It was my 8th day straight working in the Well Baby Nursery, and while my ovaries were doing cartwheels from seeing all the cute babies, I was also slowly losing my mind. Examining baby after baby, running up and down stairs to deliveries to greet crying babies flying out of their mother's vaginas, babies lined up in bassinets crying in harmony; it was enough to drive anyone insane. Finally the afternoon rolled around and I had to make my rounds to see all the new parents and give them advice about what to expect in up coming weeks.
I made my way to room 632A, where 2 young looking black parents awaited. They were flipping through all the paper work that had been provided to them during the hospitalization. Mom was fair skinned with a colorful head wrap on and a gold hoop nose ring: she couldn't be any older than 22. Dad also looked young, tall and lanky with a little stubble on his face like he was pretending to be an adult and colored it in with a marker. He awkwardly held their first baby and they looked like deer caught in head lights when I walked in. BB Williams head bobbled around as Dad tried to ungracefully hand him over to Mom.
"Hi, I'm Dr.Ramsey, and I'm part of the pediatric team. How are things going?" I gave my normal intro. I always introduced my self as Dr. Ramsey, I didn't want any confusion about who I was and what my job was or wasn't.
"Good!" They answered too enthusiastically. I asked if they had any questions and they reassured me that there were no concerns. When parents don't have questions, I worry more. The more you know, the more questions you have. Some parents have 3 children and have a ton of questions because they haven't taken care of a baby in years. Others have 10 kids and know more about babies than I ever will. And then there are the new mom's where it's a toss up: some are clueless and don't even know what to ask, and the others who read every baby book they could find inside and out. But you can never predict it, so I gave my little speech to everyone whether they needed it or not.
I moved onto the next mother, a older almond skinned mother with curly locs who was wearing a beautiful and colorful floor length dashiki. When I walked into the room, I could see her gracefully holding her newborn as if her arms were made for cuddling. You could tell this wasn't her first rodeo and she had done this before and done it well. She had such good questions, and she knew everything about her baby. It was so clear the stark difference between the 2 parents I had just met. She was so relaxed that we even go into a discussion about her dashiki.
"Self care is important. I got a mani and pedi in preparation for this birth. I needed to be cute. All the moms in the breast feeding class were looking at me because they had on those ugly hospital gowns. They ain't gonna catch me slippin'! I came prepared to slay! " She spoke with her proper Ebonics. You could tell she was one of those hip moms who lived in Brooklyn and would carry her child in one of those cloths you wrap around your waist.
"I know that's right!" I bantered on with her. It was like kicking it with one of my girlfriends.
Despite how prepared she seemed to take on this new journey, I still went over my little speech with her too.