Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ethan's First Doctor Visit

I took him in to meet his Pediatrician, Dr. Truscello, today. He measured well, and then the minute I got him onto the doctor’s table to change him, he decided to baptize the area. And boy, can he store a lot of liquid in that body! I was so embarrassed, and felt totally unprepared—even with my diaper bag, I felt like I needed an extra 2 or 3 hands to get everything taken care of correctly. Luckily, the doctor was running a bit late, so I had time to do a hasty clean-up before she arrived. At least the baby wasn’t dripping wet for his first meeting with the doc! She seemed very nice, and concerned about all of the troubles I’d been experiencing. And then she did his exam, and started saying “Hmm…” while staring at and gently stroking his chest/rib cage.

I started to get a little nervous. She says “Did anyone order a chest x-ray in the hospital?” My heart dropped. I said no, and she pointed out that his chest area seems a bit smaller than it should be; I agree, it seems small—he looks like a little Ethiopian baby, with this tiny rib cage and full belly area. I thought it was just how babies look sometimes, though. Apparently not. She ordered a chest x-ray and asked me to go over and get it done immediately after leaving her office. Good lord, anything else?? Um, yes. She also takes a look at his face and says “Maybe part of the reason he’s been having trouble latching on while breastfeeding is because he has a slightly recessed jaw.” Oy. I mean, I have a definite overbite, but a recessed jaw? I thought it looked pretty normal, but then she *is* a pediatrician…

Anyway, I took him in for the x-ray, trying not to let my mind race around the possibilities (a disorder? a genetic condition? Problems with his internal organs?), and they told me they’d get the results by Wednesday. Oh, good! Only one whole day and night to think about what could be going wrong with my brand new baby… In my stupidity, I went online and looked up information about babies born with narrow chests; wow, was that a mistake. All it does is give a worrying mind more ammo for their neurotic anxieties. It’s like having a DSM-IV or a Physician’s Desk Reference around; you’re bound to find a diagnosis to fit almost any symptom you have, which just makes it all seem even worse than it is. Well, the next morning I was feeding Ethan when the answering machine picked up a phone call from my doctor’s office. She said that the x-ray did not pick up any abnormalities, and that he looked great, and wished us all a happy Christmas. I just started crying and crying, so happy that his x-rays turned out good and that we can stop worrying about it. I said some prayers of gratitude and kissed him all over. Hey, I have to shower him with affection while I can, before he grows up and turns into one of those kids who says “Come on, mom, quit it!” whenever I try to love on him.

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