June 27, 2018
Dear Dr. McGuirk and Staff
Our son turned four years old today. Today, or something like it, seemed an impossible thing to even hope for six Junes ago. I came to your practice on the advice of a friend. A friend who had stolen my phone and set multiple alerts programmed to pop up loudly proclaiming, “Call Dr. McGuirk!” “Have you made an appointment with Dr. McGuirk yet?” If those alerts weren’t enough, my friend called many times asking without preamble, “What date is your initial appointment at RAD?” as if it was already a foregone conclusion that I would drive five hours to hear what I had heard before. Eventually, I set a date. All the while I felt like a hypochondriac for making an appointment with yet another doctor. I came armed with a previous endometriosis diagnosis, one remaining ovary, and sense of deep apologetic embarrassment for what would be, I was sure, a waste of your time. After all, I had heard the chorus of other medical professionals before: Women have pain, they had all said. Women just bleed, more echoed. There is no reason why you can’t have children, chirped one.
That is not what happened at that initial appointment. For the first time, I was seen. It threw me off balance. All those seemingly unrelated symptoms connected like stars in the sky forming a constellation, recognized by someone trained to see them for what they were as a whole.
February of the next year I had surgery. Afterwards at the post-op followup I remember you saying that without that surgery I would never have become pregnant. Now, you said sitting behind your wide desk, it isn’t possible to know. Sometimes the ones you think can conceive spontaneously never do and the ones who you give no chance without IVF never need more than the surgery in spite of a complex clinical presentation. There is, I realized, a balance between the science, art, and faith of medicine. Both limitless and limited.
Our son was born in June of 2014.
Our daughter was born this past February. “This was completely spontaneous?” my local reproductive specialist had questioned in June of 2017. He stood there a moment. “In so far as getting pregnant, you beat the odds,” he finished, shaking his head as he wandered away from the ultrasound room back down the hall towards his office. I watched him, his white head above his sloped surgeons’ shoulders, as he went to whatever alchemy of science and art he had next. I stood there, giddy and unsure, momentarily suspended between the past, the present, and an unknown future. With that small square of an ultrasound in my hand I remembered your words from four years earlier: there is no way to know for sure. Wherever this pregnancy goes, I thought, this baby is a gift.
June to June.
February to February.
I will now, perhaps, sound like an Oscar Award winner monopolizing the stage thanking everyone from his mother to his cousins’ sisters’ brothers’ aunt five times removed. Even if I had never ended up giving birth to my children, I walked away from your practice with both an improved quality of life and a sense of how to advocate for myself. Each time I called your nurse with questions or concerns I was given the words and tools I needed to navigate my care. The affirmation that I was not, in this case at least, a hypochondriac was invaluable to me as I traveled the health care system for other reasons. It also made me a better health care provider in my professional life. It was, in a small way perhaps, a mini-mentorship.
Thank you to you personally for the realistic yet compassionate communication you provided. I saw that it is possible to be remarkably direct and pragmatic but still communicate caring. I did not feel like I had to sift through vague platitudes with you to determine your intent. To be seen and heard was breathtaking. To be given realistic probabilities and prognosis’ was refreshing.
Thank you to your front office staff for being both compassionate and engaging each and every time I called. Whoever does your HR/PR training or hiring is a gem.
I appreciate the first impression that your office provided: the gentle environment with its comfortable seats, beautiful pictures, and coffee nook acknowledged, silently, the reality of the journey that brought people through your doors.
Finally, for you and your colleagues to live out your calling so well, so thoroughly, you must have remarkable families behind you. I wish to communicate to them gratitude for the support they provide you in your vocation. They must see you clearly and so you in turn can see us.
God bless each of you.
A photo Marian included.
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"We had a wonderful experience working with Reproductive Associates of Delaware. 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 Reproductive Associates of Delaware, 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!"
"There are not enough kind words to say about RAD generally, and Dr. Bachman specifically. My personal well-being was always at the core of my treatment. I received honest, straight-forward advice that empowered me to make my own decisions. And thanks to RAD I have the family I always dreamed of."
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
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