The couple had tried to get pregnant five times already, suffering a miscarriage after their last cycle. They put almost all of their Brewers raffle winnings — $18,470 — toward their June 2022 round of IVF, which was successful. The money was an “incredible relief” for the couple, who hadn’t fully planned how to continue paying for treatments, Cassie Murphy told The Washington Post.
“We were both like, ‘Oh my gosh. This is it,’” she said. “This is like a game changer for us, literally, like baseball.”
On Monday, the Murphys took their now 6-week-old son, Foster, to the Brewers’s home opener.
“We thought it would be so fun to have a full circle moment,” said Cassie, 36.
The pair met in 2013 through mutual friends and reconnected years later. In the summer of 2018, about one year into dating, they were on a summer vacation in Rhode Island when they both had an “epiphany” that they wanted to have a family.
Cassie had watched Erin play with her four nieces, all sunburned and running around on the sand at Napatree Point Beach in Westerly, R.I.
“It was the first time in my life that I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is what I want,’” Cassie said.
The Murphys, who live in Milwaukee, got married during the pandemic with a small wedding in October 2020. They had their first consultation with a fertility clinic that fall. Over the next year, they completed four rounds of intrauterine insemination, all of which were unsuccessful.
Afterward, their doctor suggested they try IVF, a pricier and more invasive procedure that has a higher success rate. After Erin’s first cycle of IVF in January 2022, she took five at-home pregnancy tests that were positive. The initial round of bloodwork she’d completed at the hospital had also been positive, Cassie said.
But when Erin had her ultrasound, all that was on the screen was a “dark, empty circle,” Cassie said. The embryo had not developed, and Erin suffered a miscarriage.
On the way back from the appointment, Cassie said she wasn’t sure if having a child was in the cards for her and her wife.
“It was the most gut-wrenching experience ever for me,” she said. “I just remember, emotionally, feeling like — I don’t know if I’m capable of watching this person that I love hurt so much again.”
But when they got home and sat together, thinking through what to do next, Erin looked over at her wife.
“Our baby’s still waiting for us,” Erin said.
That same January night, they signed up for the next possible embryo transfer, on June 23. They didn’t have a plan for how to pay for the procedure but knew that they would figure it out along the way.
As they waited for June to roll around, the Murphys turned to Brewers games to fill the time and distract them from thinking about their future baby, if only for a few hours.
During the April 30 game against Erin’s team, the Chicago Cubs, Erin bought three tickets for the Brewers’ 50/50 raffle. She and Cassie found out they’d won the raffle in the sixth inning.
But they didn’t know the total prize amount until they went to claim their winnings and saw the amount on the screen — $18,470. Both shaking, neither Erin nor Cassie said a word.
But they both had the same answer when the attendants at the table asked what they’d be using the money for. It would go toward the June IVF cycle.
“It just felt like this really solid sign from the universe to keep going,” Cassie said.
At an ultrasound appointment in July, after they completed the embryo transfer, the couple wore their exact outfits from the baseball game for some extra luck — Cassie in a striped pullover with the Brewers logo and Erin in a navy blue Brewers sweatshirt, but this time without the Cubs hat she’d worn with it in April.
They waited in silence, nervous they’d receive more bad news.
They didn’t — Erin was pregnant, the medical staff told them.
Seven months later, Foster was born.
After paying for the IVF with the raffle winnings, Erin and Cassie had some money left over, which they used to buy a Brewers quarter-season ticket pass. The family plans to go to around 20 games this season, with Monday’s being their first.
The Murphys were featured on the jumbotron Monday night. A clip about their raffle win played across the screen before a camera panned to the couple waving in the stadium, with Foster asleep in Cassie’s arms.
Before Monday’s game, Erin and Cassie bought 20 tickets for the 50/50 raffle. They didn’t win again, but it didn’t matter much to them.
Because they already had, Cassie said, and they’d gotten to bring the “living, breathing blessing” they’d always hoped for back to the place where it began.