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 RAD patient, her friend suggested, “Maybe you should give RAD a call.” Before coming to RAD, 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 RAD’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 RAD’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 RAD, 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 Patient Experience Resources
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Our Seeds of Success program is founded on inspiring stories from men and women who found success at RAD.
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Two decades of inspiration and hope. See how RAD families have grown since the start of the practice in 1995.
Read our latest reviews written by RAD patients.
"We had a wonderful experience working with RADfertility. Our doctor was so sweet, informative and helpful with all of our questions. The front desk, it’s always nice to be greeted by a friendly smiling face."
"RAD heard my hopes, dreams, and wishes and led me toward them while holding my hand. My dream came true. I was guided to a beautiful baby girl! It took less than a year for my pregnancy to begin and it was successful. This was the best decision I ever made. Thank you, RAD!"
"From the beginning our team was determined to find a way for my husband and I to complete our family. All the RAD staff was knowledgeable and truly cared for us. We wish we could have continued with them after our baby hit 12 weeks. We thank them daily in our prayers for giving us our beautiful baby girl!"
"We will be forever grateful for the wonderful care we received at RAD! Dr. Feinberg took the time to listen and create a plan we were comfortable with. The whole team was amazing and truly care about their patients. You have exceeded our expectations. Thank you!!"
"Thanks to RADfertility, we have the most perfect addition to our family. The help and support the whole staff gave us was indescribable. We never once lost hope because of them. We will be forever grateful to each and every person we worked with during our journey."
"Dr. Neithardt was amazing. She explained in great detail all the options we had and put us at ease about the entire process. Everyone has been amazing and I have absolutely no complaints. Today I am 17 weeks pregnant and we only have Dr. Neithardt and her wonderful team at RAD to thank."
"They are the most amazing team of doctors and care coordinators. After having started at another facility I was so happy to come to RAD. They are truly amazing, never make you feel like just a number and have empathy and compassion every step of the way. They also get the job done! Thanks RAD!"
"Dr. McGuirk is a very holistic doctor. She doesn’t just treat the fertility issues. She also points out personal health ideas (juicing, whole 30) to help heal/treat the whole patient. She is honest and open. Be open minded and trust in her process. This is a marathon, not a sprint! Dr. McGuirk will be with you the whole way."
"I will never be able to put into words how thankful we are for RAD. Rhonda was there every step of the way as we were going through the process. Everyone was so welcoming and patient as we asked questions. We were blessed with a daughter, who is now three. I have already recommended and will continue to recommend RAD to people who need help growing their family!"
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Medical Arts Pavilion 2
Newark, DE 19713
Silverside Medical Center
2700 Silverside Road, Suite 2A
Wilmington, DE 19810
Eden Hill Medical Center
200 Banning Street, Suite 240
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: (302) 602-8822
Fax: (302) 602-8832