The care that turned a high-risk pregnancy into a healthy delivery
When Amanda and Angela Boucher discovered they were having triplets, it was one of the most shocking moments of their lives.
For nine years, Amanda has struggled with infertility: “I had tried several times to get pregnant, but it never worked. My wife and I have a 15-year age difference, so we felt that embryo donation might be our best choice.”
“We went into the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process with embryo donation. We went back shortly after the transfer and found out it was triplets,” says Amanda. One of the embryos had split into identical twins, making three total babies and adding an increased risk to an already high-risk pregnancy.
Prior to the triplet pregnancy, Amanda had successfully given birth through embryo donation to the couple’s first son, Landon. Although the pregnancy was uncomplicated, the delivery was complicated by a large hemorrhage after his delivery. Given the possible hemorrhage recurrence and now a triplet pregnancy, it was imperative that her birthing team be proactive about the complications that could arise.
Getting the best care
Amanda had worked at the UC Davis Carmichael clinic, so she knew UC Davis Health had a nationally ranked level IV NICU.
“In our minds, UC Davis Health is the best care you can get. And they never made us feel different as a same sex couple. At every maternity appointment when I would say ‘my wife,’ they would simply say, ‘Okay, cool. What’s her name?’ We were immediately welcomed,” she says.
UC Davis Health Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician Dr. Véronique Taché provided the high-risk obstetrical care, coordinating a treatment plan to benefit everyone and including frequent specialized ultrasounds by highly trained obstetrical sonographers.
During these ultrasounds, they monitored the babies’ growth and watched for any developing complications related to twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). Amanda also had frequent prenatal care visits to ensure mom and babies were all doing well.
When one of the Boucher’s babies was diagnosed with fetal growth restriction (FGR), a condition in which an unborn baby does not receive an adequate supply of nutrients during gestation, she had more intensive ultrasound surveillance and monitoring of the babies’ heart rate.
And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“We wore masks at my appointments and also had some telehealth visits. I was definitely worried about giving birth during the pandemic,” said Amanda. “Many other hospitals were limiting visitors to just the mother giving birth. But UC Davis was great. Angela was able to stay the whole time, during the delivery and post-partum as well.”
Their triplets – Myka, Asher, and Elliotte – were born at 32 weeks and one day via cesarean section.
“All of them were healthy at birth,” Boucher said. Myka and Asher spent 31 days in the UC Davis NICU, while Elliotte spent 32 days there. And then were all home.
Since the birth of their first son, the couple started a Facebook group for LGBTQ+ couples looking into embryo donation that now has more than 900 members and more than a dozen successful births from the information they’ve provided.
“Struggling to find a match for embryo donation is fairly difficult for same-sex couples and we want to do everything in our power to make it more accessible.”
As for their own family, Amanda and Angela are looking forward to celebrating holidays and traveling the world with a much larger family.
“We wanted kids to bring them into the life we love. This is exactly where we wanted to end up.”