Steve & Cassie

Steve and Cassie had a whirlwind romance that went from a long distance courtship to marriage to quickly trying to conceive.  It took a year of trying to find that Steve was missing a key component to making things work: sperm.  After a surgery no one had ever heard of, and a final answer on what the problem was, they had what should have been an easy path forward.  As we keep learning, few things are easy in the fertility world.  


(transcripts are for purposes of searching and are approximations at best)

This is Waiting for Babies. I'm Steven Mavros. So we just passed National Infertility Awareness Week in the U.S. The latest statistics show that one in eight couples in America and one in six in Canada will experience some sort of difficulties conceiving and that's not including the same sex couples or single women and men who have their own barriers to bringing a child into their lives.

One of the toughest parts of infertility both for those going through it and the caregivers working with them is figuring out why. Why is this happening why is this not working. I feel like when you ask your average person most assume that there's usually something wrong with the woman. And given that almost all of the treatment options out there are women centric, you really can't blame them. After being in the industry for 15 years. I have fully turned to the woman side of things and I give them so much credit. Think about it when a woman walks into a fertility clinic almost every time someone's going to talk to them about how old they are, jab their arm to get at least three vials of blood and someone is going to put the wand of an ultrasound into their vagina and prod around for a few minutes and that can not feel good. Now what do guys get when they walk in. When they walk into a clinic. Usually the only thing they get is porn and an empty cup. Now I'm not saying that is not an awkward situation. I'm just saying Guys you need to have an account in good standing at your local florist and chocolatier.

Interestingly science has found that it's not always the women's fault. Currently we think about a third of the problem is actually due to the guy. A third is due to the woman and the third is that dreaded phrase of unexplained. Where on paper everything looks like it should be working. But for some reason it's not.

Today's story is going to be a little bit different. First you're going to hear a new voice that's my office manager Laura Mullin who accompanied me on many of these interviews. We're going to switch gears to the Y chromosomed people and our couple.

So my name is Steve. I'm Cassie. And how old are you guys. I am 34, 32. Like many couples they figured having a child would be easy and followed what they thought was the natural progression of a relationship. That's what people do like get married you have sex you have kids. Right. So that's the natural progression.

I just was thinking about her pre cana class. They asked if we had a Catholic marriage. They asked this you know how many children would you like and write it down. Think. I said as many as we can. All right. All right. Grace is not taking into account where that cost could go. Yes. You never think about it. You know you never think about. I'm going to have to pay to have a child you know there's going to be hospital bills like whatever the kids cost money diapers whatever like I get that crib all that stuff before they're conceived even Yeah but to even think that you're going to have to spend money in order to even have a chance to have a child that's made everything right. First is the free part of it.

Cassie like many women I meet had a little background fear about getting pregnant and decided to be proactive about doing all kinds of like uterine toning teeth and leg.

So you seem like yeah I mean I I'm a doer. It's not like I'm not patient. What was that like like what was your what was your process for you. I just got a lot of Google I think you know I'm just looking Yeah I don't even know what I probably don't like. How do I get pregnant. Dear Mr. Google.

I want to go online and actually you know phrases crazy easy or you go to a lot of money on ambulation can set you free. Yeah. You just get crazy because you start thinking like maybe it's the birth control. Still right. It's not like me it's affecting somehow you know maybe it takes it's taking maybe all those years. Well then it's like

Then you start thinking like Cassie cast when doing the research she would be like well I found some stories I like it took somebody a year and a half to get pregnant to get the birth you know. So then you pleased in your mind a little bit. Right. And so I remember you telling. Always you come back to you when you stop trying. Will happen. And unlike Steve I think I was always a little bit nervous about having infertility problems just because it was so important to me like it was.

I guess I should say I never took the idea of fertility for granted so I don't think I've ever said this to you but I always did kind of line to try right away just in case something you know something was normal and like my radar was up you know probably earlier than most people were me to say you make me strong. Nothing's happened yet.

So how long did your real try until you realized that something was. For me it was six months when I started like I started feeling a little bit nervous which they tell you is too early. And I went to the doctor who was like you can find he kind of gave us a look at you know if you like you can be fine. Could you guys. You guys are fine. What do we look for. So that is a glow of taking out a saucer or something some sort of or that we had around us but we are too young to be worried about here right now. And so we gave like another six months.

At that point we went to the fertility doctor. Like ok it's funny now what happens is that like they focus on the woman that's probably my fault too. You know like I just kind of see you know like I know like even when we went to the fertility doctor it was like kind of more focused on you. It was like you could do your sperm sample like will get that. So I'm like take care of it.

Whenever it wasn't really pressing it with her it was my impression anyway it was like we need to get you and do this to us we need to do this a little one is sharing you have more things to check. So after Cassie did all of her testing the clinic turned to Steve.

But I remember it was around July the following year is when I had my first sperm analysis and it came back with zero. And I had brought the sample to the doctor's office because they said you can do either one. You can you do it there you can do it here and there. So we're meeting you for a while. There's no way you know it there's no way. Right. There's just no way. They don't get health care in my body. I you know there's just no way. Just like the doctor said you're fine. I can tell you're fertile but could you. But after that then I did another sample. I guess a couple weeks later I did another sample and I did it at the doctor's office this time. And then it came back zero again and and they said I have what's called azoospermia which best when I was diagnosed with basically is you're born with no sperm. They did say there is a possibility that I could have had sperm at some point my life made of 14 13 15 whatever. And then gradually over time lose it. But they they're pretty confident that I was probably born probably born without any. And I think what is it is that one in 10 million people. That's very small. Yeah. So yeah that was a big big hit. And that's when you know we really were like OK now what the hell do we do. Right. You go in for the first test. You find out what your thinking is going to be you probably I mean I just feel like every woman I've ever talked to like that. Yeah. So you go when you do the first one and they say zero. Now you go into the office and you're about to do the second one. What did that feel like. Yeah. And I remember being like well first of all I didn't have sex or masturbate or anything for like three days. I'm like I'm leaving no doubt. No doubt that's why I'm like this is going to be this is if they're like I'm going to give myself the best opportunity not to get too graphic with the guys but I was I was leaving no doubt. So there you go. I was I just I treated it like I was walking into like a final for college you know like I'm walking into like a presentation in front of like a thousand people i actually like it. This is like it's my job right now. I'm nervous. Nervous very nervous. You know they're optimistic. Yes I'm trying. I'm really honestly like again I'm an optimistic person. There had to be something wrong with their machines. It's not them it's not me it's them. Right. So walking in I still nervous but I still was pretty confident that OK. It can't be zero. I just know it can be zero. They probably just missed a low sperm count right. Not going to deny that. But you don't just go from three million to eight we miss all three million or whatever but I would but I was like they probably just missed some or it didn't do it thoroughly enough. That makes sense. What was the atmosphere like like was it easy to do what you had to do. Yes so that that was interesting I had never done anything quite like that for most men. Hopefully I don't have to go through something like that. It's awkward you can hear people outside like you hear people walking around. It's not like they took you away to like a sweep like up on the fifth floor or it's ok other places get like get out of bed and like you know like the way you want to watch it's late it's very very just like that. You know what that room is used for. And I hope that they wake that place down every day every hour really. That's why when they gave me the choice of doing it at home like no brainer like this is done you know. Oh I'm happy at home. Maybe the temperature was wrong here. Something must have happened something. We're getting. Some sort of contamination. There is some sort of temperature. There was a virus that got inside and killed every entrance point in it. Did you like that. How did you transfer. I had they gave me they gave me a a cup and just put it up and I had to I just put it I had to make sure that sunlight didn't hit it I don't know why I put it in like a brown paper bag carried it over and like that's kind of like you think when you're walking that everybody knows you're carrying and they're like you know like obviously like nobody knows what you're where they are. Just like in real estate. So it's kind of funny. Lucky for Steve and Cassie there was a ray of hope. What was cool about it at the time at the hospital that we were at. There was a specialist coming in and he specialized in male infertility. And like I said this is very very very very very serendipitous. And you know we were pretty hopeful. I think we were his first patients. The next day it was pretty cool. And I remember meeting him right away and I'm like This guy's like everything. We still talk about it. He's just incredible incredible incredible person. Well we can tell stories about him later. But you know he told me that basically the next step if you choose to do it is it's a it's a procedure called micro testes surgery which is basically what they do is they go and they cut both of your you know if your testicles open you're under for about four or four and a half hours. When we first thought about it I was like 2 hours. Oh that's right. He did say about an hour and a half hour situation. Yeah. It's 50 percent success rate. So you know what they do. They open both testicles up. They they basically look around in a microscope and look around for sperm. And you just keep looking around for sperm. They find it they can extract it and they can use that to fertilize an egg. You know theoretically that's that's what could happen. It's risky that there could be long term complications from it. So Cassie I talked about it. I made up my mind as soon as he even told me about the operation. I'm like Oh we're we're getting this done. And really because for me I need a final answer. I could I would never want to go through life wondering maybe there is one in there two in there that I could have used with this surgery. You know I needed to like. Know for sure. And and you know I remember telling him you know as soon as we we talked and I told him what we need to get it done. That's a hundred percent. Get it done. Was he pushing it or was he like saying this is a good idea now should do. Furthest thing from it. Right. I mean manager what was your take on it. I mean I I had reservation I think just from an emotional standpoint feeling like what with what with that. Well I guess physiologically to you like what would that be like to be in excruciating pain from a surgery. No. My fantasy is to have you know the disappointment of what that could feel like. But no. Our doctor was very kind. You know just in every way as far as this is what it's going to be and and understanding to the point where he really encouraged me to have a support person I asked for a while I waited. And I would have never thought to go because like I said I kind of thought of it more from what you were going to experience and not for myself but I needed my support person there and I'm so glad that she was. I mean I would have it would have been so. So from every angle he was kind and supportive and understanding of whatever he could possibly lose the financial situation there. The good issue wasn't covered by the circumstances of my career. The surgery was covered. Yeah didn't have to go through the financial burdens yet worries about that. This is more than I remember. We did check on it. I remember calling. I remember being play exactly where I was I was on 10th and 11th and Fitzwater on the phone with Aetna asking then is micro testes surgery covered under our insurance. She's like I've never heard of micro testes surgery. Trust me it's real. I need you to look it up for me. She felt like Kentucky. Exactly like the bell like protests and call. Hello. What is your idea again. So I. So she was off for like a couple of minutes and she got back on to say OK I found micro testes. She's I guess it is covered it's covered. I'm. Like. When it suits me. I had surgery October 16th 2013 was under 4 1/2 hours and up in besos I as soon as I got out of it I asked the doctor was right. Actually I'm sorry the nurse was right there. And the first thing I just said was Did it work. And you say it's OK you know that the doctor is going to be your enemy. That's going to be a very rare bit of work and work. I get asked that. And then the doctor came over and. I said Hey man did it work. And he was like no I'm sorry I didn't. And that was probably the most emotional you know. And then when Cassie came over that was that was probably the hardest. That was it was. I've never experienced a close loss of my life meeting like you know I've lost you know great aunts and your grandparents and stuff like that and never lost a close family member or anything like that. But as far as losses is concerned it was definitely felt like a death you know of some sort. It was a crazy day. My and my best friend came to the hospital and she practically to and. You know I when we first got there and let me become you know like 6:00 in the morning before and. I brought a stack of papers my kids had term papers due at school so I was like going out like this is this is what I have to do anyways. And I spent the first hour doing probably one and then my friend got there and we talked and hung out and tried to pretend like everything's fine. And then the longer it took the longer longer the procedure went on the more I felt nervous that things weren't going well which is as it turns out was what was happening. Our doctor. I can't say enough was so kind and you know he told me frankly and gently and I was just very sweet about it and sympathetic and understanding and it was way way way harder than I was going to be to get that news. But it was also I would say more romantic than our wedding day. Was that moment that we had together and recovery was just like extraordinary commitment. I felt to that moment it was like I don't care what happens. I'm so sorry. You know just feeling so connected to you in that in that moment it was deep it was very very deep. There was not you know nothing quite like it that I've ever experienced in my life of sharing a moment with another human being no matter who it is you know a family member or whatever. We went home that night we picked our sperm donor. From. A crowd back in California because I just did not want one second wasted because I knew going in if this is going to work. We're doing it Sperber 100 percent. And I do not want to rob Cassie of. Being having the gift of childbirth because what my ego says that like it's not your kid it's not your you know your sperm. So you know we have to look for other options. Absolutely not. You know this for just it's it's one of those things that I just is very adamant about so I'd like I just remember I was probably still messed up on medication and stuff like you know but I just I do remember we were sitting on the couch in our apartment and we were just looking to look at it. Sperm donors and sperm donors sperm donors and stuff. So how was recovery. I mean for all the men out there if you ever know what it's like to get punched in that area times that by four hours four hours and it's pain. I've never felt for my life. Let's put it that way. That's some pretty good injuries. But that was it was rough. You can't you know go to the bathroom like everything was like stay up where I can. You just can't get comfortable sitting down standing up. Nothing really gets you. You know what sucks is that Larry. It's a constant reminder. It was a constant reminder for the next you know month of like hey here you go here's this pain. And like is all this shit we had to go through after you had this 4 half hour surgery. Oh by the way it didn't even work you know. So I was prepared for that. You know that I said the doctor did say I had to spend a lot more time with Steve just because I wanted to I really want to you guys to win. I mean we when I was when I was in recovery the. Week I ran out of pain by get in whenever they gave me a week we called him I forget how we were just like hey we just didn't plan it like hey we're about to run now we just like we ran out. And I was still in you know a shit ton of pain and I think I e-mailed him and I was like hey man like I ran out of my pills. Is there any way you can put in a prescription and Cassie will go and grab it. I couldn't walk really or drive a car and Cassie can't go grab it. You know can you just put a prescription in. Well you can pay for painkillers. You can call it a prescription. You have to write it you have to handle it right. Write a script. So we didn't know that. And this guy goes to the pharmacy for it right. Prescription goes to the pharmacy fills it. Wait for it. And it delivers it drives it over to our apartment. I made him dinner that night and I don't know what I'll give you a little bit or just like me. He's. A meat eater. There might be some rice in there. You know I just remember wanting to get back and play basketball so much because I it's my biggest release is playing sports especially basketball and I play basketball college and you know it's a very it's a stress release for me. It's a really really big stress release for me and like not being able to do anything athletic. It's like there's a lot of pent up frustration on top of getting probably the worst news I've ever got in my life. So I remember the one time when I first went back and played basketball for the first time I went probably like two three weeks before the doctor told me that I shouldn't. And I went back and I got hit with the ball right there and I dropped to the ground and no one knew you know because it's very weird to tell people that don't. I don't mind speaking about it like you know never mind speaking about anybody. I mean we met for example I read my first I didn't like it that way by the launch party for like our social media. Yeah. And someone mentioned that you guys had gone to fertility and Steve comes over and he's just like do this for me. This is what happened. And of course in the back of my mind I'm like wait let me get my career out. It's kind of like like you. But they're moving. But the people that play basketball if they're not like my best buddies like 30 guys. That's like. I met them through basketball. So like trying to explain to somebody that I had surgery for four hours on my balls is like Oh why is something wrong with your dick? I’m like no no no. So it was just very very awkward to explain to them you know exactly what what the deal was. But I was just like listen yes because you're not like basically an operation on my balls for 4 1/2 hours. And like I feel to you you know. Yeah right. Exactly. I was like that that hurt really bad. I was still in stitches. I think like maybe five months later we were so excited every time we find one it would pull out. I would feel one. I'm like oh there's still getting like really really good feel like I was like it was like you know at that time it didn't it was always it was it was that was fine. It was all everything was heal properly. Everything was fine. And we I really feel like we're there are stitches in there because like you they when they said they said it was nice of us to solve. Yes. I think is the one that does all that go away. Yes. But there were good and you feel you drew it out. Yes. That it's a little square. So next we we chose a donor. We actually had to use a couple because our first who I felt like was a really good physical match for Steve. We were like two vials of sperm and we bought two vials and then he reached out so that's that's the other complication with sperm donors is you don't have this big unlimited quantity if you want one. You should probably buy as much as you think you mean because they might not be run out. Now how much you like what is the amount that you should be recommended. I remember they recommended three to four vials before. Like going to a tapas restaurant. I know for a person when you go through this whole process you feel like you're in there is a menu for everything there's a menu for IVF There's a menu for you and a cart like it is like if you want to know how tall they are. Can you get this it's not like that but like if you want an updated picture what it looks like now. Wow. Chad it is. I'm sorry but like every look alike you can find out or whatever you know like it's not crazy. Do you think a part of you still find that like even though zero of this stuff like there's still a chance. Like me first guy. Yes. I mean for say 100 percent. I like that. Yeah. Yeah. Well the funny thing is when the surgery was over that well no I don't even think before I actually know no was over they told me that there's a 5 percent chance that you could some point in your life get Sperber. I don't know if they tell you that too like but shit like that works for me. You you be like you tell me that I'm my. That's all I need. And but I don't bank on that like I never I don't like when we have sex I don't go into it like this is to be you know like I know it's never like that but I think it'll gave me a little bit of like hey like. Who knows maybe in 10 years all of sudden like something cool can really happen but it's not. I totally get it. And that's why I went through the operation. You know my final answer Give me my final final go but never like less pressure. I feel like you know because I feel like a lot of couples who go through infertility treatments for years they do have to sort of like functionality to their sex life where is kind of like oh that's out the window for us. It's interesting you know most like me put it back in the fun category of putting it back to a purpose. Totally totally. Yeah. We there's one reason we do this. We want sex to procreate without sex to keep trying keep trying and try and have sex because we love each other and I mean she's really you know that's that's why we do her any like breakdowns or fights or arguments or guiding. But you know with that being the root of the problem or what. What was the root of the craving desire to really grow up knowing. I think definitely there were a lot of I mean yeah a lot of fights with this at the root of the problem especially once we got into the treatments like I was it was like when it got really bad and you know picking a donor all of that I was so impressed with Steve's stoicism and strength and being able to stand by and like move forward with that decision that we made. But. I remember you remember after the first one and he you know I mean he sees this procedure be done not with his sperm in it and it's really emotional really tough. And infuriating that moment. You know that that anger I know isn't like he hates me at the time that's what it feels like and you know like then it he. Well you're not suffering and suffering at some point you feel like you're comparing how much that person is hurting. And that was it's excruciating to hurt like that. And then to feel like your partner is probably feeling the same way you are you can in that way. It's the hardest. Just go back a little bit further. We met in May of 2011 we were engaged in January when we were married by July. So I'm trying to we know we got hit with all this like pretty much almost year one of being just together. Not even forget about the married life just even like knowing each other. On top of that too. We did long distance from May until the day literally they got married. So even the first year that we were together we only saw each other. I mean we talk every day every night but we only saw each other on the weekends and sometimes we have to skip a weekend for something going on. So like to be hit with this and not have years and years of knowing each other and like that security that that embrace knowing that that person is leave or knowing like you know what makes this person to her what you know you don't like it. We never we didn't have the luxury like this is thrown at us very early in pretty massive life life situation just being completely thrown at us right away. And I just don't think that we were prepared for that and we didn't know how we fought. I don't know if you guys understand you know how long it takes a while for you to realize your partner to have a constructive fight like I go for the jugular a lot you know and like I'm terrible I'm terrible at it. I know that. But like I know what she does to like to get to get me in. And I just didn't know you know knowing how to fight. And it sounds crazy like knowing how to fight with your partner is like his take so it really helps. I think we've figured it out almost like we're pretty much there. But like we've come a long way of like understanding what we both need in an argument. And again just it's just from lack of just not knowing each other. Deeply enough to really do that that yeah yeah yeah yeah. And you know that was one part of it a lot of I feel like my anger might have just really came from like you get to have kids and I don't you know it's just not fair. You know what I mean. And. You know and then if I heard her complain about something that's what would send me I'm like How dare you complain. You know we it you know and this would be like if you didn't work. Right. And I'm like will issue have an app that you know like to be sad. She wasn't allowed to be sad because like Lisa you get that. I'd rather be able to even step up and get that. But I can't I'm getting that I'm in the dugout. You know I I can only. Bitch I can't even play right like at least you get to play a lot of arguments centered around that. You know I'm sure I'm sure they're still going to be many tests in marriage over the next hundreds of thousands of years. But we're never going to be up at some point. But the re-up is only for people with azoospermia. He's a very you get to bring it to bring it family wants to bring her up. So Steve and Cassie moved on with their donor sperm and started doing IUI’s. So by the way let's take a pause here. IUI’s are intrauterine insemination. What a fertility clinic will do is they'll follow a woman's cycle monitor them for when they're about to ovulate and then they take prepared sperm that would have prepared me it means that they wash it. They separate the actual semen itself from the seminal fluid and they therefore get the greatest concentration of semen that can get, or in Steve and Cassie’s case prepared means that they took the donor sperm that was frozen and they thaw it and preparing to go into her body. How they do that is they take a syringe and they suck the semen up into the syringe and then they attach it to a catheter, a catheter it's like a flexible plastic tube. They insert a tube through the cervix. So they go through the vagina and then through the cervix right into the uterus and they inject that sperm right into the uterus. And the thought is that if you inject it past the cervix. The theory is that it gives the sperm a head start less swimming to do to reach the egg and increase the chance of fertilization. So this was Steve and Cassie’s next step and it looked like they had their answer and had a plan going forward. But like many people in their shoes even when the sperm is totally fine sometimes what should be an easy fix doesn't pan out the way it's supposed to. Did you at some point have like a conversation to like your you knew what was wrong what was wrong was there was no sperm. You go through this insemination and you just I assume you're just assuming. OK. Well this is fixing the. Yeah. So after like the third or fourth time did the doctor have answers? No I mean they kind of just said you know here your choices IUI or IVF is the next step and I was scared of That. You know it just seems like a lot a lot of fear. With I was like kind of having a miscarriage every month you know. Was it a miscarriage every month. But it was like I had to redo five or six. So. And every month it was like you know like when she would get her period it would be like it was a death you should be devastated. Our lives revolve around this like literally revolved around it. But it really did our our lives was like it was worth it. Infertility and fertility treatments. That's really what it does. So we did we did six IUI. And then after that we did we did an extraction and I think we ended up with six so are our first egg retrieval. We actually donated half of my eggs to get a discount. So you basically like sell your eggs and you get a group. So it's was a long process too because then I have to become an egg donor so you go through extensive screening lots of blood work. I took the personality test. It was like a question that was weird. It was like a psychological exams to pass then. Yeah it was. No it wasn't about 400 or so. Did you hear it it was you either. Know or you didn't go to Harrisburg yet. Eating all the time. I found nothing. So we had to like you have to see a separate person and you pay for that we get up you know. Oh man you so. Went through all of that. I had two miscarriages. So we had to take two chances. I had two miscarriage. We did it all over again and then so that costs you know I wanted that for us but we left off for about we're doing our part at that point I mean to be in probably 12 grand. Yeah. You say that was with that just kind of splitting into grants. Yeah. I remember asking one time if there's financing options and they're like gathering's financing options. Absolutely. And the interest rate was like 12 percent. And I'm like you got to be kidding me like how do you get you know. So we did. So we did. That was the first time we had two miscarriages and then you have to do the procedure all over again. And then that's when we went with the guaranteed program that the fertility company offered. And basically what that is is they they do the extraction and of course this time I mean we get really maybe 20 eggs. First she was hyperstimulated, got Grave’s disease from that which is hyperthyroid had to get her thyroid out after. That program the guaranteed program. Costs. To be 25000 without medication without huge. So probably a smart move 30 to 32000 something like that. She's making some books and grand for that. For all you know we went through 20 eggs. We got 20 eggs 10 made it to day five. So we did of course what happens right. We put one in. She’s upstairs. One time. So the guaranteed program is they do it as many times as you possibly or as many times as it takes to get a live baby in your arms. And of course the first time we did it last year I was going to say that any other day but it's just funny how it works out. Of course we do the guaranteed program and we were guaranteed to be able to get the first time within five years like can we get right here. Steve and Cassie’s daughter Sibi was born about three years after Steve first had his semen analysis. As you can tell we kind of zoom through what it was like for them to go through the first two rounds of IVF have two miscarriages which are never easy before they finally got to where they'd been hoping for since the day they got married. To say this whole thing can be a whirlwind is an understatement. Add to the fact that all this comes up within two years of them meeting each other even after hearing all of this I still can't imagine what it must have been like to just get some kind of lead. Yes it was yes. Now your new parents like it. Oh really. Five years. I just told you a life’s worth of medical issues today. Really like high school sweethearts really the first year didn't even count because like we're a long distance and like we saw each other like it was like literally getting off a train and be like oh my. God it's like party for two days and I only go back to work. Do you know where your new last name day. Oh yeah. That's. Their story didn't end there. Steve certainly struggling with knowing that has his daughter ages she won't look like him and that it's not easy to hear others talk about. But at the same time he's hopeful because he knows he's passing on his personality traits and sometimes when she mimics him at all feels OK. Cassie passed on the graves disease that she developed after IVF to her daughter which required a scary five day stay at Children's Hospital and then had a flare up of a syndrome she's had her whole life called brachial neuritis which I could do a whole separate podcast on as you can tell the story so rarely just end with the arrival of the baby. Thanks to Steve and Cassi for sharing their story. Waiting for babies is produced by me Steven Mavros, music for this episode by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, Josh Woodward and Chris Zabrieski. If you like what you hear. Please rate us on iTunes and you can always check us out at to find out more, here are extra stories about what the interviews were like and see photos and if you really want to help us keep doing this because we take a lot of time away from seeing patients. Please go to our Web site and click donate. Have a story you want to tell. We now have a contact forum for submissions on our Web site at

Get a little bonus here at the end. When Laura and I go to interview some of these couples we always tend to bring a bottle of wine with us and not everyone opens the bottle of wine. But in this case Steve and Cassie did and we had a little surprise when we opened the first bottle of wine to start drinking. And it kind of interrupted a really intense moment but I just thought I would share. Thanks so much for everything. See you guys next time. 

IVF just scared me. You know it just seems like a lot but I we just don't know.  Um. 

Is that a crystal?  Do you guys you know let's talk reimbursement. Please don't tell me you spent $500 on a bottle of wine. No. Go ahead. Go ahead please. I have no idea. I've never seen that the way rabbit over here to open up the box. 

Just like the ticket I had put in place first time with something that it's really it's really me. I mean we're definitely talking Reserve. What do you think is happening over here. 

This stuff is so funny. 

This audio features the songs "Lullaby for a Broken Circuit" by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, "Ghost Dance" by Kevin MacLeod, "Readers, Do You Read!?" by Chris Zabriskie, and "California Lullaby (Instrumental Version)" by Josh Woodward, all available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

 Who needs a cork, or a corkscrew for that matter, when there's a crystal glass stopper already on your bottle of wine. 

Who needs a cork, or a corkscrew for that matter, when there's a crystal glass stopper already on your bottle of wine.