TODAY   |  October 10, 2013

Couple who had IVF on-air ‘ecstatic’ they’re expecting

Jessica Menkhausen and her fiancé Derek Manion underwent in vitro fertilization live on TODAY a few weeks ago. Now they tell TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie and NBC chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Synderman they feel blessed, overjoyed and ecstatic to be expecting their first baby.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> last month in our "today" series, we introduced you to jessica and her fiancee derrick manion, they let us go on their journey with them as they underwent ivf on the air. nancy sneiderman is here to give us an update. good morning.

>> good morning, savannah, our cameras were there, jessica underwent invitro fertilization . this time it's the best and only chance to get pregnant. this morning, we have chosen to take it one step further, they're going to share the results with us.

>> i want to be positive. i think we will have twins. i think they will have red hair and blue eyes .

>> after struggling with fertility issues for nearly a decade, 33-year-old jess cand and her fiancee derrick are excited about the possibility of starting a family.

>> hopefully, these children know one day how much we wanted them.

>> that's really the moment of conception.

>> reporter: that moment a first on live television, fertilizization i have a ivf .

>> this is now a first time lieszed egg.

>> reporter: dr. sherman silver performed the procedure.

>> i want to have enough frozen embryos we can be guaranteed she will be pregnant.

>> back at the hospital three days later, the anxious couple learned how many of jessica 's eggs had grown into viable embryos.

>> this one is not so equal size.

>> that is gorgeous.

>> that is an ho embryo.

>> that is a baby right there.

>> reporter: dr. silver chooses two good embryo and shares the news.

>> we did really, really well. this is for your baby album. too res the two embryos.

>> jessica remains awake and watches as dr. silver gently places the embryos.

>> and those are your babies.

>> it will take ten days to find out if jessica is pregnant.

>> i am going to keep positive thoughts.

>> this is the big unknown period of what's happening inside her uterus. i recommend that they try to relax.

>> reporter: but it can be hard to relax for this couple and others because ivf doesn't always work. in fact, a 30% average pregnancy rate depending on age, that along with the high cost of ivf , which averages 12 to $17,000 per attempt and may not be covered by insurance. for jessica and derrick, it's now or never. they say they can't afford to try again, and they're hoping for the best.

>> worrying is not going to change what's going to happen. ten days later, the results are in.

>> well, guess what, your pregnancy test is positive. you are pregnant.

>> that's amazing. we have a baby in there.

>> jessica an derrick are with us this morning along with nancy . you are making us cry. how did you feel when you got that phone call ?

>> you know, i just had the feeling, watch over me again, just so ec stat ec. so overwhelmed with joy. we feel so blessed to have met dr. silver and so blessed to have the results that we have.

>> thank good for. you guys, i know, this is nancy talking. i know that you don't know yet whether it's one or two. but take us into what dr. silver said is going to happen to you over the next couple of weeks?

>> so in the next few weeks, we'll do an ultrasound and by that time we'll be able to hear the baby or baby's heart beats and hopefully see one or two, one or two fetuses in the womb, so we're really excited about that. we're really looking forward to that.

>> jessica , this is so intimate. there we were right at the moment of this ivf . why did you guys feel it was important to share this story?

>> you know, i feel like there are a lot of other women out there with this same problems, possibly the same issues as we have or couples as we have. so i hope that in telling our story, it will inspire other couples to take that next step and to find out what their options are. also, it has helped us, you know, not carrying around the secret but sharing it with everyone and getting the support and prayers of all of our co-workers and family and friend, it's really been a blessing to us.

>> jessica , derek, we are rooting for you and the if you baby or babies, thank you for sharing this.

>> we will be following you the whole way.

>> thank you. thank you.

>> nancy , as i turn to you, she had two embryos implanted.

>> right.

>> that's not always what is doctors do?

>> no, she had 17 fertilized. they transferred two of them, ones that looked good, can you see which ones have taken and which give her the best chance for success. the definition of success in this case is a healthy baby, not just being pregnant. so this is still long term. she still on hormones to keep the uterine walls pumped up. i suspect she will do very well.

>> it's early on. is it more risk because it was via ivf ?

>> once she is pregnant. she really pregnant. lots of time, high risk women go through ivf . but now that she's pregnant, she's on hormones, they get weened off. she will be on her own. now, is it risky announcing to the world this early in the first trimeser i'm pregnant? of course, it is, we will be with her the whole way.

>> she'll have the prayers of the country with her.

>> she still has quite a few healthy fertilized eggs sitting there.

>> it's an interesting story.

>> good science.

>> thank you. you bet.