Zara Aziz: Baby checks and an unusual emergency

It was an ordinary start to a bitterly cold February day. I opened up EMIS Web to find out what trials and tribulations lay ahead, and was pleased to note there were still some urgent appointments left for the morning, and a postnatal and baby check booked first thing.

I rather like baby checks - you get to cuddle a newborn and then hand the infant back to its doting parents, thankful that the pain of sleepless nights and zombie days is yours no more.

As mum and baby came through the door, they were followed by two little people in tow, complete with their scooters and various paraphernalia.

'Where are the toys?' enquired the two-year-old boy as he smiled a toothy smile at me.

'We don't have many toys, I'm afraid. We aren't allowed to have soft toys or hard plastics because of the CQC,' I explained, offering him the large box containing one wipeable copy of Teddy Bear Tales.

The little boy took the book, but then began a tussle for it with his slightly older brother.

'Do you mind holding the baby while I get out a changing mat? You don't seem to have one here,' said mum, having looked in vain for the absent mat (thank you, CQC). 'Of course!' I replied, reaching for the baby, rocking her gently and inhaling her sweet baby smell. As I handed her back, I noticed a deep yellow stain decorating my blouse. 'Oh dear, I think she's leaked on you,' mum said.

I looked down at the two-year-old, who had been tugging at my sock for the past few minutes. 'Can I have a drink of water, please?' he asked. 'Me too!' chorused his brother. Off I went to the water cooler in reception.

'You look harassed,' commented our keen-eyed receptionist. 'I have three children in the room and no toys,' I lamented as I traipsed back.

We were on the subject of immunisations for baby (mum is not a fan), when there was a loud knock at the door and in rushed our receptionist, followed by our registrar. 'Are you OK? Your emergency button is going off!' they gasped.

We all looked at the toddlers, who had their fingers snugly on the red button while holding fast to Teddy Bear Tales with the other hand. If only we had more toys - or longer appointments.

  • Dr Aziz is a GP partner in north-east Bristol.

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