Three-month-old Olivia Grace sleeps peacefully, snug in her carrier, under the watchful eyes of her moms, Meghan and Alicia Midghall. Looking at that sweet slumbering face, they express their sense of wonder at their precious gift of a daughter and appreciate the special journey it took for her to enter their lives.
Meghan, an acute care nurse practitioner, and Alicia, a Readiness Sargent First Class at the National Guard in Hartford, CT, share their story.
*Please note: patient story video was filmed prior to COVID-19.
Meghan and Alicia’s Journey to Parenthood
“From the beginning we both knew we wanted a child and I knew instinctively that I wanted to be the one to carry the baby,” says Meghan.
They both say it was meant to be that Meghan works within Baystate Medical Center’s Chestnut Surgery Center, where Baystate Reproductive Medicine is also located—and where she would be close by to receive some of her treatments. “I knew they had a great reputation and trusted them to help us,” says Meghan.
Patients come to the clinic from across Massachusetts, Connecticut, southern Vermont, and New Hampshire because of the clinic’s advanced reproductive technologies and treatments and the team’s excellent success rates.
Alicia says this was a journey they didn’t go into lightly. “We knew it was going to be physically and emotionally challenging and we had to plan financially and for however amount of time it might require,” she notes.
Experts at Baystate Reproductive Medicine advised Meghan she would be a good candidate for IUI, Intrauterine Insemination.
How does IUI work?
IUI is a type of artificial insemination where sperm from a donor has been washed and concentrated and placed directly in the uterus around the time the ovary releases an egg to be fertilized. When successful, the sperm swims into the fallopian tube and fertilizes a waiting egg, with the resulting embryo moving to the uterus for implantation and pregnancy.
Baystate Reproductive Medicine performs approximately 900 IUI cycles per year.
“The decision was we would try six cycles of IUI and then, if we were not successful, we would transition to in vitro fertilization (IVF),” Meghan says. During IVF, mature eggs are collected from the ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. Then the fertilized egg (embryo) is transferred to the uterus.
Choosing a Sperm Donor
“As we started the IUI process, making the choice of the donor was overwhelming at first,” says Alicia. Meghan said she wanted the donor to have Alicia’s calm personality, and they looked for a donor with similar coloring of her hair and eyes.
As they looked at their options, there was one anonymous donor that they both knew instantly felt right.
“A Special Gift”
Meghan then went through three cycles of IUI without success. On the fourth cycle, something changed. “I just felt relaxed with no expectations. That’s when I became pregnant,” Meghan laughs. They did a home pregnancy test and it was positive. “I just fell to my knees crying,” recalls Alicia.
Olivia Grace was born a healthy seven pounds, 17 ½ inches.
Both Meghan and Alicia say their doctors at Baystate Reproductive Medicine—Dr. Cynthia Sites, Dr. Halina Wiczyk, and Dr. Kelly Lynch —were wonderful. They praised the nurses, ultrasound technicians, and were thankful for their support and education throughout the process.
They say the experience was humbling, has strengthened their relationship, and given them their beautiful baby girl.
“Baystate Reproductive Medicine gave us the tools and support we needed to build our family and have our daughter, who is the love of our life,” says Alicia.
Baystate Health’s Expert Fertility Team
Doctors at Baystate Reproductive Medicine are board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and are SART (Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology) members. This means the practice is held to the highest standard of quality, reporting, and ethics. Nurses are specially trained, with certification from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Learn more about our team.