Mark McGrath’s Blog: Our Fertility Journey, Part 1
Thanks for welcoming our newest celebrity blogger Mark McGrath.
The Sugar Ray frontman is proud papa to 5-month-old twins Lydon Edward and Hartley Grace, his children with fiancée Carin Kingsland, as well as the new host of Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, airing weekdays on VH1 and in syndication.
In his second blog, McGrath, 42, begins sharing his and Carin’s struggle to conceive their children — busted balls and all!
|Hartley and Lydon playing together – Courtesy Carin Kingsland|
Thank you for all your comments on crying it out. We are new to all of this and I really appreciate your thoughts and concerns. We are definitely taking it to heart and going to try some of your suggestions. One thing I learned about parenting is that all of us, at one time or another, are doing something wrong. On to this week…
It was July 2009 and I had just gotten home from the first leg of a 10-week tour with my band Sugar Ray. I could tell from the first second I walked in the house that something was really wrong with Carin: Fifteen years of knowing her had provided me with valuable crisis aversion insight.
I was so tired and all I wanted was macaroni and cheese, my bed and my dogs, but I knew that wasn’t gonna happen. And then it came, the four words all guys dread hearing … “We need to talk.”
Carin decided to give me some time to rest and settle in. When we finally started talking, she went straight into discussing how we needed to step it up in the baby department and look into trying IVF, etc. Much to her surprise I said, “YES.” She was SHOCKED. But what could I say, I just wanted to eat my mac and cheese.
Now Carin and I had already been increasing our efforts to have a child, much to my delight! But when Carin didn’t get pregnant the natural way, it wasn’t a big surprise to either one of us, given the medical history that we both had.
When I was around 10 years old, I had an injury to one of my balls (forgive me, I’m a rocker) that occurred when I was sleeping. Basically, I rolled over awkwardly, cutting off the blood flow, and my testicle was slowly dying. I know it sounds hardcore — especially at age 10 — but thankfully they were able to save it.
The problem was, they told me it was possible I may never be able to have children. Ha! What did I care? I was only 10 years old and girls were still firmly entrenched in the “icky” stage to me!
Carin, on the other hand, had more serious issues. The poor thing had one of her ovaries removed when she was only 11, as well as countless complications over her lifetime with cysts and fibroids.
I’ve learned more than I ever cared to know about the delicate nature of female plumbing, but I also have a newfound respect for what women have to go through in regards to pregnancy — and most importantly, a newfound respect and love for Carin.
Finding Dr. Right
Sometimes in life you luck out, and you meet a professional who not only changes your life, but who also becomes a dear friend. That person to us is Dr. Shahin Ghadir. The first second we walked into his office to discuss our options, Carin and I both felt at ease.
No man ever wants to hear about exploring a medical procedure, and I am no exception to that rule! Images of poking and prodding, scary conditions and afflictions, and bank account bloodletting (some procedures just aren’t covered by insurance these days) now filled the shallow recesses of my mind.
First, Carin and I decided to try IUI (intra-uterine insemination). This basically involves me doing my thing at a doctor’s office into a Petri dish with the help of well-used Playboy magazines from the ‘70s. Embarrassing and shameful, a little bit of me died that day! Afterwards, the sample is collected and washed, strategically placed, and then you hope for the best.
The first go at IUI didn’t work. We decided to try again. While on tour, we got the results of the second IUI back: Carin was not pregnant.
In my heart of hearts, I have to say I wasn’t surprised. She was 36 with one ovary and all of her complications, and I was a 41-year-old washed-up rocker… maybe children just weren’t in our future.
But then came the three letters that changed my life: IVF (in vitro fertilization).
I had left Extra at the end of 2008, and hadn’t had a steady paycheck in awhile. I explained to Carin that the reality was that we couldn’t afford IVF. She said to me thoughtfully that the reality was we couldn’t afford not to do it if we wanted to have children.
At her age, every day that passes can severely decrease the chance of having a child. With the thoughts of ever buying a Harley quickly dissipating from my mind, I told Carin, “Okay, we’ve got one shot at this…”
Next week, find out all the details on what happened on our very first try with IVF!
|Carin and Mark the night before they found out they were expecting – Courtesy Carin Kingsland|
— Mark McGrath