“I said, ‘This is a joke.’ I didn’t believe it,” she said. “(The crew member) had seen that we’d been trying to have a child for many, many years, and so we talked with her quite a bit and many of the other crew, and thought it would be a neat opportunity to kind of be an advocate for infertility.”
Kateka and Stu Goodman, of American Fork, are one of 10 couples featured on “9 Months with Courteney Cox” season 2, which premiered May 10 and runs through July 2. New episodes are released Sundays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. on Facebook Watch.
Actress Courteney Cox is the host and executive producer of the show, which follows extraordinary pregnancy journeys as families deal with issues like infertility, illness, deployment and disabilities.
Cox has a personal connection to the show, having gone through her own infertility challenges, including miscarriages and IVF treatments, before having her daughter, Coco, at age 40.
Stu Goodman remembers watching Cox in “Masters of the Universe,” and Kateka Goodman was watching “Friends” when it debuted.
“I watched Monica and Chandler struggle with their infertility,” Kateka Goodman said. ”I’m a big fan.”
The Goodmans haven’t interacted with Cox, but a crew member who sent some footage of them to Cox said she liked them.
“Hearing that Courteney Cox liked us, I couldn’t even believe it,” Kateka Goodman said.
“I told the casting lady to prove it, and that we wanted Courteney to FaceTime us, but she just laughed and moved on to the next topic of conversation pretty quick,” Stu Goodman added.
The couple struggled with infertility for 11 years prior to being on the series. They documented their story on a vlog after winning an IVF grant through local family vloggers Ellie and Jared a few years ago, before “9 Months with Courteney Cox” sent them cameras to continue recording their journey. Season 2 follows their final attempt to become pregnant.
Not being able to have children was especially difficult for the couple as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which places an emphasis on families.
“After the first few years, there’s a lot of confusion, almost anger, resentment, those types of feelings,” Stu Goodman said. “Most of our friends and family are completely done having kids now, so infertility, in a lot of ways, it almost makes you feel like you’re stuck in a stage of life, and that everyone is just passing you by, and you relate less and less to people.”
“It really challenged my relationship with God,” Kateka Goodman added. “We’re taught that we can pray for anything, and I didn’t feel like I was getting my answers to my prayers, I wasn’t getting guidance, and that went on for years.”
Kateka Goodman said after seeing other people struggle with infertility and other ailments, she came to realize “life is living imperfectly, whether you have an imperfect body or just challenges that come up.”
“It’s up to you, no matter what your circumstance is, to make the best life that you can,” Kateka Goodman said. “That helped me make peace with my faith, that God may not fix this for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t live a beautiful life.”
The couple said opening up and getting involved in “9 Months with Courteney Cox” and its associated support group page has connected them to others struggling with infertility.
After watching the show, they are “completely invested” in the other families’ stories, they said.
“There’s a large community and population of people who’ve struggled with very similar stuff, so it is nice to be a resource, but also to know that there is other people that have experienced things that are very similar to what we’ve gone through,” Stu Goodman said.
Stu Goodman wants those who watch the series to see how people from many different walks of life push through their own unique challenges with hope.
“I think realistically, just about anybody that watches the show will be able to find a couple on there that they relate to in some way or another, and see that the hardships and whatever else they’re going through, it’s not something they’re alone in,” Stu Goodman said.
“I think with infertility, over some time, we’ve realized that even though not everyone understands infertility, they understand what sadness feels like and what betrayal feels like and how it feels when plans don’t go the way you think they will,” Kateka Goodman added. “I hope people feel validated and supported in what they’re going through.”