Tasha and Caleb Wygal are busy adding final touches to their son's nursery. There's a rug with an octopus and anchor that compliments a nautical theme. Some of their own artwork will adorn the walls.
It's the kind of task the Wygals were unsure whether they would ever get to enjoy.
"Been married 15 years, been trying for eight," said Caleb. "You go through times," said Tasha about the emotional roller-coaster of disappointing pregnancy tests.
Like many couples, they had largely unexplained infertility.
Finally, they have good news to share. "I'm 22 weeks," said Tasha, "it's a boy."
Caleb calls it a miracle. Part of it could be explained by an improvement in his diet.
"I was thrilled for them and very, very excited," said Dr. Rebecca Usadi, Associate Director of Reproductive Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center. Dr. Usadi helped the Wygals enroll in a clinical trial called MOXI, or Males, Anti-Oxidants and Infertility.
The trial examines how nutrition affects sperm quality. Caleb underwent testing after no problems were discovered with Tasha's reproductive system.
"We are looking to see whether specific anti-oxidants will help improve sperm parameters," said Dr. Usadi. Research shows more than 10-percent of couples experiences infertility; and about 20-percent of the time, a male factor is involved.
"If it does prove that certain anti-oxidants help mild male factor infertility; it is an easy, low cost intervention with very few adverse effects," said Dr. Usadi.
Within weeks of taking a daily pill, the Wygals decided it was time for a pregnancy test.
"She said you go check it," said Caleb. "I went in and checked it and saw the faint blue line and was like, 'YES!'"
Come August, they will be parents. "I just think about what day one is going to be, what day ten's going to be, what day 365 is going to be,"
Neither they, nor Dr. Usadi know if Caleb took the supplement or a placebo in the double-blind study. "Well, we have our suspicions,"
laughed Dr. Usadi.
"I think I was on the real thing," Caleb said with confidence.
One day they'll know for sure, once the research is shared.
One day, their little boy will know just how much his parents hoped for his arrival. "It's kind of surreal after all this time," said Caleb.
Dr. Usadi says nearly a quarter of their patients have conceived on the MOXI trial, which is still accepting participants. She cautions couples who are trying to conceive about taking too many supplements or vitamins, which can have an adverse effect.
There are a lot of ways to start a family, this is just one of many options that could help. The Wygals hope their contribution to research helps other couples with similar struggles.
To read more about the trial, click here.