frivolous friday

 

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2009

weight and worry

I took Bug to our pediatrician yesterday morning because I thought he may have gotten either the cold I just finished up with, or the respiratory infection I’d had a couple of weeks ago. When they weighed him, we discovered that he hadn’t gained any weight since his last appointment a month ago. He went from being average weight a birth to being in the 25th percentile at two months to being in the 5th percentile now (at three months). My heart sank when the Doctor graphed his weight and I realized he hadn’t grown. What am I doing wrong? My mind immediately ran back over all the times I thought Bug was crying because he was tired and wondered how much of that was because he was hungry. That my precious son could’ve been hungry and I didn’t feed him was heartbreaking. So…they took a urine sample and blood test to see if anything seemed strange. The blood test was brutal. I guess his vein rolled when they tried the first time, so another nurse had to come in and take the blood from the other arm. I was a mess as I watched them try for the second time. Not only am I starving my child, but he has to be in pain, too.

The blood test came back normal but it did show that he has a virus – most likely the cold I had. The urine test also came back normal and showed that Bug is well hydrated. We had a chest x-ray taken later that day, which also was normal.

The doctor seemed to think his plateau in weight is because I’ve been sick and stressed out – possibly causing a supply drop, and J. Bug has been sick – accounting for a drop in appetite. I’ve also learned that babies usually plateau in weight a little when they start sleeping through the night – which Bug did at about nine weeks old. Perhaps the combination and timing of these three things has caused Bug’s lack of weight gain. We made an appointment for Monday to re-weigh him and see where he’s at. Until then, I’m nursing him as often as he’ll eat and am weighing him with our home scale every morning.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2009 

I saw this gadget on the news the other day for your car. When your check engine light comes on, you just plug it into the car and it reads out codes for what is wrong. Then you get online, find out what those codes mean, and voila – your car is diagnosed! For just $80 from Black and Decker, you can find out if there’s just a problem with the circuit or if your car is going to fall apart the next time you drive it. Oh, how I wish this gadget would also work for babies. Could you imagine? In my mind, it would look similar to a thermometer. You just scan the baby’s forehead and within seconds a read out displays, “change my diaper,” “please feed me,” or even “take me to the ER now!” To the best of my knowledge, no such gadget exists, so we’re often left with more questions than answers and the best guesses educated diagnosis of very expensive doctors.
Bug had gained nine ounces at his appointment on Tuesday, putting him at 10lbs 11oz. I would’ve like to have seen him weigh more…something like 12 or 13 lbs perhaps, but I know that nine ounces is pretty stellar for a week’s time. This takes him from being in the 3rd percentile to the 7th. Our Doctor seemed to think mine and Bug’s sickness was most likely the cause of his weight loss.
Our Doctor started to send us to have J.Bug tested for cystic fibrosis. In most cases of failure to thrive (Yes, he was diagnosed with “failure to thrive,” which makes my heart sink to just type. My sweet boy was failing to thrive when it was my job to make him thrive. It might as well be termed, “failure to feed your baby enough.”), cystic fibrosis is suspected. We have good friends who went through something similar to this with their son, Miles, so I knew our Doctor might suspect this. Thankfully, though, I was tested for cystic fibrosis in pregnancy (I’m not a carrier), and Bug had a metabolic test done at birth that showed he is also not a carrier. As such, we didn’t have to worry about putting him through that testing procedure.
However, Bug was diagnosed with GER. He spits up quite a bit, has sour smelling breath after he spits up, he arches his back when he’s done feeding and is difficult to burp, he wakes up from naps crying often, he swallows his spit up sometimes and makes a face like he just sucked on a lemon, and he cries fairly regularly for no known cause. I thought some of these things were attributed to him being hungry (which they may still have), but after a week of feeding him very often, I noticed the symptoms continued to persist. Our Doctor prescribed Zantac and told us to mix rice cereal in with any bottles of expressed breast milk we gave him. Apparently this thickens the milk, making it less likely to be spit up. It will also give him some extra calories. The Doctor didn’t seem to think Bug’s acid reflux had anything to do with his weight loss, but everything I’m reading on the web says that weight loss or extreme weight gain are symptoms (Doctors probably loathe the phrase, “I read on the internet…”)
Some babies eat a lot because the milk is soothing to their throats, and some babies don’t eat because it causes pain. Bug is a fussy eater for probably two or three feedings of the day (usually in the afternoon/evening). I thought that perhaps he had gas, but after watching him more closely, I think it’s because of the reflux. Chances are good that he’s not getting as much to eat during those feedings as he should. Hopefully the Zantac will work and he’ll be able to eat without pain and continue gaining weight.
Through this, I’ve been really impressed with the Doctors’ attitudes about breastfeeding. They both asked me if I was breastfeeding, and when I answered that I was, they both responded, “Good.” I was afraid we’d be supplementing with formula at this point, but thankfully we’re not. It’s not easy, though. Bug’s back to waking up often at night to eat. I’m glad – he needs the calories – but it’s tiring to get so little sleep once again and then have to go to work. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve been nursing him at 3:00am and saying to myself, “that’s it. we’re giving him formula at night from here on out. i cannot take this anymore.” So I’m setting mini-goals for myself. We have another appointment on Tuesday, February 24th to check his weight again, and that is my next breastfeeding goal. I’m not opposed to formula – especially if he needed those calories for his health. But I know that breastmilk is what is best for him (especially with reflux), and I so desperately want to give him the best. I want to give him the best more than I even want sleep…most of the time, anyway. 😉
Through all of this, J. Bug has turned into the “smiliest” kid I’ve ever seen! No stranger or friend is unworthy of his grin, and I have to admit that making him smile is my new favorite hobby. Sometimes he laughs at me and Shawn like we’re the funniest people in the whole wide world, and we’re not about to tell him otherwise! In fact, I just went to get Bug up from a nap. He was laying there, all swaddled up and precious. All I said was, “Hey bug!” and his face broke out into a huge grin – which made me giggle – which made him giggle – which made me giggle even harder – which made him…well, you get the picture.


I think he actually looks like my Uncle Paul in this picture.


Bug’s new favorite toy!

When Shawn took J. Bug into work on Friday, a friend of ours – who is also a professional photographer snapped these: 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2009

i need to ask you to do something

My heart is so heavy right now, I’m struggling to find words, so I apologize for this post being a little short. I need to ask you to pray for our friends. Matt and Patrice are an amazing young couple who are a part of my Sunday School class and are also Youth Leaders. We were just beginning to get to know them towards the end of Patrice’s first pregnancy when she discovered that her baby boy had passed away inutero. Shawn and I watched them grieve with amazing faith and we quickly came to respect and admire their authenticity and steadfastness. Later, Patrice discovered she was pregnant again, and she gave birth yesterday. A beautiful baby boy was born, but he was born withEpidermolysis Bullosa, a skin condition that leaves much of his skin raw.

I’m not sure if we can explain why exactly, but Shawn and I are shaken to the core by this and our hearts are so heavily burdened. I want to just wrap my arms around Patrice and not let go. I want to take some of their burden and carry it for awhile. I want to touch Jonah’s skin and make it not hurt so Patrice can hold her son. My heart literally aches for them.

So please, check out their blog:http://patriceandmattwilliams.blogspot.com/ and more importantly, pray…please pray for their family.

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