Meet David and Charisse, the Couple Navigating Disability and Pregnancy on Courteney Cox Series
The story of David and Charisse, who has cerebral palsy and ataxia, is documented in the second season of 9 Months with Courteney Cox, a Facebook Watch series. The show, hosted by actress Courteney Cox, focuses on couples like the Shumates who have endured a variety of fertility struggles and subsequent successes.
"I think the main reason for both of us wanting to share our story on the show was because [Charisse] has cerebral palsy and ataxia, and we wanted to share our personal challenges and struggles on her end," David tells PEOPLE. "We just wanted people to know what it's like to have a disability while being pregnant."
Charisse, who documents her life with cerebral palsy through her own social media pages, adds that they hoped appearing on 9 Months would help to dispel viewers’ preconceived notions about disabilities.
"There's a misunderstanding with that too," Charisse says. "Some adults even think that people with cerebral palsy can't get pregnant."
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Throughout the series, which is self-shot by the couples, David and Charisse endure their own unique struggles, including David's frequent traveling for work and Charisse's increased pain during pregnancy.
Once Jessie was born, however, the new mom says it was "a dream come true."
"I was happy and overjoyed," Charisse shares. "In the past, even though I always wanted to be a mom, I didn't know that would happen to me. So it really was a dream come true."
"I couldn't stop smiling — I had this huge smile plastered across my face and it was stuck there for at least a good 10 minutes if not more," David adds of the moment their son was born. "I was so full of joy."
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Cox, who suffered from "quite a few" miscarriages before conceiving her now-15-year-old daughter Coco through in vitro fertilization (IVF), says she was drawn to the show because of how "raw and intimate" it is in telling the stories.
"I wanted to get involved because I've never seen a show about pregnancy that was as real, raw and intimate as the concept of 9 Months," says the actress, 55. "It's self-shot so there's nothing sensationalized in any way, and people expose their most intimate details and share it with the world."
"I think that pregnancy is one of the most incredible moments in anyone's life but it can also be scary and unpredictable," Cox adds. "9 Months showcases the many faces of pregnancy, and I hope that it enlightens and entertains the audience."