Seeds of Success:
The Szymurski Family
When RADfertility patients, Nikki and Jared Szymurski, decided they wanted to commemorate the birth of their son, Mark, they asked Erin Farrell Photography to join in the delivery room to capture the once-in-a-lifetime moment. This beautiful and unique Seeds of Success story is in Nikki’s own words and was originally featured on her photographer’s blog in July of 2017.
“I’ve always wanted kids. I never dreamed that I would deal with infertility, although in retrospect the possibility was obvious with several women in my family who also struggled. I refused to accept the idea that I was not meant to be a mother; I would fight and do whatever it took to make my dream of having a family a reality. I was diagnosed with endometriosis and had to go through IVF to have my daughter. It was the most physically and emotionally difficult thing I had ever experienced. Even pregnancy and delivery were difficult – I developed preeclampsia at 37 weeks, had an emergency C-section, and developed HELLP Syndrome after delivery. In the end, it was all worth it. My beautiful daughter is now 3 years old and I can’t imagine life without her.
“I refused to accept the idea that I was not meant to be a mother; I would fight and do whatever it took to make my dream of having a family a reality.”
My husband, Jared, is an only child, and we both agreed that we wanted our daughter to have a sibling. As soon as we felt ready, we were back at RADfertility and doing another round of IVF with the embryos frozen from our first cycle. We were pregnant again, but–just like before–I developed preeclampsia. I was forced to deliver our beautiful baby boy at 26 weeks. My sweet, amazing baby fought as hard as he could, but we lost him at 3 weeks old.
We grieved for our son. I grieved the loss of my fertility and the ability to be pregnant. We still desperately wanted to give our daughter a living sibling to grow up with. When Jared and I discussed our options, we quickly concluded that we wanted to use our remaining embryos….with a surrogate.
I never could have dreamed up what happened after that. My girlfriend Meri–who had only just come into my life the year before–already knew about our struggle with infertility, my inability to be pregnant, and our tragic loss. When I mentioned to her that we were going to pursue surrogacy, she, without even the slightest hesitation, offered to carry our baby for us. Her exact words: “I will do that for you. Absolutely.” I was stunned by her generosity and I knew she was being genuine. She could–and would–happily do for me what I could not. She had easily carried and birthed her 2 healthy little boys, and is a wonderfully loving and giving person. It is her nature to do anything for the people she loves, and she entered my life at the exact time that I needed her most.
Nikki alongside her friend & surrogate, Meri, just before the birth of Mark.
Our journey was overwhelmingly incredible in so many ways. I’m awestruck that my friend could be so selfless and giving; that science has progressed to a point that surrogacy is even an option, and that this option was accessible to us. I’m blown away by the support of our family, friends, and co-workers. If I couldn’t carry my baby, my best friend was the perfect next best thing.
I will never forget those days in the hospital that led to my son’s birth. It never felt weird, it just felt amazing. The moment that Mark was born was perfect and everything I had hoped it would be; Meri and I cried tears of happiness together and then I finally held my baby. “Aunt Meri” will always be a part of our family, her children are like cousins to mine. When all is said and done, we have a beautiful baby, a unique path that we have walked, and the addition of the Wheeler family, whom we will forever call ours.”
Nikki and her husband Jared passing time together as they excitedly await go time.
It’s time, and the look on Nikki’s face says it all.
Mark is here!
Nikki and Meri will forever share a special bond.
Nikki soaking up her new little love, Mark, just moments after his birth.
“Aunt Meri will always be a part of our family, her children are like cousins to mine.” – Nikki
In March of 2022, we checked in with the Szymurski family to see how they were doing and Nikki shared the following message alongside a recent family photo from Christmas 2021:
“We could not be more grateful to RADfertility for helping us achieve our dreams. Their empathy, kindness, and expertise made our difficult, emotional journey toward having a family the best it could possibly be. Everly is now 8 and in second grade and Mark is almost 5 and going into Kindergarten next year. We discuss their lost brother, Ian, frequently, determined to keep our memories of him alive. Our family, made with love, friendship, and science, is more than we could ever have hoped for; we can’t imagine our lives without our kind, incredibly sweet, smart, beautiful children!”
“Everly is now 8 and in second grade and Mark is almost 5 and going into Kindergarten next year.” – Nikki, March 2022
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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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"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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