Reality star Francesca Farago and her fiancé Jesse Sullivan have opened up about their shared “mentally and physically taxing” IVF journey.
Both Farago and Sullivan, who is transgender, have been going through the same in vitro fertilisation journey together in the hopes of growing their family before they tie the knot.
The couple, who have been documenting their fertility journey on social media, revealed that they first started talking about kids within the first two months of seeing each other.
“It was one of our really early-on conversations. And the way that we spoke about it in that car is the way we actually ended up doing it, which is crazy,” Farago told Page Six.
The Too Hot To Handle star and Sullivan decided to begin their IVF journey earlier this year, after opting to put off their wedding plans for the time being – but it hasn’t been easy.
“You start off with some appointments, some ultrasounds, some blood work,” said Farago. ”So every day, you inject a certain amount of hormones. (Jesse) had to inject a lot because he didn’t have as many eggs.”
Sullivan, who came out as trans in 2019 and has been on testosterone ever since, revealed that he chose to stop his hormone replacement therapy treatment so that he could “give himself the best chance” of producing more eggs.
In the end, the couple, who have already chosen a sperm donor, created a total of 18 embryos – 15 using Farago’s eggs, and three using Sullivan’s.
Farago explained that fertility treatment was “extremely hard” on their mental health.
“You’re freaking out, you feel terrible, you’re tired, you’re bloated, you feel depressed in a way.”
While Sullivan agreed that undergoing IVF was “a lot more mentally and physically taxing than (either of them) realised,” he suspects that Farago was less prepared for the toll it would take on their bodies.
Sullivan, who has already experienced the “ups and downs of hormones” for the past few years, said he was almost “prepared” to “feel like it’s the end of the world.”
He told the publication: “Being trans does require a lot of strength, especially in this political climate. So just going into these things, I think I had a lot of strength and understanding of what this was and that there was this end goal that was so worth it, even if it was going to get hard.
“And I did warn (Francesca) about that. I was like, ‘You know, this might get really, really hard for me.’ And she was like, ‘Yeah, I know.’ And she was right there the whole time.”
Thankfully, despite the challenges, Farago and Sullivan’s IVF journey has been mostly positive so far, thanks to the clinic they chose, which has made every effort to make Sullivan feel “safe”.
“They were just so careful with me. They knew it was a very difficult process as a trans man to go into those situations that are considered female and for women, and they were just so sensitive to me,” he raved, noting that many queer couples aren’t so lucky.
Now that they have their embryos, the couple are taking a short break and holding off until January before Farago can do a fresh embryo transfer, after she had a negative reaction to IVF. In the new year, the couple will try to transfer one of her embryos first, and one of Sullivan’s second.
Ideally, the pair are hoping to have a total of five children – that’s four including Sullivan’s 15-year-old child Arlo.
Sullivan said of their big family plans: “People are always like, ‘Are you sure?’
“I’m like, ‘If anyone’s sure, it’s me, because I had to do it single and as a teenager, and I still want more kids.”
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