I really love the time I get outside of the Home. It gives me a chance to see bits of daily life for people living in Taiwan.
Even if it means taking five of our little sweeties to get shots.
Anna drove us into town with the babies, where we parked in a nearby parking lot. The Home has a red bag we use as a diaper bag and bring on each outing with the babies. I’m sure the five of us Americans looked humorous walking along, each with a Chinese baby on our hip.
The pediatrician’s office was not in a hospital but was nestled between some restaurants and shops. It has a glass front with a big, glass sliding door. The Home uses the same pediatrician for routine health issues. There was a framed picture of all the kids at the Home hanging on the wall. I think it must be a thank you gift of some sort, given at Christmastime. Two old wooden rocking horses sat in the waiting area and an odd piece of art hung on the wall.
Each baby has a little book where their shots and other medical information is recorded. Anna brought those, and handed them over to the secretary at the front desk. They called the babies back one by one, using their Chinese names. Luckily we had looked to be sure we knew those before we left. We never really use them ourselves.
Once the baby in my arms was called back, I was motioned into a room with a few pieces of equipment and the pediatrician’s desk. The nurse pointed at the scale, so I set him on there. He started squirming, so it took a while for his weight — in kilograms — to register. They also had me put him down on a board with a slider at the bottom to measure his length. They pointed for me to sit with him in a chair, and the doctor examined his heartbeat, nose, ears, and eyes. They also measured his head, which he did not appreciate.
They led me out of the office to a back area with two examination tables with sheets. I laid him down, and he immediately started crying. The nurse motioned for me to hold down his thigh. I did as she gave him the shot and taped a cotton ball to the spot. He cried only a little and quieted down as soon as I held him close to me. All the babies behaved better than I expected. One didn’t even cry a single bit.
When I knew the baby’s shot was coming, I had gotten a feeling similar to the one I get when I know I’m getting a shot. Only it was a bit different. I felt a desire to protect him. Though it will take having a child of my own to really know, I think I’m beginning to understand a few of the feelings a mother has.