Today I went to Ada’s 8 month appointment. She went too.
Azita stayed at home with my mother-in-law and her cousin Layli, which ended up being a good thing because little did I know I’d be taking my precious little lovebug to a lab to get blood drawn!! eek!
I was very nervous and could feel my shoulders tensing and the adrenalin coursing through my arms at the thought of them having to draw blood from her little arm. I was trying to relax so that she wouldn’t feed off my emotions. I asked the nurse at the lab if I could nurse her while they drew the blood. At first, in the car thinking about it, I thought about asking this because I have read about the pain-lessening effects of nursing children while they receive their vaccines or go through other invasive procedures. Then I thought, “oh they’ll tell you you can’t do it, don’t even ask, just nurse her right after.”
Then I called Payman to tell him where we were going and he asked if I was going to nurse her. He completely brought me back to reality– it’s my kid, and her pain, and I’m just going to assume and not ask??
So I asked the nurse and she was so amazing. She said, “No one’s ever asked me that before but I’ll get another nurse to hold her arm so you can try it.”
I think it helped that she had a 7 week old baby, and the other nurse than came to assist had a child and was expecting another.
Ada’s tiny arm was turning purple from the tourniquet before she started beginning to cry. She instinctively turned her head and immediately began nursing. They put the needle in and she turned, looked at it, made a small cry, and then nursed again and then they were done.
The nurses couldn’t believe it and neither could I! The first one told me, “She’s lucky to have such a smart momma, that was a great idea. I can’t believe she barely cried.” She was used to lots of tears she told me. Sigh… breastfeeding helps me once again.
The doctor also wanted to test her pee for proteins and blood since she is still getting pretty inflamed diaper rash. The came out good.
The cool part about this was that she told me we’d have to put a bag or something around her in the diaper and I’d have to drive back and bring in the sample.
“Can I just have the pee cup and try here?” She said okay but probably didn’t expect much. I put the cup in the sink, cued her (like we do ten times a day!) and voila! Pee sample and no need to drive back and forth form home! The nurse couldn’t believe it and asked me to tell her all about infant potty training/EC. It was cool.
“Momma you’re a mess!” she said and laughed.
For having to have had my kid’s blood drawn, to test for metabolic disorders, by the way, it wasn’t a terrible trip to the doctor.
So for a little back ground on her doctor’s appointments:
Ada’s weight is still dropping and our medical culture here pays a lot of attention to baby weight charts, although honestly, weight is not a symptom of any particular thing.
Ada’s doctor is pretty fair about it though. She does look at all the signs of Ada’s health; her fat rolls (weight for HER body, as opposed to just her number), color, development, poos and pees, nursing/eating bahevior, etc.
Sometimes exclusively breastfeeding moms are on alert about comments made by medical professionals about weight because breastfed infants can tend to be smaller than formula fed infants, and the weight charts used by almost all doctors in this country are based on formula feeding– in essence, the charts are actually based on what wouldn’t really be the normal weight ranges for human infants, since human infants are designed to drink human milk, not cow or soy.
Sometimes moms are told to supplement because the baby is small or something like that, and that’s not a good or valid reason for a child to be fed an inferior food when all other developmental and physical signs in the baby are good.
My kids’ doctor, luckily, seems to really respect that they are/were exclusively breastfed and only uses the weight as one of many things to measure their health.
Either way, Ada started out at the 54th percentile for weight and has dropped down below the 5th. This means that she was born bigger than 54 percent of other babies.
At her three month appointment I think she was between 5th and 10th, but her head circumfrance and height also had not changed. We were already off dairy, but that was when we cut out soy, eggs, and soon gluten. She began gaining weight again. Essentially, she couldn’t digest my milk with all the gluten proteins in it.
Today she has dropped down even more, but her height and head are a decent percentile. I also check her weight on the World Health Organization’s baby weight charts because they are based on normal human growth, that is, exclusively breastfed kids.
On those charts her weight is around the 20th percentile, rather than below 5th. I pointed that out to my doctor and she laughed and said “Well at least she’s bigger on somebody’s charts!”
She pointed out, fairly, that she is not concerned because of the actual percentile, she is concerned because of the steady and gradual dropping. She continues to get lower and lower on the charts. I’m so glad she is fair-minded about it; other doctor’s I have heard of from friends of mine would probably be making a bigger deal about it. I’d just switch docs.
What’s funny is that when she was getting smaller and not doing well on my milk, we figured out the gluten issue on our own. It wasn’t the doc’s suggestion.
A less informed mom might have had a doctor that suggested supplementing and taken the advice. Then the baby seemingly gets a little better because he isn’t taking in the gluten through mom’s milk, but would probably end up with other GI problems and excema and etc later in life, like my husband did.
His mother weaned him on the advice of a doctor to cow’s milk, and now that we are finding out more about our health through the perspective of food allergies and Ada’s issues, we are grateful that we have better information available to us about these things. Thank goodness!
Ada will, theoretically due to some research in this area, have a lot less chance of developing auto-immune disorders than Payman, since we cut out the allergies early rather than her eating it for thirty years and wondering why she has psoriasis and tummy aches.
Anyway, I digress.
The doctor also recognizes that Ada may be contuining to lose weight because of her activity level. She actually said today, to Ada, “I’ve just never seen a baby like you. You are surprising me. I’ve never seen a baby develop so fast and be so small.”
Ada is standing up on her own, cruising around the couches, has actually jumped and gotten her two back feet off the ground, and is generally all over the place. The doc said that up until 6 months babies are generally not doing much but rolling over and gaining weight, but Ada has been active for so many months that maybe she just uses up any calories she gets.
Doc may be making me come in for extra weight checks and doing bloodwork earlier than she originally said she would, but she is being fair in admitting that Ada is obviously a healthy kid even if very small– as long as we don’t eat gluten and dairy! (and soy and eggs!).