I took Phoenix for his 8 week check up yesterday. It was an interesting and slightly traumatic experience for both of us. The appointment involves seeing three people made up of a health visitor, a doctor and a nurse. Moving through each of these people is a bit like completing levels on a computer game, with each one getting more and more difficult with defeating the ‘boss’ on each level getting increasingly painful.
Level one; the health visitor, was easy peasy. Phoenix was all smiles and giggles getting measured and weighed and put on a full on cute show making me look the perfect picture of motherhood. The health visitors give you a lot of praise for fully breastfeeding and I left the room brimming with pride and confidence.
After sailing through that we were straight onto level two; the doctor, who reminded me of Winnie the Pooh both from the way he looked and talked. Perhaps this is why they give him the babies to look after? I’d assumed that the doctors check would involve a bit of a once over and certainly wasn’t expecting the bizarre tests that followed. After handing over my pride and joy to Dr Pooh, Phoenix was subjected to being placed in a variety of positions to observe his form and reflexes. When you have a newborn you’re so programmed to think ‘mind the head, watch the neck’, it was no surprise that I was horrified by what Dr Pooh started doing with him! He firstly put him into a ‘flying’ position and then switched to holding him upwards but facing down. I was convinced his head was going to snap off and a couple of times I flinched to grab it – ridiculous in hindsight but at least my mummy reflexes were also tested. Obviously as a baby doctor, Dr Pooh knew exactly what he was doing and Phoenix totally impressed me by easily supporting his head in every position. After that display it was over to the bed so that Pooh could ‘pretend to drop him, yes drop him. He didn’t actually explain what he was doing and sweetly murmured to Phoenix in his gentle Pooh voice ‘shall we take you over here and drop you to see if you can bounce’….I looked on in horror. Clearly this is a little joke Pooh likes to play on all new mums. Only funny was safely out of the surgery. What he actually did was hold him out in both arms and then mimic dropping him to test his reaction. Phoenix did not enjoy the ‘fake dropping’ but his reflexes were spot on. Dr Pooh insisted on doing this twice over and enough was enough for Phoenix, his lungs opened up and they only continued to get louder and louder as Pooh subjected him to some kind of hip test which didn’t look like fun either.
So with a shook up little mite who was by now pulling a seriously big pout (god knowswhere he gets that from) we went onto level three. This was the big boss, the final level to complete – the needle wielding nurse. Holding him on my lap he was jabbed in each thigh and proceeded to predictably flip out. The ‘sheep wail’ cry which we haven’t heard since the first couple of weeks he was born, made a serious come back and his face turned into a tomato. Bless. Interesting he stopped crying immediately after we left the building although the pout remained for some time.
He was a bit clingy and unsettled after we got back from the doctors but he went off to sleep ok. This evening however he’s been really unsettled and it took ages to get him settled for bed. I’m sure he’ll have forgotten it all by the morning and be back to his usual self…unlike me who will is likely to be haunted for a while yet and will not be looking forward to round two in a few weeks!