Program Director Natalie King is passionate about making pregnancy affordable and successful for those seeking to start a family with donor eggs. Building the Atlantic Shared Beginnings program is a dream come true for her.
Natalie’s career in reproductive health began with her own fertility treatment as a patient who needed preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). At the time, PGT was not a common procedure. Natalie had to search for a clinic that was willing to try it for the first time. She did most of the research and work herself to find the analysis companies, the protocols, and supplies needed. She became so intrigued by the field of fertility that she left her training in emergency medicine and went back to school to become an embryologist.
With her schooling behind her, Natalie became the lead Embryologist at a clinic in California. She consulted with hundreds of patients regarding egg quality, embryo development, biopsy results, and embryo transfers. She shared many moments of joy with clients upon discovering that they were pregnant with a donor egg.
There were moments of sadness, too. Natalie sat across from patients who were devastated by the realization that their cycles had failed or that their age rendered their eggs of weaker quality. For others, their biopsied embryos were found to be chromosomally abnormal. She witnessed over and over again that moment when some patients realized that donor eggs were their next step but knew this option was financially impossible. She watched as patients let go of their hope of being parents, and she felt their loss deeply. With each experience of a client’s lost hope, Natalie grew increasingly determined to make donor egg IVF more available and affordable. She also became increasingly interested in the psychological aspects of fertility and returned to school for a degree in biobehavioral medicine. Today, she loves both the science and the patient side of fertility work.
Natalie shines in both areas. She is recognized by her colleagues for her skill in performing the complex laboratory work of embryo biopsy and egg vitrification. She is also recognized by her patients for her compassion and devotion. One patient named twins after her, and another told her that she thanks her at every Thanksgiving dinner with a raised glass.
Educating recipients and donors is another important part of Natalie’s work. She takes the time to carefully discuss each stage of treatment, explaining the processes in detail to ensure understanding, which creates peace of mind for both.
In addition to her work with Atlantic Shared Beginnings, Natalie has also worked as an embryologist for Duke Medicine and continues to work with CHITAI Fertility in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.
Passionate about her calling, as well as being a self-proclaimed workaholic, Natalie is continually driven by her desire to make a difference in the lives of patients who thought they were out of options on their fertility journeys. She is driven by finding ways to make something happen when others say it cannot be done, remembering all too well her own fertility journey. And, perhaps most of all, she is proud of making donor eggs accessible and affordable through the program options at Atlantic Shared Beginnings.