Enjoy a guest post from Krista’s friend Rea who blogs at Loving the Chaos (with twins and a toddler)!
As a mother of three children, I have been faced with the choice of making separate doctor appointments for the trio or taking them individually. I have a three year old and 6-month-old twins, so while it would be easy to take my oldest child separately, the twins always have vaccinations and check ups due at the same time. Therefore, the doctor office assumes I would want to bring all of my children or at least the twins to the doctor together each time we take them. In fact, if one twin is sick with an ear infection, they automatically look in the other twin’s ears as well (if said twin is present of course), which actually sets my mind at ease more often than not. This seemed like the perfect set up at first, but I’m beginning to wonder. When I roll into the office with all of my children, the appointment lasts longer than with just one, which one would expect, but I’m not certain about how much attention each baby/toddler gets. My primary pediatrician is wonderful, and since he has known the babies since birth, he does a pretty good job at keeping them separate along with their different needs. Still, there are three children in one examination room, so the distractions are loud and constant. Even I, who goes in with a prepared list for each child individually, tend to get distracted from one child to mention something about another (who has become loud at that moment).
Let me set the scene for you….My husband and I get all three children into the exam room. Our youngest girl is snoozing, so we only take her twin brother out to get weighed and measured. When we get back, the nurse begins the standard procedure questions, during which the three year old interrupts about 400 times to ask if she would be getting checked or needed a shot and proceeds to cry about how she doesn’t like shots. While this is happening, our youngest girl wakes up, gets angry, begins to cry, and must be picked up. The nurse is distracted by the size difference between the two twins (Bubby is 6 pounds heavier), which prompts a discussion about said size difference. We finish the questionnaire, we think, and restart the process with twin sister. During her turn, twin brother needs to be fed, older sister climbs on to the table, off of the table, back on the table, wads up the paper cover sheet, touches the floor (which sends me searching for hand sanitizer), and then begins asking when she is going to be weighed, why she won’t be weighed (she was only there for the flu mist), and begins to get upset about not being weighed when the twins get to get weighed (as if they didn’t scream the entire time themselves). Overall, the poor lady did a pretty good job. She only messed up on the measurement of twin brother’s head (which sent the doctor in search of his head measure thing to correct it, since it was evidently measuring as so massive one should be worried).
Dr. Baby Genius (our nickname for him of course) enters the scene. He checks little sister’s ears, then he checks big sisters ears because she’s right next to him and asking questions nonstop, then he goes back to little sister’s ears. He listens to little sister’s heart, then he stops to listen to big sister’s heart since she is right next to him and continually asking if he is going to check her soon, and then goes back to little sister’s heart. After little sister gets checked, the doctor begins on brother, and big sister begins playing with the toy in the corner left for such a reason. It’s not quiet, but at least she’s distracted. This continues and the visit only lasts around an hour and a half total. We go through the list for each and I don’t think we forgot much, so we leave. Of course, there were a few things we wished we had mentioned after the fact, but mostly, we are just glad to be out of the office and on our way.
In the end, I can’t help but wonder if they would get better medical attention if seen individually. For instance, at the doctor’s office we constantly hear from all of the health care professionals statements such as “We see a set of twins that are __ years old and they..” Granted, individual babies and children don’t get mentioned at all, so maybe it’s a blessing and not a curse. Honestly, I don’t know which is better, but I do know that one stressful, long, loud visit seems more convenient that three separate ones. I’m thinking of trying it out individually just to see if we feel that the treatment is better or more thorough, but who has time to do that when we have three kids to raise?
Moms of many, what do you do about doctor’s appointments?
Rea is a wife, mother of three, and high school teacher just reveling in the chaos of life. Read more from her at Loving the Chaos.