Patient Story

Chelsea & L.E.

Jennifer E. Mersereau, M.D., MSCI
Raleigh, North Carolina
Clayton, NC
Donor Sperm
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

My wife L.E. and I met in 2016 and had an instant connection. She was still attending college and I was working in the hospitality industry after relocating back to my home state of North Carolina from Seattle, Washington. As a student and recent graduate, times were tough, but because of our compatibility, things felt simple. Upon L.E.’s graduation, she took a job as a teacher in the Raleigh area, near her hometown. I found a job in property management and we got our first apartment together. 

At the time, we did not want to have children. L.E. was around children all day at work and I just was not at a point in my life to be able to handle the responsibility of a child. We bought our first home in 2018 and the realtor mentioned how great the school district is. We both thought to ourselves that the school district was irrelevant, but looking back, I’m glad we moved where we did! 

As time passed, both of us privately started thinking how exciting life would be with a child. I remember one day we were on a road trip and I brought up to L.E. that I had considered the idea of children. To my surprise, she told me she had been thinking the same thing! After she switched from education to software engineering, we were ready to make our dream a reality. 

Finding family-building care at SGF Carolinas

We selected a sperm donor from a reputable bank and started our journey at a well-established local clinic. I thought it would be easy to get pregnant and we even planned our future child’s zodiac sign. Naturally, things did not go according to our plan. After two failed intrauterine inseminations (IUIs) and one frozen embryo transfer (FET) that resulted in a chemical pregnancy, we switched to Shady Grove Fertility as the brand-new clinic in our area. The idea of going to a brand new clinic was exciting.

The process of switching clinics was a long one, but so worth it! I had my first consult in December 2022, and we transferred our embryo to SGF in March 2023. The day after our transfer, we flew to Chicago for a business conference. After experiencing heartbreak in the past, I was not confident that the embryo transfer would work, but traveling to Chicago helped me not to stress during the process. The day before my beta, we decided to take an at-home pregnancy test and it was a clear positive! I’ll never forget getting a phone call the next day that the beta result was over 400, 7 times higher than our beta was at our first transfer.

At this point, I was still cautiously optimistic. The staff at SGF was so helpful in keeping me hopeful and explaining the statistics of success/what was going on with my embryo. I had a few ultrasounds at SGF before I was released to OB care. It was bittersweet, because the care we received at SGF was so good, I knew I would miss going there.

We missed it so much, that once I was in my second trimester, we scheduled an egg retrieval for my wife, so that we would have another embryo to transfer when we are ready for baby #2. Throughout that time, we continued to receive amazing care and communication from Shady Grove Fertility. It was so much fun coming to the clinic while pregnant as well.

Everything we had ever imagined

We learned that we were expecting a boy, and we chose the name Ezra. During pregnancy, time seemed to move so slowly, but eventually, the time came for Ezra’s arrival. We opted for a 39-week induction and went to the hospital on November 26th, 2023. This too, did not go as planned. After being in labor for over 30 hours with little progress, we opted to bring Ezra into the world via c-section. We met him in the early morning hours of November 28th and he is everything we have ever imagined and more!

Something we learned

Something we learned throughout this process is that the timing of success is beyond our control, but the compassion of the clinic staff and finding the right clinic are paramount in having a successful and positive experience. Having that support system was a huge help for us. We can’t wait to visit SGF again soon for our next child and would recommend SGF to family and friends.


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