I'll admit that at least 50 percent of the time, I leave my daughter's pediatrician's office totally skeptical about his recommendation. I also have to admit that, 98 percent of the time, a few days pass and I realize he was totally right. As I was thinking about the last year and a half of life with my daughter, I've realized there are more than a few times when I begrudgingly trusted my kid's pediatrician and it totally paid off.
If I had picked our pediatrician by throwing a dart at the wall, it would have been only slightly less random than my actual selection process. The day of my daughter's discharge from the NICU was the first time I realized they weren't going to let me take her home without handing over a pediatrician's name and an already-scheduled initial appointment. It hadn't even hit me yet that we'd need a pediatrician already lined up, and I was supposed to choose someone who was going to care for our brand new baby girl right then and there? Gulp.
At the time, I was extremely overwhelmed, so I randomly chose a pediatrician on the spot. Thankfully, that pediatrician has served us well in the first year and a half. If he hadn't, I know my partner and I could have switched to a different pediatrician who we could trust, but I have to say that reminding myself that I am not the doctor, and I did not go to many years of school or see decades of patients throughout my career, does help me trust him even when I need to.
When He Recommended Vaccinations For My Daughter
If I'm being really honest, there's a really annoying voice stuck in the back of my head that bugs me about vaccines. I blame Jenny McCarthy, and it drives me bananas, even though I know in my soul that it's perfectly OK (and not to mention necessary) to give my child vaccines. I'm so glad our pediatrician has been all business and total normal about vaccines.
Half the time, when my partner and I visit to get our child vaccinated, the shots are over and done with before that annoying voice can start whispering.
When He Staggered Vaccines
My daughter doesn't react particularly well to vaccines, so her pediatrician has allowed us to stagger them. I didn't even know that was a possibility, and that option has subsequently relieved me of so much anxiety. and relieved me of so much anxiety about how her tiny body will react.
When He Finds Alternatives To Medicine
I grew up with a mom whose mantra was basically, "You're fine." If we were really sick, of course we went to the doctor, but medicine wasn't doled out very often and unless our sickness was confirmed and diagnosed.
I've left our pediatrician's several times office feeling like, "Are you sure she doesn't need medicine?" And each time, within 24 hours, she'd have made a miraculous, medicine-free recovery and I grudgingly had to agree she really didn't need anything other than Tylenol.
When He Prescribed Reserve Antibiotics
Every so often, and especially on a Friday afternoon when his office is going to be closed all weekend, our pediatrician will prescribe an antibiotic "just in case." We've never used it, but it's such a nice feeling to know they're available.
When He Treated My Daughter's Allergies
For about five months this winter, our daughter had to contend with some severe allergies. And, for about five months this winter, my daughter's pediatrician was there to help.
When He Helped Me Feed My Daughter
When my daughter was a month old, I took her for her well visit and her pediatrician asked how well she was feeding. I admitted that feeding was still a little difficult, and he sat with me and watched me feed her an entire bottle. Then he spent 30 minutes teaching me how to help her suck properly. I was pretty skeptical that his plan (which involved a lot of rotating the bottle in her mouth in different ways) was going to work, but within a week she was a totally different eater and I was so grateful for the time and care he took to teach us.
When He Answers All My Questions
Our pediatrician always, always asks if I have more questions or if he has addressed the questions or worries I have. Sometimes he does it in a sort of patronizing way, saying something along the lines of, "Does dad have any questions he wants answered?" when "dad" isn't in the room. However, most of the time he makes it clear that he wants to make sure he's squashed any and all questions and concerns I might have.
When He Didn't Use Growth Charts
In 19 months, our pediatrician has only broken out the growth chart once. Once, you guys. He wanted to show me that he didn't think we should be worried when my daughter lost weight, instead of gained weight, between appointments. I was freaking out that she had dropped to the second percentile for weight, and that was the only time he broke out that growth chart.
Honestly, I'm glad he didn't pull that thing out during every visit. In the end, I think it would have only left me obsessing over my daughter's weight and how she was growing.