Jen & Jeff

What happens when infertility stops being about getting pregnant and starts being about actually having a healthy baby?  Jen and Jeff seemed to have the getting pregnant part down. That second part, though, never seemed to go right. Once they finally found out what was going wrong, and even had a possible solution, the road ahead was still long and unsure. 


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

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OK back to our regularly scheduled programming. I love the buzz at the beginning.

Hi I'm Steven Mavros and this is waiting for babies.

On our last interlude. We discussed recurrent pregnancy loss what that means and what some of the paths forward are and sometimes getting pregnant isn't the hard part. But going from a positive test to holding an actual child in your arms is. Our story today comes from Jennifer and Jeff R who started down their path to conception exactly the way they hoped for after they got married and decided to give the whole baby making thing a try. Oh and before we jump in just a quick note about the audio here. I often do these interviews at people's homes and remember this is a pod cast about for two these. So if a child is in the story at some point you're bound to hear lots of funny background noises from toys cartoons. Or

other things that entertain those children. It's just one of the hazards of the trade. OK. Back to Jim and Jeff. First trying to have a baby right after they got married.

Let's see if that works. Kind of situation and it were the first time.

We were both freaking out cuz we didn't have a house yet living in a small condo and then you're probably just 10 minutes ago.

So initially everything looked good but at 11 weeks when she had our first appointment with an Obie they found the fetus had stopped growing way back at the six week mark. And quickly after she had a miscarriage doctor side one in four women have.

Chalked it up to that. And we just were like wow. I don't want to talk about that. And I think a lot of women going through this feel.

Embarrassed shame it's your fault. Even though it's nothing we did most. I feel like most women that's how they feel.

Had you gotten pregnant prior to when you were trying. No. No. It literally like literally every day. Unfortunately the day didn't work out because I was like That's great. What are people talking about. Little did I know.

Everyone handles a miscarriage differently and Jen took perhaps longer than a lot of others I've talked to before trying again. Probably about a year.

Until we started trying.

When Jen says it took a year to recover before trying again. She even meant going back on birth control because she wasn't ready to deal with the possibility of a miscarriage happening again for the whole year. Now during her time off she tried to think of all the things that had happened to her in our life that might have an effect on her fertility. And one of them was Graves disease.

So I was always worried maybe that would fax me trying to have kids one day. But again doctors my dad my whole life. No no no you'll be fine. And then when I got the radioactive iodine I don't know if you know the process it's. Crazy.

Go you're in hospital in the nuclear Department. And like an astronaut comes in full suit with a can opener that smoke comes out. Tongs.

And it was so quick how everything went crazy with my thyroid. I'm twenty two. Oh my God I'm taking this pill. That's from an astronaut. And then after their guidance was wash the shower out. When you're done flush the toilet twice. You cannot be around pregnant women can't be around children treated.

There are some that you just don't want me but I'm I don't know if I might go out with need to get our little purple halo comes off this time at her 11 week initial ultrasound.

Things look good and on track right around this time it's typical for an O.B. to do a preliminary screening for genetic disorders. The screening often gives you the odds of the likelihood of a genetic abnormality to occur. When the results came back. The risks were a little higher than usual. And then I had my first ultrasound.

At 11 weeks where they do the first trimester screening. They measured the neck. They do the bloodwork. Everything looked good there.

And then they called Two days later and say your risk is one in eight. So.

Scheduled CVS like the following week. And what was that like. It was shocking.

So describe CVS to. Do you know what that is that is where they go in to the lining of the placenta and you take out cells.

Send them for testing. It is like O.B. appointment like Pop-Pop.

Maybe 10 seconds longer.

That was it Doctor was amazing like he just he's one of those people I won't forget. He was amazing because I was like trembling so scared. And then.

A week later it was confirmed. So then we made the decision to do what we needed to do. What was best for us. And people may judge. I would never judge but I don't regret we don't ever regret. That. For us. Just because. That's.

It was best for us. So if you didn't catch her meaning the test came back positive for a genetic abnormality and after meeting with a genetic counselor they decided to terminate the pregnancy. They were told ahead of time that even if they were able to carry to term given there was only a 50/50 chance of having a successful birth the baby would either have significant developmental disorders and or chronic health issues. So they decided to end it. Needless to say this was not an easy decision for them to make given they had already suffered a miscarriage that rocked them to their core knowing they had to choose to end the pregnancy was awful. But it's one they realize they don't regret the procedure and its effects though were a

bit surreal when you come home and you're like you're like it's over.

I can't believe I was pregnant yesterday. I was pregnant yesterday. And now you're like my milk came in was because it got really I was 15 and a half weeks.

So you know your milk wouldn't come in your body thinks you had a baby. So it's like now I'm home. My boobs are like bowling balls and I want to just crawl in a hole. I was. Googling like every everything cabbage that works cold cabbage leaves.

So I was just like walking around like in your in my bra. Yup.

And then I have you know know I have a job.

I'm I'm working and I'm like I'm going to be off for a week. Thank God. Boss is supportive you know that was great. But. I absolutely carry with me every day even now every day.

So after a really hard decision and sharing it with some friends Jeff was starting to think that two problematic pregnancies wasn't just bad luck.

You know the challenges of trying to have a child right. You know you can have miscarriages and that can happen. So the first time it really took to me you know look at is OK well will try again and we'll get through it.

You know it's funny when you go funny but ironic when you go through these things and you know you talk to other friends and they mentioned that to you. Oh yeah we had that probably never brought up before but then it comes out you know once you express to them something that you've had to go through then they bring it up to you like oh you know we had one we had to and you oh I did you know like it would be nice to share that but I've said I'm going to handle matters privately differently you know I'm a little different in terms of how I manage those things and more expressive.

But then you find out OK what you went through before so then it makes you feel more confident. Well then you know we will get to where we want to go in terms of having a baby so you know I guess after that point you know I figured OK well it is time again. We should be OK. So then when things kind of didn't turn around then you start to get you know more concerned worried about this isn't the path that others have you know gone down you know they've been able to resolve able to get through it.

You know this is something different is going on you're not in I started you know to get a little worried and concerned.

It was like is is something that you know Jen too was getting an inclination that something wasn't right and had an inkling as to what might be going wrong. I found this group on Yahoo where it was about balance translocations and I was like. This.

Story sound like mine but. But. I said to myself. I guarantee you it's me. I'm going to have the genetic issue. And sure enough I was like let's go get tested. Went to the lab got it and came back that I had the balanced translocation OK.

Unless you're a geneticist we're going to need to take a quick pause here and go over what she's referring to.

And I intensely apologize for bringing biology 101 back to your lives but here goes. So inside the nucleus of human cells we have our basic genetic material and it's comprised of 46 chromosomes 23 pairs. In people with balance translocation they're born were two of the chromosomes have broken off and swapped places so they have a full set of 46 and are usually healthy.

It's just that two parts are in the wrong place. So when those cells divide in half and join with another set from the partner for reproduction remembering the man provides 23 and the woman provides 23 those translocated chromosomes can come together and into vitam properly. How this manifests is that sometimes things combine and divide well and a healthy pregnancy is possible and sometimes they don't. And this can lead to miscarriage or birth getting pregnant naturally as Jen and Jeff were every time was basically a coin toss as to whether their chromosomes would line up well or would go astray. So this was daunting I thought and there was a silver lining in that they had something that many people

struggling with fertility don't always get a reason. One of the hard parts though was that it wasn't an easy one to discuss as it went over people's heads. So it was a little bit isolating.

I want to know what it meant either someone brought it to me. If my friends came and said Oh I have a balanced translocation. What good is that. Oh crumbs. I'm trying to explain to family. No. Friends No. No. They're like why. You mean chromosome and they're stuck together and. Well how does that affect you having a baby. And I don't get it. So at one point I was just like I'm in this chapter and just saying it's I have a genetic I carry something genetic. So I said that.

I rather. Oh yeah.

Is that like hemophilia because I want to know is he doing it right now. Right right right right right. Yes. Again you can't blame people for not. Jumping into a book and being like let's read about Jen's issue. I want to learn more early. OK.

So that was two. So you took a year off. Yes the first mistake. Right. Knowing that something was like wrong per se.

Did that change that equation the next time around or did you still feel like you needed a lot of time to recover. Not as long because I felt.

Armed with empowered and prepared. And if you get pregnant again this is what we'll do differently.

We will get on early ultrasounds. We will schedule CVS at 11 weeks right on Tuesday.

So you guys get pregnant so fast. Were you like in between like you've been two and three at that point. Was like had sex life like. Yes. Was it remotely fun any more. Not so much.

Yeah because you're worried you're worried. You're just like wouldn't it. Oh my God. Let's try not to get pregnant. So you live in that zone until.

Six months go by and we're like hey what's relax a little bit.

OK. So we're going to try. We're on with information. We know what to expect. I find out the day after an Eagles game that I'm pregnant. Quickly again my first or second first time so you know you can do one thing really well if they're pregnant.

Which is a curse and a blessing. You know if I was healthy we would probably have four kids for now which.

I'd probably be dead.

Early ultrasound. Eight weeks. Heartbeat. Good. That's one check. CVS scheduled 10 weeks old don't sound all that good about appointment.

No heartbeat. This one knocked us on her ass. The worst. I don't know what it was about that appointment but together we were together. I was nervous to go to CVS even though I had had it before. And I was in the waiting room and I said to Jeff these people are our states that work in these high risk places for having to give bad and bad news.

For no one but is well.

He's going to get this.

And I said I can't imagine having to deliver bad news like. And then 20 minutes later here we are. Are those people.

I call my mom immediately. She's waiting by the phone. And I'm just like no. And I hung up and that was it like.

And I could just hear her scream like he lost that which no one ever wants to see her husband or spouse partner whatever is next. When his mom called he was on the phone and I was like I am we can't we can't keep doing this like this is it. This is it. We're done. We're done. I was like this.

It might just be us it could just be us and that's fine. We got married because we loved each other and we did get married to have kids Solum.

So after three intensely difficult miscarriages John and Jeff were given an option they hadn't thought of for IVF. Now remember to talk about the genetics of her balanced translocation. With Jen's issue. Every time she got pregnant was a roll of the dice. There was a chance the embryo formed would be genetically good and there was a chance that it was. Now so far she had had some pretty bad dice rolls. Now here's where IVF comes in. So if you combine IVF with PGS or preimplantation genetic screening you can actually weed out the embryos that have the abnormal genetic material and only use the ones that don't. Theory if that leads to a pregnancy. Essentially the problem is solved and the risk of

miscarriage should decrease substantially. Jan and Jeff had different reactions to this possibility. One thing they were both taken aback by was the cost. IVF is already an expensive endeavor with testing procedures medications costing anywhere from 10 to $20,000. PGS that genetic testing can add more thousands of dollars to the costs in the beginning. If the costs could be sorted Jan was pretty sure she was on board. But Jeff was a little hesitant. It just wasn't a part of.

My beliefs. My life plan you know kind of what I thought it would be. Right. We talked about you know at first because we didn't know what was going on and we said you know it we'll be happy. There's plenty of couples we know we have plenty but there's you know we'll be happy. But I knew she was saying it but she wasn't me. You know I'm 26 and so I had to come around and look I mean I wanted a family more than anybody else.

It wasn't. It was one. It's just that you know I always thought hey you know nature has a plan for things you know in the natural world. But then again you know I started thinking Look I'm in the medical community.

I use a lot. I sell signs to help people get better and so maybe you know in this case it does make sense. So I just kind to do like deep thinking on my own.

And despite you know what you know I believe Mother Nature had planned for for people and individuals you know people individuals don't plan on getting cancer either. And we overcome that. So you know I kind of had a look at things through two lenses instead of my legs and I started thinking about things that way. And so this is just another way that you know modern science and people have created to enable those that can. Do that. So that's the way I look at it. So it just took time.

You know how did you convince them that that moving for him was a good idea. Maybe when our insurance covered it when it went from 30000 to like a thousand.

And it is really 30 that was what they were probably with the PGD.

Yeah. And that’s which was the hardest part of it all was the insurance wasn't the needles. It was getting to the appointments.

It was dealing with insurance because because I got rejected twice. So I take this like my page.

It was like Jerry Maguire. Right. Let it all out there. Literally someone called me like my dad my father clock. They're like we're so sorry. It took you got rejected. It is going through. Your meds are going through kids close site.

Oh my God.

Shocked. I was crying. She felt so bad. She was like you don't need any of this. You have a condition.

It's all good. I was big on the facts of their life. What did you do. They were like no one gets rejected twice and then gets approved. It was like This is my middle name and what I am I do not give up. Right. And I will be annoying as shit. I went to drove to the CEO's house and been like Clark Griswald. Really.

So with the insurance sorted they moved ahead. Let me just do a quick IVF refresher. So basically women normally produce one follicle or egg every month but with IVF women are given injectable hormones that cause their ovaries to produce as many eggs as they can get going at one time with the goal of retrieving all the mature. This was new territory for Jenna's getting pregnant had never been an issue before so she never needed this type of stimulation and this is the first time you've ever been on hormones because up until this point pregnancy wasn't a first time first time and I will say it wasn't that bad.

I think I had one meltdown which I think is pretty good. I was like take the drugs. I'm done. Call the Doctor. I'm done laying on the floor. I don't even know. It could have been. A fly in the house. I have no idea. Like the wasn't huge. It was just I had had enough. What did he do. He's very calm cool collected like I am that I am because I'm like I could fly off.

And my son didn't have hormones and needles going into him every other day.

Right. And you know get done and stuff like that stuff doesn't leave you ever. It gets buried in the back. But it's always there. So I'm still recovering from that and now it's you know.

shots shots shots I'm going to play you.

Please please please. I can't wait. We took a break for a dance party. Why are you using performing and now you're drunk.

What was it like doing that first shot. Scary scary.

It was because I think it didn't go great.

There was blood. Had a second opinion on it.

She remembers that it was yeah yeah. There was blood. I know it was a lot of it. Some of it was you know we didn't ice long enough so that the tissue was warmer than it needed to be. So there was more blood there to come out. So that was probably why it was all learning you know to figure out how to get through but that. I mean once that was the funny thing about this whole process was you know we learned what we needed to do and got expert. And you know it was like we never got scared off by something it was like OK we got to you next time. And I was like I said longer than do this and then you know we got better and better at it you know.

So it's really amazing what you can not only get used to but then actually come to make normal and that's a challenge you can even improve that. Now next up in the IVF process was the egg retrieval which is done at the clinic under a form of anesthesia called conscious sedation a fancy term for a type of mild anesthesia where as the term says you're both conscious but sedated enough you don't remember what happened. Grogginess between that station and waking up often leads to funny moments at the fertility clinic.

So walk through retrieval for us for retrieval is we go in reverse go. He has to do a sample which is stressful because your wife's been put to sleep in five minutes and they're like oh go in a room you know. So I wake up from sedation and all I can say is did you go.

He was like that you should.

I was struck and then I asked how many eggs were good.

So sad because it was not if I was in my right mind I would have never screamed in front of other people.

There was like nurses laughing I'm sure I'm not the first. Right. Right.

So you're so you're sitting in the waiting room you're freaked out because you have to go do that. Yeah. And how was he attentive to you and then you just kind of like.

It's all good it's all good just like what is that world that you live in. It's like Willy Wonka. Like what world is that. That's great. That's why we work out. Because he is like that. And I'm the crazy person.

Now as I've said before fertility treatments are so women focus not logistically and this isn't to take away from their clear emotional role but for the purpose of IVF the man's job is a tad easier as all they need is some sperm which are a lot easier to collect. Next hour.

I know for a guy it's a very like that day when you go in for the big like retrieval you're just totally different.

He's about to go through was it. Were you nervous about doing it before. Oh yeah. Did you like prep in some way or think about how down the line. Yeah I try to just focus everything on.

We're doing this for her.

You know yeah I mean I try to just not really I just really think too much about it. OK we got a job to do tomorrow. We got to go in and you know agenda jobs a lot harder than my job.

So don't mess this up. But not think about it don't necessarily just you know just go in and just you know but you know it's actually you know quite nerve wracking because everyone's prepared.

Right. The surgeons are preparing the change preparing to go through.

I mean everyone's job is a lot more local in a way you know. I mean when I have to do and so you you don't want to be the cog in the wheel that messes everything up.

So the first few days after retrieval can be particularly difficult for people going through it as there are constant updates on the status of the embryo. When Jen's eggs were retrieved they were taken into the embryology lab for fertilization. That depending on what was determined beforehand the eggs are fertilized by putting them together with the sperm sample that was given were more commonly now the embryologist will go through the sample find the best looking sperm they can and inject it directly into the egg to fertilize it. This is referred to as ICSI or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. Once the eggs are fertilized and become embryos they start to divide and grow even under the best circumstances in healthy women who do well with stimulation. Not all eggs retrieved are mature and not all eggs fertilized normally and not all embryos grow properly. So it was IVF patients are getting daily updates from the embryologist the number of viable embryos can dwindle quickly and then circumstance was even more precarious than most as she needed to still genetically test the embryos. So probably the number she would have left once that was done would be less still OK.

They were treated 11 x like 8 or four. So that was bad news because you lose three.

And then they call you every day with the up until they're fertilized six fertilized at 11 and four or set for PGD now Jenna's saying PGD but she actually had PGS.

PGD is just a different sometimes more complicated genetic test for finding different mutations. So it's easily confused. So how do they do. Back when Jen was doing this a few years ago. The embryologist would let the embryos divide for about three days going from a single cell to about eight cells to do that. Yes. They need to remove one of those cells and send it off to a lab for testing. The thought of this is still amazing to me that we have the technology to take these microscopic cells be able to pluck just one of them off without destroying the whole thing. So they sent that one cell off for testing and the embryos are now at seven cells instead of eight. They go back into

the incubator to hopefully keep growing and divide. Two days later which is when the test results are due back. They can put aside the abnormal embryos and choose a good one to put back in to Jennifer. We refer to this as embryo transfer. So five days after retrieval. Jen and Jeff are headed back to the clinic for the transfer and anxiously waiting to know if any of the embryos have made it through the gauntlet that is genetic testing and they get a call from the embryologist.

We got we just got them back from the lab.

We lost two more of the. But they are saying no signal. And I was like look I turn signal. What's happening. So I said with no signal she's just like they're alive and well but there's no signal.

She's like I have no idea. So she said we can tell them and start over.

Put them in any way without knowing the office.

When are you in the parking lot at the mall crying I'm fed up you know that's when I was like I've had enough or freeze them. Wait like five days for the results. Well I'm not going to drive them out because that's like what I do with my trash.

I'm not going to put them in to end up in a termination situation again when I just went through IVF for a purpose to find out to find a healthy baby.

So I said let's re-biopsy. They were doing it for free. There was no cost. That was a Sunday. Friday they call. And say one is normal.

One is not like Rocky at that point you're not out of the woods because they don't even if this thing is going to last. Freezing an embryo to me is the most amazing.

How they can do that and thaw it and it's still frightening.

So no. When you're in that when you're in the parking lot. Yeah. And then go home you're like. Was that a hard decision when she gave us our options. I was like oh my gosh. Like.

Maybe a decision on the like she's telling me and I'm telling you right now what do you like.

I was not putting them in without knowing I mean to me that's just like setting yourself up for failure again. But then we hung up the phone and I was like. So we were just going to go for a transfer.

And then I had to call your guys are on the way. I'm like because you got acupuncture right before and after.

And it was just your mind is spinning.

I've been in the same position from the other end. Many times remember I'm an acupuncturist and I specialize in doing acupuncture right before the embryo transfer. Too many times I've woken up super early just like my patients. And then our into fighting silly traffic to get to the clinic labs are all to get a frantic and sometimes subfield call from a patient telling me the transfer is not happening either because the embryos didn't make it or the genetic results weren't good. It's just devastating for them. Thankfully in this case the results were just inconclusive and they were successfully able to biopsy the embryos again freeze them without losing any. And the second test was actually

conclusive. Now just to give you a sense of timing. Jen and Jeff couldn't just put the embryo back in right away when they got the test results. There is a very specific timing to this when you're transferring embryos back in the body and in particular the uterus have to essentially be in the same stage as the age of the embryo. So in this case the embryo is now frozen at five days old. So Jan had to come off her meds get her period get put back on medications which in this case meant mostly estrogen for a few weeks followed by progesterone just to mimic the state the body would normally be in for a five day embryo to be developing and ready to implant into the wall of the uterus.

That whole process from that day in the parking lot took around five weeks. So finally the actual transfer day arrives and they have one good embryo one shot.

So they go in for their transfer and it thankfully goes smooth and easy to trade for amazing to see because they show it on the TV and it just goes through and you see like a little scar flash on the screen and he's like that's it.

And you're right. So not moving. Which I will never forget because a lot of women are like did you lay there for 20 minutes. What should I do. Like should I not. She said it's like a grain of rice instead of peanut butter. She's like that rice in a movie. I no. So I get one of those weird things you remember.

But I don't get out of bed for two days.

Not sneezing because they told you to just you know just me I'm eating the pineapple core.

There's supposedly you know enzymes and a war that's just make your environment sticky. I like reading it probably it really is a spinach socks on.

Your feet. It's like where is your doctor Google. OK. Yeah.

Dr. Google. First off as far as I know none of those things she just said have been proven to help with embryo transfer success rates. But to be fair I don't think anyone's actually studied most of them. So it's possible but I'll be a little skeptical until proven otherwise. I can't even tell you the number of things on the internet purportedly help with Transfer Day. It's like an anthropological study into superstition from Pineapple core to multiple days of strict horizontal bedrest to McDonald's French fries. Now because I know how my patients are anyone going through IVF right now is both laughing and agreement about the superstition thing. And at the same time Google searching McDonald's French fries on IVF because of somewhere on the

Internet there was some tiny research study that showed it worked. They're going to do it. It's just how it is. So now Jeff and Jan settle into that dreaded period we refer to as the two week wait. With IVF it's more like a nine day wait but it's still a time when you have no way to figure out if everything you just did and put your heart into worked or you are back to square one and have to start all over. Needless to say they were anxious.

It's exactly things Id been waiting. I mean you're just mind races in 100 different directions all the time. You know there's not really anything else you can do because you don't notice it as much as you don't want it to dominate your thoughts every day all day long. You can't help it. I mean it's something you know you've been working so hard to get there and you put so much effort and everything into so yeah it's just it's just tough. I mean there's really no other way to get around. You know you say all focus on work and you are you have to you have a daily job to do and but when you're. At night when you're home you know and you know I have a job or before you go to bed you know or when you wake up it's

sort of just you know it was just.

I want an answer you know at that point in time we did everything we possibly could. Right. And we're continuing to do so. So it's going to work and it's going to work out. And if it's not we try again. This is kind of how I'm wired. So you know what I mean.

I still fall asleep at the time like normally but I made her mad. I didn't say anything. I'm like yeah. And I'm like why. Because.

I tell you what. The confidence I had in their practice made me probably feel that way too. I mean they were just so amazing and professional and good at what they do. And I think I looked at it as OK. It just doesn't work. And boy that will stink because we've come this far. They got us this far. Who says they can't get this far again. You know I'm just like one of them that's just kind of how I think you know they try one to try you know. And it was like you get a credit to them you know. And it occurred again because she did so well do the whole thing. I knew it would be tough for her. Have to go through it again but it was the same time

like I will come this far.

And our hands are still attached we're still together and still happy so if we had to go again I know we can get here.

So it's probably resting now as you've already figured out from the noises and sometimes screams in the background.

Jen and Jeff's IVF worked and that single genetically good embryo made it all the way this time. But I want you to keep some perspective because they didn't know that at the time. Remember up until this point they'd already had three miscarriages. So in Jen's mind nothing was sure.

Did it feel different to be pregnant at that time. Like was that that fear and that that things here was their strong.

Fear was there anxiety was there. I was so sick. But I was so sick.

With the other three too. So with the PGD or PGS it's not 100 percent.

And the lab still says you should go to CVS.

I did it. Got it but I had said if anything weird came up at your first trimester screening if anything were up I would obviously get it.

But I was sick I was sick I was throwing up all day. And then one day it stopped.

Some out again and I was like wait a minute what if something is wrong. I way I missed growing up now. I want propagand. So it's all that.

I'm calling my O.B. for Doppler shift. Car come in I'll do you lunch like I said Hybris nurse. I mean these people treated me like I was gold. Even at the higher risk doctor. They were like We've heard your story.

He's like you are Jennifer. Oh my God.

I've heard your story. I was reading your chart. Like this baby is a miracle. I'm going to tell my students about this. And I was just like this is great this is great. You're like a star.

He was fine and everything was fine. And my presidency was perfect.

I had no issues. Were you worried the whole time. Yeah.

You never worried on a break when they said you have to push. I love it. I was like I'm not ready. What if he comes out and he's sick. And I've had.

A hundred ultrasounds and I'm still not convinced.

And then when he came out and I saw his face and I was like. And then I was listening because I do everything in the same room now.

The group was yelling at my husband. I go back in your corner and meet your eyes OK. He said gender like.

He just said like I was being like such a bitch. That point not when I was like pushing already but it was like OK.

You're fine. Everything was fine. Looking back on it all with some perspective after the birth of their son Jen and Jeff both had thoughts of why they wanted to share their story.

Even to this day and really I know has really sunk in about how difficult. You know it's like you know we're going to live well we can't just go through you.

You know it's not like I don't get it. And yet it's just we can't just do that. Secondly Jen doesn't work for our company anymore we had excellent insurance like all these things are going to look like down to them that way. Like I can't afford it just pay out of pocket for my insurance company doesn't do it at my home where I work. You know and you're like oh you know.

Oh yes that's right you know I mean if guys being guys and the wives would look at things differently but I don't even think so I think that's an easy question to ask because it is if it is. Yeah pretty much. You know I use I use I use blower I used before but now it's one of those things where you can of sick of the questions so you really pay. Right. It's not just that we can't just do it you know and this is why so maybe you know we stop asking.

But people have no idea oh it's like a turkey baster.

That's what I heard and like so we're not going to go there. Right. One more thing. Not her cancer. You didn't feel like educating.

I guess I was so this is by design at that point.

But for the most part you know I'll never forget going into those IVF appointments. It was like. Kendra.

No one talks. No one looks at each other. There's so many women in the reading room and they're just had you down.

You're on the phone. You're in a magazine. It's just silent. Like no other office that I have ever been to. And it's really sad. Because I think. There's that shame that comes with miscarriages infertility IVF which I felt it for sure. That's why I am always like I feel like I'm willing to tell a story because.

If someone's on the fence about IVF and they're scared of the needles I was scared to looking back now.

It was nothing. It was nothing. I mean the worst part is your husband giving you shots in ass Because you like this not what I expected marriage making babies.

And my water on my right butt cheek make sure you get it. It's like the north one to the west and he's like I got it. Their blood. It's like but it really is nothing in the grand scheme of.

It especially when you are successful I think an idea like we were.

And finally Jeff had some advice specifically for the men out there.

Number one you got to be the key supporter that you're there to get him through whatever it is they need to get through. You know do everything you can if they want you those doctors appointments you know make sure you're there or if you can't get all of them find out what the key ones are and make sure you're there because this is the most important thing you know is what they're looking for is a lot of support. And then don't feel like you know the answer to things because that's like a natural instinct of men. And. You've already. Gone to the point where you're. Addressing it with. A medical solution. Your answer work.

You know get that out of your head you know and don't feel bad about it you know because it you know that's where you are now. So come to grips with that as fast as you can and then begin the process and work together as a team.

It's like I would love to use you as an education for you.

My God my husband and I don't have this perspective and are really annoying.

I mean I love to deal with you on a day to day basis right now.

It's hard like that. You know it's one thing I give guys a lot of credit if they just don't know what to do. But you know what. And you know so many of the times they like then end up just checking out which is like so not what anyone's going for. So it's always interesting to see the other side.

I'm sorry all the guys out there. But seriously get it together.

Thanks to Jen and Jeff for telling their story and most importantly for feeding me cookies on a Spider-Man plate during the interview. It's like some people just get who I am.

Waiting for Babies is produced by me Steven Mavros with help during interviews by Laura Mullin. For those of you who live in the Philadelphia area. Wednesday August 9th is our launch party and a live interview event at We Work in Northern Liberties, where Laura and I will take the stage and do an in-person interview with Elizabeth Walker and Maria Novotny from the ART of infertility who each bring their own amazing stories of turning their struggles of infertility. Tickets are available on our website at Afterwards you'll be able to grab a drink and meet some of the people featured in this podcast. And I promise it'll be an entertaining evening so I'll see you. Take care.

This audio features the song "Lullaby for a Broken Circuit" by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, "Readers, Do You Read" and "Divider" by Chris Zabriskie, "Elehyphant at Oceanflame Dawn" by Myriador, "She Lost Her Wings (Instrumental Version)" by Josh Woodward, all available under a Creative Commons Attribution license.

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