We went to Justin’s pediatrician this morning because of a viral skin rash. This was the second time this week that we paid his doctor a visit. We first dropped by his doctor’s clinic last Wednesday because Justin had fever and colds the previous night. Dr. O. said Justin was suffering from upper respiratory tract infection. We brought home a small bag of bottled medicines we bought from Mercury Drug Store, consisting of an antibiotic, an analgesic/antipyretic, a nasal decongestant and an expectorant.
While waiting for his turn to be examined, Justin walked and ran at the hospital’s hallways. When he got tired, he stayed put where his Daddy was seated. That’s when he spotted a boy his age toying with a PlayStation. Justin walked towards the boy, stood beside him and watched as the boy played.
“How old is he?” I asked the boy’s mother.
“Justin, say hi to kuya (older brother),” I told Justin.
“Play Justin.” Justin mumbled wanting very much to borrow the boy’s PlayStation.
The boy did not answer. That’s when I noticed that there was something different about him. For a three-year-old, how come he’s still not talking? He was also salivating, which told me he had no control over his drool at his age.
It turned out the boy’s mom contracted Rubella (German measles) when she was pregnant. And the boy became a mental retardate because of that. That was rather a sad story, but one that could have been prevented had the mom had a measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Then I remembered how it was when I was pregnant with Justin. I was too paranoid of what I eat, what I smell and what I get exposed to. Because I was too afraid of having gestational diabetes, for example, I limited my sweets and carbohydrates intake, although I didn’t really know if those are the things that really cause the disease. I think this explained why I only gained 21 pounds from my prepregnancy weight of 115 lbs to my weight of 136 lbs on the day I was to give birth.
I also avoided paints, fumes and even toilet cleaners. In fact, I switched to using vinegar to clean my bathroom back then. I never missed my vitamins and prenatal checkups. I did everything my OB Gyne told me. I asked a lot of questions every time I visit my doctor to make sure I wasn’t doing anything that will jeopardize the life inside of me. All for the sake of my baby.
What I’m telling here is we, as mothers, have an obligation to take care of the baby inside our womb by also taking care of ourselves. We should take all the necessary precautions to ensure that our baby is safe and healthy. And when we’ve done our part, we say a prayer to the One Up There for a safe delivery and for a healthy and normal baby.