020: Fertility Struggles

January 2nd, 2019 · 39 mins 53 secs

About this Episode

Parent Driven Development

Episode 020: Fertility Struggles

00:23 Welcome, Adam Cuppy!

Adam started as a professional actor, turned the corner into advertising, and found his way to tech entrepreneurship and education. Adam performed for the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival before making his way into creative direction for Dutch Bros. Coffee, where he oversaw brand strategy for all of their franchised locations. After six years at Dutch Bros., he co-founded Define Your Edge; the mission: to maximize the customer experience, understand the “why,” and let that influences the “how.” Within a few years, he co-founded Zeal.

When not writing code, he speaks internationally on company culture, software development best-practices, and agile methodologies. And, if you’re one of the rare few, you may catch him on stage.

01:17 Adam's Background with Fertility Struggles

Adam and his wife tried for many years to conceive a child naturally before deciding to undergo medical testing to better determine any underlying issues as to why they were unable to do so. Initially, everyone assumed it was his wife, Julia, who was experiencing problems and was unable to get pregnant, however, it turned out that Adam was the one experiencing problems across the board.

  • Roughly 15% of couples have issues with getting pregnant.

Adam first went an got a personal trainer in attempt to increase testosterone levels naturally, and though they explored more invasive means of conception including IVF, they did not have to go that route and ending up conceiving about four months later.

08:55 The Emotional Weight of the Journey

The feeling of failure weighed heavily, especially when it seemed like everyone around them (but them) was getting pregnant and having kids. Unfortunately, there was also a miscarriage involved at one point which contributed to a deep sense of loss and more failure.

Julia and Adam did differ emotionally whereas Adam felt it would always work out and they would become parents one way or another. Julia felt that maybe it just wasn't in their destiny. Julia was also a high school teacher at the time, so watching teen pregnancies during school or shortly after they graduated was hard on her as well.

15:38 The Lack of Community for Males with Fertility Struggles

Adam stresses how important as a man and 50% a part of the conception equation it is to have conversations around these problems. There are a lot less moving parts for men then there are for women to become a pregnant couple, therefore a lot of people equate fertility issues in men with masculinity or lack thereof.

21:43 Loving Parenting After the Conception and Birthing Journey

Adam gets asked the question often of whether or not he values being a parent more because it was such a struggle to get where he and his wife are today. He's discovered he values the journey a lot more, and it has given him a greater sense that while it was hard, there are many other things in his life that are hard and worth pursuing.

26:46 Finding Your Acceptance and Allowing Other Parents to Find Their Own

Whether it's because you cannot have more children, do not feel comfortable having more children, or want to or need to pursue different ways of becoming a parent again in the future, everyone has to find their own path and no path is the wrong path. No one is less of a parent than anyone else regardless of the journey.

28:56 Resources

  • Being open about the challenge with close friends and/or family.
  • Comminity support groups. (Hospitals/Fertility Clinics.) "Those who struggle together, learn together."
  • Going online and look for the positive things.
  • Tracking ovulation.

32:50 Genius / Fail Moments

  • Mandy: Cut down her own Christmas tree and got it out of the forrest, into her truck, out of her truck, into her house, and up her stairs into a standing position in the corner of her living room (albeit after four hours), but she did it and she did it her damn self! (#Genius)
  • Jess: Daniel Tiger songs are pretty cool, therefore strategic screentime is okay! (#Genius)
  • Adam: "Tooter Checks"! (#Genius)
  • Allison: Not traveling far for Thanksgiving and bring the kid's pajamas with you if you do go anywhere. (#Genius)

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Mandy Moore
Allison McMillan
Jess Szmajda