When we get to the doctor’s office, I tell the receptionist that the NICU nurses told us to ask to get in to see the doctor right away. Premature babies should never wait in the waiting room where they may be germs (correction; there are sick kid germs everywhere). Surprisingly, the receptionists agrees (things are usually not that easy-especially not for me for some reason…) and tells the male nurse to get a room ready for us right away. We are not seeing our regular pediatrician, Dr.G, who sees my son and will now be seeing my daughter as well (“my daughter” I can’t believe I have a daughter and that she is home and all mine, I’m about to burst with happiness), we are seeing one of her male colleagues.
My mom and I are being showed back after only a couple of short minutes (not common practice by the way), the car seat feels huge, heavy and hard to maneuver through the door (funny how fast you forget how heavy and awkward these things really are). My poor mom has to hold not only her purse, but mine (I didn’t exactly have time to get a diaper bag for baby girl and “unfortunately” my son is kinda still using his…- want a pink one for my daughter anyways…), she is also holding my sunglasses, wallet and keys. I really need to start bringing less stuff or learn how to manage my stuff better, because my mom isn’t staying here to help me forever (however much I want her to). We settle in in the little room and I’m hoping the doctor will say that baby girl is doing great. It is a little nerve racking to now be responsible for such a little girl when just days ago she had a whole NICU staff, monitors, cords leading to beeping machines and her very own medically educated nurse caring for her. The nurse (a girl this time with super long curly brown hair and cheery attitude) comes in and we are asked to get baby girl out of the car seat (easier said than done; we have bought some fancy car seat cover that was recommended to keep germs out, that we absolutely can’t figure out; where does the zipper go…? At least it is pink and very cute). Besides she is sleeping and every momma knows “never wake a sleeping baby”. The one I got though is so sweet, she barely protests as I awkwardly get her deranged from the cover and then the taught straps). I’m still not used to how little she is-and I know she is big for her gestational age (I can’t even imagine handling babies way tinier). Baby girl is being weighed and measure, she is only in her little preemie diaper and suddenly I’m aware that the room is really cold. I think having a newborn heightens all your senses as well, and mama bear comes out! I ask them if they can turn the temperature up but I don’t push it as the nurse tells us that this is the temperature they have to have in the office.
As the nurse leaves I think about what my daughter weighs (5.11 labs-what the heck is that in kilos, conversion translator please!) and as I’m still not familiar with pounds (kg being so much easier-not to mention it just makes sense) I tell my mom that I’m scared my daughter has lost weight. I have time to feel sad and a little defeated as I am now the one who is supposed to take care of her and feeding her is my number job (struggling with all the bottles and the nipples- real and fake) and now it looks like I’m already failing, what will the doctor say? Well, actually he tells me that baby girls is doing really good and compliments me on taking such good care of her (wow, that feels really great!), I still ask about her weight (very confused) and he tells mom and I that she has gained since being released from the hospital (so apparently 5.11 does not mean one, one but eleven which is obviously more that 5.6 or 5.61 however they make that work, shouldn’t it stop after 9 and become 6 pounds even??, you American people who have this down, please don’t judge). The doctor is handsome and charming, knowledgeable and sweet. He has a deep tan and deep dimples as he gently asks about my kidney infection, my water breaking, my bed rest (feels good being asked about it and I almost think he actually cares) and then about baby’s NICU stay.
It is here it becomes medical, technical and confusing yet again. He asks a lot of question that I don’t- and feel I should have the answers to being the mother of this baby. I’m not sure about the bilirubin numbers, the heat lamps, the kidneys, lung function at release date or the blood counts (wait what?). I keep looking at my mom who obviously has no clue either… but it actually gets scary and real than Dr. McCharming lets us know that he is worried about little baby girl’s blood platelets…