Seeds of Success: The Wilson Family
Jessi and Scott were among the first in their family to face infertility. Because it wasn’t often talked about in their social circles, the couple wasn’t aware and naturally thought everyone else didn’t have issues getting pregnant. When Jessi and Scott didn’t have success after trying for a year on their own, they decided to seek some answers. “My good friend’s mom was a labor and delivery nurse. She said that if her daughter was going through infertility, she would send her to Dr. Barbara McGuirk,” Jessi shared. “I took that as a high recommendation, so when we had to choose, that was one of the reasons we came to RADfertility.”
Jessi underwent testing before coming to RADfertility that revealed a blockage in her fallopian tubes. A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test is a dye injected into the uterine cavity. The results, monitored through x-ray, help determine if the fallopian tubes are blocked if the dye doesn’t reach the abdominal cavity. In May 2013, Jessi and Scott came to RADfertility for their first appointment with Dr. McGuirk regarding the results of their HSG test and the underlying cause of their infertility. “One of the things I still remember from that appointment is Dr. McGuirk drawing pictures of a uterus, fallopian tubes, etc.,” Jessi recalled, “Her visual aids helped us understand the different processes. And the fact that she took the time to show my husband and I to explain it step by step, made us feel more comfortable.”
“One of the reasons I like to talk about infertility is because not everyone talks about it. More people go through it than you think, they just don’t talk about it. As we went through treatment, more people came forward with their stories.“
Following a Blueprint For Fertility Wellness
“My first year at RADfertility, I went through a lot of testing,” Jessi said. Her first procedure was a hysteroscopy in March of 2014. Using a thin, lighted tube called a hysteroscope, Dr. McGuirk was able to examine Jessi’s cervix and the inside of her uterus. “She cleaned out my uterus and eliminated the many polyps embedded in my uterine lining,” Jessi shared.
Jessi also started to participate in the Lifestyles Program with Rhonda Wright, RADfertility’s Director of Clinical Services. “I was overweight, so before moving on to laparoscopic surgery, Dr. McGuirk wanted me to lose some weight.” Jessi is a self-proclaimed picky eater and also a vegetarian. Rhonda worked with Jessi to help get the right amount of protein in her diet as she worked to move closer to a healthy weight.
“She worked with me and was practical. She didn’t tell me, ‘You absolutely can’t eat this, you have to do this.’ Between Rhonda and my personal trainer, Basil Greenwood, they were an amazing support system.” Jessi lost about 35 pounds in 2014 to help prepare her for the next important step in her journey.
“Things Happen For A Reason”
Jessi moved forward with laparoscopic surgery with Dr. McGuirk in December 2014 to further explore the blockage in her fallopian tubes. “Dr. McGuirk determined that basically nothing would pass through the opening between my uterus and my fallopian tubes,” Jessi noted. “When she blew it up on the computer screen, the opening was the size of a pencil point., so that’s why I couldn’t get pregnant.”
Dr. McGuirk also found some abnormal cells in Jessi’s uterus during the laparoscopic procedure. The cells were tested and came back inconclusive, so Dr. McGuirk sent them to Johns Hopkins University for further testing. “It came back that the abnormal cells were not cancerous but they are cells that usually only appear when someone has cancer.” Dr. McGuirk guided Jessi to Dr. Mark Cadungog, an oncologist at the Helen Graham Cancer Center. “They determined I did not have cancer but rather a borderline tumor that is like a pseudo cancer. It mimics ovarian cancer, but it grows slowly and the way they treat it is by removing it,” Jessi shared.
“I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and that was meant to happen, when it did. We would have never known I had a borderline tumor unless we went through certain things.“
Dr. Cadungog needed to remove Jessi’s fallopian tubes due to the location of the tumor. At this point, Dr. McGuirk also explained to Jessi that IVF was the ideal plan. “Dr. McGuirk had prepared me so well, that it was just like ‘ok that’s what we’re going to do.’ It just seemed like an easy decision, I didn’t hesitate to proceed forward.”
Focusing On The Goal Of A Healthy Pregnancy
With Jessi’s surgery and recovery behind her, it was time for her and Scott to focus on the goal of a healthy pregnancy. The couple started the IVF process in October 2015. “We were excited to have 6 embryos reach the blastocyst stage,” Jessi said, “and since we were doing preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidies (PGT-A), our embryos were frozen for a future transfer.” Jessi also qualified for one of RADfertility’s clinical trials, the STAR study, which covered the cost of genetic testing.
Jessi and Scott with their son, Ben, during the 2016 holiday season.
“My doctor gave us the picture of our embryo that she transferred. On the ultrasound, she also showed us the little flash of light when it attached to the side,” Jessi explained. “It was very exciting.” Following the first frozen embryo transfer, Jessi and Scott were elated to find out that it was successful! Reflecting on her experience, Jessi appreciated that, “RADfertility basically took our hand and helped guide us through it. They help you make the best decision that’s right for you.”
“You just have to look at the end result, that’s what kept me going. And now I look at him every day.“
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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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"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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