Seeds of Success:
The Boyd Family
One of the reasons RADfertility patient, Meaghan Boyd, opens her heart and shares her story with others is so that people walking a similar path know they aren’t alone. She wants them to know they are seen and loved. This Seeds of Success story was originally written by Meaghan prior to the birth of her second daughter.
At the heart of our infertility story, is a love story. It began in the summer of 2012 at the tender ages of 22 and 23 years old. My husband stole my heart when he poked fun at my child-sized hands and spoke with such love about his family. We fell fast and hard for one another. “When you know, you know”, as the saying goes, and by December of the following year we were engaged. Our wedding took place in May of 2015, and it was one of the best days of our life. We knew we had found the right partner to walk through life with in each other. After getting married, we made the choice to stop preventing pregnancy. We were not necessarily “trying” right away, but we were open to starting our own family. A year passed, and by then we were very ready to have a little one of our own. So, I bought the ovulation kits and we actively started trying to conceive. Every period from that moment forward broke our hearts. We understood that it could take some time, but after 6 months of heartbreak we started to worry. I outreached my OB/GYN at the time to see what we could do. Her advice was to “give it time” because we were young. That did not satisfy me, so I pushed back and we got a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). It took a failed intrauterine insemination (IUI), a switch from our initial RE’s clinic to RADfertility, and an additional 6 months of appointments, procedures, and testing to get the entire picture of what was causing our infertility. The diagnosis was male factor infertility (MFI), diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), and endometriosis (Endo).
“We understood that it could take some time, but after 6 months of heartbreak we started to worry.”
Once we had the answer as to why we were not succeeding in getting pregnant, we sat down with Dr. Feinberg to discuss what our next steps would be. After discussing all the options we, and Dr. Feinberg determined that in vitro fertilization (IVF) would be our best shot at starting a family. We were fortunate that our insurance at the time covered $15,000 for IVF; however, this was a “lifetime maximum” and it did not go very far. Over half of that amount went toward the drugs needed for the retrieval portion of our cycle, and in the end, we had to come up with an additional $10,000 out of pocket to complete the cycle. Dr. Feinberg retrieved 13 mature eggs on retrieval day, and luckily all 13 fertilized successfully with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Five days later we were able to freeze 8 embryos (blastocysts) for future attempts at building our family, and transfer 1 day 5 embryo. Sadly, that transfer failed. Crushed is an understatement in reference to how we felt. All that hope and faith, instantly erased with a negative blood test, but we could not give up. We went back a month later to discuss what we could do differently for our next transfer, and Dr. Feinberg suggested preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A). This testing determines if an embryo carries the correct number of chromosomes to be considered “compatible with life.” This was an additional cost, but we decided to move forward and send 4 of our 8 embryos to be tested. Two weeks later, we received news that 3/4 were considered “normal” (46 chromosomes) and we planned to move forward with transferring one of the normal embryos the following month-May 2018.
“We transferred on May 30th and on June 5th I saw two pink lines for the very first time. I was overwhelmed with joy, and simultaneously terrified that it would be ripped away at any given moment. That’s what life is like when dealing with infertility.”
We transferred on May 30th and on June 5th I saw two pink lines for the very first time. I was overwhelmed with joy, and simultaneously terrified that it would be ripped away at any given moment. That’s what life is like when dealing with infertility. We know all too well how much it hurts to let yourself be vulnerable and feel hopeful only to be let down. It is a constant balancing act. My husband was at the gym at the time I tested, so I decided that I would surprise him with the positive test. I grabbed the test, a pen and paper, and the little onesie I had picked out in hope of this day finally arriving. The onesie said “for this child we have prayed.” I scribbled “see you in 9 months daddy” on the paper and headed out the door to surprise my husband. The surprise did not go quite as planned, but he was ecstatic all the same. It was finally our time. Those 9 months were a mix of endless gratitude and worry as we tried to be present, and soak in the joy while still guarding our hearts. After fighting so hard, and for so long, it was hard to truly accept that our dream was actually coming to fruition. All in all, my pregnancy was picture perfect until 39 weeks when I was sent to be induced for two high blood pressure readings. Getting ready to go into the hospital, I remember feeling like we were in the “safe zone” and I had much relief. It was like all the worry for the past 9 months had melted away because it was finally time to meet her. Carsen Ann Boyd was born on February 10, 2019 at 10:30 PM after 2 days of labor. Tragically, something went wrong during her delivery, and she went to go be with God on February 12, 2019 at 7:32 PM. There aren’t words to describe the pain that accompanied her death. I can only say that both of us wished that we could have traded places with her. Carsen’s life was short, but it was full of love and we would not have given up our time with her for anything in this world. She made us parents. Even though our “parenthood” does not look like how we imagined, we are eternally grateful to be hers, and she ours.
Meaghan and Chris honor Carsen in so many ways, one of them being with a butterfly at the annual Delaware Chapter of the TEARS Foundation’s Rock & Walk for Babies.
Choosing to continue to build our family after losing Carsen was a tough decision to make. Infertility and loss have a way of stealing that blissful naivety of thinking “everything will be okay” ideology. It was terrifying to think about opening ourselves back up to the potential of more heartbreak and loss. However, with the help of our therapist, and our amazing support system, we eventually felt strong enough to return to RADfertility to begin our journey toward Baby #2. That said, starting back up is not as easy as walking in and saying “hey, get me in next month for my transfer.” You have to do blood tests, ultrasounds, procedures, etc. to determine if anything is going on internally that needs to be addressed first. In my case, I needed to have another surgery to remove excess tissue, caused by endometriosis, from my uterus before moving forward. My surgery was March 4, 2020. The follow up appointment, where we expected to receive our timeline for our transfer, was March 13, 2020. Instead of receiving this timeline, we received the news that RADfertility would be pausing treatment due to COVID-19. We were devastated, but ultimately understood their decision. Thankfully, they reopened a few months later and I started to prep my body for a July transfer. I was beyond excited walking into RADfertility that transfer day. I wore a t-shirt with Carsen’s footprints on it. I was positive that the transfer was going to be successful but sadly it wasn’t. Seeing those negative tests, after a loss, hit differently. I felt abandoned by God and utterly alone, but something told me to keep going despite my shaken faith. I talked it over with my husband, and we agreed to try and transfer another embryo as soon as possible. We transferred again on September 21 and saw two beautiful pink lines 5 days later. I am writing this 32 weeks pregnant with Carsen’s little sister from that September transfer. I won’t sugar coat it, pregnancy after infertility and loss, is hard. Almost daily, we battle thoughts that she will be taken from us at any moment. However, mixed with those thoughts are hope, happiness, pride, love, and appreciation. We are grateful for every single moment and milestone with this precious miracle because we know that tomorrow is not a promise, but a gift. We can only hope & pray that we are gifted a lifetime of tomorrows with her.
“It was terrifying to think about opening ourselves back up to the potential of more heartbreak and loss. However, with the help of our therapist, and our amazing support system, we eventually felt strong enough to return to RADfertility to begin our journey toward Baby #2.”
To those reading who have walked the road of infertility, loss, or both — please know that you are braver than you could ever imagine. You push forward with hope and faith, without any guarantees, and that makes you fierce. Give yourself grace on your hard days, and celebrate your strength during your good days. To those who have not walked either road, but want to support the 1 in 8 couples infertility affects, or the 1 in 4 who have lost a child, all you really have to do is listen. Listen to understand, not to reply, or to give advice. Oftentimes, well meaning advice like “just relax”, “have you tried x, y, or z”, “have you thought of adoption”, etc. comes across as dismissive, and is altogether not helpful. Instead, try to hold space for your loved one’s fears and hurt, sit with them in it so that they feel less alone and validate that all they are feeling is okay. In doing this, you will be showing more support than you can imagine, and having support makes all the difference.
In June of 2022, we checked in with Meaghan to see how her family was doing and she shared the following update alongside some recent family photos!
Meaghan & her husband Chris welcomed their rainbow baby, Kinsley Carsen Boyd, on June 2, 2021 at 9:59 AM. She arrived weighing 6lbs, 15oz and 18 inches long! Kinsley is a gift to her family and has brought healing to their battered hearts.
When reflecting on her time at RADfertility, Meaghan shared, “My husband and I have been part of the RAD family since 2017. They have helped us grow our family not once, but twice. We have 2 beautiful girls (1 in heaven, 1 in our home) because of them. When we were ready to build our family again, after losing our first daughter, we were welcomed with open arms and a warm embrace. The entire team celebrated when I conceived our second daughter. That celebration increased 10 fold when we welcomed her earth side, safe and sound, on June 2, 2021. RAD is so much more than just a clinic. The people there truly care about you, your family, and your journey. I can’t wait to go back and show off the beautiful baby girl they helped bring into this world. There is a difference in the care they give, and it makes this difficult journey just a bit easier.”
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"I feel so lucky to have found RADfertility. I tried two other clinics before I expanded my search and found RADfertility. I drive an hour each way to go to them but I don’t regret a thing. They are so caring and so professional. Every time I message them they respond quickly. Every time I see them they have a friendly smile and warm welcome. They explain everything so well and I never feel lost in the process as I did elsewhere. They also took the time to figure out what was wrong. Other clinics threw up their hands, said 'I don’t know' and pushed me to try IVF."
"Dr. Feinberg and the entire staff at RADfertility are absolutely amazing. The receptionists, coordinators, nurses, and lab staff are compassionate, caring, and straight forward. I’ve had a 12-year infertility journey and I’ve tried other clinics but RADfertility was the only one I felt at ease with. They answered any questions that I had and were there any time I needed them. My coordinator, Amy, was the absolute best and always had my back. Dr. Feinberg’s dedication to his patients is incredible. You are not just a number there, you are a person with individualized needs and care."
"My journey with RADfertility and Dr. McGuirk started when my husband and I were trying to conceive and were having difficulty. We went to RADfertility, where we met Dr. McGuirk. I always say she changed my life and 'fixed' me. Dr. McGuirk is always learning more about endometriosis and how to help her patients. She’s brilliant and truly cares for you! I’m eternally grateful to her and everyone at RADfertility for their unwavering support, love, and care."
"Every step of our journey was tailored to us. We were treated so respectfully. Every detail was clearly explained and we felt so comfortable. Rhonda Wright was a Godsend and inspiring. I highly recommend this place! I cried when my weekly appointments were done and I 'graduated.'"
"The staff and doctors are amazing. It will feel like home every time you walk in the door. They gifted us with our miracle baby and we couldn’t be happier. I will always recommend RADfertility above all others!"
"RADfertility's staff has heart and provided me with exceptional health care. I knew I was in good hands and felt like we were in this together. The doctors and nursing staff always answered all of my questions and provided thorough information about all of my options. I am so fortunate and appreciative of the care that I received at RADfertility. They go above and beyond."
"I cannot begin to explain how wonderful RADfertility is. We were frustrated with trying to start a family and it not working for us. The entire team of doctors and nurses made us feel comfortable and hopeful that we would be parents. We experienced so many ups and downs but we never felt like we were on our IVF journey alone, we had our RADfertility team every step of the way. If you're looking for a supportive team on the IVF journey, look no further. RADfertility is the absolute best."
"Dr. Schillings always kept us informed and never gave up on us. She always explained our options and risks with each procedure. She called us personally when there were any issues or sensitive subjects to cover. Dr. Schillings was the first doctor that had answers for us and wanted to help us have our miracle baby!"
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