When it comes to the care and well-being of my children, there are only a handful of people I trust completely to take care of them. My husband, our parents and siblings, and our pediatrician are the lucky few to make that list. It’s my job as their mom to keep them happy and healthy, and one part of that job description was finding a stellar pediatrician to care for their medical needs when they were born. Even though I make random diagnoses all the time when it comes to my kids, I’m no doctor. I really and truly don’t know what’s causing physical and emotional distress when my boys get sick, so I need someone I can trust every time one of them ends up under the weather (which turns out to be MUCH more often than I ever imagined).
I’m extremely fortunate that the pediatrician that I saw my entire childhood is still practicing. There was no hesitation when the nurses asked me who my son’s doctor was as soon as he was born. This man had taken care of me my entire life, so I had complete confidence in his ability to care for my own children. I know not many people are as fortunate as I am when it comes to choosing a pediatrician though. I also know that he won’t be practicing forever, so a day will come when I must choose someone else I depend on to keep my boys safe and healthy.
As a mom, the scariest moments of my entire life have involved medical emergencies with my children.
One of them had a random seizure that took several years off my life, and another was sick for two months and in the hospital for a week with a mystery illness. One had relentless ear infections that made him miserable. Two of them spent time in the NICU after they were born. One had horrible colic for the first six months of his life and another had reflux for his. We once dealt with headaches, stomach aches, and crippling anxiety for reasons my husband and I couldn’t discern. We had one son who started stuttering out of nowhere. Another time we found a concerning mole that had to be cut off and tested for melanoma. All of these issues baffled me and left me feeling helpless. The first person I ran to each time was our pediatrician. He has known me long enough to know that I’m an overachiever when it comes to worrying. I worry myself sick until we figure out what’s wrong. He’s not an alarmist, so he keeps me levelheaded when I automatically assume the worst. He is patient and understanding with me. He’s thorough and meticulous when it comes to diagnosing the boys. He personally returns every call I make and will call randomly to check in on them when they’re sick. He makes life so much easier when it feels like it’s crumbling down around me.
Not only do you need a great pediatrician when your children are sick, but you need one for when they’re healthy, too.
I can google all day long, but I’m no expert when it comes to developmental milestones and deciphering the numbers of a blood count. One of my boys wasn’t gaining near enough weight when he was an infant, and I had no idea until we went to his well visit. Our doctor swooped in and saved the day with a new feeding plan. Another son of mine was a very late talker, and thanks to my relentless internet searches, I just knew something was wrong with him. Our doctor very calmly told me that this was typical with boys his age and that he’d start talking when he was ready. You know what…he did. When we talked with him about the anxiety issues I mentioned above, he quickly put the pieces of the puzzle together and helped my son in ways I never even thought about. He gave him the happy, carefree life children are supposed to have. It’s easy to assume you just need a good doctor when sickness arises, but they are crucial when it comes to the “healthy” times, too.
I don’t say all of this to simply brag on our pediatrician. Yes, he’s amazing and I recommend him to people ALL the time. I say this so that if you don’t feel the same way about your child’s doctor, you know that there are awesome pediatricians out there who will care for your children like their own. I’ve seen many doctors in my life whom I felt weren’t doing the best they could at their job. When it comes to my children, that’s not ok. Like I said, I know our doctor will be retiring soon. I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement when that happens, and thankfully I’ve found someone in the same practice whom I feel I can trust like our doctor now.