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 at RADfertility, gave her the push to make an appointment 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, Jackie mentioned that Sue was her “favorite person.” Her doctor 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. My doctor 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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In August 1995, Dr. Barbara McGuirk founded Reproductive Associates, now RADfertility, and was soon joined by her partner, Dr. Ron Feinberg. See how we celebrated this special milestone!
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"I feel so lucky to have found RADfertility. I tried two other clinics before I expanded my search and found RADfertility. I drive an hour each way to go to them but I don’t regret a thing. They are so caring and so professional. Every time I message them they respond quickly. Every time I see them they have a friendly smile and warm welcome. They explain everything so well and I never feel lost in the process as I did elsewhere. They also took the time to figure out what was wrong. Other clinics threw up their hands, said 'I don’t know' and pushed me to try IVF."
"Dr. Feinberg and the entire staff at RADfertility are absolutely amazing. The receptionists, coordinators, nurses, and lab staff are compassionate, caring, and straight forward. I’ve had a 12-year infertility journey and I’ve tried other clinics but RADfertility was the only one I felt at ease with. They answered any questions that I had and were there any time I needed them. My coordinator, Amy, was the absolute best and always had my back. Dr. Feinberg’s dedication to his patients is incredible. You are not just a number there, you are a person with individualized needs and care."
"My journey with RADfertility and Dr. McGuirk started when my husband and I were trying to conceive and were having difficulty. We went to RADfertility, where we met Dr. McGuirk. I always say she changed my life and 'fixed' me. Dr. McGuirk is always learning more about endometriosis and how to help her patients. She’s brilliant and truly cares for you! I’m eternally grateful to her and everyone at RADfertility for their unwavering support, love, and care."
"Every step of our journey was tailored to us. We were treated so respectfully. Every detail was clearly explained and we felt so comfortable. Rhonda Wright was a Godsend and inspiring. I highly recommend this place! I cried when my weekly appointments were done and I 'graduated.'"
"The staff and doctors are amazing. It will feel like home every time you walk in the door. They gifted us with our miracle baby and we couldn’t be happier. I will always recommend RADfertility above all others!"
"RADfertility's staff has heart and provided me with exceptional health care. I knew I was in good hands and felt like we were in this together. The doctors and nursing staff always answered all of my questions and provided thorough information about all of my options. I am so fortunate and appreciative of the care that I received at RADfertility. They go above and beyond."
"I cannot begin to explain how wonderful RADfertility is. We were frustrated with trying to start a family and it not working for us. The entire team of doctors and nurses made us feel comfortable and hopeful that we would be parents. We experienced so many ups and downs but we never felt like we were on our IVF journey alone, we had our RADfertility team every step of the way. If you're looking for a supportive team on the IVF journey, look no further. RADfertility is the absolute best."
"Dr. Schillings always kept us informed and never gave up on us. She always explained our options and risks with each procedure. She called us personally when there were any issues or sensitive subjects to cover. Dr. Schillings was the first doctor that had answers for us and wanted to help us have our miracle baby!"
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