Couple on 'Steve Harvey' see positive in 'negative' results
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - When Megan and Frank Constantino kept seeing "negative" after "negative" on their pregnancy tests, they knew having a baby wouldn't be as easy as they thought.
But the Beckley couple made peace with the worry of infertility and decided whatever happened next, they would walk the path together.
"Our teamwork has been instrumental," Megan said. "We've taken challenges and signed up for a team. For infertility, it's stressful, and like any other stress in a marriage, it can tear you apart, but we're choosing to help build us together."
They also decided their situation could be an opportunity to bring awareness to the subject of infertility and help others in the process.
The couple will now have the chance to do just that on national television. They will appear on today's episode of "Steve Harvey," which airs at 3 p.m. on WCHS.
"We're young and healthy," Megan said. "We wanted to help others as much as we could, whether it's the girl at home who doesn't have anyone to talk to and has to tell her husband how heartbroken she is about not getting pregnant.
"We want to try to support the individual who doesn't understand the medical journey."
She recently talked to a friend who works on "Steve Harvey." After their initial discussion, it was a whirlwind of plane tickets, a hotel room and being in front of the cameras.
They ended up flying to Chicago on Monday night, going straight to the show the next day and flying straight back to Charleston afterwards.
"It was really neat to meet Steve," she said. "He was excited to meet someone from West Virginia. . . . I told him we loved the West Virginia is sexy video, and he said, 'They watch that in West Virginia?' I said, 'Yes, we love you, Steve!' "
Through her experience, Megan said she has been an open book so she can help people in similar situations.
Megan and Frank started dating in high school. When she was 19 years old, she went to the emergency room with an ovarian cyst rupture.
About a year later, the two got married. Both had the passing thought they may have trouble getting pregnant, but they didn't give it much thought.
"We also knew that it was brought up, the fact it could cause fertility problems," Frank said. "We said, 'Oh yeah, you know, we're not ready for kids. We'll worry about that later.' We didn't really think anything of it beyond that."
They continued on with their lives, getting bachelor's and master's degrees, traveling the world and landing great jobs.
Megan now works as a public relations director for Weaving Influence, a national consulting company, and Frank is a territory manager for a medical device company.
After a few years, they felt a piece missing from their lives and decided they wanted to make their family complete with children.
"It was a year and a half to two years later and we still weren't getting pregnant," Frank said. "She asked me if we needed to get checked out, and we both agreed it was a good idea."
Frank was the first to get checked. Before they started the process, both decided that no matter who had the problem, the other wouldn't place any blame.
"The big thing there is, it's easy for a male to be checked and to say, 'Well, you know it's not me. I'm out of the situation and we'll really make the process all about the female.' What we did was make it about us," he said.
Frank's test was clear. Megan said she started getting butterflies, wondering if she had a problem.
She was eventually diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. Doctors told her she had a low progesterone level, but a high estrogen level was throwing off her fertility.
"Many, many women have that. It's very prevalent," she said. "I don't have the typical characteristics to look at. Usually, people are a bit heavy set . . . or there's metabolism problems with that."
She went through a few rounds of entry-level fertility treatment but moved on to other treatments after they weren't successful.
And while Megan was the one undergoing treatment, Frank also found the process difficult.
"I want a baby as bad as she does, but what's so hard for me is seeing her suffer through it, going through a round of treatment, taking the pregnancy test," he said. "There's nothing I can do to make it better. The only thing I can do is talk about it if she wants to talk about it, and be a stable rock."
Megan said fortunately, doctors have found a blockage and are more hopeful that further rounds of treatment will help.
"It's hard when people ask you, 'Are you guys going to have kids?' " she said.
Some people have suggested the couple stop worrying so much about getting pregnant, reasoning, "It will happen when you don't think about it."
"Well, my body doesn't do things like natural," Megan said. "So it does require medical attention."
While they still hope to have biological children, the couple are now looking into the adoption process. Both said they hope their television segment will reach people and have a meaningful effect.
"While it's not the sexiest topic, it's one that the lord gave us," Megan said. "He gave us the challenge, and we will talk through it. We want to encourage and educate and inspire others. We want to show this is what infertility looks like."