This is Infertility

There is nothing more fundamental to life than the urge to continue it. But while it may be the most natural thing in the world, childbirth is far from the easiest and no two fertility journeys are the same. For that reason, we are breaking from the typical podcast form. Each episode is hosted by a different voice who brings their own unique point of view to the complex and ever-changing world of infertility. Our hosts are licensed clinical social workers, patient care advocates, clinical psychiatrists, reproductive endocrinologists, real fertility patients, and others who are, in one way or another, experts in the world of fertility. We fuse narrative storytelling with experience and science to give you a new perspective on what it’s really like to go through this journey.

Episode 5: LGBTQ+ Family Building: Two Moms and the Journey to Build Their Family

For Pride month, we’re rolling out four episodes that cover family building for the LGBTQ+ community. The first episode is about what it’s like to build a family as a same-sex couple. There are important decisions to make up front such as, who’s going to carry the baby? How do you choose a sperm donor? And which fertility treatment – IUIIVF, or reciprocal IVF – do you choose? 

But even when you’ve made all of those decisions, sometimes things don’t go as planned. In this episode, Katie Acosta and Hilary Smith explain how their chosen family building path didn’t work, how they embarked on a new fertility journey called reciprocal IVF, and how they navigated the legal logistics with their new family.  

Guests: Katie Acosta and Hilary Smith 

Expert: Dr. Shahin GhadirSCRC 

Host: Melissa Maldonado, Implementations Manager at Progyny 

For more information visit Progyny’s Podcast PageProgyny’s Education page for LGBTQ+ family building options, and Southern California Reproductive Center (SCRC). 

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @ThisisInfertilityPodcast and use the #ThisisInfertility. 

Have a question, comment, or want to share your story? Email us at 


Melissa Maldonado, Patient Care Supervisor at Progyny

Melissa began her career in the healthcare industry with an outpatient radiology company focused on excellent customer service. During this time, Melissa developed a passion for healthcare and the focus on high quality care, which continued to grow when she began her career at Progyny as a Patient Care Advocate. Today, Melissa actively works with Progyny members to help them achieve their fertility goals and oversees the Patient Care Advocate team. She also enjoys watching Florida State Football and traveling with her husband.


Katie Acosta and Hilary Smith

Katie and Hilary live in Atlanta, GA. When they first met, Katie was raising her then ten-year-old son from a previous relationship. They married in New York City in December of 2012 because at the time marriage was not legal in Georgia. Their marriage was not recognized in Georgia for another three years, by which time Katie was already pregnant with their daughter. Katie became pregnant via reciprocal IVF after Hilary had tried unsuccessfully to conceive for two years. Hilary went through 8 IUIs and one unsuccessful IVF transfer. After Hilary’s IVF procedure did not work, they decided that Katie would try to get pregnant with their last remaining frozen embryos. Two frozen embryos were transferred into Katie’s uterus and one finally took! They now have a happy healthy two-and-half year old daughter and a 17-year-old son.

Dr. Shahin Ghadir, board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist at Southern California Reproductive Center (SCRC)

As a founding partner of Southern California Reproductive Center, Dr. Ghadir is double board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and also at the Keck School of Medicine at USC.