It has been an amazing week. Energy started coming back, our regular “not grumpy” soul is starting to sleep a little better. But the week did not start that way… On her birthday, she decided to cry and complain all day and all night (our dog, Nikki, decided to have a muscle spasm on her back, having two patients at home!), she was grumpy, moving, fuzzy and for sure not happy! As a pediatrician, I finished with my mental check list of differential diagnosis, no fever, no crazy cough, no sneezing, not coughing, breathing well… And of course, LACK OF SLEEP for the entire family. We were really frustrated; usually on the 2nd to the 4th week it’s expected to have crying spells (“it’s normal to expected up to 2 hours of crying”, translation: BREATH IN, BREATH OUT, RELAX… IT WILL STOP…). As a textbook girl, she started with everything… Colic in pediatrics is a combination of gas, tummy issues and just plain old “fuzziness”, and she was having everything. We started to notice for a couple of nights that she loved sleeping in her nap nanny (cushion with a nice >45 angle), and each time that she was laying on her back she was uncomfortable, moving, doing funny noises and NOT SLEEPING AT ALL. On the second day, It was enough, consulting with the pediatrician (for objectivity: I’M NOT HER PEDIATRIC-DAD), and we started a trail of antiacids: THAT WAS THE CURE TO HER PROBLEM. Probably she was having some reflux (all little ones will have reflux and spit ups, it’s a normal process until the Gastrointestinal Track [the tummy and guts] is mature enough), after a couple of doses, our little one started to be happy (Mommy and Daddy were happier!). With reflux the content of the stomach moves up to the mouth and potentially can be painful.
Moving on to the week, she started to have a social smile, it is a delightful scene, the pooping/sleeping machine is interacting with us more and more each day… For sure, you have shared this feeling before, it’s just pure happiness, at her 1 month of age she is already spinning my world.
There are different recommendation at the beginning of life to see your pediatrician, usually at birth, 2-5 days after, 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months (just to make the list small… also 15, 18, 24months and after that every year), we had our 1 month preventive visit, I’M A PROUD FATHER, she gained her weight, her height and head size, without forgetting how beautiful she is becoming every day. I did assumed, wrongfully, many things in my mind, that thanks G-d my wife asked the pediatrician, it’s a wired interaction, Imagine being a lawyer, and your business partner is now defending your family in a trail, you can give input, but the one running the show is your partner… Plus, going to the other side, your partner has “extra pressure” to perform and do his best. The first time that we were there, she felt like in an exam at the hospital, I smiled and told her: you Aced the exam (plus she is an amazing human being, active, happy, truthful and smart). Then my professional partner and my wife did have a session of questions and answers, at the same time that I ran out of the room to parade my daughter.
We also had our first real day out to a restaurant, probably one of my favorites in Ft. Myers: her 1st month day out. I wanted to shelter her, have the crystal bubble around her, and limit the amount of dust, UV rays and cosmic radiation (last one was a joke), it seems that the process to train my mind in order to have a balancing act between being a watchdog and “not reacting to my paternal impulses” is a work in process.
Every week is counting, time is moving and my family is just growing: I’M JUST ENJOYING IT!
What I’ve learned this week for THE UNOFFICIAL MANUAL ON HOW A PEDIATRICIAN BECOMES A FATHER:
- Hear and act upon “maternal instinct”, if you think something is wrong: ASK, ASK and ASK!
- Read about colic. But the most important is to have a way to “distress” your mind, and most importantly talk to your partner about it.
- Pacifier vs thumb… We passed the “3 weeks” of nipple confusion and now we need to decide were to go with this… In the perfect world babies will have a mute button.
- The first of everything (first bath, first going out, etc etc) creates new expectations and the lack of familiarity could create some stress… It will get much better with time