This is Infertility is a bi-weekly podcast where we fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through a family building journey. Each episode dives into the emotional, physical, and financial burdens carried by those who experience infertility on their path to parenthood. Be it IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, adoption, etc., the path is never the same and it can be long, painful, and lonely. It’s our mission to give those struggling a platform to be heard, a community connection, and an opportunity to raise awareness of the 1 in 8 who, for many reasons, struggle with infertility.
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This is Infertility

Episode 161: The Weight of the Wait

Jessica Hadwin, like many in this community, was given an incredibly frustrating diagnosis – unexplained infertility. Answers are typically comforting and for Jessica there were none until she experienced two devasting miscarriages.

But how do we find the answers? For Jessica it was through additional research from the lab. After a few tests, it revealed chromosomal abnormalities to be the reason why her previous pregnancies ended in a loss.

In this episode hear how Jessica navigated her family building journey –  to include using pre–implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A), how she dealt with loss, and why she started The Hadwin Family Foundation.

Guest: Jessica Hadwin, co-founder of The Hadwin Family Foundation and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Host: Dan Bulger, Progyny

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources. Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility. Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at

Here are some highlights from this episo

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back:

07:39 – 12:29

Jessica Hadwin: I popped up pregnant with my second pregnancy maybe two months after our loss of our first pregnancy. So, then I’m really like, “Okay, what is going on?” Like, the first pregnancy was super traumatic, and a whole other story. But the second pregnancy, I think we went for the first ultrasound, which we did early because of the first pregnancy. And I want to say I was 10 or 11 weeks, and I went in by myself to my OB, and found there was no heartbeat. I’m like, “Okay, it happened again.” At that point, I actually decided to just take time off from everything. We decided to actively not try and to put a pause on moving forward with any IVF treatment and just take a break.

Dan Bulger: When about six months passed, they decided that they were ready to try again. And this time, they wanted to start with their fertility clinic and with IVF. And a big reason for that is that genetic testing revealed that both pregnancy losses were due to chromosomal abnormality. When sperm meets egg and embryos are formed, the chromosomes from sperm and egg are combined 23 from sperm and 23 from the egg. But sometimes this forms too few chromosomes or too many. And when that happens, the embryo usually isn’t capable of leading to a live birth. Using pre–implantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A), individual embryos can be tested, healthy embryos can be identified, and successful pregnancies can be achieved.

Is it Magic? No — It’s Genetic Testing

15:15 – 21:38

Jessica Hadwin: We got a call from the embryologist for that first fertilization report. And right away it was, took me back to, you know, the last couple years with infertility and loss. Because it was, “Well, Jessica, I don’t have great news for you.” He said, “unfortunately, and I don’t know why, because visually, everything was great. And all your labs are great, but you had a 50% fertilization rate, which is really unusual, especially with ICSI.” So, I thought, Okay, well, thanks. Finally got the call on day five. That was one of those, “Well, I have good news. And I have bad news. So, the bad news is, once again, your rate of attrition was not great. But the good news is you have two embryos.” So, I think it takes, if I remember right, a few weeks for genetic testing. And we got the call. And it was maybe the first wonderful call we’ve got because our reproductive endocrinologist started right out with, “I have great news for you!” And it was that both embryos came back normal, and that we had a boy and a girl.

We were going to a charity event. And I was pretty excited. I think, you know, we’re day six at this point tests were looking great, went to the bathroom to have a ton of blood. And I’m just sitting in a random state thinking, great. We’re losing our IVF pregnancy now. So, we went back, and we did the initial HCG lab draw, it was great. And so, I think then they scheduled the first ultrasound for six weeks. And we saw right away after having a lot of experiences watching ultrasound screens from pregnancies before an IVF process, there was one embryo that had implanted and was looking great, which turned out to be our daughter.

The Hadwin Family Foundation

24:46 – 28:25

Jessica Hadwin: So actually in the peak of COVID and maybe it’s because my husband had some time off and we were home we decided to go ahead and start our foundation and try to help the children, families who are going through medical and financial hardships, with some support, whether that be through raising awareness or advocating or educating or providing resources or monetary grants, we just wanted to give back and help people that have not had the means that we have to successfully navigate hardship. So, we started our foundation. We applied for it in the beginning of COVID. And then last fall, it was approved. We also are on Facebook and Instagram @Hadwinfamilyfoundation. And right now, honestly, we would just love for people to share. Recently for our foundation, I think it’s the first time I did open up about what we went through. And I wrote a five-part series blog, just opening up and letting everyone know what actually happened in our lives.

The Hadwin Family Foundation isn’t only a resource to share stories. We also have a grant. It’s called Maddy’s Miracle grant. Finally, after a lot of prep work launched an infertility grant. It’s specific to Arizona. And it’s specific to the clinic that we actually went through our entire process with. So, we launched an IVF grant in March, and we awarded it in April, to a wonderful couple who is doing all the prep work to proceed with their IVF cycle. And our grant basically covers the retrieval and transfer process. So, we obviously would love people to feel called to donate to our infertility grant so that we can help more families cover their IVF costs.

Dan Bulger


Dan Bulger
Producer at Progyny

Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the past ten plus years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he has interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility and the producer behind the Progyny YouTube Channel which features interviews with dozens of the nation’s leading fertility specialists. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.

Jessica Hadwin


Jessica Hadwin
co-founder of The Hadwin Family Foundation and Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Jessica Hadwin was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. She spent her career working in the medical field initially as a pharmacy technician, then as a nurse, and most recently as a nurse practitioner. She always looked forward to the day that she could add “mom” to her resume, but like so many others, this title did not come easy and she spent years battling infertility. The difficult path to motherhood inspired her to find a way to help others in their quest to build their families.

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Jahzzar
Track: Family Tree

Track: No-End Ave

Track: Curves

Track: Fabonacci

Track: MainSquare