An ecstatic couple from Missouri recently revealed the latest development in their very public quest for a baby - they’re pregnant! The joyous announcement was made on the Today show, where their struggle with pregnancy was first revealed to the world when the woman’s in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure was broadcast live in September 2013, a first for both IVF and TV.
The couple’s pioneering spirit was first demonstrated when TV cameras followed them into St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri, where their IVF treatment was broadcast live. In a follow-up appearance on October 10, it was live on the Today show’s BornTODAY series that Jessica Menkhausen and fiance Derek Manion got the news that IVF was successful and a baby - or two - is on the way.
Jessica says Derek “was the catalyst behind my first consultation” with world-renowned IVF specialist Dr. Sherman J. Silber. Silber is director of the Infertility Center of St. Louis, where the couple sought advice on IVF treatments. It was Dr. Silber who uttered the two words they’ve wanted to hear for years: “You’re pregnant.”
Jessica’s battle with infertility began when she was a teenager diagnosed with endometriosis. Once Jessica was older and ready to start a family, two ectopic pregnancies confirmed suspicions that a healthy pregnancy would be difficult without medical intervention. These pregnancies left Jessica feeling depressed and even skeptical that she’d ever have children of her own.
Ectopic pregnancy (eccysis) is a life-threatening situation that happens when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, where it it is virtually impossible for the pregnancy to reach full term. In Jessica’s case, implantation was on a fallopian tube.
Women of Jessica’s age, between 35 and 37, can expect a 30 percent rate of success from an IVF treatment. Such treatments are expensive, costing thousands of dollars and not often covered by medical insurance, a factor that makes Jessica and Derek’s success all the more joyous. The couple originally told the Silber medical staff that they would try only one IVF treatment but had since decided to continue with treatments if the first proved to be unsuccessful. Making the decision to continue IVF treatments took the pressure off the couple, according to Jessica.
To improve their chance of success, Jessica was implanted with two embryos so it’s possible she could be carrying not one baby but two. It’s too soon to know if Jessica and Derek will have one bundle of joy to welcome into their home or two.
- "Are We Pregnant? Couple Who Did Live IVF on TODAY Shares Their News." TODAY. Web. 2 Nov 2013.
- "Ectopic pregnancy." National Institutes of Health. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. 26 Feb 2012. Web. 2 Nov 2013.