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July 29, 2008

Before I Was a Mother

Bbmother "How do I read this again?"

The nurse at our pediatrician's office had turned away from the scale where my naked son lay to ask someone at the desk behind her how to figure out his weight. It wasn't a fancy scale. Just a normal move the weights into balance scale.

I flinched a little at her ignorance.

In the exam room, the student PA asked me why I was only breastfeeding in the mornings. The nurse had written down that I nursed from 6-8am instead of 6 to 8 times a day. She also wrote down that I gave him formula with his cereal and vegetables a few times a day.

Nothing she wrote down was correct. I flinched again.

People have to learn. I get that. I understand that the student PA's at our pediatrician's office help keep their costs lower. I understand that they will learn from their experiences and go on to help people with their skills. I was alright with the student PA doing the physical exam and well baby check up.

The nurse was a different story.

When the same nurse who didn't know how to read a scale walked back into the room with a tray full of vaccines, my throat closed up a little.

The nurse from our four month visit followed her into the room and began giving her instructions.

They were going to let her practice on my baby.

People have to learn. I understand that.

But today, for the first time, I stood between my child and someone who I viewed as a potential threat. At the risk of insulting the nurses, I stated very clearly that they would not be practicing giving shots to my baby. I requested the nurse from his four month visit administer the vaccines, and only when she agreed did I step aside.

After I left the office, I began to wonder how the young nurse would learn. I wondered if I had over reacted, and at the same time, I wondered what kind of mother would let their child be shot practice for a girl who could even take a history correctly.

Somebody has to be her first victim. Perhaps it was elitist of me. I know that there is a large part of their patient base that does not speak English. I'm pretty sure the young nurse will end up practicing on a baby whose mother hasn't understood the conversation leading up to the needle sticking her infant in what one can only hope is in the right place.

A former me would be ashamed of myself for feeling like my son deserved better than the practice nurse. There was a time I would have not wanted to hurt the nurse's feelings. There was a time when everyone else's well being and emotions would have come into play in making my decision.

That time has come and gone.

That time was before I was a mother.

An original Deep South Moms Blog post.

Marty also blogs as 'canape' at Don't Take the Repeats.


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