This week finds me at almost 39 weeks pregnant…assuming I still am, by Thursday! I’m writing on Monday. Tuesday will be the point in pregnancy at which Daniel was born (38w4d) so all bets are off now. (Wednesday night — still pregnant!)
It has me thinking about a number of newborn-related things, one of which is: do I take the baby to the doctor after birth?
Bekah was born in a hospital, and of course saw the staff pediatrician before her release at 24 hours old. We followed up with a pediatrician at 4 days old and 2 weeks old, as well as the usual 1 month, 2 months, and soon. She had all her well-baby visits on time from birth through age 3.
Daniel, we called the doctor when he was 4 days old and they were quite displeased to only learn of his birth at that point, and wanted him brought in immediately. So, he saw the doctor later that day, then at 1 month and so on. He did not go to his 15-month check up, and saw a different doctor at 18 months. We haven’t taken him yet for his 2-year visit, nor am I completely sure I am going to do so.
We always saw a doctor before because…why not? The doctor didn’t bug us about our choices, it was a record we’d seen a doctor, our insurance covered it. There was no really good reason not to go. Of course, the doctor couldn’t really help us, either. The doctor we were originally seeing, while open-minded and respectful, does not recommend raw milk, not vaccinating, and many of the other things we do. I’m sure he’d be taken aback to learn that Bekah, at 3.5 years, is still nursing….
We do have another doctor, who can help us. He’s not on our insurance, so it costs a lot to take the kids in. He’s thorough and I trust him and I like knowing we have him if we need him, but what is the point in taking the kids for all the usual well-baby checks, especially in the first year? I can get behind the once-a-year thing just to check in, but every month or two? We don’t vaccinate, and I don’t need a doctor to tell me my baby looks great, is growing well, and meeting milestones on time. I’d know if that weren’t the case and could then consult a professional as needed.
I think this time I’m leaning towards waiting until baby’s not quite so tiny (perhaps a month or six weeks old…or perhaps slightly younger, so I could leave the older kids home and take the baby alone), then taking him/her to “meet the doctor” basically — okay, we had our check-up, everything’s good kind of thing. And then skipping the rest of the well-baby visits until next winter, when I’d take all the kids in together for yearly physicals (they’d be 4, 2.5, and 6months). I think that might be my best plan of action. Baby will have seen the doctor, have a “relationship” just in case, but I won’t be wasting time and money doing extra visits we don’t need.
As far as pregnancy itself, I’ve been in “prelabor” for almost 2 weeks. By Monday late afternoon I was 3 – 4 cm dilated and having nearly constant cramping/back pain. Plus, I did 4 loads of laundry, cleaned bathrooms, and did other things that I felt really “needed” to be done in order to be ready…despite the pain. Not taking bets as I’ve had many random “bursts of energy” over the last several weeks, but…who knows, right?
Tuesday night at the midwives’ everything looked great, very normal except the tiniest bit of swelling — but it has been in the 90s, right? I don’t think +1 is anything to be worried about! (And they’re not.) I’m working to do whatever I can in the next few days until baby makes his/her arrival, and focusing on keeping baby in until s/he is ready. After all, a lot of people frankly get impatient and have babies too early. I know how hard it is — I’ve been in pain from my back and so on since 24 weeks! I’ve been having contractions pretty regularly for over two weeks. I’m gigantic (see picture above, lol). I had already had my baby by this point last time. I know. But I’d still rather wait until baby is ready.
At any rate, it will be soon — in the next few days to weeks!
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