Two women crouch down to hug a toddler who is smiling widely, all three dressed warmly, outside among bare trees.

Reciprocal IVF Using a Known Sperm Donor and Pregnancy Loss

At five months pregnant with their first known donor conceived baby, Kristina and Molly were given the news that the baby had a fatal skeletal condition, and that the pregnancy would need to be terminated. Heartbroken, they continued their journey to parenthood through reciprocal IVF.

TW: This blog talks about a lethal prenatal diagnosis and abortion.

Falling in Love

Molly and I met at a queer women’s night at a dive bar in Washington, DC in March 2013. We hit it off immediately, but Molly left without asking for my number. Fortunately, I asked around the bar and got hers. We started talking the next day and have been together ever since.

Molly proposed in March 2016, and we were married in Seattle in September 2017. We love going out to dinner and drinks, traveling, and low-key nights at home by the fireplace, catching up on our favorite shows and movies. We also love spending time with our daughter, Hudson, who was born in May 2021, and we are expecting our second daughter any day.

Our favorite memory together is our pre-wedding honeymoon trip to Europe in 2017. We spent two weeks traveling across Paris, Florence, Venice, and San Sebastian, Spain, and it was an unforgettable experience. We have also fallen in love with Mexico, specifically Cabo and Puerto Vallarta. We took Hudson to Cabo last February, and while it was a bit less tequila and earlier nights, we loved it just as much.

Using a Known Sperm Donor 

Molly and I always knew we wanted to have kids, so we started thinking about the process early on in our relationship. Molly’s brother and his husband were on board with supporting us in the fertility process, with Molly being an egg donor for them and Patrick (Molly’s brother) being a sperm donor for us. I went through IVF and was fortunate to get a number of embryos.

Surviving Pregnancy with a Lethal Diagnosis

We wanted to have three kids and felt it made sense to share the responsibility of carrying. I went first, but unfortunately, we discovered that our baby had a lethal skeletal condition 5-months into the pregnancy and wouldn’t have survived if carried to full-term. 

We knew the road to conceiving would be challenging, and the loss of our daughter James was heartbreaking. We were given three options – carry her full-term knowing she wouldn’t survive, induce labor at 5-months knowing she wouldn’t survive, or have an abortion. 

I opted for the abortion, and it was a difficult decision. 

We met with our fertility clinic two days after the abortion to get the process started for Molly to carry. It was a unique situation that we even had the option to move so quickly, and I am grateful that we did.

Pregnancy and Motherhood After Losing a Baby

Less than two months later, Molly got pregnant with Hudson. We wanted our kids to be fairly close in age, so I got pregnant again in July when Hudson was just over a year old, and our second daughter is due any day. 

The current plan is for Molly to carry our third in a couple of years.

Pregnancy was different for both of us. Molly was pregnant during Covid, which made it feel incredibly long. But, for me, the second pregnancy was easier than the first. After the loss of James, I started to embrace being pregnant, and I am excited to have that special connection with our second daughter that Molly and Hudson have.

We are looking forward to having a big family under one roof. With two dogs, a cat, and soon-to-be two daughters, chaos is inevitable, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are excited to see Hudson grow up and become a big sister, and we can’t wait to meet our second daughter and continue to create new memories together as a family.

Dancing With Her Recommended Vendor
Photography by Rove Coast Photography

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