If you’ve ever wanted to start a family with children, but for a myriad of reasons weren’t able to do so, you probably already know the heartache and frustration that comes along with it.
Countless couples around the globe have experienced it. They’ve spent thousands upon thousands of dollars at fertility clinics only to yield nothing. And, so often, there are no answers as to why it’s all unsuccessful.
Enter one of those couples — Angelo and Dominique Macri, both 34, of Lyndhurst.
They both come from traditional Italian families. They’ve been married for five years. And they’ve experienced the hell of being unable to have a baby. They’ve spent more money trying than they could possibly account for. And now, they’re telling their story to the world as participants in the Facebook Watch TV series “9 Months With Courtney Cox.”
The young couple have been trying for well over a year to have a baby. They’ve had no success despite trying their darndest. Yet, they have not given up hope of one day being parents. And now they want people to know — especially those experiencing infertility — that they’re not alone and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
We spoke with Angelo and Dominique — she’s known affectionately as Dom — recently.
What we learned was nothing short of heartbreaking, yet it was all extraordinary.
Dom did most of the talking.
“We’ve been going through the in-vitro fertilization process,” Dom says. “We did egg retrieval — a total of four embryos. The first was January 2020. I got pregnant. But one day, a nurse called and said my numbers weren’t where they should be.”
Unfortunately, the couple lost the baby to miscarriage.
Two months later — March 2020 — the couple did a second transfer. And, of course, you all remember what happened that month. As luck would have it, Dom also contracted COVID-19. The transfer didn’t take, so the pair decided to wait to see what happened with the Coronavirus before doing a third transfer.
Fast forward to September 2020 — with no explanation as to why, and with only one more embryo remaining, the Macris still didn’t have a pregnancy.
“And we couldn’t understand why this wasn’t working,” Dom says.
But there was still hope — one more embryo remained.
“That transfer failed,” Dom says. “No more embryos. We’ve spent a ton of money. We had no answers. No baby. Nothing.”
In the cycle of things, this is where the Facebook Watch TV show “9 Months With Courtney Cox” is now. The couple couldn’t say anything more about where things stand, but they did share their frustrations of how hard this has all been.
“It’s been such a long, difficult journey,” Dom admits. “It’s been such a long road.”
And, of course, this is where the couple’s insurance comes into play.
Each year, policies with deductibles reset. Theirs did when the calendar switched to 2021. So while many people were more than happy to see 2020 go away, the Macris — they weren’t.
“Each egg retrieval is $30,000 and each transfer is $15,000,” Dom says.
But she and Angelo aren’t ready to give up.
“We’re still trying, but the toll mentally, physically …” she says. “We would love answers, to be able to get to the bottom of it.”
She says watching the TV show has been hard, reliving the pain she and Angelo have experienced. She says some of the couple’s friends and family have said it’s been too hard for them to watch the show.
“Too hard for them? Really, you can’t? I’m living it,” she says.
Still, the whole experience has strengthened the bond of marriage between the couple — from immense challenges, their love for each other has never been greater. So while so much suffering has happened, one good thing has emanated from their journey.
Challenges of an old-school mentality
Dom was clear — Angelo’s and her family have been nothing but supportive. But she says because things were different when they were younger, they often don’t get the whole IVF process.
“There’s a generational gap,” she says. “When they were younger, people were having babies and getting married at 18, 20. My mother said to me once, ‘Your feather just looked at me and I was pregnant.’ So you can see, it’s a generational issue. Back then, a father had a career and the mother stayed at home. It was so different back in the day.”
The couple want anyone reading this not to be ashamed if they’re having similar issues. And they hope similar couples won’t give up, as they have not.
“It’s in a woman’s nature to have kids,” Dom says. “Yes, it is a real struggle. And it’s OK to feel how you feel. So many who go through this do so alone. We’re different and are doing this all openly.”
And for anyone not experiencing infertility, Dom understands their feelings.
“It’s definitely not easy to get,” she says. “It’s hard to relate to anything you’re not going through. That may have even been me before this. They’ll say, ‘Don’t worry, it will happen.’ Yet I understand why they don’t get it, why people are dismissive — it’s not intentional.”
What’s a dad to be to do?
Angelo, meanwhile, has continued to be a most supportive and encouraging husband to Dom.
“Though it’s been tough,” Angelo says. “As a man, I don’t want to let my wife down. Seeing what she’s going through has been very tough on me as it’s been for her. So I try my hardest to put the game face on each day, even though I know she’s dying on the inside.”
And each and every day, there his is, right by Dom’s side, being as great a husband as one could ask for.
Watch the Macris on “9 Months With Courtney Cox” on Facebook. If you have a smart TV, chances are there’s a Facebook Watch app on it — and you could watch it on the big screen. Otherwise, navigate to www.facebook.com/9monthswithcourteneycox. There, you’ll find all previous episodes that have already aired — and you may set up an alert for notices when new episodes are airing.
Learn more about the writer ...
Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.