How Jana and her husband Cory persevered through multiple setbacks while celebrating every step of the way to the birth of their baby Griffin.
Like many couples, writers Jana and Cory wanted to collaborate on their most important project of all—having a child. Both had lost a parent and they decided it would be meaningful to carry on their legacies biologically.
What they did not know was that it would take almost three years and multiple rounds of IVF to achieve their dream.
Jana had already learned to persevere some twenty years ago after an accident left her quadriplegic. And while she could carry a child, there were additional risks involved. So the couple decided to use a surrogate.
Ironically, using a surrogate brought her and Cory closer together in that they both had to place their control in the hands (or womb) of another person. “Most of the time,” says Jana, “the non-carrying partner feels the frustration of not being able to do the work of carrying a pregnancy while still wanting to participate as much as possible. In this case, we both felt that way.”
Cory gave Jana her hormonal shots in order to produce and extract enough eggs, but unfortunately there were no embryos as a result. They also discovered they were both carriers for cystic fibrosis. So while the second round of IVF produced two embryos, one was chromosomally abnormal and the other tested positive for the disease. The third round produced a healthy embryo, but the transfer did not take.
After that, Jenna and Cory decided to take a break to recuperate emotionally, physically and financially.
When they chose to resume on their journey to parenthood, they relied, says Jana, on the “open and supportive team at Kolb Fertility—especially Dr. Bradford Kolb and their nurse-coordinator, Yvonne.”
And while their fourth attempt at IVF produced seven embryos, only one was healthy. Then the unexpected happened again; their surrogate dropped out of the process and they had to find another one.
The couple decided their fifth attempt would be their last. With their new surrogate on board, they implanted their one healthy embryo. Then it finally happened: they were pregnant. And on April 10, 2018, they greeted Griffin, a healthy baby boy.
Jana can’t wait to share with Griffin that he was touched by a least a hundred people before coming into the world—from the technician drawing Jana’s blood at the clinic to the surrogate’s own children. “I feel like the CEO of a human,” she says.
Ultimately, what got the couple to the point of parenthood was not just perseverance, but celebrating every success along the way—whatever the final outcome.
What is Jana and Cory’s advice to other would-be parents undergoing IVF? “Find the right support system and just trust in the process.”