Seeds of Success: The Leonard Family
Justin and Kaitlyn knew they wanted to start a family and they also recognized the struggles they were having weren’t ‘normal.’ When Kaitlyn shared her private struggle with a good friend who was a former RADfertility patient, her friend suggested, “Maybe you should give RADfertility a call.” Before coming to RADfertility, Kaitlyn didn’t know much about infertility. “It is kind of one of those taboo subjects that people just brush under the carpet and don’t really like to talk about unless you are obviously faced with infertility.”
In July of 2013, Kaitlyn visited RADfertility’s Dover office for her first appointment with Dr. Barbara McGuirk. “Honestly, any time you go to the doctor, especially when you are talking about such a scary subject as infertility, it is really nerve-wracking and I didn’t know what to expect,” Kaitlyn said. She asked Dr. McGuirk many questions during that initial appointment. “When I sat down to talk to Dr. McGuirk, it hit me that this is real. This is what I am faced with and this is the path that I am going to have to walk if we want to take the next step to have biological children. I left my first appointment with a wealth of information that I did not know before and a game plan of what we were going to do to get diagnosed and figure out what was causing our issue.”
Walking On A New Path
Following her initial appointment with Dr. McGuirk, Kaitlyn went through the work-up process to help determine the underlying cause of her infertility. “After we did the testing, I had surgery,” Kaitlyn said. Her laparoscopy and hysteroscopy revealed endometrial-like tissue growing outside of the uterus on her pelvic wall that contributed to some of Kaitlyn’s pelvic pain. She was diagnosed with Stage 1 endometriosis. The surgery also uncovered the main cause of her infertility, which was damage to her fallopian tubes from chronic cysts and scar tissue when she was younger. Kaitlyn said, “They were so swollen and scarred that there was no way for an egg to pass through to get where it needs to go.”
After surgery, Kaitlyn met with Dr. McGuirk to discuss what would be the next step on her journey. “We sat down and Dr. McGuirk told us that while we could continue trying on our own, the chances of us conceiving on our own were slim to none because of the damage that was done to my fallopian tubes. The endometriosis would also start to return,” Kaitlyn said. Dr. McGuirk recommended IVF as the next step. “They felt that IVF was the best option given our circumstances to ultimately have a child. We qualified for RADfertility’s Step-It-Up IVF program which was wonderful because that was a lot more cost effective for us.”
“I think the mental aspect of infertility is the hardest. You need to talk to yourself and talk yourself up. Yes, I have infertility, yes I have endometriosis but it does not define or control me. I make my choices and I will have a family one day or another.“
Kaitlyn and Justin went through the IVF process in February 2014. Justin is a member of the United States Air Force so he was deployed through some of her cycle. Kaitlyn had to give herself some of the injections. “That was hard because he wasn’t there and he is one of my main support people. I really felt like even though he wasn’t there in person for part of the process, Justin was there mentally with me cheering me on and was kept up to date with what was going on.”
During Kaitlyn’s cycle, 11 mature eggs were retrieved and 9 of them fertilized. On day 3, Kaitlyn received an update that all of her embryos started their development and were stage appropriate. Day 5 arrived and the healthiest embryo was transferred. On March19, two weeks after Kaitlyn’s fresh embryo transfer, that special day arrived when she and Justin found out that they were indeed pregnant. Landon arrived on November 19, 2014.
Keeping A Positive Attitude And Finding Support
Throughout the process, Kaitlyn continued to seek support and maintain her positive attitude. She joined an online Facebook support group and connected with women across the country. They encouraged one another during their visits by mailing each other special socks to wear to their appointment. They were called “sock buddies.”
Reflecting on her experience at RADfertility, Kaitlyn shared, “the staff made all of the difference in the world for me. It is such a private thing but they didn’t make it feel as awkward as it is in reality. They were so friendly, understanding, and so sincere in getting to know my husband and I. They made me look forward to each and every appointment. I really enjoyed going to my appointments and being able to chat with the girls and know that they understood where I was coming from.”
“The staff really got to know me as a person rather than just a patient and I think that made a huge difference in the level of care and ultimately the result of my cycle. I was less stressed about the whole process since I had people that genuinely cared about helping me start a family.”
Kaitlyn’s final words of wisdom: “If someone was walking through infertility, the one thing I would say to them is – Just breathe, take a minute, and reach out for some support and help because ultimately that will be the best thing. Reach out, talk to people, and share your story. Find people that will support and help you through whatever choice or path you decide.”
More About RADfertility
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How We Celebrated 25 Years
In August 1995, Dr. Barbara McGuirk founded Reproductive Associates, now RADfertility, and was soon joined by her partner, Dr. Ron Feinberg. See how we celebrated this special milestone!
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From fun giveaways to updates on state-of-the-art technology we are using to improve patient success, our blog puts the news in perspective for our patients.
"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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