Seeds of Success: The Fowle Family
At 27, Candyce Fowle, and her husband, Christian, were excited and ready to start a family of their own! As weeks without a pregnancy turned into months, and months turned into years, Candyce started to wonder if they would need help from a fertility clinic. Like many people without knowledge or a personal connection to infertility, Candyce turned to Google to search for information, hoping to find some answers and possibly a specialist. So, when she came across RADfertility, whose Newark office was near her home, she decided to make an appointment and hear what they had to say.
When asked what she knew about fertility prior to her visit, she admitted her knowledge at the time was limited. “I knew the bare minimum from couples or someone who had trouble conceiving. Mainly in my mind, it was the woman. I never even thought about the issues a male could have that could inhibit conceiving. So in my mind, it was basically, ‘A woman has trouble conceiving and needs help.’ My eyes were really opened that it could be a male-factor problem also.”
“You Are Not Alone”
In late 2012, Candyce had her initial consultation with Dr. Adrienne Neithardt, who was able to answer her questions, advise her what her problems might be, and most importantly – give her hope. She recalls meeting Dr. Neithardt for the first time, “It was a great appointment. She really made me feel comfortable and she gave me the impression of, ‘You are not alone and we can help you, we can try to see what is going on and take it step-by-step.’”
“It was a great appointment. She really made me feel comfortable and she gave me the impression of, ‘You are not alone and we can help you, we can try to see what is going on and take it step-by-step.”
At her appointment, Candyce was informed of various tests which help identify fertility problems, including a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), a procedure that uses a dye test and an X-ray to look at her fallopian tubes and uterus. Due to symptoms that Candyce shared, Dr. Neithardt also mentioned the possibility of endometriosis which is diagnosed through laparoscopic surgery. When the procedure was mentioned to her, Candyce says, “I wasn’t comfortable undergoing an exploratory procedure at that point. I had never gotten any type of surgery so it freaked me out.”
For the time being, Candyce decided to go through with the non-surgical tests and let things soak in. Unfortunately, these tests didn’t identify the underlying cause of her infertility. While she was deciding whether or not to have surgery, the couple continued to try to conceive on their own, without success.
By February 2014, Candyce had decided she was ready to find out if laparoscopic exploratory surgery could provide her with some answers. It was a tough choice, but turned out to be the right one! Dr. McGuirk, who performed the procedure discovered that things were worse than anyone had expected. Candyce was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis, despite only having mild symptoms.
She says of her diagnosis, “It was shocking to me because after endometriosis was suggested, I did my research to find out more about it on my own. To me, it was like, ‘I’m not in pain all the time and I don’t experience this all the time.’ So, I had my own thoughts on why I didn’t think I had it. The surgery actually confirmed I did and it that was mind-blowing for it to be that severe.'”
“It was shocking to me because after endometriosis was suggested, I did my research to find out more about it on my own. To me, it was like, ‘I’m not in pain all the time and I don’t experience this all the time.’ So, I had my own thoughts on why I didn’t think I had it. The surgery actually confirmed I did and it that was mind-blowing for it to be that severe.”
She says she had “kissing ovaries,” in which the ovaries, which are normally on opposite sides of the reproductive system were actually touching. During the laparoscopy, Dr. McGuirk removed scarring and the affected organs were cleaned up to make it easier for her to conceive.
After surgery, Candyce reports that she didn’t have the same level of cramping that she had experienced prior to surgery. Though, for her, not much else changed. Despite having stage 4 endometriosis, Candyce didn’t experience any other symptoms prior to her diagnosis.
Undergoing Fertility Procedures
After her laparoscopic surgery, Candyce underwent one round of intrauterine insemination (IUI), followed by attempts to conceive on their own for two more years. Once she and her husband had tried a bit longer, they decided to look into other options like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
In March 2016, prior to IVF, Candyce had another laparoscopic surgery to clean up any additional scarring in order to provide the best chance of conceiving. The couple’s first IVF attempt was successful but unfortunately, at 11 weeks pregnant, they discovered that the baby didn’t have a heartbeat. While it was a devastating loss, they weren’t about to give up on their path to parenthood and persevered. In June of 2018, after another embryo transfer, Candyce gave birth to a healthy baby boy, CJ. She and her husband are currently expecting another child in September 2020, also conceived via IVF.
Candyce & Christian welcomed their son CJ into the world in June 2018.
Advice to Others
Candyce has had a very positive experience with RADfertility and was even able to receive financial assistance thanks to the Evan David Foundation, which helps parents trying to conceive pay for their fertility treatments if their insurance does not cover it.
When asked if she had any advice for others in her position, she says, “Remain hopeful. If you want something bad enough, you go after it. You don’t lose sight of it. Stay strong. Stay positive. Be kind to yourself.”
Christian, Candyce, and CJ attended the Evan David Foundation’s Family Fun Day at the Can-Do Playground in 2018. It was a fun-filled day of food, face-painting, and an opportunity to meet some of the foundation’s grant recipients.
CJ is one of the Evan David Foundation’s 2018 success stories. The Evan David Foundation helps parents trying to conceive pay for their fertility treatments if their insurance does not cover it.
Christian, Candyce, and CJ celebrated the Christmas season as a family of 3!
CJ celebrated his second birthday on June 16, 2020!
The Fowle family returned to RADfertility in 2019 to grow their family. They welcomed their little warrior, Charlotte Olivia on October 2, 2020 and CJ is one proud older brother!
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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 day I met Dr. Neithardt I knew she was the perfect doctor for me. Dr. Neithardt was so compassionate every step of the way. She held my hand, she hugged away tears, and continued to give me hope. There are not enough 'thank you's' in the world for Dr. Neithardt and the whole RADfertility team who will forever have a special place in my heart."
"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!"
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road
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Newark, DE 19713
Silverside Medical Center
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Wilmington, DE 19810
Eden Hill Medical Center
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