So it’s an ear appointment, you know for testing baby’s hearing. Not our hearing, the audiologist and I can hear her cry (more like wailing) just fine! Yup, you guessed it, hungry again…but minutes before the appointment when mama had gone through a lot of trouble to find an available restroom (and clean) she of course wasn’t interested. Making me find obscure areas with no people around is baby’s new idea of fun but sometimes you do have to eat in front of people like it or not (try telling her that). An essential part of her “no breast in public strike” is naturally the protesting (screaming). As a reaction I keep coaxing her, offering her the breast. But even though baby and I are getting to be experts in the field of breastfeeding (except in big public places of course) you see, not everyone likes to see my big boobs being hauled out of my shirt every five minutes. Since our goal here is making baby quiet so we can see if she reacts to different sounds, I’m thinking I’m doing the audiologist a favor by bringing out the food source though, I mean the man is in the medical field after all. “Oh” he visibly startles “you surprised me there”, what? Has he never seen a breastfeeding mama before? (Maybe in the medical field but clearly not in the breastfeeding one).
I’m embarrassed by his reaction, having gotten so used to doctors, medical staff and nurses not raising an eyebrow no matter what body part of mine has been out in the open, I guess I have gotten desensitized when it comes to “nakedness” but come on I’m nursing a hungry baby here. I am just happy she is willing to eat with the audiologist in the room. He is not however. He can’t seem to leave the room fast enough “I’m going to give you some ehm…space”, the door is actually slamming behind him (what a professional). Confused and still with my boob out, baby snacking away we wait for what seem like a very long time.
After that very long time a woman peeks her head in. I’m rushing to hide away the goods, not wanting to scare of anyone else but she smiles and says “don’t stop on my account, please take your time”. Red faced now, did they really send in a female to check if we were done, really? I stammer that we are all done anyways and that baby is ready and in a much better mood. The woman sits down, and starts setting up some equipment, turns on a computer and start putting little plastic tube thingys in baby girl’s ears. I’m confused again, what happened to the other doctor, the one who introduced himself as “the audiologist who will be performing the test”? But it doesn’t look like this lady is going anywhere. Actually I’m glad she is gentle with the baby, doesn’t mind my boobs and seems quite capable.
The first struggle is finding the right sized ear thingys for baby’s ears, they are all too big and keep falling out. “She has such tiny ears!” the new audiologist exclaims. This I have to tell my mom who has apologized time and time again for giving her the “big Nordholm ears” (from her side of the family). Eventually we get it all figured out and the baby finally passes her hearing test (which she has failed twice before) with flying colors!
The audiology woman tells me that it is great we got to finish, often babies are so unpredictable it takes several appointments to get the test completed. Parents usually hate this so I must be so relieved? This is when I can’t just let it end on a good note and may have to look for the department where they remove feet from mouths because I dumbly blurt out “why is that, is it just inconvenient?” Hearing myself asking, I immediately get it, parents with babies who don’t get a good read are obviously petrified that their babies are deaf. Great! I don’t feel stupid or anything! I don’t even feel like backtracking, I just want out of there. All and all it hasn’t been the smoothest appointment, but all that matters is that we completed the test and that baby can hear!
Apparently it’s not over yet because baby has yet another surprise in store- of the explosive diaper kind. It’s all up her back AND front of the last onsie I had in the diaper bag. I use up an entire thing of wipes (not kidding) and throw the entire mess in the bathroom’s tiny trash can- outfit and all. I don’t even have a blanket to cover her so I wrap her in my thin long sleeved black t-shirt. It looks weird on her and I look “bare” with only my nursing top on (what? it’s close to 100 freaking degrees outside), where is that male audiologist when you need him? A bunch of grumpy old ladies with walkers wait in line outside, exchanging looks as we walk out. Oh yeah? I so don’t need “judgy” right now. The smell as we open the door is pretty awful (must be the breast milk/sweet potato combo; baby’s new favorite), I feel like yelling “sorry, not sorry” like a child. I take my time maneuvering the baby carrier, diaper bag and actual baby, deliberately walking away with my head held high “that’s right ladies, I totally know what I’m doing!”
The next night I don’t…at all