Patient Story

Stefanie and Heather

Erika B. Johnston-MacAnanny, M.D.
Richmond – Henrico Doctors’ – Forest, Virginia
Richmond, VA
Donor Sperm
Reciprocal IVF

In 2014, Heather and I played against each other in a women’s soccer league. Jokes were exchanged and sparks began to fly. In our early months of dating looking at pictures, we quickly found ourselves in the same picture from when we were 13 at a soccer camp for our Olympic development program soccer team. After six months of dating, we relocated to Richmond, Virginia, for Heather’s job. Three years later we were married and starting our fertility journey as we both wanted kids.

The right fit for our journey

Our path to Shady Grove Fertility was when I started researching offices that partnered with our insurance along with having multiple locations as we never knew where we would be from week to week based on our desire to travel. Immediately after having our initial consultation with Dr. Johnston-MacAnanny, we felt the sense of welcome and knew we found the right fit for our journey. 

Our first appointment with Dr. Johnston-MacAnanny at Shady Grove Fertility exceeded our expectations as she welcomed us and instantly made us feel comfortable. I knew I wanted our children to be born through reciprocal in vitro fertilization (IVF) utilizing Heather’s eggs and I would carry.  

Heather’s egg retrieval was a high point of our treatment journey. To our surprise, and to the surprise of our SGF care team, 44 eggs were retrieved. At that moment we knew we had very strong odds of successful future transfers.

We’re expecting!

In 2019, after my first transfer and a confirmed pregnancy, we shocked our friends and families with the news that we were expecting. We welcomed our first son in early 2020!  

Two years had passed, and we knew we were ready to try again. My second embryo transfer was successful, but at my eight-week appointment, an ultrasound confirmed I had an anembryonic pregnancy. We were heartbroken and felt defeated. Undecided if we would try again, we ultimately made the decision to give it one more shot. 

Two months after receiving the heartbreaking news, I went for my third and final embryo transfer. With a confirmed pregnancy, we waited until I was out of the first trimester to share the exciting news with family and friends.  

In early 2023, we welcome our second son! It was incredible to see the instant love our oldest son had for his younger brother the moment the two met. 
Through many rounds of tests, Heather’s egg retrieval, my transfers and pregnancies, Dr. Johnston- MacAnanny and her team were there with us every step of the way! We wouldn’t have the family we have today if it wasn’t for the amazing team at Shady Grove Fertility. 

Advice for others

Since having the boys we have been reminded to enjoy the little things in life and to not sweat the small stuff. It has been important to us to remain open in talking through our journey and being a resource for others in our local LGBTQ+ community. Although times may be rough, the success is worth the journey.  Remain patient and lean on your partner for support. 
Chase your dreams! 


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Diagnosis and treatment

We understand you may have questions about infertility and how it’s treated. Gain answers from the diagnosis and treatments shared in this story.
Infertility terms
Reciprocal IVF
LGBTQIA+ family building 

Receiving care

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Dr. Erika B. Johnston-MacAnanny
Richmond – Henrico Doctors’ – Forest, Virginia location
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