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My Great Fertility Doctor
a blog by Shana Kurz, June 6, 2012
I’ve had plenty of doctors in my life; primary, dermatologist, dentist, ophthalmologist and gynecologist. Each of those doctors I saw once a year for a standard appointment so I could spend another year feeling healthy.
Then I had two miscarriages in three months, and after hearing that the genetic test from my second miscarriage came back “normal” I asked my Ob-Gyn: “Should I be seeing a specialist?” I was distraught and wasn’t getting any information that explained what was happening. The only advice I received from my Ob-Gyn was “Refrain from trying again for a month, since you’ve just had a D&C.” Right, thanks. I was looking for more, someone to tell me what was wrong.
My reproductive endocrinologist (RE) was a gentle and calm man who took time to speak with my husband and I at length. He would sit cross-legged in his scrubs on the other side of his desk and explain our options, next steps, costs and statistics. He easily handled our business-like focus, even going so far as to hold conference calls with my husband when he couldn’t attend an appointment.
When you search for a fertility doctor, you are looking at “live birth rates” and “top docs,” but equally important is how you feel in their office, how comfortable you are talking to your doctor. This is the doctor you will spend more time with then any other. My "one and done" appointments were traded for something similar to training for a marathon: I now faced numerous appointments that required endurance. Early morning blood work, repeated ultrasounds and procedures — all taking place in the same office. In a given month I would visit my RE’s office 10 to 15 times.
And after all the care, we crossed the finish line. I remember fondly the little brick building, the parking lot across the street, the elevator ride upstairs, the moody receptionist who remembered my name last week, but oddly not today. But what I miss the most is my RE. When I found out I was pregnant I wanted to send flowers to the office. My husband thought maybe they should send me flowers, since we did pay a hefty price. So I opted for muffins to bring along to my last appointment. When I found out we were having boys, I asked my husband, can we name one of them Spencer after my RE. (None of my sons are named Spencer but it’s a name still dear to me).
There is a unique relationship that is created in a fertility doctor's office; there is so much trust, energy and emotion being used during each visit. Both your and your RE need to have a great relationship with each other to endure the marathon — or I hope for others, the sprint — of infertility.