Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Head Games

A couple hours after I posted Monday's blog, Tears in Heaven, in which I highlighted my annoying habit of worrying about various terrifying things that could befall Monty, we took him in for his one month check up.

We see the nurse practitioner who checks Monty and answers some questions we have about green poop and other fun baby things.  When she's done she sends in the actual doctor siting that as this is our last visit (they don't take Monty's new insurance) she thinks he should see Monty one last time.  The doctor, a very respected and very old man, has to look at Monty's paperwork every time he wants to refer to our son by his name.  He can't remember Monty's name literally from one minute to the next.  He proceeds to give us completely conflicting advice from that which had just been given to us by the nurse practitioner and adamantly disagrees with three of the five calming methods espoused by Dr. Harvy Karp that we have recently come to rely on (namely, no pacifiers, no swaddling and no "shushing".  The "shushing", by the way, is a means of white noise to mimic the womb, not a means of telling your crying baby to shut the fuck up.).  Whatever.

We reward ourselves for enduring the frustrating visit with lunch at one of our favorite restaurants (at which I have a glass of wine, something I'm sure that would have made the doctor's head fall off.  "Your baby will have low self esteem!!!").  After lunch, on our way to Target to pick up a bottle warmer (seriously, if you're having a baby, do yourself a favor and get a bottle warmer) we get a call from the nurse practitioner who tells us that she meant to tell the doctor to check out Monty's skull but she didn't have a chance to catch him before he came in to see us.  She's concerned that his skull bones are too close together.  If that is the case, she explains, his skull will not be able to grow which, in turn will mean his brain won't grow.  "It's easily fixed with surgery," she says.  ON HIS SKULL.  She goes on and on about Monty's new insurance and finding a new doctor right away because if he needs surgery it needs to be done sooner rather than later and he's probably in pain...  Meanwhile Kurt is watching me getting this horrifying information and is practically swerving into oncoming traffic with worry.  She finally shuts up and I'm able to pass the info on to Kurt through sobs.

I spend the evening frantically trying to wipe away thoughts of Monty's head being sawed into and of baby coffins, while Kurt, more practically, searches the internet for more information.  He is not convinced.  There are lots of other symptoms that Monty would be displaying if he were actually suffering from Skull Boneitis (I don't know what it's actually called).  It's too late for me.  I'm in a panic.  I spend the night alternately imagining the worst and having nightmares about it.  I am sure that the next year of my life is going to be spent in hospital waiting rooms while people poke and prod at my son's head with sharp things.

The next morning I schedule an emergency appointment with Dr. Ed, the pediatrician who saw Monty at the hospital just after he was born.  We loved this doctor and in retrospect can not explain why we didn't chose to go with him to begin with.  But everyone raved about the doctor we picked.  He might have been terrific in his day but I'm guessing he should have retired when Nixon was impeached.

Dr. Ed (who not only doesn't have to keep rechecking Monty's chart to remember his name, but actually remembers him from a month ago when he was born.) checks Monty and very casually says, "Your son's skull is perfect."

"Seriously?"  How can it go from "Your son's skull is deformed and won't grow" to "Your son's skull is perfect"??

"Seriously.  There is not a thing wrong with it."

I take Monty home and watch him sleep.  He has no idea what I just went through.  As soon as he wakes up I cover his face with kisses.  I kiss the perfect ridges on his head.  He smiles.

This is my life now.