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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 RAD.”

Jessi underwent testing before coming to RAD 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 RAD 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.”

Jessi Wilson

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 RAD, 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, RAD’s Clinical Director of Fertility Wellness. “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.

Jessi Wilson

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 screening (PGS), our embryos were frozen for a future transfer.” Jessi also qualified for one of RAD’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.

“Dr. Bachman 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, “RAD basically took our hand and helped guide us through it. They help you make the best decision that’s right for you.”

Jessi Wilson

You just have to look at the end result, that’s what kept me going. And now I look at him every day.

Tiffany and her husband soon began the IVF process. They became pregnant on their first IVF cycle, and had a baby boy in December.

“Even when the road seems long, know that RAD always has your best interests at heart. RAD became my family during this experience and I love each and every person I worked with,” Tiffany said. “Miracles happen, and RAD made our vision of a family come to life. We are forever thankful to Dr. McGuirk and all those who made our dream come true.”

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"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."

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