Brittany and Raegan's Story

“Our journey to have a family started more than a decade ago. I couldn’t have imagined how frustrating and isolating it would be for us. ”

— Brittany

My Little Unicorn

In 2013, my husband and I learned that we would not be able to conceive on our own. So, for the next 7 years, we tried IVF.  We met with different fertility specialists traveling long distances to see top experts, without success. It was discouraging, exhausting and we had no answers as to why the IVF cycles were failing.

Mother Brittany holding her daughter Raegan

Then the pandemic hit - everything stopped.

We started our IVF cycles again in 2021 and couldn’t believe it when we learned we were pregnant in September of that year. It was so exciting! Since I was going to be 35 years old on my expected delivery date, my pregnancy was considered “high-risk.” I was referred to a maternal fetal medicine specialist (MFM) who would closely manage and monitor my pregnancy.

I was 6 months pregnant, and all was going well until a routine exam suggested that something wasn’t quite right. A fetal MRI confirmed my baby had duodenal atresia — the pancreas had grown over part of the intestine.

We learned about the Advanced Delivery Program at Nemours Children’s Hospital, Delaware from our OBGYN. Since my baby would need surgery soon after birth, I could deliver at Nemours Children’s and stay with my baby.

I met with Dr. Margaret Chou, the obstetrician at the Advanced Delivery Program (ADP) and immediately knew we were in the right place.  We trusted her. She was prepared for our meeting, understood our situation and had been in communication with our OBGYN and MFM. That same day we had a consult with Dr. Matthew Boelig, my child’s surgeon. He understood our fears and concerns and answered all our questions.  Shannon, the ADP social worker, took us on a tour of the NICU where we got to meet some of the nurses that would be taking care of me. Everyone was so friendly, and kind. Shannon also told us about the Ronald McDonald House of DE, located across the street from the hospital, and suggested that this might be a good option since our baby would likely be in the hospital for a few weeks. Everything was just so easy. The options were laid out for us.

Raegan arrived on April 28 at 4:28am. Just a few days later, she had surgery, and all went well. I really can’t say enough about how amazing my experience was! It really makes a difference when you the people around you — the doctors and nurses — really care about you.

Raegan’s prognosis is excellent; she has no limitations and is now a happy, healthy, one-year old with a very big personality. She is my unicorn.