiting.

You know if you guys have heard of that I want to read that one it's by Bell Boggs. It's great. It's a she is a writer experienced infertility end up doing IVF has a daughter but the way she talked about it was you know somewhat literary somewhat political. And so yeah reading that was awful.

You know if this baby thing is not going to happen you get impatient it's like yeah. I mean really really current circumstances when they're predicated upon a certain event which against your expectations is not arriving and infertility like you know in addition to the grief and the loss. It completely maddening because.

Of the cycle of it every month. You know you're always waiting for something. And it just doesn't leave a lot of headspace for anything else. I mean you and then you're like beating yourself up for letting it take up that had. But I remember struggling to figure out.

What comfort I can offer when you would say things like I mean I don't I don't know what to look like. My body is broken like I guess I'm just old and dried up and yeah these things he would say.

I mean I think for me because I did conceive at 32 and I didn't at 35 like there was a hole. I mean on one level like already having a kid is a great way to experience infertility because you already have a kid and you do have some amount of confidence that your body can do this but somehow it like then played much more into like.

Thinking about mortality and just you know the way that your body changes and all of that.

And I think also you know in thinking about timelines around having a family both John and I our parents are not young like they're allowed to be more precise.

But my parents my dad's like 82. Yeah. My mom’s 72. John’s dad was a Catholic priest before he had kids.

He had kids like over again.

My mother was a secretary of the rectory also. So that's better.

So Luke was the first grandchild on both sides. So I think that there is definitely a story that.

I wanted to have kids younger so that my kids didn't necessarily feel the same pressure that no one ever put on me.

But I just felt that anyway about you know having grandchildren. Well they did. They put it on me but not directly. And a very nicely. Night you got your parents there both of our parents now all are going to deny that for a second.

Secondary infertility provides unique challenges especially during the fertility treatment process. Well someone's going through treatment. Aside from the effects of the medications and the financial cost there's also the amount of time it can take. And I don't mean before conceiving but literally time out of the day going for bloodwork ultrasounds diagnostics consultations and on and on. Now take all of that an added to the already insanely difficult concept of scheduling when you have two working parents managing careers that hopefully are stable and a two and a half year old after the third eye you didn't work. It was clear that the bigger jump into IVF was looming as the next step in their

treatment plan.

This led to a split in John and was he's thinking in many ways because of timing I had made some kind of peace already with the one child scenario. So I was happy to keep going.

But hey it's already great. Like we already have a child. You know your body's already done what it had to do but it was so good to being pregnant.

I just wanted to get pregnant again. I knew once I got to there you go.

And there were there were other stressors too like any significant ones.

This nation does not provide for its mothers. Yes.

And you were holding off making career decisions or you were holding off making these plans because you had this other thing to deal with.

We both did. So I say I was happy with the one child scenario but I wanted another kid like me and I want wanted to happen. And we both wanted it to happen. And. Because there is no support for women in the workforce when they get pregnant like we had to figure out how to time it with my wife's biology like it's bizarre and it's dumb but it's it's a situation we were we were.

Not to mention the actual financial cost of infertility treatment.

Do you feel like you were.

Do you feel like you were a part of the process or did you feel like you were if I were married and we have a child so I was definitely part of the process because if Lizzie has to go to the doctors in the morning then I'm you know I have to you know even if I was at the store until 1:00 in the morning the night before I have to get up at 7:00 and bring Luke in. So in that sense of partnership there's always going to be the give and take. You know we talked about how it can be time consuming sometimes

in terms of researching and paying attention to all the details. I feel like I just did a ditto and a half to be able to listen respectfully and understand what was happening when and why.

Yeah. I didn't feel like there was a lack of involvement. And like if anything. You know he'd start offering a ton of opinions about certain aspects of it I probably like right now.


Did you find that your relationship or your parenting towards loop changed at all. Did you like love a little bit more or were you annoyed more. Yeah well I mean so all of this coincided with like him from age two to three and a half which is you know.

Typically a somewhat challenging period.

So sometimes went one way where I'd be like oh I'm so grateful that I have this child like it's so easy to have patience with it you know and then sometimes I would just spend time beating myself up around like why can't I have a child. So.

I mean the short answer is is no I mean he was already his own singular human tiny human being.

And so I mean if if it wasn't going to be IVF it distracts your attention from your child there's always a record from a child that big believer in good enough parenting as long as you pay attention most of the time. By.

Given just how difficult it is to plan through scheduling work fertility treatments and quality time with your son Luke Lizzie and John both impressed me with also figuring out how to add self-care which is often what goes out the window when appointments are piling up all day and I couldn't get away.

Did you find that to be helpful. Yes it was great. No I'm saying I'm 100 percent it was awesome.

Full disclosure here. Her acupuncturist was yours truly.

It's awesome anyway. Like nothing else the chill that's so great you value the time a lot.

Yeah. I know you have made sure that I could work around you know my schedule which is a day care vigorous days which is challenging in order to make it happen.


So chill you out given the you know the stakes side he said was very valuable.

Did you have something. I had a therapist which was good. Good enough.

Did they test you through the course of things. They did. Vanilla.

Yes. When we were doing the SATs and you know you went over your numbers and then just went over my numbers. What did you what did you do. You didn't slap me in the ass and pat me on the.

Way to go champ like squats you're like I'm sorry I figured you want to hear that.

I this is the funniest thing.

Like I don't know how my first goals of the podcast were to get people to understand what people would especially women go through infertility. Can we make the second goal.

How to how to get away from congratulating men on their sperm count. I like to go down I think I have. Around this time. After three failed you. And IVF being something they both want shorter. As they often do.

Life events change their thinking entirely. IVF really wasn't.

Like on the table at all until.

So this is crazy timing. A year ago tomorrow a really good friend of mine passed away. She'd been in a non-responsive state for seven years before that because of a bike accident. But you know that was still like a fresh loss.

Or a fresh round of grief I guess. So when that happened I had a moment where I kind of freaked out at the idea of only having one child and how like oppressively protective I was going to be of my single child. So that was like pretty much a 180 on the whole question of IVF for me.

And when that happened I said hey I think we should change our plans entirely and we did really quickly.


Yes we do yeah because frankly the only real reason I thought I didn't want to do IVF was this was the repetition of expense and it's like how much do I really want to pay for kid is what it starts to feel get to say well pay for the chance that I can.

And it was a really crazy thing right.

I mean like if you told me you can pay $8000 and have a kid like you're done. But as it is you can pay in dollars and have a shitty month or two. So we had. We did have like a pretty in-depth discussion or like a pretty firm agreement. Of course it's. If you do it and it works then it's hard to know how firm your agreement was.

But we we said we were only going to do it once and we were doing it somewhat just to put the issue to bed. So we do know we tried everything.

And then we're moving on in life so down the IVF path they went and everything that came with it. Bloodwork ultrasounds injectable hormones the whole thing. As you've already heard in previous episodes it can be both intense and hilarious.

Who did the injections.

By the way that was the sound of Lizzie raising her hand.

Except the one in your butt. So I just had the one trigger shot and I got my friend who was a doctor helped me with the one injection that wasn't on my stomach.

And where was John he was if I was at work. I mean the timing of this is pretty. Yeah that one is ice. You have to do it at the right time.

And I had 36 hours before and he was at work almost always at work. So yeah my friends have a bunch of little kids so I look and I just took the bus up to their house and played with their kids are actually both doctors so I had my choice of husband or the wife.

Mean it was great.

I highly recommend them as an actor. Let them work. Do you ever have to do any of the needles. I never did.

And to be honest with you that's for the best because I developed late life. Needle fear. They them.

So as we've already talked about with IVF IVF often entails doing injectable hormones these hormones stimulate the growth of follicles that contain the eggs and that the physician will go in and retrieve the eggs after they've grown to maturity. Now aside from the stress of the whole process it's often not easy to deal with the hormones themselves as any change in hormone levels for a woman or men for that matter can affect your mood your desires your weight your digestion all of it. Lizzie felt lucky that they didn't appear to be affecting her as much as she had her did affect other people.

Like do you feel like the hormones were affecting her in ways that you could see.

No. Surprisingly enough.

Because I I actually you know I was concerned about that.

I read about it and I I guess what I'm gauging it against though is the hormone reaction that comes post namely after birth because my wife between the two of us I am I tend to be the sentimental one. But we're proud of that effect. But after birth never forget she. Lizzy was there with the newborn and just weeping. And so she's going to go to college. I was like oh this is something I'm not used to dealing with the conflicts of my marriage. And I said

OK. So yeah compared to that.

No not a blip.

Again at the comparison of scales either my entire life hormones have had so much effect that I have just like adjusted to. That's just the way I'm living my life.

And these particular hormones didn't really change you know whatever dramatic effects were already going on.

Or I just got lucky and they didn't have a ton of effect in terms of I mean it wasn't comfortable. Like right before Agur betrayal. Like you just kind of felt blobby and gross but I wasn't in pain and I wasn't especially emotional.

Do you feel like you got used to abdominal pain at that point so it just it was like Who knows.

Like my baseline might just be a way out of whack with everyone else. How is a retrieval going under anesthesia. I'm just fine like it. You know it's got its own weird appeal of getting.

Anesthesia. You don't like it.

No it's terrible. But it was get something else to deal.

With the fact that you have no memory of it.

It's like oh yeah I did yell at you when I woke up when I woke up.

I rang the nurse. You were telling her you were just making sure she was going to go vote.

So when I woke up from that I was saying the first thing I said was Are you registered to vote because this was October 2016.

How is it for you. Just in terms of was doing everything you needed to do in the clinic.

Easy hard. Problematic funny.

Is it easy. Well.

You nailed it.

The most things the producing week was like the week they are grown embryos because they like calling you every two days. That's OK.

What does she mean by growing embryos. So after all the injections she was ready for retrieval. Once all of the eggs are retrieved the embryologist takes a look at the State of them calls out the ones that aren't developed enough to be fertilized and then joins them with the sperm for fertilization either in a dish or with X-C where they inject it right into the egg. Much of the time once the eggs are in the lab patients end up talking to the embryologists more than they do the doctor because the religious are the ones that are fostering the development of the embryo.

These numbers only burned in your consciousness right. So they've got 12 eggs 11 which are six fertilized I guess day one after fertilization and three of them looked good. And then on day three because they don't check them in between or something I forget what day is this get whatever the point is. At one point there were three then there were two. And then when it was free is that there was only one. So that was when I was like sort of losing my shit. But the evil side is we don't have to make any weird decisions about what to do with embryos. So there you go.

I mean really difficult decisions is what I mean by weird in that context. Was that a conversation you guys had before.

Well you have to make it with the paperwork. Yes you do have to like sign a bunch of stuff about like if one of us dies if we get to divorces and improve if we both die.

I mean I think that we in that case just said like donate to science but so they had one embryo to work with.

And as you've seen from some of our past interviews sometimes one is all you need. But before they could go forward Lucy had to have surgery. The one thing she had successfully avoided all these years dealing with endometriosis.

When did you even find out that you had a problem.

Yeah. In the middle of my stem cycle which I was like oh cool guys leg. How long has that been around. And I mean honestly it was a different doctor on the day that he found the polyp and he also sort of acted a little taken aback by the situation. So sure if I went on like get all bitter and pissed off I was part of me it's like well maybe it wasn't my problem the whole time.

Other than this dumb polyp and if he had taken a poll about that maybe I could've gotten pregnant without IVF.

But you know I'm only going to go down that road so far had it been there the whole time. I don't know.

Who knows. I don't know how to read an ultrasound. Millions of pounds done and I still need time to look at the screen on my guy I don't know what the fuck you're telling me is whatever.

What was the surgery anything of remembrance for you.

But my anesthesiologist at that time sort of had like poorly applied lipstick and that like really made me nervous.

Look I trust you little more precision would be the thing in this case.

So that's what I remember from that one.

But it was like a little extra a bit of a lesson here. Well if you find out this is what happens when you die or what have you turned over.

And so the first time around it was very smooth it was just like at one point.

Got it right. Good to go and this time like she had to. It was really painful.

She tried a couple of different occasions and like my wrist ended up like all black and yellow and stuff I have no idea what her name is but I wouldn't recommend her having only one embryo.

After all they put into it changed their perspective a bit and reminded them both of what they had been sacrificing in the quest for another child. And in a sense how grateful they were for what they had. The timing of their embryo transfer though wasn't with Lizzie and John expected because something happened to the world around us and it also changed their perspective.

I mean we were talking about it when we found that we only had one embryo at least from my point of view we were ready to be let go. Yeah. All right let's.

I mean the other here because we did other things on hold and we made the conscious decision to say we can't do that forever and we're not going to be the first second child when we already have one.

The other the timing thing that ended up we were with the embryo transfer was that it was we didn't get to time it exactly we just word they were monitoring my very closely.

I usually have really regular periods but for whatever reason you know either because my body was still getting over the IVF drugs are back to me or whatever it was it got kind of drawn out and we ended up having to transfer. Let's see about 10 days after Trump was elected. And we definitely both looked to each other and we're like are we fucking doing this like this is insane.

Like what. What are we doing. Like why do we want a second. Why do we want the child we have like this. Everything is terrible. So I think that we were both at that point just assuming it was go to work because you know we didn't up with one embryo I was like Well clearly you know my eggs are worth shit at this point and you know let's just get this thing behind us.

So I think our assumption then was let's do this then it will be over.

But at the same time just like the fact that the goal of it was to make a new life in the context we're in also felt that insane what was a transfer like.

I mean you had like one you kind of had like the one I'm done.

Yeah let's see how it go.

I think John had hurt his hand at work that day and I was holding his hand and like I think re-inserted is so hard. Yeah I have never had to pay more in my life.

It was really terrible.

And I like when they turned off all the lights in the room and my then the doctor has like a hit livable and you're just like fuck me like this is the worst case scenario like this was going to be long you know like I just I cracked up and I was like I'm sorry.

Just the absurdity of this. And luckily the doctor was great. He was like you know I don't even notice anymore. But it is completely absurd you're right.

Thank you for acknowledging that we were in pain because your hand I was trying to get them which he hadn't.

And it started later that I had to restrain myself.

But yeah and then they come in. Like with the embryo they're like OK. Say your name and birth date. And I was like oh you're freaking me out because like you know clearly.

They're confirming that they're getting it right. But I said OK this is really freaking me out. They are like no you should freak out if these didn't match. I was like well at that point.

I think I would have kicked everything off the table and been screaming at that did it.

Was it painful with an uncomfortable. It's incredibly uncomfortable but I mean it's very temporary.

So with the embryo put back in all they had left to do was wait. And sometimes it's hard to stay positive.

It took a coworker saying Wake up. It only takes one to be let go. Oh it's true. And it was like a day before we got the test back.

Yeah. I mean I tested before I went in the morning I wasn't really happy it was disbelief.

I mean I don't know I just know it was great. Was it was awesome.

It turns out the person who was the least worried that everything was going to turn out OK.

So this is somebody who sort of knew something was going on because like me you know there were a lot of mornings that I had to go to the doctor or whatever. I think at some point you know he was asking me why I had to go to the doctor and I either didn't want him to worry or I was just like out of coming up with stories or something. So I was like because I'm trying to get pregnant.

And the doctors are going to help me have a baby which he interpreted as I'm going to have a baby sister.

So he told everyone in his day care that he is going to have a baby sister.

And they all like how did he get that idea in his head.

And I was like gosh I don't know. Don't ask me if I'm pregnant.

So then months later whether he in fact when I when I was pregnant they're all like how. How did Luke know that you were going to get pregnant.

I was like I don't know if the mercury part is how did he know it was going to be a girl.

Yes it was finally Darrius are going to want to find out the gender of it takes.

We did find out and we told them look you're going to have a sister who died a year ago you know in terms of your enemy Torrijos this has anyone I assume this is a conversation that maybe happens later but is anyone talks about what to do. Post delivery.

Yeah. Well no I mean I actually do have to. This is maybe related maybe not.

But my 20 week ultrasound there was enough like funny business going on with my ovaries that I have to go get them checked out after the baby's born because they were like We're not going to try to figure out like what all this crap hanging off your ovaries is right now because it could just be pregnancy you know like there's too many different variables.

But you know so like worst case scenario that's something really scary like ovarian cancer.

I mean I assume that you all have like the reprieve of nursing again for as long as I'm doing that.

I don't think I know mentri as this is going to be an issue. But you know somewhere around a year from now I guess the question will be doing.

So as we were doing this interview Lizzie was a little over 38 weeks pregnant right as we were wrapping up. Laura asked whether their original plan had involved more than two kids and whether there was a plan to try again. And then Lizzie started sharing why she wasn't kidding about assuming things would be difficult for her. And she started to tell us about her family history. Lizzie's mom had trouble and conceived the first time soon after getting an HSG which is the test to see if the fallopian tubes are clear. She then had another HSG right before getting pregnant again the second time around. And apparently John's parents had difficulty as well.

Well my mom was 38 when she started and she had two more kids after me. So she had 38 40 42 she had babies. The doctors told them right off the bat. I mean this was the 80s. But the doctors said like look you have less than 1 percent chance of getting fertile because of having a way of getting pregnant because not only was my mom 38 and having trouble but my dad's sperm count was low on top of that. So it was like they were kind of telling her it's not going to happen but we'll do these are you guys. So she had she had me by or an insemination she and my younger brother by intrauterine insemination. But then my youngest brother was just like


And that's exactly it. It was exactly the same for my parents. My youngest of three. And my mom used H s gs for her first two and then she conceived me wearing a diaphragms so I can see you know.

So I guess for those 38 I don't know. We haven't figured that one.

But it's not in our plans.

It's not. We got a complete set. Wrap it up.

I love it when people give me end lines. I said that's all life is great says Luke’s predicted baby sister Ursula was born in August.

Now wait before we go I wanted to bring it back around to the metaphor that started this whole thing.

Do you have a power drill? Do you use it.

Yeah. Oh not as often as I should have. Do you feel like you've been to a lot of money on less than how much money I spent maintaining my reproductive system.

That was the line I was looking for.

Thanks so much to Lizzie and John for telling their story we have links on our site to the book they were talking about the art of waiting as well as more information on endometriosis for those interested in learning more at waiting for babies is produced by me Steven Mavros, us with help on interviews by my office manager extraordinaire Laura Mullin. Our theme music is by quiet music for tiny robots. In case you missed the last episode, waiting for babies is one of the community partners for the ART of infertility and their exhibition called cradling creativity will be in Philadelphia the entire month of November at the Old City Jewish art center. So come visit the art of infertility curates our work of all

kinds created by women and men who struggled with infertility. Links to all of that information will be on our site at waiting for babies doc. We'll be back soon with more stories of infertility. Till then. This is Steven Mavros. See you next time.

There were actually too many bonus clips I could have added at the end here but this one was perfect. See both Laura and I are very allergic to cats and we do these interviews at people's homes so that can be a hazard at times. Sometimes we're smart enough to ask whether they have cats ahead of time and we take allergy meds but sometimes we forget to do that. And for some reason cats seem to be drawn to me and want to be best.

We'll start with basics just in terms of when you guys first wanted to start trying was there.

Sorry. This was a cat a few men. I love the record.

It was my first holidays were just standing there and I feel like I lost all this I started trying to take a to see him coming close to wavier are going trying to get better. Sometimes it's like I feel like sometimes I stare them down for a little while but then they're just like goodness thank you for doing something that I just don't like because then it gets worse. And I was ready to get tangled and that was the other reason I didn't move because I knew

it was going crazy.

OK great let's talk about babies instead. Hey.

This audio features the song "Lullaby for a Broken Circuit" and "You Were My Robot Lover" by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, "Readers, Do You Read" by Chris Zabriskie, and "The Last Slice of Pecan Pie (Instrumental Version)" by Josh Woodward, all available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.