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.

Episode 6: LGBTQ+ Family Building: Two Dads and the Journey to Build Their Family

For Pride month, we’re rolling out four episodes that cover family building for the LGBTQ+ community. The second episode goes into further detail about what it’s like to build a family as a same-sex couple, specifically for same-sex male couples 

We explore the option of gestational surrogacy. Surrogacy can allow same-sex male couples, or single men, to have a biological child by using the intended parent’s sperm with the assistance of an egg donor and gestational carrier.  

In this episode, we hear from Benjie and Jimmy Hyde, a couple who found themselves at a crossroads when their known egg donor was unable to produce embryosWe’ll learn how they were able to eventually become daddy and papa to their twin daughters, Isabella and Gabriella, through an anonymous donor, as well as the challenges and triumphs they encountered along the way.  

We also hear from Shelly Marsh, who shares with us what it’s like to be a surrogate mother, how she’s helped three same-sex male couples achieve their dreams of having a child, and how she found the organization Men Having Babies along the way, a non-profit dedicated to providing unbiased surrogacy parenting advice and support for gay men worldwide. 

GuestsBenjie and Jimmy Hyde, and Shelly Marsh, Marketing Director at Men Having Babies 

Host: Justin Alvis, Manager of Member Services at Progyny 

For more information, visit Progyny’s Podcast pageProgyny’s Education page for LGBTQ+ family building options, and Men Having Babies. 

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 thisisinfertility@progyny.com. 

Host

Justin Alvis, Manager of Member Services at Progyny

Justin helps our talented team of dedicated Patient Care Advocates provide Progyny members with the best possible experience through their fertility journey. Justin is passionate about professional development for the Patient Care Advocates—he delights in leading seminars and group trainings on effective and compassionate communication with our members.

Guests

Benjie and Jimmy Hyde

On April 11th, 2014, Jimmy and Benjie went to dinner with a close friend at a restaurant downtown Chicago. And that night, they committed to starting their family and finding a path to have children through surrogacy. Just over a year later on May 21, 2015, twin daughters Isabella and Gabriella were born in Moline, IL., just a few miles from where their surrogate, Tiffany, was from.

Shelly Marsh, Marketing Director at Men Having Babies

Shelly is a three time surrogate mother to same sex male couples both domestic and international. Aside from her own two children she has carried four babies as a surrogate mother – six children in all! Shelly is also very involved in the professional side of surrogacy and IVF; she has been the marketing manager for HRC Fertility (an IVF clinic in Southern California) for many years and is also the marketing manager for the international non-profit, Men Having Babies – which is dedicated to providing education and financial assistance to men choosing to start their families through surrogacy. With a degree in marketing / communications and a passion for this field, Shelly has been able to provide support, insight and pour so much of her heart and soul into the surrogacy world.

Music From This Episode:

Artist: Swelling
Track: Dawn II
URL: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Swelling/Projector_Music_For_Visual_Media/Swelling_-_Projector-_Music_for_Visual_Media_-_07_Dawn_II

Artist: Kai Engel
Track: Headway
URL: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/Sustains/Kai_Engel_-_Sustains_-_04_Headway

Artist: Jahzzar
Track: Curves
URL: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jahzzar/handmade/Curves

Artist: Steve Combs
Track: A Vital Piece of Music for All Your Soundtrack Needs
URL: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Steve_Combs/Jaw/Steve_Combs_-_Jaw_-_01_A_Vital_Piece_of_Music_for_All_Your_Soundtrack_Needs

Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: I Wanted To Live
URL: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/The_Big_Loop_-_FML_original_podcast_score/Lee_Rosevere_-_The_Big_Loop_-_FML_original_podcast_score_-_14_I_Wanted_To_Live