I will admit when I was nearing the end of my pregnancy and going through numerous checklists, I didn’t really understand the importance of selecting a pediatrician before the birth of my son. It just seemed like just another thing to cross off my large “To-do” list.
Man, I am glad I took time to do a little research, because no one could have prepared me for how dependent I would be on my child’s healthcare provider during my son’s first year. From our very first visit to the office, days after his birth, to the many evening and weekend clinics we have rushed to for guidance on sundry colds, ear infections, stomach bugs and Early Mama jitters, our pediatrician and the staff at our clinic have been amazing and so supportive. I couldn’t have gotten through this first year without them.
We had heard that when you put kids in daycare they will be sick a lot that first year. That has proven to be very true. From the time my son entered daycare at 8 months until now, it seems like either he, my husband, or I have been sick. Needless to say, we have spent many hours in our pediatrician’s office, on the phone with nurses; fortunately for us, my brother-in-law, Dr. David Rhyne (Pediatrician, Westgate Pediatrics-Wake Forest Baptist Health), has counseled us through many a night over the phone.
When you child is sick, it rips you apart. To see them suffering, in pain, uncomfortable, their smile dampened and the light dulled in their eyes as they are in pain, seems unbearable. As my husband has said on many occasions, “If I could take the sickness away from you and put it in me, I would.” (Usually that happened in the aftermath.)
I am so grateful for our pediatrician. She truly is amazing. She is calm, collected, knowledgeable, and does her best to not be hurried when she is with us. She seems to know just the right thing to say when I am feeling anxious, concerned, or overly worried about a topic.
I have said it before: “Parenting is the hardest job in the world.” It stretches you in every direction; it pushes beyond your threshold in ways you could never have imagined. When they are sick, you are up at night, listening to their breathing, agonizing over their cough, wiping throw-up from their nighty and your pajamas. Still, it’s totally worth it. But because this is no easy task, it’s crucial to have a great pediatrician and team to support your through this time.
So, if you are a first-time pregnant Mama or someone recently moved to the area and is searching for the right pediatrician, here are a couple of tips for finding the right fit for you.
- Ask friends, neighbors, church and family members who they recommend and why?
- Decide if you prefer a larger practice with more doctors or you prefer a smaller practice with fewer staff.
- Find out about the potential pediatrician’s office hours, after-office hours, evening clinics, and weekend availability to see patients.
- Ask if they have nurse line for 24-hour support.
- Meet your pediatrician in person and visit the office to see for yourself if it’s the right fit.
It’s a really big decision for any parent—picking the right pediatrician—as you are entrusting them with the life, health and future of your little ones.
Dear Baby Lucas,
You are just over one and you have embraced your oneness with fervor. Upon becoming a toddler, you have exerted your will quite boldly. You are refusing foods you used to love, throwing sippy cups, food and bottles from your high chair and often protesting your dislike for things by throwing yourself on the floor in what we call the wet-noodle wriggle.
Nevertheless, you are the light of our world. It’s fascinating to watch you come into your own as you develop your identity apart from us. You are nearly walking, cruising from table to chair to couch, and climbing any- and everything you can find. You are quite the explorer, just like Mom and Dad. It’s really an adventure to watch you discover every single day.
Your newest moves include clapping profusely and raising your hands in the air—“hallelujah hands,” we call them. We all laugh together and you squeal! You continue to bring us infinite joy!
We love you more than all the waves in the ocean!
Mom & Dad