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The Gift and The Curse

I am married to a doctor. He's a pediatrician. One of the best pediatricians in the Baltimore/DC Metropolitan area (Not up for debate. LOL!). And I'm not saying that because he is my husband. (Wives are very honest critics.) I'm saying it based on feedback from his students, colleagues, higher ups, and most importantly, his patients.

When my husband and I got married, I never thought about what it would be like to have a pediatrician in the house with me when were eventually blessed with children. Most people assume that it's the best thing ever. But sometimes, it can be a real pain in the behind. Husband's are annoying, in general. Parenting adds tension to any marriage. So, just keep those things in mind as I run down the facts about having a child with a pediatrician. This is from a woman's point of view. I say that because there are some things about raising a child that a man just does not understand.

The Gift
The medical care side of raising a kid is amazing. There are so many things that I don't have to think about because my husband just takes care of it. He makes all of our doctor's appointments. He asks all of the right questions. He answers all of the weird questions on that child progress questionnaire. We do not have to visit the doctor's office for non-routine visits. He has a good relationship with our pediatrician. If we need a prescription, he calls her, she calls it in. Because there is an obvious conflict of interest, ethics prevent him from being the official pediatrician to his own child. Like, I cannot make an appointment for our son to be seen by him at his practice. However, if I pop in to bring lunch, one of his colleagues are happy to "take a peak" at our son if we need it.
He is right there with me to answer questions about something that looks "weird". He reassures when our son is "fine". And takes action when our son is not fine. He knows the milestones we should be hitting and when. He also knows the things we should and shouldn't be doing to help our son meet those milestones. He gets hundreds of different perspectives on child rearing from the wide range of types of parents he interacts with, so he gets a myriad of holistic approaches to typical "baby" issues like: how to combat hitting and tantrums, language, solid foods, eczema solutions, potty training techniques, etc.
It's really nice to have a baby father who is so involved and proactive about these things. But sometimes....it can get out of hand.

The Curse
This is the first child for my husband as well. So he is having to eat some of the words of advice that he has given to parents over the 10 years he practiced without having kids of his own. Some things taught in school just don't have any practical place in child rearing.
Exhibit A: On Day 2 of parenthood, we were still in the hospital. We called ourselves "getting use to having a baby", so we decided not to send baby boy to the nursery over night. It was hell. Baby boy was waking up every hour, then just looking at me when I put him to the breast. My husband immediately called the nurse asking for formula (because that's what they do at his hospital), against my preference to strictly breastfeed. His doctor logic was that the baby boy was hungry. I didn't have enough colostrum (even though we had wet and poopy diapers that indicate the baby is eating) and I wouldn't be able to make it if I wasn't getting any sleep. But EYE knew that the baby just wanted to be with me because he could smell me. We had been together for 39 weeks. He didn't know any better. Thank God for the old school Mother/Baby nurses on the unit at GBMC. They denied the formula request, took the baby to the nursery, and told us to get some rest. We slept for 4 hours straight. LOL!
Exhibit B: He was super strict on not letting baby boy sleep in the bed with us and the ABC's of sleeping. Baby should sleep Alone - A, on their Back - B, and in their Crib - C or bassinet. Well, our baby ended up having a flat head so we had to alternate rigging a rolled up blanket so he could sleep on his sides and round his flat head out. LOL! And then those nights that I'd fall asleep nursing....the panic when he'd wake up to a baby in the bed was HILARIOUS! But then he'd fuss at me. Sir, I am a new mother, a wife, a blood bank manager and running a business. I'm TIDE! Sorry, I fell asleep while nursing at midnight. But you were right there. You could've taken baby boy to his bed but you didn't because
you were, what? That's right. SLEEPING!
Exhibit C: A couple months in to parenting, we are getting the hang of nursing. I guess he was observing our
nursing routine and offers (unsolicited advice) that our son was not nursing long enough. He suggested that I hold off for a little while before nursing when baby boy starts the hungry cry. "That way, he will nurse for longer." My reply was simple. "ARE YOU CRAZY?!?!?! We are talking about a human baby here. Not a dog or a puppy. When he wants to eat, I will nurse him."
Exhibit D: Baby Boy is about 9 months old and he did not gain the desired weight over a 2 month period. He proceeds to make me feel like I'm not feeding my child enough and that he was under weight. EVEN THOUGH there was no indicators that our son was hungry or malnourished. He was proceeded to press me to pump 30 oz. of breast milk per day! Ummm...whet?!?! How am I suppose to do that when I am barely pumping 15 oz. per day? Dis skressful, mane.
Exhibit E: Our son has an isolated speech delay. That means that autism and hearing loss have been ruled out and he still isn't talking. Our son is very intelligent. He imitates when he wants to actions. And since I work from home, there were multiple doctor appointments made for me to take baby boy to. Hundreds spent on unproductive, private speech therapy sessions. The whole time, I'm thinking that our son is fine, just stubborn. Sure enough, 2 months before his 2nd birthday, baby boy is starting to use words, sing his ABCs and imitate us more. Although he's not up to the milestone of 50 words, he's fine. Like I said he was in the first place.

My husband sees at least 100 different kids each week. From 5 days old all the way up to 24 years old. So, it's easy to compare his own kid to these kids and their levels of development. As we approach two full years of parenting, I hear Doctor Dad saying "All kids are different." a lot more often than I'm hearing him say "He's supposed to be _______ by now."

Yes. I know. #FirstWorldProblems However, I just wanted to put it out that that having a pediatrician baby father can be just as stressful as a non-healthcare baby father.  I guess parenthood is stressful in general. 🤦 Some times I just wanted to do what I wanted to do with my baby without hearing anyone's mouth, ya know.

My Fancy Life ain't been no crystal stair. LOL!

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