Mom – were you on drugs?

At our two week wellness visit to Aviana’s pediatrician, Chris asked the doctor about something strange he had noticed Aviana do a couple of times. He noticed a few times that she would have a shudder/tremor/shake in her arms for a very brief moment, almost looking like a mini seizure. 

The doctor looked at me and asked ‘mom, do you drink much caffeine?’ I said no. I have one or two cups of black tea a day (British tea of course!) and the occasional decaf coffee at Starbucks. I gave up coffee when we started trying to conceive a few years ago!. 

‘Hmmm- were you on any medications when you were pregnant? Because babies can get this reaction from withdrawal?’ I said no.

Then we could all guess what the next awkward question that the doctor was going to ask, but then she looked at me as if to say, well you don’t look like the kind of person who is a druggy or alcoholic, and she paused….so awkward.

But then the doctor quickly said it was probably just a benign infant tremor and that we should keep an eye on it if it keeps happening as an indicator of something to look into with her nervous system.

It can’t be easy being a pediatrician when it comes to working with parents!! They have a duty of care to the child and many problems with a child can be caused by the parents and they have to deal with that factor as well. We just watched an episode of greys anatomy where the intern thought munchausen by proxy was causing the child to be inexplicably ill.  It was very awkward when the intern brought the psychologist in to do an assessment on the parent…until the parent figured out what was going on. So awkward. When in fact what really was the problem was a very rare disease that was missed because of a false positive test result.

Taking our baby to the doctors is going to be a whole new skill for us to learn as parents. When we are ill, we at least can describe what we feel like to the doctor, how much it hurts and where. A baby can only communicate to us by crying (or not crying), and we can only observe and monitor changes in her physical appearance and her behaviour. The trouble is, determining what is and isn’t normal when we have never done this before!!!! Overly cautious is probably where we stand with our little one. Poor doctor is probably going to get lots of questions from us on the phone 😂