“Pa pa pa,” our 15 month old yells from her carseat as we pull up to the diner. This — in case you don’t speak toddlerese — means “pancake,” which she is totally psyched about and will invariably eat after Mama wrestles her into her highchair and scoots her up to the table of the Westwood Pancake House. This has become home away from home for my partner and daughter a few mornings a week while I am across the street at the fertility clinic.
We didn’t have the easiest time conceiving our daughter. We went through a lot of heartache and pain and countless hours of sitting in waiting rooms and various doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals. Very often, during these long waits, there would be babies or small children accompanying their parents, innocently sitting on laps, playing with toys or running about the waiting area, being cute as can be to everyone else. For us, however, in the thick of it, wanting one of our own more than life itself, it was painful. We vowed that if we did ever end up having a kid, we wouldn’t parade it around waiting rooms full of desperate, hopeful parents-to-be.
So here we are, trying for baby numero dos. My partner has always been 100% involved – never missing a single appointment with our fertility doctor. This includes making the hour long drive to the doctor, coming in to the exam room, talking to the doctor, asking questions, the whole nine yards. So now we find ourselves faced with a conundrum: how can she remain this involved if we aren’t going to be bringing our daughter with us? Get a babysitter? Anyone going through fertility process knows that the appointments (which are always first thing in the morning) are often not scheduled until a day or two before. It would be difficult to have someone consistently able to come over on short notice as early at six in the morning.
Should we bring her and do exactly what we promised ourselves we would never do to others? That wasn’t an option for us either. So, we are compromising. We throw her in the car, drive out to the doctor’s all together but instead of going in, the two of them enjoy quality time over breakfast while keeping in close contact via text. I join them when I’m done, fill my partner in on the details of the visit, and finish my daughter’s pancakes before we all pile in the car and head home.
This isn’t the perfect solution, but it seems to be working out for us so far. Someday we hope to bring both of our kids back to the Westwood Pancake House and tell them the whole story over a big stack of pa pa pas!