Episode 109: Staying Optimistic During the Family Building Journey
Family building comes with its ups and downs, but as the old saying goes, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
That was the case for Matt Walters and his wife, Corinne. The couple went through IUI, IVF, and even a miscarriage, on their journey to create a family, but the difficult times gave way to a strengthened relationship and an appreciation of life’s small moments.
Matt, who has the Progyny benefit through his employer, LinkedIn, talks about the reassurance he felt through the support system at Progyny and how the couple felt a sense of relief when exploring fertility options without the steep financial burden.
Guest: Matt Walters, Progyny Member, LinkedIn
Host: Julie Hunt
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Here are some highlights from this episode:
Importance of a support system
16:00 – 17:06
Matt Walters: When we finally found out how the benefits worked for the Smart Cycles with Progyny, we felt reassured that the finances were not going to be a challenge for us the way they would have been with my former health insurance. So it really felt like my employer, LinkedIn, was providing this great benefit to put us at ease for what can be a really challenging and stressful process. The people we interacted with understood exactly how we were feeling and were a pleasure to work with. It really felt like a support network that gave us the peace of mind of not having to stress about finances for building a family.
Strengthening the relationship
24:41 – 25:15
Matt Walters: For us, going through fertility treatments and the entire process, without a doubt, strengthened our marriage and our relationship. I think like any couple, especially right after we got married, we had things to work out together. But going through this, there were times where the process was so isolating in being able to talk about it with friends or family; being able to rely on each other was really important.
Finding the good moments in life
28:16 – 28:32
Julie Hunt: Infertility in general is negative, right? We don’t want to experience it. But it’s all a part of life. And as long as we’re living, we’ll get moments, both good and bad, that we can hold on to. And the trick is finding more of the good moments than the bad.
Julie has been working in the fertility industry for the last eight years. She started her career as a Patient Care Advocate (PCA), a fertility specialist that helps a patient navigate through their fertility and family building journey. Through her experience, Julie was able to expand her role within Progyny and transition into Business Development as a Director. Today, she leverages her PCA experience and passion for helping individuals achieve their dreams of having a family by helping employers understand infertility and comprehensively cover fertility treatment as part of their healthcare benefit. Julie was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in March of 2018. Since then, she has undergone two egg freezing cycles to preserve her fertility and future family building needs. As a proud sister of a gay brother, she passionately supports and empowers the LGBTQ+ community and is an avid advocate for inclusivity and equality.
Matt and his wife are Progyny members in the greater NYC area. They met in 2007 while volunteering for a presidential campaign and immediately bonded over a shared love of Bruce Springsteen and the New York Yankees. A few years after they married, a diagnosis of unexplained infertility began a journey that would last 4+ years.
After weathering 3 IUI cycles, a heart-breaking miscarriage, and then 6 IVF retrievals, they were lucky enough for their first IVF transfer to succeed. After a slightly stressful pregnancy (post-IVF jitters paired with a global pandemic will do that!), they welcomed a healthy and happy baby girl in the summer of 2020.
Their experience led Matt and his wife to be open in sharing their story and offering their support to colleagues and friends who are now braving the challenges of their own infertility journeys. And they’re looking forward to taking their daughter to her first Yankees game and her first Springsteen concert hopefully one day soon.