“MTV True Life: I’m Desperate to Have a Baby” was filmed the same year I met my husband, in 2013. I remember watching this for the first time during that year. Little did I know that I was going to experience the same infertility challenges that Jenna and Candace went through on this show. The show was my first introduction into the grueling process of IVF. So when it came time for me to start IVF, I knew how difficult the road ahead was going to be. I recently decided to track down this episode and rewatch it again so I can review it for you all. The first couple featured in this show is Jenna and Kurt, and the second couple is Candace and Chris. Their stories are emotionally raw and also inspiring. Both couples showed an immense amount of strength to persevere despite the odds.
MTV True Life: I’m Desperate to Have a Baby
Season 2013 Episode 19
MTV True Life Series
Length 39 minutes
Air Date: July 28, 2013
Available on Amazon
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Spoiler Alert! I talk about some of the outcomes of the couples from this documentary. Go watch this documentary series first on Amazon if you don’t want to read any of my spoilers beforehand.
Jenna and Kurt (Chicago, Illinois)
They have tried everything; naturally, with ovulation kits, and fertility drugs. But after 2.5 years of trying and nothing working. Jenna learned that she had a fallopian tube issue that was most likely the problem to whey she could not conceive. After learning this, they decide with their doctor that her next best chance at having a baby was to move onto IVF treatment. By doing IVF the doctors can extract Jenna’s eggs and put it with Kurt’s sperm, completely avoiding the many issues that can arise from fallopian tube obstructions.
During the time that Jenna was struggling to conceive she talked about how she chose to stay off of Facebook, due to knowing multiple people who were all pregnant at the same time that were posting their pregnancy updates and baby pictures.
Jenna’s sister and several other people she knows are all pregnant at the same time. Jenna talks candidly with her mother about how she feels with each pregnancy announcement, “I get happy all the time to hear it but then at the same time, it’s like that’s how easy it was?”
I laughed out loud when Kurt provided his sample and spoke with his wife in the procedure room before her egg retrieval by saying, “Honey, I’m home! That’s one of the most awkward things I’ve done.” Kurt called it the “magic room.” I think it’s great that they are having a sense of humor about the whole process.
Jenna had 16 eggs retrieved and eight fertilized. They were deciding whether to transfer more than one embryo. Jenna asks her fertility clinic about her chances of pregnancy with implanting two embryos, “Does it go up a little bit, the chances for getting pregnant by putting two in?” and they respond, “Three to ten percent. What doubles is your risk of multiples, by a lot, by fifty.” So how did Jenna decide? She explains, “If I did one and it didn’t work, I could regret that. But if I did two and it didn’t, at least I did as much as I could.” Deciding whether to transfer more than one embryo is a very personal choice and many factors go into these decisions. It really depends on the person and also the clinic restrictions.
Jenna was struggling during the two-week wait after the transfer of her two embryos. She thought about taking the pregnancy test early. One of her embryos implanted and at five months along Jenna says, “I don’t think I’ll be totally relieved until I’m holding that baby in my arms.” She was able to give birth to a healthy baby boy.
Candace and Chris (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Candace and Chris have a blog which I’m a huge fan of called Our Misconception. I’ve been reading that blog for a while now. When I saw that they were featured in the MTV show I had watched years ago I decided to rewatch the show. It was really cool to see their journey of the years, not only on their blog but also in this show.
At the time of this show, Candance and Chris had five failed rounds of IVF after trying to conceive for six years. They had spent about $60,000 on all of their treatments so far. Candace had issues with her uterus which led them to seek out fertility treatment, and they decided to try IVF. Chris helps administer her shots and seems very supportive of her throughout the process.
Candace decided to try some medication that helps suppress her immune system, so it doesn’t attack the embryo. I’ve heard this process is starting to catch on more. If I recall correctly, I’ve heard that natural killer cells have been correlated to immune responses in some women, that are believed to attack embryos that have implanted. I myself have not tried this treatment but I am interested in getting tested for this.
The medication that Candace uses to suppress her immune system is a five-hour long procedure. The scene where the nurse “blew” her vein had me literally clutching my face with both my hands and made my jaw drop. I was so freaked out for Candace after that, and then to see the blood dripping from her hand had me even more freaked out. Dang that girl is tough!
They decided to transfer two embryos. Candace decided to not wait the full two weeks and took a home pregnancy test. While they are waiting for the pregnancy test to process Chris said, “I’m terrified.” Sadly, the pregnancy test was negative. It was so heartbreaking to see the pain they were going through. After their failed transfer, they decided to start looking into adoption seriously. Their friend Korinn considered helping them by being their surrogate. If they were going to do surrogacy it would cost them around $40,000.
If you want to continue to follow Candace and Chris’ story go to ourmisconception.com to read their blog.
Featured Image Credit: https://www.ourmisconception.com/candace-and-chris-true-life-update-show/