Towards the end of a pregnancy, a whole bunch of decisions need to be made. How do I want to give birth? What kind of care do we want to give our child? How do we want to decorate the nursery? Am I going to try to breastfeed? What will we name them? Who should be their doctor?
I had a lot of anxieties during my pregnancy. I think some of it was normal, some of it was due to my general anxiety, and I think a good bit of it was the result of experiencing infertility. I knew in my gut that my perspective on parenting would be different because of my experiences.
Finding a pediatrician seemed a little daunting. We didn’t have any close friends with kids in Midtown, so I spent a few hours (yep, hours) browsing Yelp, Google reviews, and local Facebook groups searching for recommendations. I finally landed on a pediatrician that was really close to us — in fact, her office building was right next door to the building where we went for IVF treatments.
I set up a new patient interview, on a day right after an ultrasound. By that appointment, my OB had already asked us twice if we had picked out a pediatrician, so I felt behind at 28 weeks. We met Charlotte’s potential pediatrician, shook hands, went over some basics, and had a chance to ask all the silly first time parent questions we wanted.
Tim had been talking about baby tracking apps (you know, the ones that help you keep track of every single diaper, every feeding, and well… everything) and we asked if that was even something that was necessary, or if an estimate was more what she’d be looking for. She explained that in the fog of sleeplessness and seemingly endless diapers, for some it was difficult to give an estimate without tracking. But, she said, during infertility treatments, you get used to tracking everything, and it becomes the norm. “You have to honor your experience.” Everything will be different.
Pregnancy after infertility was different, and parenting is, too. Every decision, and every action is influenced by our experience. We know what it feels like to so desperately want to have a child, and for it to seem nearly impossible. We know what it feels like to try and try again to have this baby, only to get another negative test. We know the joy of finally getting that phone call, and the tremendous anxiety that we could lose it all in an instant. We know what it feels like to invest everything into growing our family.
And we have to honor that.
Needless to say, we picked that pediatrician.