Moms & Babies

Celebrity Baby Blog
Celebrity Baby Blog

Mark McGrath’s Blog: Our Fertility Journey, Part 1

09/29/2010 at 09:00 AM ET

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…

Decision Time

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.

Busted Balls

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

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

On Newsstands Now

Mystery of the Marine's Wife
  • Mystery of the Marine's Wife
  • Andi Tells PEOPLE: 'Our Love is Worth All the Drama'
  • Cameron Diaz: Ready to Wed?

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 164 comments

Maureen on

Dear Mark,

Thank-you for sharing your experience with us! I know it had to be tough. My husband and I have been trying for a baby for 4 years now, without any luck. Problem is, as you mentioned, IVF isn’t covered by insurance, and we can’t afford the procedure. We tried intra-uterine too, but, that didn’t work either.

I find that people aren’t talking about fertility issues, and if people brought more attention to them, perhaps we could get some coverage from insurance companies. It’s almost like people are embarrased when they can’t get pregnant.
You are an inspiration to me, hopefully one day, I’ll be able to say I’m pregnant too! :)

BabyHopes on

I am happy to hear you are talking about this. My husband and I have been dealing with infertility for 2.5 years and are moving to IVF this month, which is not covered by insurance. $28,000 is a lot of money to spend on something that should happen naturally. The more we talk about it the more likely insurance will start to realize that having children should not be considered an “optional” procedure for those of us who can only get pregnant with help. Thank you for sharing.

Laura on

I’m glad you kept trying and successfully had two gorgeous babies! I wish you nothing but the best!

Tina on

Wow such a great story. It is really nice to hear it from a man’s point of view. All too often we forget (sad to say) how infertility not only effects the woman..but the man involved to. So happy to hear that you guys were successful and now have two beautiful children! Parenthood is an incredicible thing..it really is.

Candy on

Thank you so much for talking about your journey. My husband and I are now having to looking into some of these procedures ourselves. It is going to kill us financially, if we can even manage to do it. It is so nice to hear people actually talk about the problems they are having rather than “opps I am pregnant!”

Monica on

I am currently going through IVF and I have United Healthcare Medical Insurance. Its covers IVF and any other fertility issues up to a $25,000 limit.

Rojobahr on

My husband and I also went through the pain of not being able to have a baby. In our case, it was miscarriage after miscarriage. After 5 of them, our doctor decided to take a shot in the dark and put me on progesterone supplements. That did the trick!

I know that dark, helpless feeling of knowing that you want a baby, but something is wrong with your body that you just can’t fix. I, for one, went through waves of depression. It is very draining to your psyche.

In our case, we had decided that we would adopt instead of using IVF if the sixth try hadn’t worked. But we were very grateful that we even had the option of IVF.

I am very happy for you and your lovely wife! Modern science can be a miracle. Look at the two beautiful miracles it gave you! :)

Sandy on

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. People more often than not don’t understand what is involved with infertility and especially with IVF. My husband and I were fortunate enough to have IVF with the financial help of family. The first 2 tries were unsuccessful but I finally got pregnant after the third try – with twins! We tried for 4 years to have a baby and now I have 2 on the way – due in November. Thanks for sharing your story and giving hope to so many people out there struggling to have a baby. Best of luck to all :)

Karen on

We tried 3 rounds of IVF, with no success. We were fortunate that it WAS covered by our insurance but at age 44, we were cut off. With suggestions to try donor eggs and all the work, cost and screening involved with that, we decided to look into adoption. The expense was out of our reach, so we looked to adopt from social services. It was free! We took the required classes and just after ONE month’s wait, we got a call for a beautiful 7 mo old baby boy.

Our son is our entire world and our joy. No matter HOW you become a parent – it’s a gift from God. Don’t give up hope, look into all avenues! You CAN make it happen.

Kimberly on

Mark, don’t let these people convince you that you are doing anything wrong in the “crying it out department.” They do what’s right for their families, and you do what’s right for yours. Is it right for every family? Not necessarily, but that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for yours. Do what’s best for you and your family, and you’ll be just fine.

Thanks for being so candid about your fertility struggles. It was very interesting to read about, and I’m sure it will provide some comfort to others who are struggling with the same thing. Enjoying your blog, keep it up! Best to you, Carin, and those beautiful little babies!

Karen on

My husband and I also strugged for 5 years with infertility. Due to our issues, IUI was not an option for us so we went directly to IVF. Luckily my insurance covered 1 procedure in a lifetime so we went for it. Had 4 implanted and 1 took. We have a happy, healthy 3.5 year old daughter. A little over a year later we tried again and implanted 2 this time. We now have wonderful 1 year old twin sons!

It truly is a shame that insurance companies look at this as a voluntary procedure. I know I would have preferred the old-fashioned way!! It should be considered a disability and be covered by law.

pinky on

Mark, thanks so much for your blog and thanks to you and Carin for sharing your story. My husband and I have been trying to have children for the past 3 years. I’ve undergone one surgery and seven IUI procedures. I am my late 20’s now and was saddened that I have this issue at a young age when something like this “shouldn’t happen.” Only a few friends and family know what is going on with us but I suspect more are aware since we haven’t received a “When are you guys having kids?” question for over a year now.

Thanks for putting it out there so that people like me are more comfortable speaking on the subject and that others can come to understand what it means for those going through it. Congrats on the twins and I look forward to future blog entries!

Brenda on

After being told we’d need an egg donor before we could even try to get pregnant, we talked about the pros vs. cons of IVF & adoption. We chose the adoption route & 16 months later brought a beautiful 3-day old girl home from the hospital with us. I would do it the same way all over again! I can appreciate people wanting biological children, but please don’t forget that there are lots of children out there that are already born that need homes too!

Kristine on

Like everyone else, thanks for being open and honest about your struggles with fertility. I think many people go into this whole ‘baby making business’ w/o a clue as to how tough it can be. I lost a child, my first son, in 1995 after getting pregnant the first go (naturally) but suffered from Eclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. The next 15 yrs my body took a toll. My husband and I also went the IUI route and got pregnant 2x but both ended in miscarriage. I have a cousin who took 5 IUI’s and finally success. In 2008 I became pregnant, surprisingly, the natural way w/o really trying. It was a blessing, a difficult pregnant but my miracle is almost 2.

Trying to conceive can be very stressful and many times heart breaking when you know you will be great parents yet just can’t get there. I’m guessing a lot of ppl would be surprised to read “you can’t afford it” but just because one is ‘famous’ doesn’t mean you are all rolling in the dough. I wish you all the happiness with the twins.

Amy on

congratulations on your beautiful babies. Thank you for discussing infertility and the struggles some people go through for their children. I am the lucky mother of 4 but, those wonderful kids came from a lot of medical interventions.

I took all the different drugs there were for fertility and many attempts at insemination and was blessed with my daughter. 2 years later we started the process again and skipped all the failed drugs and stepped it up. After 2 attempts of insemination we were blessed again but, this time we were shocked with 3 little surprises. I am now the proud mother of a 4 year old and 22 month old Triplets.

Without the love and support of the doctors we saw I would not have my children. I was lucky that my insurance did see the importance of children and covered fertility drugs. They also covered three lifetime attempts at insemination. We used our three attempts and beyond. We luckily did not have to move on to IVF but, we knew if we did the drugs would be covered we would just have to pay the procedures. And at that point in my life there wouldn’t be any amount I wasn’t willing to pay.

Annie on

Mark,

Thank you for the wonderful blog. My husband and I are going through something very similar. I have had ovarian cysts since I was a teen and now that I’m in my thirties, I am having trouble getting pregnant. It seems like an uphill battle and at times I become very sad. I know if it’s meant to be, it will be, but I want to have babies more than anything in the world! Thank you again for writing this. Stories like this certainly give me hope.

Nikki on

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your story! Struggles with pregnancy seem to be more and more common, and unfortunately money plays a big part in whether or not you are able to have a baby in those situations, no matter how much you pray for one. As a couple in their 20’s that is currently going through IUI and knows at least 3 other couples going through this journey, I truly appreciate hearing your story and look forward to your next post!

Lisa on

Thanks for sharing this with us, I had a similar issue and tried 5 IUI and 2 IVF with no luck, but, at 38 and giving up I got pregnant naturally, so there is hope, when you least expect it it may happen.

I had everyone tell me do not think about it and it will happen, (they had no clue when you want something bad and people expect u not to think about it, right?) but, honestly that is how it happened, I was almost 3 months late and thought it was early menopause but, turned out to be my beautiful baby girl who is now 3 and it the love of my life.

So for everyone trying do not give up as hard as it is on us and know how our world ends everytime that test does not show positive and we sit there staring at the test window thinking we see a faded line, there is hope, Mark and his girl are an example and one day you guys will be too.

Steph on

Mark,

Thanks for sharing. My husband and I have shared a similar journey…4 years, 5 IUI’s, 2 rounds of IVF and 4 miscarriages later, we’re still trying. Stories like yours continue to give me hope that it all will work out in the end.

There is such a stigma around infertility that goes unrecognized. Even the most benign comments from people tend to pierce like a knife…but the worst is watching all of your friends, family, co-workers, aquaintences have children and move on with thier lives all while you’re life feels stalled in a never-ending cycle of procedures and disappointment. However, the harder the journey, the sweeter the reward.

Thanks for sharing again.

Tina on

My husband and I struggled with infertility due to me having a hormone imbalance. We were finally able to conceive naturally and are expecting our baby soon.

It’s great to read the man’s perspective on infertility here. Every month, when I wasn’t pregnant I would cry because I felt so frustrated that it wasn’t happening for us. My husband is old-school and doesn’t cry but I could also see the disappointment in his face each time it didn’t happen. It’s reassuring to hear that it’s okay for men to also struggle with the painful emotions of wanting a child and not being able to have one…

Melissa on

Mark, you have such a beautiful family and I thank you for sharing your story with everyone. We really need more people to come out and discuss this so maybe it will be covered under insurance. This is a very expensive procedure, especially when you have to do it with donor egg.

My hubby had testicular cancer, was in remission for 5.5 years, and this past July he found out it spread to his other testicle. Thankfully we found out early that we were able to get enough sperm to freeze. In my situation, I went into perimenopause at the age of 36. Having 2 failed pregnancies, I was never able to get pregnant again. So now we must do IVF with donor egg. I still have hope that we will have a family one day. I guess it’s just not the right time.

Marjorie on

So happy everything worked out for you! My sister had problems conceiving as well and fortunately IVF worked twice for her! Thank goodness for modern medicine!

Noelle on

I LOVE reading about this from a guys perspective. I did IUI twice (and ended up with a tubal pregnancy) and then moved on to IVF. In total, I did 2 full rounds of IVF and 3 frozen cycles (using frozen embryos) to get my 2 beautiful children. The journey is such a rollercoaster of emotions. The drugs can be brutal on you mentally and physically but the end result is so worth it.

I’m so happy you took the journey and now have 2 beautiful babies to cherish. Keep writing here, I love it!

Lisa on

I agree with Brenda – “I can appreciate people wanting biological children, but please don’t forget that there are lots of children out there that are already born that need homes too!”

Sharon on

My daughter had four miscarriages in 2005 and then 2 years later, surgery; then multiple failed IUIs and this year; a prenancy totally out of the blue! We expect this little miracle at the end of November.

As a mother of three (and three miscarriages) I can sympathize with fertility issues. But as you know, nothing is as special as seeing that baby or babies for the first time!!! Bless you!

Emily on

Thank you for sharing your story and being so very open and honest with the public about your fertility struggles. Being a public figure helps your voice to be heard and helps to get the word out to others about IVF and infertility.

My husband and I have been struggling to conceive for years and were recently told that based upon both of our issues, IVF is truly our only option for having a biological child. We decided to pursue adoption instead. Adoption is expensive and intensive, but I anticipate all the waiting (3 years of total waiting) it will be worth it in the end.

Kelly on

Mark, you have a beautiful family and thank you for sharing your story with us. I’ve had four IUI’s this year and we’re moving onto our 1st IVF in November. It is SO expensive as you know and unfortunately, too many of us understand how hard it is and it’s always good when someone with a “bigger voice” is able to talk about how real it really is.

Looking forward to hearing more about it next week and seeing your precious babies more!

Heather on

Hi Mark, Your twins are beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story.

Me and my husband tried for 5 years and went through 3 IUI’s, 2 advanced IUI’s and 2 IVF’s the second IVF they had to do a rescue ICSI. Each time got harder and harder for me because everytime they called I was not pregnant. And it was hard to see the disappointment on my husband’s face. But that final IVF, I got the best news of my life, I was pregnant. In December 2009 I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.

I agree with the previous comment, the harder the journey the sweeter the reward. My son is amazing, I love him so much.

Vicki on

I must comment on everyone wishing IVF was covered by insurance. This is a very expensive procedure, and one that most people do not need. Our insurance covers it, so the people that don’t need it have to pay the higher premiums to cover it anyway, and it’s not right. I am not against coverage, but it should be an option for the insureds as to whether they want the plan that includes it, and the higher premiums that go along with it, or the one that doesn’t include it.

I don’t mean to sound callous, infertility is a horrible thing to deal with, but it is not life-threatening. Let’s be real, I don’t think I should have to pay for others to have children. If you can’t afford the IVF, you can’t afford to raise a child.

Gretchen on

I love your blog, Mark. My husband and I have been on a five year odyssey to have children, including medicines, one failed IUI, an IVF miscarriage, a failed IVF and now we’re on the third round and in the waiting cycle. It’s such a painful journey – but I know it will be worth it in the end.

I take a lot of comfort in reading the journies of those on here who share these similar experiences. We will all get there- one way or the other. Stay strong everyone! And congrats, Mark!

Lisa on

Mark and Carin,

Thank you for sharing and thank you for your honesty! Truly, a breath of fresh air. These days the amount of women that are over 40+ that People & Hollywood glorify as having children like it’s chinese takeout is staggering. Thank you for not airbrushing the challenges of conceiving.

Blessings to you both.

Elizabeth on

I really enjoyed reading that me and my husband struggled for 3 years before i found out i was pregnant in August. its good to hear you’re not alone in the struggle to conceive a baby, thanks for blogging that :)

Kristen on

Oh I always knew that my crush on Mark from the moment that first Sugar Ray video hit MTV was correct! Reading about the love and respect he has found for Carin just makes him a beautiful man in my mind. I love hearing about your journey and hope that we are able to read more from other fathers as time goes on.

But seriously Mark- don’t worry about doing anything wrong. There is no right answer for every family. We all have to find our own way and do what works for us as parents and what works for our own children. Plus the fun thing with kids is just because it worked great for months doesn’t mean that it will EVER work again.

Keep moving forward. Kiss your girl. Kiss your babies and let us read about it! :)

Lisa on

Oh and Vicki,

When you say you don’t mean to sound callous – YOU ARE!! Let’s be real (your words) – YOU ARE CALLOUS and LACK COMPASSION. So basically only the infertile wealthy should have access to IVF?!?!

More and more I re-read your comment I’m convinced you’re a shill for the insurance company.

Jewels on

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Its certianly and encouragement to all of us struggling or that have struggled with infertility.

Karen on

We had trouble conceiving my son. It was the most painful time of my life. Thanks, Mark for sharing your family’s story. My heart and prayers go out to all of you struggling to conceive. May your efforts be blessed.

Sun on

Mark, your babies are MAJORLY CUTE! I love that pic where they’re holding hands. Thank you for giving us a guy’s perspective. You and Carin are blessed with beautiful, healthy babies, and we wish you all the best in the years to come. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the toddler years!

tink1217 on

thank you for sharing Mark…especially hearing a man talk about it…

We tried for 10 years. The problem wasn’t getting pregnant but STAYING pregnant..for us anyway. I have 2 children from my first marriage. My 2nd husband and I wanted just one of our own. he legally adopted my kids and he said he didn’t care about biology…but we figured we would try anyway.

I ended up having recurrent miscarriages. Its devastating to say the least. But we kept going, kept testing, etc…finally we were told all was normal but there could be a genetics problem so IVF with Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis was recommended. Luckily my insurance said one try would be paid for..after that we were going to throw in the towel. We didn’t even make it through the first cycle and it was canceled due to my ovaries poor response. I was heartbroken.

So it wasn’t meant to be for us…but I am happy to hear good news when others are successful. Your babies are beautiful!!!

Vicki on

Lisa,

It’s not a question of compassion, that has nothing to do with it. It’s simple economics and you’re letting your emotions get the best of you. I am for all kinds of fertility treatment, I just don’t think I, or the rest of the non-child bearing world, should have to pay for it.

And people who are not wealthy have to go without a lot of other things as well, but you don’t hear anyone wanting someone else to pay for it for them! Join the real world…

Josie on

It ended so abruptly, LOL…I can’t wait to read next week’s post.

Angie on

Dude, thanks for sharing, man. I’ve always liked you as you seemed to be a ‘what you see is what you get’ kinda person. Your words and honesty mean so much to so many out there going through the same struggle!

I donated my eggs to my cousin earlier this year and it was a success. During this process I really, really learned to appreciate the difficulty and the miracle of pregnancy. What’s funny is that after the drugs were out of my system, I became pregnant. She’s due in two weeks and I’m due in two months.

michellemgd on

Wow, thanks so much for sharing this. I have been trying to get pregnant for 16 months with no success. We both checked out as “normal” and are moving onto an IUI next month.

I have so much respect for people that share their infertility issues as it is nothing to be ashamed of! I wish more celebrities that had these challenges would speak up about it. Can’t wait to hear the rest of your journey!

Tami on

What a wonderful story!!

@Vicki – did you seek out this blog in particular so you could “stick it to” those who suffer with infertility? Just because someone doesnt have $15-20k saved up for medical procedures doesnt mean that they wont be able to afford to raise children. What an ass.

Brina on

Vicki, would it then make sense for insurance to not cover any number of non-life-threatening conditions–broken bones, amputations, knee and hip replacements, other things you can technically live with (or, in the case of knee and hip replacements, without)? How about prenatal care, birth, or coverage for three children at a reduced per-person rate, because having them was your choice and not a matter of life and death? After all, I have all my limbs intact and no kids, what if I don’t want to pay for those things for other people?

The answer is that that’s what insurance IS–most people have some issues that don’t affect the whole population, and we all pay into a pool to defray each other’s expenses.

michellemgd on

Vicki: “If you can’t afford IVF, you can’t afford to have a child.” THIS IS WRONG. You don’t have to spend $28,000 in one solid chunk to raise your child but you have to pay that money mostly upfront to have IVF done. I don’t have that kind of money at my disposal right now but I sure as hell have the money to pay for diapers, clothes and all other needs that my future child will have.

That was a silly comment from someone who probably has never gone through the pain of not being able to have kids.

Tash on

My main concern reading all of the comments is why so many women in their 20’s & 30’s are having such trouble conceiving!!! I too had complications, as well as my fiance’. Luckily things worked out for us and we are the proud parents of a wonderful 4 year old boy.

But something has to give. What are we doing as a society that is putting our women at risk of not being able to have children the natural way???? Thats really the discussion we should be having.

Mel on

That has to be the most precious picture I have seen in a long time. I am so glad it worked out for them. I hope all couples wishing to conceive are able to. Maybe one day insurance companies will realize what a gift IVF can be.

Andrea on

After 4 years of trying to conceive without any results, we went to a fertility specialist. I was under the assumption the problem was my husbands and that we would need a donor sperm in order to conceive. When we sought the help of the fertility specialist, my husband gave a sample of his sperm and the results came back normal. I was quite surprised.

We tried IUI and the second time I got pregnant. Now our child is 2 1/2 years old. We tried IUI again with our second child and it worked the second time. He is now 8 1/2 months old. We are also older parents (38 years old). We were lucky we didn’t have to do IVF. Our insurance didn’t cover any fertility issues.

kate on

I have United Healthcare. I WORK for the state government and any infertilty treatment is not covered with my plan. Your employer and group policy has alot of say as to what is covered and what isn’t. Infertiity coverage would require alot more money by the employer so they are likely not going to offer it.

It is a shame that there really isn’t any financial assistance for middle class couples who do not have the capitol cash for IVF. If you are in the military, there are some miitary hospitals that have an experimental IVF program, but there is usually a wait.

kjc on

Thanks for sharing your story Mark, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of it next week! It’s amazing how many people have troubles either getting pregnant, or staying pregnant. Why is this so common nowadays?!? Or has it always been, just fewer people talked about it?

At 26 years old, I have also been struggling with infertility for nearly 3 years. My husband and I have been together since we were 17 and took all the necessary precautions while dating to ensure we didn’t have an unplanned pregnancy. We got married at 22 and waited for just over a year before we started trying. Well, success, pregnant the first month we tried, only to find out weeks later that we miscarried. 2 and a half years later, and a total of 5 miscarriages has been devastating.

It’s hard to think we can get pregnant on our own, but I can’t stay pregnant. This is something that I have always feared, but didn’t actually think it would happen to me. We are young right, we shouldn’t be having these issues?!?

Well, we are pregnant again – only 10 weeks – but things are looking better than they ever have at this stage, so it gives me hope. Although it’s not all peaches and cream… I take 2 progesterone pills, twice a day (and not by mouth either) along with one baby aspirin, 2 different folic acid pills and to top it off, a daily injection of tinzaparin (blood thinner) straight to the tummy. If this works, it will obviously all be worth it – and if it doesn’t, at least I know I did everything I could to try and bring this little peanut into the world.

Good luck to everyone out there who is struggling, and know that you are not alone!

Susan on

I went through IVF and also have beautiful boy and girl twins. It was very expensive (but worth it), and for those that aren’t aware, you can write off the medical expenses on your income tax.

Stella on

Um, Vicki … I think it’s YOU who needs to “join the real world.”

Millions of people in this country struggle with the reality that, in order to experience the simple, life-affirming act of having a child, they need to deplete their bank accounts and sacrifice their mental and physical health. IVF is grueling, heartbreaking, and financially ruinous. And, as a few people on this board have pointed out, the only reason people like you remain oblivious, and the insurance companies are able to pretend that it’s prohibitively expensive, is because it’s so painful that most of us don’t talk about it.

The reality is that 90% of our health-care costs in this country are incurred at the end of life. We spend most of our health care budget on drugs and procedures for people who are going to die soon anyway. (For instance, this week’s New York Times had a story about a new cancer drug that costs $92,000/year, and an 80-year-old man who is expected to get an additional four months of life from taking it was quoted as saying the only reason he’s doing so is because HIS INSURANCE PAYS FOR IT.)

We’re more than willing to pay $92,000 to extend a life by four months, but we can’t manage to give people less than $30,000 to bring another new life into the world.

I know this sounds harsh … and I don’t mean to make this a choice between the infertile and the elderly, I love Grandma as much as anyone else. But all the arguments against infertility coverage (sometimes it doesn’t work, etc) could be made against treatments for a wide range of other conditions, for which the treatment is FAR more expensive and long-term.

It’s time to start talking about this and educating people like Vicki. We all know someone who’s been through this, or we’ve been through it ourselves. Big props to Mark and Carin for posting about it.

Nicole on

Thanks you so much for sharing this! After trying to have a baby for 7 long years and spending $100,000 on failed fertility treatments we were ready to give up. We tried one more time and I am now pregnant with twins.

No one can ever know the pain, frustration, sadness and guilt you feel going through this process. It is so refreshing to hear someone publicly talk about it. Thank you Mark!

Becky on

Such a beautiful story..Your children are such cuties..I really hate to hear about people that want children and can’t have them, when I have a huge family and most of my nieces and nephews shouldn’t be having any more kids..Best wishes to you and your lovely wife..

To all of the women (and men) that are wanting children and for whatever reason aren’t able to have them, I am keeping y’all in my prayers..Children are the best blessing that you will ever get (imo)..

Vicki on

Again, not a question of educating people like me. You all are way too emotional about things that will probably never change.

Insurance covers stupid things and doesn’t cover many life saving procedures. It is what it is, and we all have no power to change it, and if you think you do, you’re delusional.

Paying for IVF is not the same as broken bones, etc., what a ridiculous statement. And for those of you who think having a child is life-affirming, you need to broaden your horizons. We don’t always get what we want in life, that is the reality. Play the hand you’re dealt and make the most of it instead of wasting time complaining about things you cannot change.

Cindy on

Refreshing to hear the male perspective. We too struggled but thankfully we have 2 wonderful girls due to an amazing doctor! Congratulations on your babies. I look forward to hearing more on your journey to become parents.

I have a very good friend going thru IVF again now. Even though I have been through the trenches of infertility, I still struggle with the right words to say to her. Thanks for giving the guys a voice. I know my husband felt alone during our process. Enjoy your babies! They grow up way too fast!

Elizabeth on

Adopt. It was a long, expensive experience, but we couldn’t possibly imagine our lives without our precious baby girl.

Liz on

Mark, your babies are beautiful. My husband and I will be beginning IVF next month if our last IUI fails. We have no infertility coverage and are borrowing the money from family.

I have an opinion about Brenda’s comment, reminding us that there are children up for adoption. While adoption is a wonderful choice, and I wouldn’t hesitate to adopt if necessary to become a parent, I resent the suggestion that couples who pursue infertility treatment are somehow selfish. We only want what so many other couples want, and can have- our own biological children. Until we start asking every fertile couple with children, “why didn’t you adopt?”, it’s unfair to have those expectation of infertile couples.

Additionally, while infertility treatment is difficult and expensive, so are most forms of adoption.

In short, one of the most hurtful stigmas against infertile couples is the idea that they are self-indulgent and overly dramatic about treatments, when clearly they should “just adopt”. Please, PLEASE, let’s stop that.

michelle on

Congratulations on your miracles. Nice to see a celebrity talking about the truth of infertility versus hiding behind a facade.

We too struggled with infertility for 5 years. Started when I was 30 to have kids with no luck. After 6 rounds of IUI, 2 miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, surgeries, 3 rounds of IVF (3rd was the charm), I now have 5 1/2 year old b/g twins who just started Kindergarten this year. Honestly, I never thought I say this, but all the things I endured are really a distant memory, maybe due to lack of sleep and energy or just time passing.

Treasure the moments you deserve too.

Kelly on

Mark – thank you for sharing and letting people know just how real infertility is. We’ve been struggling for 7 years now and have suffered so much loss and pain. However, our marriage is stronger than ever. Thanks for being so honest. I can relate!

And Vicky – you really are a cold-hearted and callous person. It’s IGNORANT people like you that know NOTHING about the pain and struggles of infertility that make is hard for those of us who do suffer to even talk about it. If you do have kids, I pray they don’t learn your bias, ignorant, self-centered callousness from you. And if you don’t have kids…GOOD!!! You don’t deserve something that wonderful with an attitude and mindset like that.

P.S. If you break a limb or need surgery, I sure as hell hope my insurance doesn’t cover that for you!

Kelly on

Besides Vicki – another thing I that disturbs me – why does insurance cover abortion at 100% but hardly anything to actually have a child? So we as a country are okay with killing babies at no cost, but costing everything we have to actually have a baby. Figure that one!

Jessica on

Thank you for sharing. My husband and I have been trying naturally for two years and are going for our first round of IUI next month. I’m scared it won’t work because we can’t afford IVF. But stories like yours remind me to keep the faith as we exhaust all possibilities within our reach.

B. on

Wow, my son was also conceived through the help of Dr. Shahin Ghadir. Words cannot describe how blessed I am to have my son and how grateful we are to Dr. Ghadir for making that happen.

Danielle on

Something to ponder: Adoption is a lot cheaper and you would have had a child in a matter of months. I am adopted and I adopted and it is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to a child.

Rosedon on

And in the end, you did get your “Harley” and a Side Car to match !!
The babies are beautiful.
Congratulations !!!

Jill on

Great blog Mark! I am very happy for you and your wife. And like Brenda, although I can appreciate why people want to have their own biological child, I want to also remind people about adoption – that’s also a great way to go when you are struggling to conceive. I know many people who have adopted the most wonderful children without it being costly or difficult.

clara on

The twins really are gorgeous babies and you guys seem like great parents. we all try things & learn & try new things. You both seem very open-minded & positive. Thank you for being so honest here! It is great to get a dad’s POV!

Marcy on

Like everyone else, THANK YOU for being so open! Hopefully the more celebrities and others talk about it, the more others may as well and it won’t be such a taboo topic.

We did IVF as well for our little man (3rd time was the charm!) and we are so thankful every day!

Congratulations!

kjd on

Thank you so much for sharing. My husband and I are infertile due to male factor and it is so refreshing to have a MAN speak out about this. Thank you for normalizing this struggle, it means so much to the silent couples that are hoping to become parents.

Natasha on

Thanks for sharing your story Mark. Congratulations on your beautiful twins.

Nylah on

Vicki, You’re paying for someone’s child either through insurance or through welfare.

Allison on

Neat!!

Kimber on

Vicki, the premium-paying public would save a lot more money if insurance companies didn’t cover Viagra than they do by refusing to cover infertility treatment.

Brittney on

So glad to hear it worked out for you both. My mom got remarried in 2006 he has never had children and they decided they wanted to have children of their own. Within the next week will be my mom’s 5th and last time trying invitro. We know God’s will, will be done (we just hope his will is a baby :)

Catherine on

Not to be totally off topic, but another blog topic of his could be how they chose the twins’ names (like Kerri Walsh did in her blog,) and do they get flak for their choices (a la “Sundance.”) They are such unique, interesting choices, I’d be curious to hear!

Kaye on

Dear Mark,
Thank you for story. It is similar to what me and my husband went through. I had Endometrosis and he had cancer in 2007. Our only option for having a baby was IVF, we did not qualify for IUI. Our insurance did not pay for the IVF, but it did pay for half of the medicine. We took a leap of faith and had the IVF and now I am currently 3 mos pregnant. I am truely blessed that it worked. I wish more celebrities were more like you.

Karen F. on

My daughter and son-in-law tried for two years before going to see a doctor who specializes in infertility. She endured two surgeries, blood test and medications in the last year. She is 12 weeks along now, and is due in April 2011. It was really hard for her to watch her cousins who seemed to conceive a lot easier than she could. I do wish that infertility issues were covered by insurance.

Kathy on

Love the honesty of this blog. And even more, that this is from a male perspective. So blessed to have a happy ending! They’re adorable!

Kim on

If you can’t afford the IVF, you can’t afford to raise a child.

– Vicki on September 29th, 2010

Vicki,

I’m sorry but that is totally untrue. Just because someone can’t come up with over $20,000 to pay for IVF doesn’t mean you can’t afford to raise a child.

Your post is filled with holes. You pay for insurance that covers illnesses like cancer but if you don’t have cancer do you think that you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

Infertility sucks and until you’ve walked in the shoes of someone who has suffered from it you should refuse judgement!

Steph on

Vicky,
I process claims for one of the largest health insurance companies in the world. IVF does not account for even a fraction of the percentage of the amount of money I approve everyday. Most of it is due to OBESITY and complications from living UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLES. In the health insurance world, THAT is the number one burden, by far. IVF is far, far down that list. I’d much rather send out a check for a woman to conceive a baby than to send out a check for Uncle Harry who weighs 400 pounds and gaining to get yet ANOTHER cpap machine, hip replacement, WHATEVER. Go to McDonald’s and preach to the people THERE about being a burden on insurance premiums,

Have a nice day, you callous hack.

Jen on

This story was very refreshing to read especially since Mark had such honesty. I am a 28 year old mother of 1 four year old boy, and twin 7 month old daughters. All 3 of my children are IVF MIRACLES. The fact that he could open up about his problem is something I rarely see.

Like Mark, my husband has an issue with a low sperm count and that is the reason we were forced to turn to IVF if we wanted children. Theres nothing more heartbreaking than having a price tag of medical fees attached to your dreams of parenthood. It wasnt cheap nor easy but when I look into the faces of my beautiful children, every shot, blood draw, ultrasound, morning sickness, c section scar is the joy of my life.

Congrats Mark and Carin, twins are a handful but the love is undeniable :)

Jenafer on

Mark~ Like you and Carin, my husband and I suffered through countless procedures to become pregnant. We started trying when I was and did not find out that something was wrong with my “plumbing” until 4 years later. We had already done countless IUI’s and even a two rounds of IVF. I work for a huge HMO but did not get the luxury of having discounted procedures. Lines of credit and credit cards funded our “baby journey”.

Anyway, long story short, the persistance paid off and we were down to our last 3 frozen embryos. It was the 8th and final round of IVF that blessed us with our beautiful daughter who is now almost 2. It is just unfortunate that others cannot make their dreams come true because they cannot afford to do IVF. Thank you for your story and congrats.

Melissa on

Thank you for being so honest about Infertility. So many people suffer in silence because people don’t understand it. I am so happy you and Carin had success. My husband and I have 21 month old boy/girl twins as the result of our first IVF. It is well worth it.

Melissa

FLH on

Reading about so many people who have trouble conceiving is terrifying. My husband and I have put off having kids until we’re in a financial position to provide for them. We are about ready to give it a go and see what happens. I’m 33, and I pray I don’t have to face these difficulties, because I already know that if I can’t conceive naturally, our only choice is adoption or forget about kids.

I won’t risk fertility drugs or IVF because of the risks of multiple births. I would be just fine with twins. It would be a blessing to have that “instant” family. But the fact I may end up with more kids than we can possibly care for and afford (Kate Gosselin, and others like her) terrifies me. Not to mention the initial cost of those treatments being so staggering. I also don’t want to be put in a position to play God if 6 eggs fertilize successfully…how do you choose which ones get implanted and then destroy the rest? And how irresponsible would it be for us that now we are bringing innocent kids into this world we have no chance of providing a decent life for? It’s so possible, and so scary, I won’t even consider trying it.

Adoption is no joke either. $20 – $30K just to go through the process and you haven’t even begun diapers, medical care, etc. Yes, I know you can go through social services, but then you run the risks of parents wanting their kid back once they are off the crack – and winning. Or worse, ending up with a child with severe disabilities, attachment disorders, etc where they can end up incredibly violent against their adoptive family. Yes, I know this is rare, but so many adoption places are unscrupulous these days you have no way of knowing if what they are telling you is true about the background of the child. Its terrifying. I have spoken to people I know who have personally adopted successfully and all the hardships/heartache that goes along with it to realize that it might not be a viable option for us.

I’m thinking that if au’naturel doesn’t work for me, then I can look forward to spending the rest of my life traveling and enjoying time with my husband, as it was obviously not God’s plan for us. As far as my husband goes, he would be just fine with that.

Congrats your children Mark, they are gorgeous.

Kristin on

Thank you for sharing your story, Mark. It is important for people with fertility struggles to share their experiences because such struggles can cause immense feelings of isolation and despair. I speak from experience. In our case IUI worked for us on the first try, and we were beyond grateful. Our 5 month old son is thriving, and we feel so blessed. How interesting that our children are the same age! They are beautiful babes!

Annie on

Can’t you feel the love in this blog, brutha Mark? LOL – My husband and I are 31 and we’re going through IVF also. Yes, we’re a little younger, but we’ve already gone through a fresh cycle, and a frozen cycle soon after that, earlier this year. And to no avail, both times, no results. We were devastated mostly because of the cost, and it takes SO long to save up for IVF. We feel it’s time wasted, but there’s nothing we can do about it, but hope.

We’ve taken the summer off to regroup with it, and we’re on track to start again in the next month or so. Fortunately, our meds are covered and that is the most of our expense with IVF all together. But, yeah, insurance doesn’t cover the surgery, the procedures, you know, the things that it NEEDS to pay for. It’s a total crock with insurance companies, don’t even get me started! But, people like me are really looking all over to hear these POSITIVE stories, especially from celebrities like yourself.

I’ve been told by my doctor to not sweat it and not to read up on many of these blogs or forums, so I don’t stress myself out. I haven’t until I saw your story here on PEOPLE that you’ve been through it – I’m not even reading everyone else’s posts – again, I’m trying to be “at peace” with my stress!

But, it’s nice you can share a similar journey that we’ve been on too.

And THAT’S the thing – something that we’ve been totally shocked over, at how MANY people are dealing with fertility issues in today’s world. You would hope that insurance companies would SEE and UNDERSTAND this trend now. Conditions that people are born with, that happen to people over time, should be given special CONSIDERATION for coverage!

Good Luck with everything Mark, and the twins are cute as can be.

P.S. – I saw you (Sugar Ray) in Columbus, OH back around 2000, I think, at the Newport. You guys were awesome – one of the best concerts I’ve ever been too!

Sharon on

I have never responded to a blog such as this but I feel compelled to reply to the sheer ignorance and condescending nature of Vicki’s comments.

Until you have experienced any sort of hardship – such as the struggles of infertility – you have ZERO right to judge or comment. You have NO IDEA how harsh your comments are and your ignorance prevails when you say things like “You all are way too emotional about things that will probably never change…” – who are you to criticize or judge? Do you have nothing better to do than make people feel worse about their situations? Everyone has a ‘situation’ but until you experience or know someone who has experienced infertility you have ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS making rude comments like that.

You should be ashamed.

kacey on

Mark,

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with all of us. My husband and I have been trying for 2 years. A little over one year on our own and the past 10 months with a fertility doctor. Its a long, hard and very stressful journey. Every month theres the excitement of what might be then comes the let down of whats not.

This is an issue that just recently people started discussing openly and I think the more people do open up about it the easier it will be on couples who are trying so hard to make that dream of having a family come true. The fact is something that seems so easy..insert penis, ejacualte, the little guys swim, find the egg and BAM! theres a baby isnt actually all that easy a lot of times.

I just hope more people in the spot light come forward and share their journeys as well. I commend you for being so honest and I CAN NOT wait to read the next blog!!!

Emma on

Thank you, thank you, thank you. So few people are willing to talk about infertility. Like your Carin, I only have one ovary. My husband also has issues. Our journey took 4 years, but we have a beautiful 6 month old son now, thanks to IVF.

It is so refreshing to hear someone in the public eye being so honest. So few people understand the heartache of wanting a child and not being able to have one. Anything that helps ‘our’ cause, is most welcome.

Congratulations on your beautiful children!

Rebecca on

Thank you all for sharing your stories, when I was 37, my new husband and I tried to have a baby the ‘natural’ way, after two years of trying, no success. We tried fertility pills and after months of taking those, still no success….we decided to not go any further…..however I am now 40 and just sent my ‘baby’, whom I had at 21 off to her freshman year of college, she is an honors student and on the swim team, I am so blessed beyond belief to have such a great kid, however I do admire each and every one of you all for the effort you have put into having a little one! Good luck!

Amy G. on

Mark, I can totally relate to what you and Carin went through to conceive your twins.

My husband and I have an 8-year age difference (he’s 44 and I’m 36). He was married once before and has a 14-year old daughter from his first marriage, and we also have a 7-year old son together. We conceived him without any problems, on the third month of trying. When our son was 3, we decided to start trying again for our second – and last – child together. We tried. And tried. And tried.

We tried for 3-1/2 years before we sought help from a fertility specialist. We both tested completely fine, but for 2 small uterine polyps I had to have removed, so I was diagnosed with “secondary infertility of unknown cause.” We opted for IUI with Clomid. The first two failed. Then I switched to Femara after having problems on Clomid, and our third IUI succeeded, only to end in miscarriage at 7 weeks.

Finally, we had our 4th IUI in August and found out earlier this month that I was pregnant again. My 7-week ultrasound was this morning, and all looks good this time! It’s hard to want a baby and not be able to have one and it’s hard to go through all the fertility treatments without any guarantees. I’m so happy you and Carin were able to have your twins through IVF and wish you and your babies all the best!!

Becca on

Thank you Mark for sharing your inspirational story! Your story mirrors mine in so many ways! I am lucky enough to be celebrating my sons 1st birthday and it is amazing how they heal all the wounds caused by the process of trying. Your twins are adorable and I am so glad that you were lucky enough to become parents!

Lisa on

Hi Mark – Your story is very inspiring. My husband and I never had a problem getting pregnant, but we had problems staying pregnant. We lost a baby when I was 24 weeks along and again at 16 weeks. Luckily, the doctors suggested a ‘circlage’ surgery. We are the proud parents of 6 and 3 year old girls. Both pregnancies were difficult. I spent 2 months in the hospital with our first daughter and 7 months on bed rest with our second daughter. However, I would do it all over again just to have our wonderful girls!

guest on

Mark M is so witty. not only was that informative, I laughed every paragraph. he writes very well-like hes talking right to me. I always knew Mark was smart when I saw him nail every answer on rocknroll jeapordy and blow everyone away. and carin is very beautiful and must be his rock if theyve been together this long! so happy for them -both kids look like him! I hope they get his scratchy voice!

Laila on

Vicki-

I am making an assumption and possibly a wrong one, that you have not been personally affected by infertility. It is an extremely difficult trial and one that millions of couples suffer from. The effects of it are huge from physical, emotional and financial strain. In fact research has shown that it is the second most stressful event in a couples life, the first being the death of a loved one. So your comments come across to me as very ignorant. I think it’s very easy to make comments or judgements when you havn’t been affected personally by something.

You also seem to be misinformed about the insurance premiums. I would recommend educating yourself a little before posting such arrogant and ignorant remarks. There is a national group called “Resolve” that has a website that is full of information about infertility which also includes information about infertility coverage. You will see on there that the cost to add infertility coverage to a group plan is very minimal. In fact many states are now going to mandated coverage.

Please think twice before opening your mouth and speaking such harsh words to people that have been affected and hurt/still hurting so deeply from infertility.

Ezann on

Great blog Mark!
Your babies are gorgeous just like their parents!
And hurry up with Part 2!

Kami on

Thanks for sharing this story Mr. McGrath by the way your twins are beautiful! My husband and I have had infertility issues for the last seven years so I know what it is like. I was only 22 when we started trying so it was quite a surprise to find out so young that I was going to have trouble conceiving! I agree that infertility is so common and no one wants to address it and get the health insurance companies to start paying for these services that infertile couples deserve!

Maria on

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think I appreciated it more coming from your point of view Mr. McGrath. I cannot wait to read what you have to say next week.

My husband and I are presently going through the same issues…Unfortunately our insurance doesn’t cover any procedural cost so we are not even sure where we are going from here but reading your story is very very encouraging because somewhere out there is HOPE!

bella on

Mark, Thank you for sharing your infertility experience with all of us. I understand what it’s like to be in your situation. My husband and I have been trying for 2 years and we are in the midst of starting IVF/ICSI in October…we can only hope to be as blessed as you are with 2 healthy children. I look forward to reading all the details in next weeks blog. Hearing successful stories like yours…gives people like me hope! :)

Liz on

My husband and I also dealt with infertility. It is a shame more people do not want to talk about their experience. Infertility is a disease and yet insurance does not want to help cure it. The fact is that the cheaper procedures have a higher risk of multiples and therefore a higher risk of complications. If insurance would cover IVF with a limit of embryos to be put back there would be less of a chance for multiples and high order multiples that result is lengthy NICU stays and years of therapies. I was lucky, I was finally able to get pregnant with twins via IUI. I had two, surgeries and 11 medicated cycles.

Anna on

The sad thing is, there are countries in Europe – such as France – where IVF is covered. Okay, France is one country, albeit with a completely different population size, tax system, etc. But here’s the thing: in France, until age 43, IVF is covered by health insurance.

My husband (French) and I lived there, and explored it at a time when we had had no luck conceiving naturally. Having come from America, where it seems like everything regarding medicine has a price tag, I was certain there would be a huge price tag. Nope. Not one additional penny. When I asked twice, the French doctor stared at me as she did not understand why I was asking. I started to explain, “Well, in America…” She cut me off with a sad look, and told me she did not understand how anyone could live with such a system.

Now, you would not “instantly” get IVF in France; you “get in line.” But it would happen. In fact, it was assured that there would be multiple treatments, if needed.

I am not here to tell everyone to move to France, by any means. (Okay, the food is great… :) The thing that strikes me is that American couples deserve a chance to have a child, and there should not be a crippling price tag that can add stress to an already challenging situation. I also am not trying to raise this into a larger debate regarding politics, etc. I just wish we could find a way to finance reasonable requests to attempt IVF, given all the other things our insurance finances. I am so saddened that while American couples go through this financial stress, there are other countries that give couples a chance. If you have a medical problem, it seems bad luck to be American.

Melissa on

Love that you are sharing your baby journey, Mark….. You have no idea how many spirits you will lift just by speaking of your experience. Keep talking about it. :-) So many of us have faced fertility issues and while you may know you aren’t alone, you often feel you are. Celebrity or not, hearing others stories helps tremendously. After years of trying and a handful of fertility treatments, I too have boy/girl twins that just turned five. Enjoy the ride…. It just keeps getting better. xo

Elizabeth on

Thank you for sharing. 6 iui’s, 7 ivf’s and two children later, I know what a long road it is. IVF is not covered in California – it has been very expensive for my husband and I. Like your wife, I lost an ovary at a young age and developed a tumor on the remaining one. IVF was our only choice. Congrats on your kiddos.

Amie on

Dear Mark.

Thank you for sharing your story. Congrats to you and Carin!! Beautiful babies!!! As you can see for all the comments, you were most certainly not alone. My husband and I struggled for years to have children. I am married to a US Marine. Chris and I married in 2002 and of course, I wanted to start a family right away but he had a demanding position so we didn’t plan anything. If it happened, it would happen. Well, 3 1/2 years later, it didn’t happen…

We moved to another base and my husband got orders to Iraq and I desperately wanted to become pregnant before he deployed for my own selfish reasons and hoping nothing happened to him…Well, it didn’t work…Chris came home and immediately we tried again, at this point, I had visited Drs to figure out what was going on. The bottom line, I wasn’t ovulating….So we started cycles of Clomid, didn’t work…Chris got deployed a second time and I was crushed, 6 years into our marriage and no children, I am 33 at this time…I decided to see a specialist to discuss next steps, so when he got home, his mission was to start a family (no pressure)…

I did 2 cycles of daily injections and then the HCG shot to release the egg(s)…First time, 5 eggs (GULP!), second time, 6 eggs (GULP! GULP!)…But no pregnancy, my heart was broken!! My specialist said if I didn’t get pregnant with this step than the next was IVF…I panicked, we couldn’t afford it…The 3rd time would be the charm or we would strike out…I remember holding my rosary and asking the man upstairs for his blessing and then I just let it go, it was out of my hands…

I am happy to say that I have a baby boy and baby girl, 6 month old twins!! For all the heartbreak I went through, I would do it all over again…Congrats again!!

PJ on

My husband and I would never have considered fertility treatments ~ nor would we have our beautiful 15 month old daughter.

Thank you for sharing your story.

T on

Mark, thanks for coming out about your infertility struggles! SOOOOOO many couples take the ability to have kids for granted. It doesn’t happen easily for many couples and is tragic that some insurances don’t cover anything. Like mine, not even covering testing for it. BUT, after months of meds and injections I’m 5wks+6days pregnant!!!!! Whoop whoop!!!! Feels amazing and we are just cautiously enjoying this wonderful journey. I now feel part of a ‘group’!! Congrats on your 2 bundles!

j on

Vicki…
Sounds to me like you are a bitter woman who must have no love in her life. I feel sorry for you!! You have nothing better to do than to be a bit**?

Beautee on

Vicki,

You have got to be kidding me? There are plenty of women who have fertility issues and have insurance that doesn’t cover IVF. Guess what? The insurance pool includes individuals who have all kinds of diseases, so lots of diseases that we may be lucky to never have are still covered by OUR premiums. In essence, WE are ALL paying premiums to help cover a disease that someone else suffers from and we do not but our insurance covers it.

If the women who have fertility issues are otherwise healthy should they feel cheated for paying their premiums for someone else’s diseases too?

Luna on

I have five children, all conceived naturally. However, I had an aunt and uncle, who are two years older than me and we’re very close, went through infertility. Soooooo much heartbreak and sooooo much ignorance! Vicki, I’m guessing you’ve never experienced infertility. For those it affects, it is the most testing and heartbreaking disease out there. Please, try to see how we can feel IVF should be covered by insurance. And everyone else, many of you have said it. Vicki won’t know know how challenging it is until she experiences it and assuming she never will, nothing we say will change her feelings.

I love my aunt and uncle, who I consider a brother and sister, and I wish they could have conceived naturally like I did. However, one IUI produced them their now seven year old daughter and another round of IVF gave them them boy and girl twins. However, many miscarriages, and other rounds of fertility treatments happened before their three little miracles.

Mark, you’re so strong. The babies are precious.

Amy on

My husband and I tried for 5 years. I had almost every test performed and couldn’t find any reason why we were not pregnant. We were finally referred to a Fertility Clinic. We had tried the pills because it was the cheapest and as most have mentioned nothing is covered by the insurance companies. Then we moved up to IUI. After 3 tries, still nothing. I was laid off from my job and there was really no funds left to continue this process.

I was saddened but didn’t give up that one day I would have a child. I felt in my heart that I was meant to be a mother and my husband was trying to be supportive but didn’t believe we were going to have a child. We even looked into IVFVacations.com as something we would think about when I got a job and back on our feet.

In the meantime, my brother and his girlfriend were having a baby. I decided I would just think about being an Aunt and “when it happens, it happens”. I was about to throw a baby shower in January for my niece and wasn’t feeling well. Couple days later, still not feeling well and throwing up. Don’t know what made me check (after years of checking and several negative results, you just don’t think the test would ever say positive) but I took a test and it was POSITIVE… I didn’t believe it so I took another and still positive.

August 5th 2010 we had a beautiful baby girl come into this world. I want to say to all the women out there trying, have faith. I had lost mine along the way but found it again and I was blessed with a child. Best feeling in the world and I hope all women trying with have a chance to have this feeling. Hopefully our voices will finally have insurance companies cover these costs.

S.I. on

Thank you for your story. My husband and I have also struggled to conceive for over a year now with medication. Next month we will start our first cycle of IUI. Its really sad for me because I am only 22 and my husband is 24. I knew from when I was a teenager that I would have trouble conceiving due to my PCOS.

Simone on

Mark,
Thank you for sharing your story. Four years ago when my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, IVF wasn’t really mentioned. But thanks to IVF and thousands of dollars we have 2 beautiful boys, 3 and 17 months.

And as for the rest…… this story is about Mark and his wife. Why is anyone posting anything different? Yes, most insurances don’t cover IVF. Yes, they should!!! Yes, Vicki is wrong, but not a lot of people are that liberal with things. Please just enjoy Marks story and have a great day!

Kelly on

Thanks for your open, honest discussion about infertility. Not only will it help someone who is dealing with infertility, it may help those who have never dealt with it realize why it’s so painful. I still deal with infertility even though I have an almost four-year-old daughter. Enjoy the moments with those beautiful babies!

Sarah on

I dont think it is fair to ask for coverage for IVF when their are millions of abandoned babies around the world and in the US who need a home. Maybe the possible money spent on IVF could go to help take better care of those children. Seems only fair.

jessicad on

Can I just say how awesome it is to have a blog here with the word “balls” in it? I love it! Seriously though, it’s nice to have the male perspective, and the comment about loving Carin more is just amazing.

Luckily I didn’t have fertility issues, even though I was told I would, if my daughter hadn’t come by surprise I would’ve done anything I could to have a child. So glad you guys got your miracles:)

Tina English on

Mark,
This was a very touching and personal insight to your life Thank You so much for sharing it with the People Readers….I can’t wait to read next weeks blog. Today you had my eyes filled with tears of sorrow when Carin, didn’t get pregnant with IUI, and tears of joy when you had another option of fertility. I wish you both the best.

Tina

Mary on

The twins are adorable and I really enjoyed reading the blog. Keep it up!

Angie on

It is impossible to justify the addition of another human being onto the planet without the words “I” or “we.” For those who ask if IVF should be limited to those who can afford it, I say no–it should be off limits to EVERYONE. If you can’t conceive a kid the old-fashioned way, too bad. No one ever died from not being able to have a baby.

In the first world children are a lifestyle choice and a means of personal fulfillment, basically expensive pets to dress in cute outfits and to give trendily spelled names. To the rest of the world they’re cheap labor, the result of women’s oppression and lack of reproductive freedom. Wearing Nikes? Eating peaches from South America? Got a t-shirt from China? Congratulations, you’re continuing the market for child labor!

IVF is sold to selfish people by greedy doctors. Period.

Erika on

Mark, thank you SO MUCH for being so open and honest. It is SOOOO refreshing and gives so many of us HOPE! I have had two stillborn babies, one miscarriage, and have been struggling with my fertility for years. It would have been so easy for you to just say, “twins run in our family” and to hide your fertility struggles but instead you chose to inspire us with your story of hope…i am so happy for your family, and so glad that you had success through ivf. your children are beautiful. i wish you the very very best!!!!!

-erika

Sarah on

* Angie *

There is a sad truth to everything you said. Having children is not a right. Just like living is not a right, its a privilege. We are lucky to have this very moment to sit here and say that we are alive and breathing. I understand that it is hard to know that you will not be able to bear a child of your own but once again, this is not a privilege, its human nature and it happens. Just like cancer and many other horrible afflictions in the world. The good news is there are many people out there willing to give up their children because they cant or do not want to take care of them, and its a much easier and cheaper way of having a child. If all you really want (selfish needs of having your own genes reproduced aside) is a child, then there are many of them out there, dying for someone to love them.

shalay on

Angie,
So anyone who has a child is basically looking for an “expensive pet” or “cheap labor”? That’s hilarious. Which one were your parents looking for?

fuzibuni on

Those who have crucified Vicky should examine where their entitlement comes from.

Until recently, Americans would never have expected insurance companies, the government, or their neighbors to pay for them to get IVF, take viagra, or have the lap band procedure. Optional treatments like these are one of the reasons insurance premiums are so high.

Yes, it is a sad thing to struggle with infertility, and sure, it takes an emotional toll. But people have been dealing with it for a long time and never expected it to be taken care of for free.

I doubt any of us would like to pay for someone else’s boob job… or their luxury car payment. So why should we pay for someone’s designer baby? You want a kid but you can’t afford IVF… then adopt out the the foster care system. It’s virtually free and there are many children who need a good home.

If adoption isn’t for you, and you feel the need to have your own biological child, then do a fund raiser with your friends and family to raise the money.

It’s not an inalienable right to pop a kid out folks. Pull yourselves up by the boot straps and wipe away your tears.

Erika on

I love Mark and I LOVE how honest and open he is about this. So many people feel uncomfortable talking about it, yet it affects such a large number of people. I’m so happy for him and his wife, their twins are gorgeous, and I wish them nothing but the best in the future with their children.

I just want to say, I would much rather see IVF covered by insurance than some of the things my insurance covers. I am not ready for children yet but when I do decide to have them, hopefully I will never need to use it but I know for a fact my insurance contributes nothing to it. It covers rehab for drug and alcohol abusers (yes you read that right- fully covers rehab and that is EXPENSIVE) but doesn’t cover any forms of fertility treatment. Let me ask those who are against IVF this question; who do you know who CHOSE infertility? Nobody I know who has done IVF planned to go that route. It’s a long painful and undesirable process, however it was the only way they could have children so they did it in a heartbeat. It is necessary for some people to do, and to suggest that someone shouldn’t have biological children, just because they weren’t lucky to have fertility makes no sense. So I do believe that insurance should cover IVF over stuff such as rehab that I am paying for (which people CHOOSE to abuse drugs and alcohol).

Cathryn on

Angie, you are a very very ignorant person. Perhaps you should move on instead of reading posts regarding fertility because you obviously have no idea what you are talking about. I’m really not surprised though, there are always trolls in these types of threads that like to stir things up.

In case you weren’t aware of this, ALL species bear offspring, and not just for “dressing in cute outfits and giving them trendy names”. The desire to bear children is a fundamental part of human nature. Thank goodness there is help out there for people who need it.

Oh, and why is it OK to add another person to the planet as long as you can do it the “old fashioned” way?

I am so tired of hearing this garbage over and over from people who should just mind their own business.

Cathryn on

fuzibuni, please do not compare infertility to someone’s boob job or luxury car payment. That is laughable and just shows you haven’t got a clue. Thank goodness that people who matter and are in higher positions have more perspective on the situation and are trying to make changes. I for one would be happier to have this covered under my insurance plan than conditions arising from someone’s obesity/smoking/drinking over their lifetime. Those are poor lifestyle choices and the repercussions from them are covered. What do you think of that?

Lin on

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and congratulations!!! My husband and I have been trying IUI and are considering moving to IVF after maybe one more try. It’s taken such an emotional toll on us, but I know it’ll be worth it. Your story gives me hope, and it’s so important to speak publicly about the important issue of infertility.

Best wishes to you and your lovely family! Rock on!

DEBBIE on

Adding myself to the ‘countless’ masses who struggled w/infertility.

13 years of trying to have a baby. 5 surgeries, 7 artificial inseminations, 5 IUI, and 3 fresh cycles IVF’s and 5 frozen cycles of IVF. Miscarried twins (twice) once at 13 weeks, once at 9 weeks, and had a cervical pregnancy (egg implanted in cervix) that had to be medically aborted … needless to say a heartbreaking journey. Infertility is indeed an extremely emotional/stressful issue that effects millions and is largely hidden away and not spoken about openly. I agree w/every previous comment .. insurance companies will pay to ‘kill’ a life (i.e. abortion) but heaven forbid they help pay for couples ‘wanting’ to have a child. And VICKI … you’re an idiot! Nuff said there.

The end of my story is … my husband of 16 years and I have a beautiful 2 year old son named Sammy that we adopted in 2008, he’s been with us since he was a mere 48 hours old. Yes, we adopted … my amazing husband once told me .. “we may not be able to give birth to a child, but we sure can rescue a child” … and that we did. Can not imagine a life without our sweet Sammy!

Mira on

Vicki is the only person talking sense here. I second all her comments.

terri on

debbie – THANK YOU for your comment. i have a similar story: 2 surgeries, 4 IUI’s, 3 IVF’s, 3 miscarriages. our insurance paid for 100% of our 3 IVF treatments and we were approved for even more (massachusetts law) but we decided that part of our infertility journey was over. we chose to adopt and we were blessed with a newborn daughter in 2008. it was difficult and frustrating and expensive but i wouldn’t change a minute of all the shots, tests and pain i went thru.

i used to be so jealous when i’d hear that IVF worked for people but now i know that everything happens for a reason. we have the children we are meant to have.

congrats mark, i’m happy it worked for you!!

Erika on

Debbie, I don’t know you but your story made me cry! When I hear about people who wait for so long to have a baby and then finally become parents, it is so touching. Your son must be a wonderful blessing! And I love the name Sammy, by the way :)

Kris on

Thanks to Mark for sharing this story with us. Infertility strikes and does not discriminate. He and his partner are fortunate to be able to afford IVF where, alot of couples dig into their savings and go for broke when paying for it. I have United Healthcare through my employer and this company is covering less and less stuff.. amazing. Your benefits depend on your employer and what theyre willing to pay out- most policies do not cover infertility treatments of any kind, and mine does not. If you have infertility coverage, you are very lucky. Things need to change, and there needs to be some financial assistance to healthy couples who cannot conceive naturally. The military does have an experimental IVF program that is available at 4 hospitals nationwide, but there is always a wait. Good luck to everyone out there wanting to conceive.

Kugirl on

Beautiful babies! I like your writing style – it’s candid and honest! I’m thrilled your and Carin’s dreams came true and you got TWO – one of each = PERFECTION! :)

Andrea on

Cutest babies ever!! Such a darling picture. Love reading your blog Mark and seeing the pictures Carin takes!

Brooke Thorell on

Hey Mark,

My husband and I did IVF as well and are now the proud parents of twins ourselves (14 mo) :)

Through my experience I have become a fertility coach- which means I support women going through the process. I am working on content for my “Support for Spouses” section of my website (because the men need some support too!), and I want to put up advice from men who’ve been through it to other men just starting the process. What advice would you give another just starting? Man to man?

mary on

First, how wonderful for Carin and Mark. Children are a blessing from the Lord.

However, I can see where Vickie, Fuzibuni, Angie and Mira are coming from. And yes, I did suffer with infertility for 2 1/2 yrs. before conceiving. It is indeed heartbreaking and emotional. I don’t think they’re callous. They are honestly speaking their minds and hearts, just as the rest of us are speaking our minds and hearts. We just happen to disagree but that doesn’t make one an insensitive jerk. I don’t feel personally attacked by their comments.

Laila, thank you for that resource-“Resolve”. I will pass this on to my niece who is trying to conceive.

Laura on

Your babies are beautiful! Congratulations. Thank you for sharing your story … You’re super honest and sincere and it shows in your writing. I am a long time Sugar Ray fan and wish you nothing but more success with the band … and being a daddy!

Bancie1031 on

Mark,

Thank you for being so honest! My husband and I are battling with infertility. We had been trying to get pregnant for 8 years (yes very long time but since I already had a daughter he didn’t want to admit he might be having a problem), we went to see a fertility doctor a couple of months ago and sure enough the problem lies within him. Now that he’s had a couple of months to deal with the issue at hand and has come to terms with it we’re going to try IUI using donor sperm and hopefully we will be successful :D My daughter just turned 10 (this past Monday 9-27) and she’s ready for brothers and sisters ….. lol she’s been asking Santa for them since she was 2 :D

SO once again thank you for being so open and honest with your story, I know it’s not easy! You have 2 beautiful babies and a gorgeous wife-to-be. Also thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures with us, we greatly appreciate and enjoy them :D

Look forward to reading more of your blogs, please keep ‘em coming :D

Felecia on

Here’s something to think about.

Most insurance companies cover IUI (the turkey baster method) because it’s cheaper. Unfortunately, this is where high multiple pregnancies come from. NO ONE wants to have 6 children at one time and subject them to all of the sad consequences that come with that. They just want a child and are willing to achieve that in whatever way they can.

IVF, mostly NOT covered, is a method that controls the amount of embrios that can be conceived at one time and ultimately safeguards the health of the “hopefully” soon to be fetuses and the mommy. But, sad to say, insurance leans towards the unhealthy fertility option. It all goes back to money. I thank my husband every day that he choose to be broke for a very long time, took out that loan and gave me my beautiful b/g twins. I waited a lot of years to hold them.

btw….to the wonderfully callous person who said that we were selfish for wanting a child of own when there were basically free children to adopt from foster care – I wish you’d been the one who had your heart broken when you loved and cared for a baby boy whose mother had dropped him in her drunken state, cracked his skull and then after you nutured him, loved him and thought he’d be with you forever, the State gives him back to Mommy because she’s been clean for a couple of months. and as we all know it, Mommy got drunk again and he got hurt again. Yep, love that foster care process.

Stella on

Wow. It’s amazing that so many angry people are concerned about the “high cost of IVF” … “selfish people unwilling to adopt” … etc.

The facts:

* People don’t “choose” to be infertile … but yes, they “choose” to have IVF. However … the cost of IVF is miniscule compared with the cost of treatment for diabetes, heart disease, substance abuse, and other chronic conditions that are caused largely by other people’s “choices.” And we all pay for that treatment.

* The cost of IVF is actually lower than hospitalization for a car accident or other traumatic injury … it’s equivalent to the cost of a few days in the hospital.

* Unlike a lifetime of chronic disease management, IVF costs are finite. People stop treatment when they either have a baby or give up on the possibility. No one does it for 50 years.

* Adopting a child internationally costs about $30K, is fraught with emotional highs and lows, and bears many restrictions (i.e. age of adoptive parents.) It’s not an easy alternative.

* It’s difficult to adopt a healthy baby domestically. Those who adopt special needs children deserve a special place in Heaven … it’s a wonderful thing. But the truth is that not everyone (even, I’d wager, some of the naysayers on this board) is up for that challenge … particularly after the emotional depletion of infertility treatment.

To all the folks who think having children is selfish, optional, etc … I hope you never have to find out how wrong you are.

Stella on

FLH, if you’re still reading …

If you’re 33 and think you’re going to want children, my advice is to get serious about it in the next couple of years. Fertility drops precipitously after that. (And there’s never a perfect time to have children, in terms of career, finances etc.)

Re: your fears about multiples, problems with adoption, etc: there’s actually more of a chance of multiples with IUI. IVF is a much more controlled process; you actually decide, with your doctor, how many embryos will be transferred. It’s never more than 2 or 3. You don’t need to worry about having 8 children unless you want that many. And adoption is a roller coaster, yes … but there’s a tendency, the deeper you get into fertility treatment, to overanalyze everything. The reality is that, even when we have children naturally, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be healthy. There’s no insurance against heartbreak.

I think the bottom line is deciding, really deciding, whether or not you want to have children, with all the ups and downs that come with them, or not. And, if you do, just do what it takes (to the extent that it’s comfortable for you) to achieve that, whether it means trying naturally or doing treatment or adopting. The worst thing is to think you’ve made your peace with being childless and then realize a few years later that you really weren’t OK with it. It gets harder the older you get. Good luck!

Tee on

Wow, I have so much to say that I don’t know where to begin!

Mark, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I echo what many other people have said… it’s really interesting to hear about infertility from a man’s point of view. Your babies are beautiful and I know both of you are totally in love with them!

I am infertile. I am 29 years old and found out a week ago today that I will have to have a hysterectomy next week. All I’ve ever wanted is to be a Mommy. I have always loved studying pregnancy and childbirth, to the point that I became a midwife. (until I became disabled)

I am heartbroken over the thought that I will not be able to experience pregnancy and child birth for myself. It’s just one of those lousy things in life. We all have them and we all learn how to cope with them.

That having been said, I think a lot of people are blowing Vicki’s original comment out of proportion. She simply stated that she didn’t think it was fair for her to have to put out additional money so that somebody else could have a child. It’s her opinion and it was worded in a very polite fashion. It wasn’t until people started attacking her that she got defensive.

As for Angie, that’s a horse of a different color. I’m sorry, Angie, but your comment was rude and uncalled for. While I see and even understand your point of view, there was no need for you to be nasty.

We are all human beings with emotions here, folks. A little common decency and respect can go a long way. For those of you out there that are still trying to get pregnant, I wish you all the best. Babies are such an incredible blessing… no matter how you come about them, birth or adoption.

Nicole on

Mark – LOVE your blog and your candor. Lydon and Hartley are wicked adorable!

@Vicki,

I work for one of the largest medical insurers in the country so let me clarify a few things for you. An insurance company does NOT choose your coverage. If you obtain your medical insurance through your employer (or your spouse’s/partner’s employer), the EMPLOYER chooses the level of coverage to offer their employees and dependents. Based on what level of coverage the EMPLOYER chooses, this determines what the overall premium will be. Then the EMPLOYER will determine what amount of those premiums – if any – to subsidize. If you are unhappy with the plan options presented to you, perhaps you should address those issues with the human resources department as the insurance company has absolutely no control over the options you were given or premiums you have been advised to pay.

If you had the option of purchasing a private policy, YOU chose your level of coverage and therefore determined what your premiums would be. Again, if you are unhappy with your level of coverage and premiums, contact the broker or agent you used to purchase the policy to discuss options which would not include fertility coverage since you obviously aren’t in need of it.

By the way, Vicki … why are you even reading this article if you don’t have anything positive to contribute?? Seriously.

Brandy on

My husband and I tried for two and a half years to get pregnant. We were refered to a fertility specialst where we did 3 rounds of timed intercourse with Clomid, 3 IUI’s and finally tried IVF. Luckily my insurance covered all my fertility treatments except for the meds with the IUI. But it was totally covered for my IVF with $100,000 lifetime max and 3 tries per live birth. Our first try worked! We welcomed our son in July. Thanks for sharing your story!

Baby G Mom on

Mark and Carin,
Thank you for sharing your struggles and the reality of IVF (the cost, the stress, etc) with everyone. I suffered from fibroids and serious surgery that meant IVF was my only chance to conceive. We were so fortunate our first try was successful and are waiting patiently to see if the same thing will happen with our second try with frozen embryos.

I can’t wait to read more of your journey to your beautiful twins!

Traxie on

Good luck to everyone currently struggling with fertility. I am in the same boat, with one gorgeous child but a bad case of secondary infertility. Luckily I live in a country where IVF is heaps cheaper than the US (about $3k a cycle) – interestingly, IUI has just gotten more expensive here thanks to new government regulations.

For those trying, I wanted to ask a question – are laparoscopy & the dye procedure a routine part of pre-IVF treatment in the US? I wasted a year of ageing eggs and sperm (sorry to be blunt, but it’s the truth) doing cycle tracking when they finally ran a dye test and found that I had a blocked fallopian tube. My doctor is great but I don’t understand why he didn’t do this procedure when I first commenced treatment.

Kim on

Mark- I enjoyed your blog entry immensely. You are a talented writer with a great conversational tone. Can’t wait for the next installment. Who knows maybe you’ll be the next celebrity turned parenthood book author like Jenny McCarthy.

DEBBIE on

Traxie,
Without question the HSG test (dye test) should be been one of the 1st things your doctor did! Very puzzling why he/she would not. And yes if there is anything medically wrong with your (plumbing) so to speak then a day surgery (laparoscopy) should be done as well. Meds will not work if there are issues that need to be addressed (with surgery).

I’m the Debbie from a prev. post … and my input here comes from 13 years of infertility, so I know the “routine” from A to Z. Hope this is helpful. Also quick/easy and inexpensive to have your husbands sperm tested as well (if you’ve not done) … to make sure both count and mobility are still working well.
Debbie

Kellie on

Hi Mark,
What an inspiration your story is! CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of your beautiful twins!!
My husband and I have been struggling to get pregnant for the past two years and we just completed our first cycle of IUI, now it’s the waiting period to see if it has taken or not.
Thank you for sharing your story. It is so encouraging to know that we are not alone in our struggle to have a child. It can be a very lonely journey. I do hope that someday soon insurance companys will step up to the plate and help cover the great expenses that come with IUI and IVF. God bless your beautiful twins!

Traxie on

thanks debbie, that is really useful info. i am so glad your journey worked out for you – i’m sure you and your husband cherish every moment you have with your gorgeous boy!

Denise on

It’s nice to see a dad express his journey of infertility! My husband and I went through 8 years of clomid, IUIs, and IVF before we finally found out why I wasn’t able to carry a baby past 7-8 weeks. After that it was smooth sailing (so to say) ;) I had something called MTHFR that kept me from making it to that magic number of 9 weeks and come to find out all I had to do was take folic acid, vitamin B complex, and a baby aspirin everyday for the rest of my life and that was the magic potion to making it past the number 8. I took the vitamins and baby aspirin for a few months then had IUI and 36 weeks later out popped triplets. They are now 6 years old and each day is a new and blessed day with them. Congrats on your twins! Multiples are trying but very rewarding in the same. Congrats again.

Denise from Kentucky

Grace on

So good to see I am not alone with my infertility struggle even though I would not wish it upon my worst enemy.

I had infertility for years and then went to a specialist after trying Clomid and Meformin as well as several IUIs. Tried IVF and it worked 8 years ago to have our beautiful daughter.

Always wanted a second child and a sibling for her so went back a couple of years later only to lose tens of thousands of dollars on three failed IVFs. They said poor egg quality so I thought I was infertile for years. I should not have given up.

A few years after that I happened to see supplements for PCOS that I’ve always been borderline with that I never knew existed. Tried them not thinking they would work after everything. The next month I was pregnant at 40. That would have been good information earlier!

So never give up hope. I kept saying I did not want to have false hope and gave up after the failed IVFs. I feel bad now all the time I lost to infertility but at least we now have our two beautiful daughters and it gives me peace they have each now and in the future and our family is finally complete.

So misled by doctors. Use my cautionary tale to look into alternatives and natural options first before spending your life savings with traditional medicine for infertility.

Jennifer Mitchell on

Mark,

Thank you for speaking so openly and candidly about you and your wife’s experiences trying to conceive! Most insurance companies will not cover IVF as we know, they will however cover a myriad of male reproductive problems! Also most insurance companies will cover some adoption costs as well. All of your readers should look into what their carriers cover. Also, for all of your readers that are suffering fertility issues and the sometimes insurmountable costs, write to your congressman/congresswoman, and tell them you think this is wrong! Get your voice heard! As many have pointed out, infertility is not talked about very much, although much more than it was even a decade ago!

To all of you trying to conceive….keep your spirits up and good luck!

Annie on

Mark and Carin – you have BEAUTIFUL babies – Check out Waldorf Education – it’s expensive but worth it. A great first book is ‘You are your child’s first teacher’ by Rahima Baldwin.

P.S. you are only a washed up rocker if you choose to be… Paul McCartney, AEROSMITH, The Stones, THE WHO, the Eagles are on tour right now – all KICKING it! xo

michelle on

Vicki, I totally agree with you. Yes, I am a tree-hugging, no-child married woman in her 30’s that thinks as a society, we are having WAY too many children, for our dwindling natural resources. We have so many unwanted children in our society that need love and guidance, and all of you are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to create new life on an already overcrowded planet. The selfishness of you all.

Eugenia- on

My husband and I also faced fertility problems and tried everything under the sun before we started IVF. Unfortunately for us I had hyperstimulation syndrome of the ovaries which resulted in ascites and danger of blood clots, strokes and such. It was one of the most painful things I had ever gone through and after six tries I decided I could no longer face another try. The frustration and disappoint ment were unbelievable.

We then made the decision to adopt and after three years of waiting finally adopted a baby boy. He is now 7 years old and I thank God everyday for him. I now wish I had not spent so much money on all the tests, drugs and IVF procedures so that I could have adopted more children.

Grace on

Michelle — China is reconsidering its one child rule because they now see it has backfired with losing basically a generation of its people. The U.S. has also seen a drop in its birth rate. You do need a certain amount of people in each country to keep it productive and functional.

Sounds like you think everyone should just stop having children and humankind should just die out to not have any impact on the planet? Or since the completely fertile people continue to have children somehow that takes the right to have biological children away from those who are struggling with infertility?

You can also spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to adopt a child domestically or internationally — probably a lot more than you would on infertility treatments. Foster care in this country also can be a very difficult or near impossible to adopt from. We found that out after researching and trying to adopt for years while suffering infertility.

Adoption also is a long, difficult road to take to try and have a family as is struggling with infertility and treatment for it. I hated when people would say well you should just adopt. Infertility and adoption are two completely separate issues.

So stop judging the people on this board until you have walked even a mile in their shoes. You have made the choice to remain childless. At least you were give that choice. We were not given that luxury. You really are the selfish one.

Nicole on

Have you guys tried Fertility Awareness? By doing this I found out I have a progesterone deficiency and cannot support a pregnancy. I’m not trying to get pregnant right now so I haven’t done anything to remedy it but I think it’s more common than people may know.

Amy on

I find it hard to believe that Mark couldn’t afford IVF.
They were a band for over 20 years. What happened to all that money?!

Lo on

Congratulations to you and your fiance on your beatuiful twins! Its great to get a guy’s perspective on the whole baby thing. We also had twins, who just turned 1, after our first IVF attempt. You seem to have a great sense of humor which we found key to surviving those first crazy, sleepless months. Nothing makes it easy, but laughing together kept us sane (kind of! hehe) during an insane time. EVERYONE has advice so here’s mine: Listen to what people tell you, smile and nod, then use what is helpful and completely disregard the rest! Everyone baby/parent/situation is different and we all do the best we can, but ‘the best we can’ does not have to be the same for everyone. Rock on Mark! PS Love you on Howard Stern!

Carmen on

Mark thank you for sharing your story. Infertility has become like an epedimic and more womans are having issues on getting pregnant. Im being trying to conceive for 4 years and nothing yet. There are times that you feel like a rollercoaster and you feel like giving up. But hearing your story is an encouragement!! Thank you.. Wish yall the best

Mark on

Wow man the similarities between your life and mine are uncanny. My life changed when after the birth of my first daughter from a previous relationship I was coaxed into getting a vasectomy OOps!. During my second marriage my new wife and I decided to go ahead and have kids so i needed to get a reversal Yikes!!! And there it began-IUI, samples, blood work, semen analysis, problems dissappointments galore! Finally we went to a clinic in Toronto that is world renown for its fertility expertise. Man it worked and we are now three and a half months pregnant and my wife is thrilled.

I too longed for my Harley and the cost for IVF threw me for a loop. But to see the joy and light in my wife’s eyes was all worth it. She doesn’t know I am writing this because she would expect this mush all the time-but man I would have went through it all again just to see her eyes and the possibilities that rest within. I know one day I will have my Harley so when you get yours maybe we can go for a cruise some time and show eachother photos of the miracles that are to be!

Lindsay on

Hi Mark,
I think it is great you are talking about fertility issues. My husband and I tried IVF twice and neither effort resulted in a pregnancy. We knew we were meant to be parents no matter how God brought our children to us. On May 26th a baby boy was born at 3:59 p.m. and we became his parents at 4:02 p.m. through the amazing process of adoption. He has always been our little boy, God just brought him to us in a different way. Two tries with IVF and the adoption process we are $90,000 into our journey of being parents. We’re totally broke but understand that money doesn’t buy happiness but my son brings me a joy I never knew existed!

Jessica on

Mark,

Thank you for sharing your story! Like all of the other comments made, I agree that not only are you a great writer with a wonderful conversational tone, but you give us all inspiration and hope. Congratulations on your beautiful babies!!
My husband and I are older and were married at 35 years old. I knew then that having children may be difficult but we were both healthy! After trying for almost 5 years now with the help of 2 different specialists and attempts with Clomid, IUI’s and IVF medications along with yoga and acupuncture, we have been unsuccessful. We sat down with our doctor who informed us that my eggs were old. Hard pill to swallow, and very disheartening considering we have almost 20 nieces and nephews who are asking when they are going to have another cousin. My husband and I are both teachers and are so good with children we just don’t understand why we are not being blessed with a child. We have now been exploring donor egg treatments which are truly expensive and are not entirely covered by insursance. Fortunately, our IVF coverage was amazing but it didn’t help our donor egg treatments. We have decided to explore the adoption route, but that too has become quite costly. @ Karen from September 29th, you said you had contacted social services? We live in NY. Where do you live and could you or any of the other readers who left comments offer any suggestions? We have spent a little over 20,000 dollars thus far and still have no child. Do you know of any states where social services can help couples from other states?

Ari on

Great article! Just came across your blog. When is the book coming out?

Advertisement

Squeals & Deals

Sign-up for the Mom's &s Babies Free Weekly Newsletter

Free Weekly Newsletter

Mom Said It

"We weren't trying to have kids. We left it up to fate. I knew there was a possibility, but I was really excited. Even if you are trying, just to see a positive result is shocking!"

 

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters