We had a rough time the first few months with Bubboo – she just wouldn’t breastfeed for the first fortnight or so, contracted jaundice, was underweight, and had to be introduced to formula to put her health back on track, that is if we didn’t want any drastic measures to be undertaken. The OH and I would be stepping on broken glass before every paed appointment in the initial few months, wondering what the doctor would say, wondering if we would finally see a day when Bubboo would be healthy and fit and fine and drinking at the breast normally. We did, finally, see better days – good days, even – with Bubboo, I am happy to say, but those first few months were sheer torture. Being first-time parents, we would be in constant doubt about this and that, and the issues with Bubboo only served to add fuel to the fire. That, and the constant stream of conflicting advice we received from just about everywhere, from the laundry lady to the house help!
I wish I had been stronger then, not let the guilt and doubts rule me, gone with my gut feeling all the time, and just concentrated on bonding with my darling daughter. But then, all’s always clear in hindsight, isn’t it? This was our kid we were dealing with, one born after a whole lot of prayers and hard work, and we weren’t going to do anything that would harm her, even if in a little way. We, as parents, were learning as we went, too. So, it is no wonder that we were more mentally drained than physically exhausted the first few months of parenting Bubboo. The one bright spot that saw us through it was our paed – one who knows two generations of the OH’s family, and has treated scores of children from the family. He told us just what we needed to hear, not what we wanted to hear, and helped us pull through those tough times.
This paed is just the right mix of traditional and new-age. He doesn’t believe in prescribing medicines unnecessarily, but insists on formula if he sees a child desperately needing it. He is ready to sit with his reference books, and help parents resolve the doubts in their mind, even if there are other patients waiting outside. He is ready to chat about the benefits of home-made idli batter and porridge over the new-fangled ‘baby health foods’ available in the market today. He is quick to help a mommy get over her feelings of mommy guilt, and quick to tell her that she has to face what she has to face with her child. He has the rocking of children down to an art form – it is so very beautiful to see him rocking a newborn in the palm of his hand. He knows how to rock a newly vaccinated baby to sleep so that the parents can easily carry him/her home. He is chatty with kids and parents alike, ever ready to put their minds at ease. It always amazes me how he remembers the names of every kid that he sees, what their issues are, and whether they are up-to-date on their vaccines or not. He is a natural with children, and amazes me with his compassion towards a sick kid. He taught me exactly how important a quality chattiness is in a doctor. He taught me to sing nursery songs to my daughter rather than plonking her in front of a CD or the TV. He has taught me the value of talking to my kid, spending time with her and playing the old-fashioned way with her, rather than introducing screen time to her… I could go on and on and on.
Is it any wonder that I am reluctant to change Bubboo’s doctor, in spite of our having shifted house the last year roughly 25 km away from his clinic? 🙂 That explains why we have a paed near our new house for emergencies, but still go to this wonderful man for vaccinations and twice-monthly check-ups. Thankfully, the new paed seems to be just as easy-going, chatty, talkative, anti-antibiotics and pro-mommy-daughter-bonding as the other one. Will we get lucky twice? Time will tell, I think.