Seeds of Success: The Stanley Family
Fertility challenges impact people from all walks of life and background. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of women and men in the United States currently experience infertility and/or family building challenges. Daisy Stanley and her husband Christopher were one such couple who struggled with infertility, spending more than six months trying to conceive.
Fortunately, at Daisy’s annual checkup, she discussed her fertility challenges with her OB/GYN, who recommended Daisy have a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist. Daisy loved what she read on RADfertility’s website, prompting the Stanleys to schedule their first appointment.
“Infertility can lead women to feel as though something is wrong with them, or that they are not ‘real women.’”
The Unspoken Hardships of Infertility
One of the toughest aspects of infertility is the inability to communicate with loved ones and colleagues about this sensitive topic. At 38 years old, Daisy Stanley found herself facing this pressure, along with additional uncertainties about whether medical advice and care would be successful.
“Infertility can lead women to feel as though something is wrong with them, or that they are not ‘real women,’” Daisy shared.
Her husband Chris also added, “One thing about the African community is not only is there a pressure not to talk about it, but there is a pressure to produce.” Both Daisy and Chris noted that while discussing infertility can be tough for anyone, there may be an even greater hesitation in the African-American community to discuss the struggles of conceiving.
Daisy now encourages all women to share their stories and become vocal about their fertility challenges and goals. Seeking help can and should be a part of the process, and no woman needs to go through care on their own. Meeting with a kind and knowledgeable specialist is a great start, and allows couples to feel comfortable with their personalized treatment plan.
Daisy reminds couples who are still considering their next steps to, “Go for it, it’s okay to ask for help when trying to conceive and having a hard time doing it on your own. There is nothing to be or feel ashamed of.”
Uncovering Key Fertility Factors
Different factors, both subtle and not-so-subtle, can lead to infertility in women and men. The most common reasons include endometriosis, metabolic challenges including polycystic ovarian syndrome, diseases of the fallopian tubes and uterus, diminishing egg quality related to age, and low sperm production in men.
While African American women can struggle with common and not-so-common causes of infertility, they may also face unique challenges. In particular, African American women are more likely to have uterine fibroids, or benign muscle tumors, that can interfere with conception and a healthy pregnancy outcome.
When Daisy met with her doctor, a careful evaluation was recommended. Basic testing, including diligent ultrasounds and hormonal testing, didn’t show any obvious abnormalities for Daisy or Chris. In order to explore things further and in more detail, her doctor performed a hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. While fibroids were identified, there were no other abnormalities detected. As such, it appeared that the only obvious factors making conception difficult may have been both fibroids and Daisy’s age.
After additional deliberation, Daisy and Chris decided to proceed directly to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In preparation for Daisy’s IVF cycle, the couple met with one of RADfertility’s nurses to review the various medications necessary to complete their cycle, and also learned how to administer the daily shots. Other consultations focused on the details of the IVF process, along with the option of having embryos tested for their chromosome status via preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A). During the 2 weeks of ovarian stimulation, Daisy followed all instructions, and ultimately the RADfertility team gave their “thumbs-up” for egg retrieval.
Once Daisy’s eggs were retrieved and fertilized in the lab, RADfertility’s embryologists routinely updated the couple on the status of each embryo as they grew over the course of five days. Daisy and Chris ultimately achieved eight blastocysts and PGT-A was utilized with four of the embryos to provide them with the highest chance for a healthy pregnancy. Of the four blastocysts tested, two were found to have the correct number of chromosomes.
A few weeks later, one of the normal embryos was transferred to Daisy’s uterus. Daisy noted that the wait following the transfer was challenging. “The hardest part was the two-week wait…You try to look for the tiniest sign possible to put your mind at ease.”
Daisy and Chris live with their son, Christopher Jon Stanley, Jr. in Middletown, Delaware.
The Baby They Prayed For
On January 13, 2017, Daisy and Chris were delighted to introduce Christopher John Stanley Jr. to the world. They believe that their miracle baby is a gift from God and wouldn’t have been possible without RADfertility’s help and collective expertise.
Daisy shared: “Our journey started with a simple phone call to set up an appointment, and through the whole process everyone my husband and I met at RADfertility really made us feel special. RADfertility is more than a practice, it is family…I didn’t feel like I was just a number or just a patient who is there to receive care.”
For Daisy as well as for many others facing fertility challenges, having a support system is key. Infertility can feel like an overwhelming obstacle, but the right help, resources and information can make all the difference.
Daisy reminds others to, “Get yourself educated, do research, read other people’s success stories and learn what infertility treatment and care is all about.”
“RADfertility is more than a practice, it is family…I didn’t feel like I was just a number or just a patient who is there to receive care.”
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Peggy Sue O.
"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."
"The RADfertility team gives you so much emotional support and positivity that it adds to your strength and keeps you focused on the end goal - a healthy and happy baby."
"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."
Anonymous on FertilityIQ
"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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Eden Hill Medical Center
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