Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On taking the baby to work

I went back to work part-time when Kamal was 8 weeks old.  Last week I saw a patient that really needed to come back in no more than a week later--but I was booked three weeks out. I tried to figure out a way to fit her in to my existing appointments, and when that didn't work, I offered a compromise: I could see her today, but I had to bring my baby along. Would she mind?

She said she didn't. So today, full of trepidation, I prepared to bring my baby to work.

I put Kamal in his car seat and drove around till he was fast asleep. Then I parked as close as I could to my office--there's only street parking nearby, and it's pretty competitive. I slung one of those vibrating bouncy seat thingies across my back, hung a packed diaper bag on one shoulder, schlepped a bag full of work stuff on the other shoulder, hefted the car seat in my right hand and wielded my office keys in my left. I caught my reflection in a store window as I walked--I looked like the dogged, gimpy offspring of a toy store and a luggage shop.

My genius strategy for getting Kamal to nap through the appointment worked--up until I was ready to insert the needles. (You know, the actual reason people come to see an acupuncturist.) Then he woke up and completely flipped out. Screaming! Tears! I picked him up and said nice soothing things, and he quieted down. Then I put him in the vibrating bouncy seat thingy, and he looked pleased. Then I started to walk back to the patient, and he totally LOST HIS SHIT. 

So I ended up doing an entire acupuncture protocol on with a screaming baby strapped to me via Moby wrap. Holy moly, you guys. It was like working inside a hurricane.  

Fortunately my patient was remarkably, well, patient. And once all her needles were placed and I stepped outside to let her rest with them, I could give Kamal my full attention and he calmed and quieted--provided that I kept entertaining him. Gradually, my lovely, painstakingly decorated, tidily-minimalist waiting area devolved into something that looked like...my house.

This is my reception area without a baby in it: 

This is my reception area with a baby in it: 


I apologized to the patient afterwards for all the sturm und drang, and she shrugged, cuddled Kamal for a bit, and then asked if we could do it again, with baby and all, next week.

The whole process was exhausting, but so many blessings have had to fall in my lap for this exhausting process to happen. I work in a field where I can make my own schedule; I have a partner both willing and able  to be with our baby for several hours during the week while I see patients, and I have enough wonderful patients to fill and spill out of  the hours that Adam can stay home with Kamal. And of course I have Kamal, my most miraculous of miracles, my most wonderful of wonders, my most treasured treasure, catapulting me at full speed into an unimaginably beautiful chaos.

No comments:

Post a Comment