I broke up with our pediatrician today.
It had been a long time coming. I have known I needed to for some time now.
And yet – it still hurt. In the same way that a relationship’s end leaves you feeling lost and saddened, saying our goodbyes today had me holding back tears.
See, with my husband’s new job, our pediatrician is no longer covered by our insurance. When I found this out, I was devastated. After the initial (teary) reaction, I soon went into work mode, researching and looking for a new pediatrician. I suppose this kept me busy, avoiding the conversation looming in the future.
Until today. At our 2.5 year appointment, after caring for our healthy, happy little girl and answering our endless questions, we broke the news – we had to break up.
I couldn’t quite put into words what I felt.
How do you pour your heart out to a professional charged with caring for your child? How do you thank them for everything they have done for you?
And so, here’s what I wish I had said.
Thank you for caring for us as if we were your only patients. Thank you for putting up with my slightly neurotic worries and fears. Thank you for sticking with us and believing me when my baby wouldn’t gain weight and I was determined to figure out why. Thank you for the encouraging words and gentle nudge with the formula can. And thank you for giving me space to accept supplementing with formula on my own terms, while advocating for the health of my child. You navigated that situation beautifully.
Thank you for caring about not only my daughter, but about me. For suggesting that I, too, needed sleep and that I needed to take care of myself. You saw my tired eyes and recognized a new mom, sharing compassion and experience.
Thank you for being a part of our village. When I left the hospital with a seven pound bundle of joy, I walked into a world where I felt very alone and unsure of myself – with no experience in caring for a tiny human. With my daughter’s issues gaining weight, we saw you more than most of my friends in those early days. You were a constant, a supportive figure in our journey.
Thank you for sharing our joy in successful well visits. With each healthy check up, with each progression up the growth chart, you felt a sense of accomplishment right alongside us.
Pediatricians are often the unsung heroes of childhood. You are there alongside every milestone, every birthday. You sometimes have to deliver bad news, deal with unwilling patients (and their parents), and do it with little thanks. You pack many appointments into the day, charting and paper pushing in between.
And so, because I couldn’t say it in person, I want you to know that I appreciate you. I appreciate all you did for our family. For our daughter. I am grateful for you.