When I was a new mom, I sometimes felt like I was doing it all wrong. I worried about scheduling and diaper changing and feeding schedules. I worried about daycare and illnesses and how to use one of those nose sucker things.
As kind as my friends and family were, it was actually our first pediatrician who calmed my fears. I loved our first pediatrician. She had this awesome way of making me feel like I was part of the plan of action, instead of just standing on the sidelines. Every time we took Bean in for his routine shots in those first few months, she had something nice to say. And not just nice things about Bean, but nice things about ME. She would look him over and then stand back and say proudly to me, “You are doing a FANTASTIC job, Momma! He looks PERFECT! Way to go!” And she was so genuine about it.
Everything she said made me feel like the best mom ever, and as a new mom that was a priceless feeling. She told me one time that everything my baby needed was inside of me and Chris. As his parents, we would always know best. Coming from a doctor, that meant the world to us and reminded us that we were more than capable of caring for our children, even when they were sick.
The first time Bean ran a fever, I was hysterical and showed up at the doctor’s office at 8:00am the next morning, expecting to have to put up a fight to see someone. But our doctor led us back to the exam room herself and acted like I was totally justified to be so worried. “I don’t blame you at all!” she cooed. “I would have done the same thing!”
When she examined him, she looked him over from head to toe, and announced that she couldn’t find a thing wrong with him. She explained that it might just be a little reaction to one of his recent shots, and that we should probably wait it out a bit. And then she turned back to me and said, “Well, momma. How do you think we should treat this fever?” “Uhh… Umm…” I stammered. “I should probably keep him cool. Like, maybe put a cold wash cloth on his head?” “Excellent!” she said. “That sounds like a great idea!” She proceeded to listen while I came up with my own list of things I could do to bring that fever down. By the time we left that morning, I felt BRILLIANT. I felt like I had saved my child’s life all by myself. (Keep in mind, his fever was, like, 100F…)
I loved that doctor because she made me feel like part of the solution. She was encouraging and understanding and patient like no one I’ve ever met.
Months later when Bean was about five months old, he ended up being hospitalized because he was having trouble breathing. I try not to go into details about our family’s health issues on the blog, but it was a pretty scary time to say the least. In fact, it was the deciding factor for us moving back closer to family. While we were in the hospital for the next four days, that doctor kept encouraging us and supporting us. She was like a cheerleader and pediatrician all in one. And I can’t tell you how important that was to us as new parents.
Pediatricians are wonderful people. But they are also powerful people, too. They have the ability to lift up new parents or to crush them like a bug. I’m so thankful for our first pediatrician who gave me the confidence to be a good mom.