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Three Makes Baby Podcast

Fertility psychotherapist, Jana Rupnow, interviews parents, donor conceived individuals and professionals about the challenges and dilemmas of assisted reproductive technology baby-making and the expect-able tensions between positive and negative feelings that come along the way when three makes baby.

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Sarah Responds to Comments About Being the "Real Mom"

Sarah, a mom through egg donation, shares, "Infertility grief doesn't actually end with having a beautiful child. Now the work on what this means in relation to living in our world begins."


31 Mar 2020

Rank #1

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Ellie Used a Donor After Secondary Infertilty & Needs to Tell her Biological Child

Ellie's episode is packed with information about secondary infertility, miscarriage, hyperemesis, and how to talk to your fully-genetic older child about donor conception. Ellie also bravely shares her fears about others gossiping and judging her choice to use a donor to have her second child.


3 Jan 2020

Rank #2

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Holiday Edition: 5 Ways to Deal with Questions from Family

Conversation at holiday family gatherings can trigger unexpected emotions, especially if you’ve been trying to conceive. Aunt Alice asks you when you’re going to have a baby or your pregnant cousin, Amanda, joke-brags about how she gets pregnant by just looking at her husband. Anyone who doesn’t go down a so-called “normal” path to parenthood has encountered many types of questions: the curious, the intrusive, the rude, and the uninformed. Why can’t you have a child? Why did you decide to do that? Why don’t you just _____(relax/be happy/ adopt/ try acupuncture)? How do you handle these questions? The first strategy I offer my clients is to consider the person’s intention. Was it an innocent question or not-so-innocent? Is the questioner being caring, curious, clueless or careless? The exercise is also detailed in my book Three Makes Baby.


19 Dec 2019

Rank #3

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Beth & Her Wife Use a Sperm Donor & Discover She was also Donor Conceived.

Episode 19 of Three Makes Baby Podcast is 54 minutes that you won’t want to miss! Beth articulates her experience with donor conception in a way you likely haven’t heard yet. .Beth and her wife used a sperm donor to have their daughter and a few years later she discovered she was donor conceived from the results of a DNA test. Beth explains how her parents sat her down and the first thing her Dad said is, “We’ve been keeping a secret from you for 40 years.” Beth said she kept looking at her mom saying, “Is this real?” It must have been so puzzling to her. She explained to me that she looks more like her father (with no genetic connection) than her biological father, who she later connected with.  Beth also connected with her sister and explains how it all unfolded in this episode.


16 Feb 2020

Rank #4

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Ally, Host of Half of Me Podcast; Reflections & Growth Over the Past Year

Ally discovered she was donor conceived in January 2019. Since then, she has discovered over a dozen half-siblings and is still coming to terms with her new reality. Ally discusses the complexities of discovering and managing relationships with multiple half-siblings and "the process" of growth she has gone through. She shares things she would do differently now that almost a year has past since her discovery. Ironically, Ally also discovered this year that she and her husband would need treatment to have a baby, as her parents did 30 years ago. Ally, compassionately reflects on what her parents must have gone through, especially now that she is facing infertility herself.


17 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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Fran Regrets Keeping Her Daughter's Donor Conception a Secret

Thirty years ago, Fran's fertility doctor told to keep her donor conception a secret. She headed that advice against her intuition but when her daughter found out the truth as an adult, she regretted not being honest with her from the start. Grief and anger came up all over again. Fran describes the late discovery as disorienting to the entire family. She had to remember the good times by playing old cassette tapes again. Ultimately, Fran realized that her daughter needed her understanding. "It wasn’t about me, it was about her. I was still her mother, I was still the adult in this relationship.”  Fran says that, “People like me that have older children, have to join forces to make things for the better.”


10 Dec 2019

Rank #6

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Brittany Let Go of the Biological Child She Couldn't Have

Therapy helped Brit accept that her and her husband's baby would not share DNA with her. She shares how she had to let go of the fantasy children that she wouldn’t have, so she could accept the baby that was coming. She believes she’s going to get the ‘“little soul” she was meant to have. Also, discussed in this episode are the epigenetic misconceptions that lead mother’s to believe they could pass their DNA on to their egg donor conceived baby. We talk about making an extra effort to help your child feel like they are part of the tribe when they are genetically different.  Music: Half Mystery by Kevin Macleod


12 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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Becky's Emotional Talk about Egg Donation with Her Daughter

Becky, a mom through egg donation, speaks about the emotions surrounding parenthood including grief, shame and fear. She aims to help lift the stigma and silence around donor conception through sharing her story. She shares her fears of talking to her daughter about her egg donor. "It human nature to want to protect ourselves as parents and for me, my daughter cannot ever be replaced. Fears that she may find the donor and I'd be replaced are there, but they aren't really realistic." Becky tells the story of the first moment she talked to her daughter about donor conception and her daughter's unexpected response.


14 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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Alex-Concerns about Fatherhood After Sperm Donation

I was so excited to talk to Alex @pursuingfatherhood to hear a guy’s perspective and concerns about fatherhood.Even more exciting is that he and his wife are expecting a baby girl any day now! .Alex asks such an important question about how to share their unique conception story with others. He wants to do what is best for his child and wonders about the right time and people to tell. I’ve had many people ask this same question and there is no simple answer. Talking about a sensitive topic before you are ready can be psychologically distressful. .The best I can do is give you a way to determine your own readiness to share. I developed a simple, use-on-the-fly, acronym to help called “Consider IF.”I’ll post more about this but have a listen to the episode first! 🎧 Podcast available to listen on all platforms and the link in my bio. ...#spermdonation #parenting #infertility #ttc #azoospermia #donorconception #fatherhood #fertilitytreatments #malefactorinfertility


19 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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Keeley Explains How Using an Egg Donor Affected Her Husband

Keeley found her love in her mid-thirties but after multiple fertility treatments and no official diagnosis, she concluded that her egg quality was low. Her story speaks to so many women that have a full life in their twenties before finding the partner they want to have a family with. Unfortunately, female fertility declines rapidly when women reach their mid-thirties. Keeley discusses the of loss of seeing both of them in their child. “My husband said a very sweet thing, 'But I married you'. The idealistic dream of having a child that looks like both of you.” Our conversation takes a path into so many different topics like, anonymity, finding the donor later in life and how she views genetics.  We also talk adoption- the similarities and differences between adoption and donor conception. Keeley brought up a new topic to the podcast. How to talk about donor conception with the younger generation, specifically, her friends and family member's children. Keeley's empowering message is for women and men to be proactive about their fertility long before they plan to have a family. Follow @janarupnowlpc for a dialogue more on this episode! A


27 Jan 2020

Rank #10

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Cassandra Discoverd She was Donor Conceived from DNA Test

Cassandra found out her father wasn't her biological dad from a DNA test in 2017. A mother herself, Cassandra had to re-work her sense of identity and navigate the complicated family dynamics that unfolded after discovering this 35-year secret. Broken trust and broken family relationships motivated Cassandra to make a difference. She advocates for the rights of donor-conceived individuals across various platforms @cassandrajadams. She is the moderator for the Facebook group Donor Conceived. Learn more from individuals who were donor conceived on YouTube.


3 Dec 2019

Rank #11

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A Message for Parents

Jana Rupnow explains the passion behind Three Makes Baby and why she loves working with   with families who don't share the same genes. 


11 Nov 2019

Rank #12

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Colleen's Conception Concealed; Crooked Finger Connection

Colleen experienced infertility and her doctor recommended that she use an egg donor to conceive, but donor conception had turned her life upside down. Her own donor conception was concealed until she discovered the truth through a DNA test. Her biological dad was actually a medical student who donated his sperm anonymously. Finding out she was donor-conceived later in life caused Colleen an existential crisis, but things also begin to make sense to her. She recalled a family gathering when her dad was looking at her hands and said, “You have a crooked pinky finger!” “I have a crooked pinky finger!” The man that raised her passed away before she discovered the truth and she felt like she lost him all over again. . Experiencing infertility and being donor conceived, Colleen has a unique perspective, “I see a lot of hurt from people who are infertile and who are donor conceived and it’s not a tragedy competition.”  Listen on your morning commute in iTunes.


18 Nov 2019

Rank #13

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Liz Would Like to Know More about Her Egg Donors

Liz would like to know more about the women that helped her become pregnant with her children. After she lost her baby girl at 21 weeks gestation due to a heart defect, it was hard to move on to another donor. She was attached to the embryos, her baby’s biological potential siblings but the dream of them died.  The clinic kept the information from the donor about the baby’s heart defect and has kept Liz from contacting the donor. Her episode brought up some ethical questions: Shouldn’t the baby’s heart defect be shared with the donor if it could prevent the donor from having a complication with pregnancy in the future? .Should doctors and agencies keep donors and parents apart if they want contact? .The solution to this is to work with a program that has a registry or use the DSR in the US. .Leave your comments below. Let’s advocate for change together. 


26 Nov 2019

Rank #14

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Eloise- Klinefelter's Syndrome Lead to Sperm Donation

Eloise shares her story of how a chromosomal disorder, called Klinefelter's Syndrome, caused male-factor infertility for her husband. After an unsuccessful surgery to extract sperm from her husband, the couple moved on to use a sperm donor. Eloise, now with 3 children, shares how difficult the process was for her and her husband. The lack of resources and information left them feeling overwhelmed and without direction. She aims to change that for others.


3 Feb 2020

Rank #15

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Dr. Julian Escobar Asks Me How His Patients Can Cope with Uncertainty

Jana, & Dr. Escobar, (fertility therapist and fertility doctor) met on zoom to talk about how the coronavirus is changing fertility treatments. I sat down with Dr-Julian Escobar to talk about the uncertainty of healthcare during this coronavirus outbreak and how patients can cope with delayed fertility treatments.


23 Mar 2020

Rank #16

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Sarah's Known Donor is a Friend & Pregnancy During a Pandemic

Sarah shares her story of using a known donor. An extraordinary friendship leads to her pregnancy during a historic time. Sarah speaks about her long journey of infertility, the difficulty of pursing anonymous donation, and the immeasurable and timely gift of egg donation from a friend 4,000 miles away. Sarah speaks to what it is like to be pregnant during a pandemic and how lock down feels alot like the isolation she felt during infertility. She offers hope to those on an uphill climb to conceiving.


15 Apr 2020

Rank #17

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Angela Uses Art to Heal after Miscarriage

What happens when 100 people collaborate to express their experiences around miscarriage? Listen to this epi to find out. Infertility grief isn't widely recognized or understood by the public. Learn about the grieving process and why miscarriage after infertility is a more complicated type of grief. Music: Half Mystery by Kevin Macleod


14 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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Allie P- Two Moms, "The Dude" & 80 Half-Siblings

In this episode, Jana Rupnow, LPC speaks with Allie P, sperm-donor conceived and raised by lesbian moms. Allie always knew she was donor conceived and called the anonymous donor, “the dude”, before she knew who he was.Allie saw a commercial on TV and discovered approx 80 half-siblings through the donor sibling registry (DSR).She told me what it’s like to have 80 siblings and the differences and similarities of their experiences. She also spoke about how hard it is to manage a relationship with that many people. . .Allie was also able to identify and meet her donor in person. She found herself following in his footsteps in ways throughout her life but isn’t sure how conscious this was. Allie believes that telling the child from the start about donor conception is best and didn’t feel that anything was missing in her life by knowing. Don’t miss this final Episode of season 1.


25 Feb 2020

Rank #19

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Jeremy, Raised by a Single Mom, Found his Donor and Half-Siblings

Jeremy, who was sperm donor conceived and raised by a single mom shares the experience of meeting his donor and half-siblings. He talks about what the word “dad” means to him and how he relates to his donor today. We also talk about the show Almost Family and how parenting might influence or not influence how people feel about being donor conceived. It’s a great episode! We talk about hard stuff in a respectful way.


20 Jan 2020

Rank #20