Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Visiting the Pediatrician at Home

When I got home from the NICU with my tiny preemie baby, I had an appointment set up to see my pediatrician just one or two days later.  It was January, one of the worst months of RSV Season, and I was paranoid about keeping my baby away from other children.  Also, I was nervous about taking my baby to the doctor and juggling all of her oxygen equipment.  What was it going to be like barging into the clinic with a preemie bundled up in her car seat over one arm, a portable oxygen tank over one shoulder, the oximeter strapped over the other shoulder, nasal cannula tubing wrapped over my hand, and a look of anxiety on my face?  I imagined I might look a bit crazy.

I had been advised prior to leaving the NICU that I request to be led to a separate waiting room immediately upon arriving at my pediatric clinic.  And, I had been told to schedule the first appointment of the day, if I could, to minimize wait time and because we would probably be exposed to fewer sick kids that way.

So, I arrived first thing that morning, with equipment hanging all over me, nervously looking over my shoulder at the other children running about the room.  I asked if I could wait in another empty room somewhere away from the sick children and they said that they had no other waiting room and all of the exam rooms were in use.  Ahhh!  Didn’t they understand what it meant to have a preemie??  I just knew my baby was going to get RSV and die.  So, I sat down with my baby in the farthest most isolated corner I could find and lathered up on hand sanitizer.

Well, it turns out we made it in and out without getting sick, and for all of our visits I think getting there early and keeping our distance was wise.  I always made sure to use hand sanitizer during and after the doctor visits and I washed my hands thoroughly upon returning home.  Maybe it was a little paranoid, but we never got sick so it was well worth the extra precaution.

My advice to all of you preemie parents is to go the extra mile to keep your preemie protected.  You will be so glad you did if you pass the season free of illness.

Do any of you have any more advice or suggestions on how to approach pediatrician visits at home?  Did any of you have any particularly accommodating or particularly inconsiderate encounters at your clinics?  Please share your experiences in the comments below.  Thanks!

Afton Mower About Afton Mower

After Mower (UT) lost her firstborn son at 21 weeks.  Her daughter was born a year and a half later at 27 weeks.  The NICU was overwhelming and isolating and it was through those two experiences she was led to found this social hub for parents to find the support they needed. Afton also gave birth to another daughter, born two days overdue after four months of strict bedrest. She believes it is a tender experience to hold a special baby in your arms when his spirit returns to his heavenly home, a miracle to watch tiny babies survive the risks of prematurity and a blessing to hold a healthy full-term baby after months of difficulty and sacrifices.

Comments

  1. I love the fact that our pediatrician’s office has two separate floors. The first floor is where they see sick patients, and the second floor is for well child checks. That way, you minimize exposure to illnesses.

  2. Wow, I’ve never been to a clinic like that. That’s wonderful! Maybe I should shop around more.

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