Friday, December 28, 2012

Dr. Nicole A. Green at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware

Our second or third night home from the hospital with Santino his colic began. He screamed and screamed and SCREAMED!! His whole body was beet red, limbs rigid, sweating and his screams reverberated in your ears. At 1 am Ryan and I were just out of our minds. It surprises me to this day that we didn’t kill one another but when I think back we were probably too shocked, exhausted and scared to even think of one another. We called Tino’s family doctor, Dr. Case. He called us right back. He said, “Hey guys. If you’ve fed him, changed him, and he doesn’t have a fever he’s probably fine. It sounds like he may be colicky. Do your best to sooth him. If you’re that worried I’d say take him to A.I. You’re doing great. Good luck.” We gave it another hour or so and finally decided to take him to A.I. our local children’s hospital 40 minutes away. Sleep deprived we packed his diaper bag, strapped him into his car seat and got on our way. He screamed the ENTIRE 40 minutes. And, I kid you not, when we pulled into the parking lot, he fell asleep. Having made the trip, we weren’t turning around. We marched into the Emergency Room, set our “little bundle of joy” on the counter. Pointing at him, we demanded someone look at “this” kid because “something has to be wrong with this child”. The nurses glanced at one another and then looked at us and said, “Is this your first baby?” Ryan and I looked at one another and then looked the nurse square in the eye and said, “Yes.” They smiled and took us back to an examination room. The nurse brought me a pillow to nurse Tino and a cup of water. She reminded me with breastfeeding it’s important to stay hydrated. One nursing session and a diaper change later a light knock came on the door and this short, thin, brunette doctor in blue scrubs peaked in. She said, “Hi! I’m Dr. Green and I love his name, Santino!! I have a Salvatore!!” She came and sat down on the bed with Tino. We told her what was happening at home and taking her stethoscope she listened to Tino’s chest and tummy. I was sobbing. My hand was resting on the bed next to him. After, about 30 seconds of examining him, she took my hand and talked me off the ledge. She said, “He’s a new baby. His digestive system is not fully developed. He’s going to have a lot of gas. You’re breastfeeding?” I nodded. She continued, “That’s the absolute best thing you can do for him. It sounds like he has a bit of colic.” To this day the phrase “bit of colic” makes me laugh out loud. She said, “I just had my second baby. I remember the first one. He had colic. He cried all the time. I was breastfeeding. My husband and I are both pediatricians and both know everything about breastfeeding but the round the clock feedings and crying and lack of sleep are so hard. You’re tired. You had a c-section.” She told me she would pass her baby to her husband and she would go cry in the shower and he would sneak the baby a bottle of formula. She held my hand and told me it would get better. That in six months Tino would be a different baby and that by the time he is one year old we’d want another. She said she felt for me and wished she could hold me and tell me everything was going to be alright. I remember she had tears in her eyes. She told us how beautiful and perfect he was. She instructed me to wake him and offer my breast to him every two to three hours around the clock until my milk supply was well established. She asked if we had any questions and then sent us home with some information on colic. She was one of the kindest human beings I’ve ever encountered. To this day I wish I could meet her again. I’d hug and thank her for being so sweet. I’ll never forget her. She was so empathetic. I know now that if she wasn’t such a professional, had we been sitting on my couch as friends, she would not only have held my hand but hugged and cried with me. Although she didn’t perform any intense medical diagnosis or intervention she was an incredible doctor with such a tender and loving bedside manner. The best part is, she was 100% right. He is a completely different baby. We love him more than anything else in this world. I hope that if anyone ever meets Dr. Nicole A. Green at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children that you'd please pass on this message of thanks to her from me, Sheena Erace, a terrified first time mom of a colicky little boy.