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"Green Pediatricians" . . . less common than the Yeti

My EDD was fast approaching, and I didn't have a pediatrician yet. After months and months of research, I made some pretty significant decisions during my pregnancy, and I was learning that they were not exactly falling into the "norm". 
I decided that I would schedule appointments to interview pediatricians. I started calling my friends to see who they thought I should consider. OF COURSE every one of them suggested their own doctors. On one hand, I was so happy to hear that so many of my loved ones were happy with their choice in providers for their kiddos. . . On the other however, I was becoming more and more frustrated with the process. 
The first few interviews I went to in person. I cyber stalked these docs, and they SEEMED to be aligned with my new found "crunchiness". 

DOC #1
 She seemed to be a good candidate because she worked with the hospital where I was going to be giving birth. She was really nice at the beginning. That ended as soon as she realized that I had questions. Apparently she is not used to patients with an opinion. After I asked what her views on vaccinations were (mind you, I hadn't yet tipped my hand to show MY opinion) she promptly told me that over the years she has "become increasingly more irritated with Internet educated parents, and their off the wall theories."

O.K. Moving on . . . 
Then I asked about circumcision. This was extremely important to me, as MOST doctors are not trained in medical school to care CORRECTLY for intact penises. Again she didn't bother to hide her snark when she replied, "I do them myself, so of course I suggest it gets done, because it is necessary for cleanliness and health. If you insist on refusing, we will just need to make sure he is fully retracted to keep him clean."
Strike two and three. 
Thankfully, the interview was coming to a close anyway, so I didn't need to make the situation more frustrating for her by asking any more questions. I thanked her for her time, and walked out. The receptionist at the desk stopped me and said I needed to fill out a few more forms. The doctor was in clear earshot when I said, "that DEFINITELY would not be necessary."

DOC #2
This guy came highly recommended. Well his practice did, anyway. So I walked in and there were vitamins everywhere. The receptionist was super sweet, and it was in a more convenient location for me. As I walked into the office and introduced myself, I was immediately asked if I had been
"playing with my nipples."
UMMM. . . Huh?
Dr Strange then explained he just wanted me to be prepared for breastfeeding. OH, I get it! Maybe this is the type of thing I should expect if I am going to fully embrace the "Crunchy Life."
We stayed on the nipple conversation for a bit longer, with directions to walk around the house topless, and to do some regular tweaking. 
I nod and cringe simultaneously. 
Then the phone rings. He answers his cell on speaker phone, and it is a panicked parent. I have since blocked some of the details out, but I am SURE he suggested that this mom taste something in her child's diaper. 
Nah, I must have heard him incorrectly! He came so highly recommended. He has been doing this for YEARS, and has many many happy patients. Yep, I was totally hearing things. 
So then he asked why I wasn't wearing a ring. I told him I wasn't married, and that I was a single mom. Here was the end for me . . . "That is your problem. You lay down with the wrong people."
Now I understood the problem. I thought I was in a pediatricians office, but I had accidentally sat down with a senile old coot, that had the "I'm 80 and can say whatever I'd like" attitude. 

Peace out Dr Octogenarian.


It was at this point that I started to become discouraged, and quite frankly a little scared. The hospital tour guide had made it very clear that a pediatrician needs to check my baby out before he can be released from the hospital. If I end up with the "on call" doc, Jackson could end up with someone who insists on shots and procedures that I don't agree with.
UGH . . . This would have been so much easier if I hadn't informed myself.
Sad, right?

So this pattern continued, only this time I was trying to "interview" over the phone. I was getting closer and closer to my EDD, and my intense back pain was making me a little less mobile. I spoke to 5 more doctors over the coming weeks, each of them seeming a little better than the last, but none of them making me feel good about my choices.

THEN I FOUND HIM.


I left a message for this doctor in Oak Park, and honestly, I wasn't expecting much. I was just hoping against hope that there was ONE doctor that would help care for my son without arbitrarily deciding what is "best" for him.
That very day he called me back. At this point, I was due in less than a week, and he had no problem answering a few questions over the phone. Skeptically, I asked about his views on vaccines. He shared that he does not require them, but will help guide me if I ever decided to choose them.
How refreshing . . . I actually get to be a part of deciding my son's care?!?
One point for Dr Paul.
Then circumcision. I almost didn't want to ask, because I already liked this guy. Once again, he made me feel at ease. He explained that he is very comfortable in the care of intact boys, and that he fully supported my decision to keep Jackson whole.
Just wow . . .
I felt as though a GIANT weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I quickly let him know that I would like him to be our family doctor, and asked if he could check Jackson out of the hospital once he was born.
"Absolutely, Jen. See you soon."
Ding Ding Ding . . . We have a winner!

On September 16th, 2011, at 10:51pm, I gave birth to a 9lb beautiful baby boy. There were a few complications (that is a post all it's own), and he ended up needing some extra attention. Dr. Paul was there the next morning, and was a great relief for me. He even got me released sooner than the crazy on call docs wanted.
This man has been an AMAZING addition to our life, and I would recommend him highly to ANYONE looking for a more natural approach to healthcare. He has always given us an incredible amount of time in our appointments, truly cares for Jackson and I, and most importantly makes me feel heard.

For more information . . .
The Green Medical Practice
Tell him I sent you :)

Comments

  1. Jen, this is BY FAR, my favorite post of yours (so far) ;) Excellent job. Thank you for sharing. And I can't WAIT to meet this guy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Speaking as Jackson's Grandma, I have met this Doc and he is AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete

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