Seeds of Success: The Heller Family
Jackie Heller, a music teacher from Newark, Delaware, had always dreamed of having the perfect little nuclear family. However, already in her late thirties, Jackie’s plans weren’t going exactly as she had imagined. Despite the circumstances, her dream to become a mom remained alive and strong.
She says, “I reached an age where I was tired of dating and bad relationships. I really wanted that husband-mother-child family structure that you think everyone has. I think at some point I realized having a baby was more time-sensitive and more important.”
She decided it was time to finally start her journey to motherhood but going through the process without a partner was intimidating and she wasn’t quite sure where to begin. A close friend, who was a patient of Dr. Adrienne Neithardt, gave her the push to make an appointment at RADfertility to get more information about becoming a single mom.
She was afraid of what they might think of her decision to become a single mom, which made her nervous about her first appointment. However, she was pleasantly surprised to discover that this was nothing new for RADfertility.
She says, “It was hard for me thinking, ‘What are they going to think about what I’m doing? Have they seen this before?’ For me it was more like, ‘Am I the first one to do this? Is this weird?’ And it wasn’t at all. It was completely…you know…another day.”
“I reached an age where I was tired of dating and bad relationships. I really wanted that husband-mother-child family structure that you think everyone has. I think at some point I realized having a baby was more time-sensitive and more important.”
The Journey Begins
Jackie immediately felt comfortable at her first appointment thanks to the staff. She was able to gain loads of useful information and even made a second appointment, something she hadn’t anticipated doing.
“I’m probably the biggest baby when it comes to needles and blood work and all that kind of stuff,” she says. However, she knew that she was in good hands from day one and decided to go for it.
She felt most comfortable with RAD Nurse Practitioner, Sue Carr, and really connected with her during her HSG test. At her following appointment with Dr. Neithardt, Jackie mentioned that Sue was her “favorite person.” Dr. Neithardt went the extra step and asked the patient coordinator, Mari, to book her next appointment with Sue. This was an act of kindness that she had not anticipated but greatly appreciated.
In The Blink of An IUI
Fortunately for Jackie, her path to parenthood was quick and easy. Since she had no fertility issues, she decided to undergo an intrauterine insemination (IUI).
She says of the treatment, “I had two IUI’s back-to-back on New Year’s Eve and the day prior to increase my chances of success. Dr. Neithardt was my date and I got pregnant!” Although staff had advised her to wait for two weeks to take a pregnancy test, Jackie couldn’t resist the urge to take an early one and was excited when she saw it was positive. She immediately emailed Mari, who told her to come in ASAP for testing. When she arrived, Mari, whom she had formed a close bond with, performed her bloodwork, knowing Jackie had trouble having her blood drawn.
Sue called back with her Panorama (a prenatal screening test with gender results) and was able to not only tell her that she was expecting a healthy baby, but also that she was having a girl, something Jackie had hoped for. “I just cried on the phone with her,” she says of the conversation.
Hayden Heller was born happy and healthy on September 6, 2018!
Hayden & Sue Carr at the RAD Family Re-Zoonion.
Becoming a Single Mom
Jackie says that she has been surprised by how supportive everyone was with her decision to become a single mom and that she found the support she needed from the staff at RADfertility and within her community. She’s proud of her story and plans to share it with her daughter, Hayden, as she grows up.
“I think the reason why I am so open to sharing my story is because I also want it to be an amazing story for her. When I tell Hayden about how she came to be, that first appointment is going to be such an important part of the story.” Jackie explains. “It’s hard to be a single mom, but it’s also everything I was hoping for. I think my story is unique but I am hoping maybe if someone sees it or reads about it that maybe it will give them the push to do it.”
She developed strong relationships with the staff at RADfertility and said she cried at her final appointment because she was going to miss their constant support. Jackie is glad that even though the process is complete, her friendship with Sue has continued!
“It’s hard to be a single mom, but it’s also everything I was hoping for. I think my story is unique but I am hoping maybe if someone sees it or reads about it that maybe it will give them the push to do it.”
Advice for Other Women
When asked about what she wanted to share, Jackie stresses that she is proud of this journey and, despite her fear of anything medical, she believes it was all worth it to have her daughter.
Her story is an encouragement to other women who aren’t in a relationship but want to be a mom. Being a single mom doesn’t have to be frightening. With a supportive environment, you can write your own narrative and be able to share your own unique story with your child one day.
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"We had a wonderful experience working with RADfertility. Our doctor was so sweet, informative and helpful with all of our questions. The front desk, it’s always nice to be greeted by a friendly smiling face."
"RAD heard my hopes, dreams, and wishes and led me toward them while holding my hand. My dream came true. I was guided to a beautiful baby girl! It took less than a year for my pregnancy to begin and it was successful. This was the best decision I ever made. Thank you, RAD!"
"From the beginning our team was determined to find a way for my husband and I to complete our family. All the RAD staff was knowledgeable and truly cared for us. We wish we could have continued with them after our baby hit 12 weeks. We thank them daily in our prayers for giving us our beautiful baby girl!"
"We will be forever grateful for the wonderful care we received at RAD! Dr. Feinberg took the time to listen and create a plan we were comfortable with. The whole team was amazing and truly care about their patients. You have exceeded our expectations. Thank you!!"
"Thanks to RADfertility, we have the most perfect addition to our family. The help and support the whole staff gave us was indescribable. We never once lost hope because of them. We will be forever grateful to each and every person we worked with during our journey."
"Dr. Neithardt was amazing. She explained in great detail all the options we had and put us at ease about the entire process. Everyone has been amazing and I have absolutely no complaints. Today I am 17 weeks pregnant and we only have Dr. Neithardt and her wonderful team at RAD to thank."
"They are the most amazing team of doctors and care coordinators. After having started at another facility I was so happy to come to RAD. They are truly amazing, never make you feel like just a number and have empathy and compassion every step of the way. They also get the job done! Thanks RAD!"
"Dr. McGuirk is a very holistic doctor. She doesn’t just treat the fertility issues. She also points out personal health ideas (juicing, whole 30) to help heal/treat the whole patient. She is honest and open. Be open minded and trust in her process. This is a marathon, not a sprint! Dr. McGuirk will be with you the whole way."
"I will never be able to put into words how thankful we are for RAD. Rhonda was there every step of the way as we were going through the process. Everyone was so welcoming and patient as we asked questions. We were blessed with a daughter, who is now three. I have already recommended and will continue to recommend RAD to people who need help growing their family!"
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Medical Arts Pavilion 2
Newark, DE 19713
Silverside Medical Center
2700 Silverside Road, Suite 2A
Wilmington, DE 19810
Eden Hill Medical Center
200 Banning Street, Suite 240
Dover, DE 19904
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