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Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

At-Home Dad: Better late than never ...

Posted October 23, 2012 8:11 p.m. EDT

Editor's Note: Mike Slawter, a stay-at-home dad of two in Wake County, wrote for Go Ask Mom back in June and now he'll start appearing monthly here on a Wednesday. Welcome back, Mike!

As the stay-at-home parent, things like routine doctor visits, eye exams, dental exams and the like usually fall on me.

Well, I had been a little slow getting to the nine-month visit for our baby, Katie, but we finally made it.

I guess I am old school when it comes to doctors visits. Promptness and thoroughness are important to me. It did not go like that this day. Our pediatrics group is made up of several doctors and our visit was with the practice's founder. Forty minutes after being taken back, we were still waiting to see the doctor.

That's not a big deal normally, but we were knocking on the nap time door. What's worse, with shots scheduled, I was pretty sure this wasn't going to end well.

I was correct. Not only did she scream her lungs out with the two shots, the doctor came back to let me know after the exam that he thinks he heard a murmur. A heart murmur that is.

Our oldest had one that closed up on its very own. At nine months, it was gone. Now, here we were having a possible murmur detected at the nine-month check-up.

Whoa. Take a step back. Breathe dad.

Still, I was in disbelief. As the daddy, you have the protect-all instinct. Here I am again, faced with a medical uncertainty with our littlest one. What am I going to do? What can I do?

Nothing. At birth, it was jaundice that required treatment for a couple of weeks. A liver that was not doing its job. Now, a possible murmur. When we're back for her 12-month check-up, they'll check it again.

This is now in a much higher set of hands than mine or that of the doc. I just have to rely on faith to get us through it.

Oh the joys of being a daddy!!

Mike Slawter is the father of two girls in Raleigh. He has been on his stay at home daddy adventure now for nearly a year. You can follow him on his blog