Episode 71: #NIAW: The Callahans’ New Ohana
In honor of this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week (4/19 – 4/25), we’re doing a five-part series that highlights Resolve’s theme of ‘Changing the Conversation’. Over the past two years we’ve had conversations with people still experiencing infertility, people who have reached their end goals, people who’ve dedicated their lives to helping others, and people who are just entering this ever-expanding world of infertility.
We’re focusing these episodes on change, how our guests have changed since we last visited them, how their priorities have changed, and how their situation has changed. We hope by doing so we can do our small part to help change the conversation and enhance public understanding that infertility needs attention and to ensure others they aren’t alone in this journey.
As a same-sex couple, Lindsey and Chrissy Callahan always knew they had to use reproductive technology to conceive a child that was genetically theirs. What they didn’t always know was they had fertility coverage from Progyny through their employer, Salesforce, which allowed them to pursue reciprocal IVF.
In today’s episode, we get an update from Lindsey and Chrissy on their family building journey and how their one embryo turned into one healthy baby, Charlie.
Guest: Lindsey and Chrissy Callahan, Progyny members and Salesforce employees
Host: Dan Bulger, Producer at Progyny
Be sure to check out Lindsey and Chrissy’s previous episode – Season 1, Episode 8.
For more information visit Progyny’s Podcast page and Progyny’s Education page for more resources on emotional support and awareness.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some highlights from this episode:
Reciprocal IVF as a Possibility
2:02 – 6:04
Dan Bulger: Last time we spoke, they were just getting started with a process called reciprocal IVF, whereby an egg is retrieved from one partner, in this case Chrissy and then fertilized with donor sperm, and then embryos transferred into the other partner, in this case, Lindsey. I know I’ve already spoiled the ending of how that all worked out for them. But stories of family building are never really about the destination.
Obviously, this podcast is called This is infertility and we’ve been sharing stories of those who struggle with infertility for years. Lindsey and Chrissy aren’t exactly infertile in the way that many people think about infertility – Chrissy and Lindsey are a same sex couple, which means that they require the use of assisted reproductive technology, or if they preferred adoption in order to grow their family.
Lindsey Callahan: We ended up doing a transfer in December. But up until that point, our journey had been that we learned that we had coverage through Progyny via our employer. And we were super excited because that meant that we could do reciprocal IVF, which up until that point, we did not think that we’d be able to afford it. So, the plan was once we learned we had the benefits, was for me, Lindsey, to carry Chrissy‘s egg with donor sperm.
A Positive Pregnancy Test
16:45 – 18:14
Chrissy Callahan: We went to Duane Reed and bought a pregnancy test, and when we went home, and I remember we were both just staring at it, thinking, well it says positive, but like, this can’t be real”.
Lindsey Callahan: I was almost already preparing myself that I wasn’t really pregnant, and waited for the official blood test from the clinic
Dan Bulger: The clinic called and confirmed that Lindsey was, in fact, pregnant. And when they went back to the clinic a few days later to check again, Lindsey’s hormone levels were doubling. This would indicate a growing pregnancy.
Employer Support Make a Difference
22:23 – 23:49
Lindsey Callahan: Thanks to Progyny, we were able to do reciprocal IVF, and now that Charlie is here, it couldn’t have affirmed our decision anymore that it was the right decision.
Dan Bulger: As promised, this was a story about the Callahan’s — Chrissy, Lindsey and Charlie. As they said at the beginning of this episode, they aren’t sure they’d be here without the coverage that helped them build the family the way they want it to. And they wouldn’t have that coverage if they didn’t have such a great employer supporting them. Chrissy and Lindsey both work at Salesforce.
Chrissy Callahan: The benefits overall are just above and beyond a lot of companies out there. For parental leave, Lindsey gets six months off and I, as the second parent, get three months off.
Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. 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.
Lindsey and Chrissy are originally from Boston, MA, but have lived in Brooklyn since 2017. They met at work almost ten years ago and have worked together for much of their relationship, most recently as Solution Engineers at a cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco. The couple was married at the Providence Public Library in 2016 and thanks to the support of Progyny and reciprocal IVF, they welcomed their first son, Charlie, into the world in August of 2019. They have traveled to more than 20 countries together, most recently enjoying a three-week trip through Eastern Europe with Charlie! In addition to traveling, Lindsey and Chrissy are passionate about staying active while also enjoying a lot of good food! Their perfect day would start with a walk to find iced coffee, include a bike ride around Brooklyn, and end with a food and wine pairing at one of the many restaurants on their “must-visit” list in NYC. They are endlessly thankful to their company and Progyny for the amazing support they have received over the years, and look forward to continuing to grow their family in the future.
Music From This Episode:
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: As I Was Saying
Track: Sad Marimba Planet
Track: I am the Coyote
Artist: Alpha Hydrae
Track: Keratine rust and a clear soul
Track: Friends and Apples
Artist: Philipp Weigl
Track: Western Shores