Friday, December 23, 2011

the doctors

I was thinking this morning about the various doctors that have become very important to me in the last two years. 

Education has always been a paramount value in my family.  In many ways, it was the fundamental core principle around which we were raised.  If school was going well, all else was pretty much negotiable.  My brother and I both hold master's degrees, and my sister has two bachelors.  I'm considering a doctorate, but . . . another post, another time.  Seriously, though.  I was largely allowed to run amok in the neighborhood so long as I maintained excellent grades.

So I tend to trust those people with letters after their names.  Even though I went to a college where I saw firsthand that money tended to "create" a lot of intelligence in people who perhaps didn't have the full complement of skills for the positions they'd inherited.  Even though I know that education in our nation has been inflated such that the bachelor's degree is the new diploma.  Something about the sheer commitment it takes to finish a doctoral program speaks to me about a person's character.

And these particular four doctors came into my life around the advent of my daughter.  I cackle to myself when I think about my ignorance just a few short years ago.  Don't get me wrong - I am no parenting expert!  Far from it!  But I feel like, because of their research and knowledge (much of it casually dismissed when they were first producing it), I have a set of guidelines, or maybe ideals, to cling to when I'm tossed in the stormy sea of infant parentdom.

Dr. Bradley:  Revolutionized my understanding of pregnancy, labor, and childbirth.  And provided me with an excellent group of friends, to boot.  And created a common language around birth for my husband and myself. 

Dr. Brewer:  Although recent evidence suggests that pre-eclampsia is a disorder of the placenta that is present from the very first weeks of pregnancy, I have no doubt that Dr. Brewer's diet protected me from an even more dangerous situation for my child and myself.  Following his guidelines probably staved off the worst part of this disease for me, and kept symptoms at bay until the very end of my pregnancy.

Dr. Montessori:  Following my child through her planes of development, I have Maria Montessori to thank for introducing me to a community of parents who care so deeply about the world that they want their children to become contributors to their fullest potential.  My child is already capable of amazing things, simply because Montessori taught me to observe her and offer her opportunities to be independent.

Dr. Price:  If Montessori helped me understand the child's intellectual development, Dr. Price helped me understand the physical development of my child, even on a molecular level.  Thanks to his research, I don't feed my child cereal (she can't digest it), and I give her chicken broth to drink (it is a healing remedy for the gut).  Yes, it's odd.  But if you really commit and open yourself, his principles make a lot of sense.  Just not for vegans.

These whitecoats have all marked turning points in my relationship with my baby.  I am so thankful for coming into contact with their knowledge, even if sometimes they leave me despairing that I will never reach the full potential that their ideas can offer.

No comments: