First Checkup

Today was the appointment for Robert’s first checkup at the pediatrician. We were out with him on the same location last Wednesday. We took him to the Well Baby Clinic, thinking that he was due for his first vaccination shot at six weeks. The nurse, however, said that at six weeks they only give two shots that are partially subsidized by the government, and recommended that we rather give him one combo vaccine at eight weeks. The combo vaccine is more expensive, but it is less likely to cause fever and side effects, and it gives all the required vaccinations in one shot instead of two. Sister B charted Robert’s height, weight and head circumference on his little growth chart. His weight was 4.52 kg which is exactly on the 50th percentile, while his height measured 57cm, and head circumference at 36.7cm. Wednesday was also a nice warm day, and Robert got to wear sweat pants without booties for the first time, and when we walked with him on the beach at Moullie Point, Ron rubbed some sand into his little feet to mark his first visit. Of course, such a busy day usually comes with consequences; Robert was brought completely out of sync, and we had a tough night with him .

After our experience two days ago, we were a little apprehensive of today’s trip to the hospital, especially since it will be longer than the quick assessment visits. However, as it turned out he spent the most part of the day in total relaxation mode. He fed without frenzy and then settled for long naps in his chair, waking up now and again to coo at us, and shower us with smiles or just sat there chilling and blowing spit bubbles.
Around noon we started getting ready. Robert had his bath, and we dressed him in his new summer clothes. I chose for him an outfit that has a picture of a little red Muppet monster, with the caption: “I’m a little monster”. I hoped to prove the opposite true by putting Robert in it.
Ron thought that we should check whether the pediatrician was running on time, and it was a good thing that we did because he was half an hour behind schedule. We had a slight problem there because I had booked a check-up with my doctor half an hour after Robert’s. Fortunately, my doctor was running on schedule and he was very quick as usual with the examination and tests. He was satisfied with my recovery and progress, and I had no complaints or problems either. During the past weeks the appearance of my incision improved dramatically. All the little flaps have now knitted together perfectly, and the tube of fat I had near the site of the operation has almost disappeared. There is only a small ridge of fat left, which, according to the doctor should go away slowly with regular exercise and massage. He gave me a sample of ointment to help the process.
Twenty minutes later, we were back at the pediatrician but we were in for more delays as he was called for a delivery. Robert could not be kept asleep indefinitely; Ron had to take him for a little walk-around while I was at the doctor, and he needed to be fed again as we were waiting for his doctor. When he finally came I was allowed to continue feeding in the examination room, while the doctor started answering a few queries we had. As far as we both could see Robert was doing well, but it was good to get the confirmation from the specialist.
The doctor made up his checklist and in the next thirty minutes he checked for reflexes, heart and lung sounds, weight, height, and head circumference among others. In the end he advised us to do an ultrasound screening for baby’s hips. He did not feel that anything was wrong, it was only done to be on the extra safe side, since Robert was a breech baby. We thought that we should do the screening today while we were there, but at radiology we found out that only one doctor performed this test and he was away on leave for two weeks. Both Ron and I thought that the test wasn’t an absolute necessity so we decided to make an appointment for it at a later date.
The whole trip to the clinic and back took about two hours, and there was minimal fussing from Robert. He was very good the whole time, and especially in the car. However, when we arrived at home he was wide awake. Between us we tried to keep him fed and entertained, and in the end he went to sleep at his normal time, at eight.