Sunday, November 10, 2013

The letter

I always dreamed that WHEN, and later it became IF, we finally bore a child from our years of infertility treatments at The Mayo Clinic Reproductive Endocrinology Department in Rochester, Minnesota ... I would write a letter. I would write a letter to the amazing Dr. Charles Coddington who was my doctor during those difficult years. He and his staff were incredible. Amazing. 

Last week, I finally wrote my letter. Here it is. And then, you can read Dr. Coddington's personal response.


Dear. Dr. Coddington & Staff (especially Mary, Nancy, and Roxanne),

We first came to your offices in 2003. At the time, Dr. Coddington was not on staff. We Began infertility treatments and then had to take a "forced break" when your offices closed for a year for restructuring.

What followed was three unsuccessful attempts with Clomid, five failed IUI attempts, and 2 retrievals (4 attempts) ... all negative.

We took a break from infertility treatments in 2007 still childless. We were fairly certain that a biological child was just not in the cards for us.

What followed was a whirlwind -- we adopted a son and had two surprise pregnancies -- completely natural.

With three young children now (ages 4, 3, and 1), we returned to your office in December of 2012 for a final transfer. You worked with us from our overseas location (Portugal) to facilitate a transfer. We had seven embryos remaining. Two made it to transfer.

I remember Roxanne said, "There go your two shooting stars" as they were dropped into my womb.

And one of those shooting stars joined us on this earth on July 16, 2013. Hannah Joy Kitsteiner weighing an incredible 10 pounds 2 ounces at 39 weeks became our fourth child.

While no one enjoys infertility treatments, my memories of your office staff were always good ones. I was treated with kindness, patience, and encouragement at every single one of my appointments, ultrasounds, and procedures (of which there were more than I could ever possibly count.)

We are now the incredibly proud parents of Isaac John (5), Elijah Luke (4), Abigail Grace (2), and Hannah Joy (now 2 months.) We like to call her our fifty thousand dollar baby. All those years of pain and heartache brought us the exact family God always wanted us to have!

Dr. Coddington, you are one of the kindest most gentle and wonderful doctors I have ever met. THANK YOU for devoting your life to women like me -- for somehow understanding, despite the obvious fact that you are not a woman, what it feels like to be childless and how important it is to have a chance at motherhood.

Please feel free to share this letter with anyone whom you feel it would be appropriate. I have attached some pictures of our family -- perfect in every way thanks to you and your staff.

I hope to stop by some day when we are back in Minnesota and allow you to meet all of my children but especially Hannah Joy. Thank you for bringing her to us!

God Bless,

Dr. John and Wendi Kitsteiner
Azores, Portugal


Words cannot express the emotion that I have when I receive comments as yours. It is what it is all about. You have made my day and I will share this with our team. Without them, we would not have the wonderful success you enjoy.

All the best to you this Holiday Season.

And John we appreciate your continued service to our country!

Dr. Charles Coddington


TAV said...

What a great letter and response!!

Anonymous said...

Check Hannah's birthdate.

Lisa Cronk said...

Wasn't Hannah born in September? (not July).

Beautiful words that I'm sure Dr. Coddington and his staff really love to hear!

: ) Lisa

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Yes .... Sigh ... I put Abigail's birthdate in the letter! And wrote it on her two month well baby paperwork.r leave it to you guys to catch it and not me or her dad!! Lol!!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Coddington wasn't there when we were going through treatments either, but I've heard wonderful things about him from others who have been his patients. He is exactly what the IF clinic needed. I will never forget the name of my dr. either, but unfortunately it wasn't because she was wonderful. Quite the opposite. However, I am thankful for her willingness to try a new proceedure before my last transfer (and due to it's success became more widely used). But I do remember with fondness Mary, Nancy, Roxanne and two others - Kate and Vicki. Without them the journey would've been more difficult. (although I wonder if my Mary and Nancy are different from your Mary and Nancy since the two I'm thinking of no longer work in the fertility clinic anymore).

I'm sure that letter made their day.


June said...

Dr C is a true Gentleman with a capital G.

crazystegmamaof4 said...

Beautiful letter, Wen...and a beautiful, perfect ending to your fertility journey. God bless doctors like this who go above and beyond...and for women like you who are open about their journey and their hearts.

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Actually bethany, mine are gone too I think ...