Friday, July 27, 2012

A(nother) Hard Morning for the Babykins (and the Mommykins)

If you've been riding this coaster long enough, you might remember this blog post about a hard morning at the doctor's office when AP was about six months younger than Graves is right now.  It started out as a routine visit, we realized her growth had slowed down quite a bit, Dr. Denney became mildly alarmed, we had her blood drawn after a series of failed attempts and we decided to start supplementing with formula.

Today was deja freakin' vu.

Minus the part where his blood actually got drawn after the series of failed attempts.

And minus the part where we decided to start supplementing with formula.  Which, praise God, because if I had made it to FIFTEEN months without giving him formula- fifteen months where I haven't been able to take a freaking antihistamine and about ten where I couldn't eat legit cheese or drink cow's milk- and had to now I probably would have come undone.  And yes, that is me being a prideful jackass.  But, sometimes I like to share my secret thoughts on here, because it's cathartic, and because I'm a real person.

I think the appointment was mainly hard for me because I was so unprepared for it.  Honestly, as shocked as I was with AP, I was more shocked today.  Peyton and I had been mentioning every day how big he looked and even how heavy he felt.  He wears mostly 12 mo. things, a few 18 mo.  And when he's been kind of picky lately, I haven't fretted the way I would have with Ann Peyton.  "He's fine.  He looks so healthy.  See that chub." I'd tell my mom when she fussed over him as he picked at his food.

Then today, we saw numbers on a scale and then numbers on a chart.  The numbers mocked me.  My heart dropped a little when I saw the scale- still well under twenty pounds.  But my stomach clenched up and my throat got tight when I saw he had fallen to the .08 percentile.

In earlier months, I've been resting in the fact that "this chart is based on formula fed babies and not a sample of his 'peers'", but doesn't that become irrelevant at some point? It does, right?

And the fact is, his situation is different from Annie's.  She was born two pounds less than the average newborn. In fact, my OB was the first one to show concern for her size, a week before I gave birth.  It was, and continues to be, her normal.  She spent her first few weeks in the world wearing preemie clothes even though she was a full term baby and she now spends a lot of weeks in 24 mo. things even though she's three.  Graves was a very typical newborn and stayed within the realm of average the first few months.  Then around six to nine months he started dropping and (I guess) it's been a steady decline since.  That's slightly more alarming than a child who is petite from the get-go. 

Additionally, Dr. Denney was concerned because his stools are not as solid as they should be in a baby his age and they are more frequent.  I chalked that up to him still being breastfed, but Dr. Denney said that probably wasn't the case.  These factors, Dr. Denney said, pointed to the possibility of Celiac's Disease (a gluten allergy). My momma instinct says it's probably not that- it's probably nothing- and truthfully, I think that's what Dr. Denney's instinct says,  too.  But when he told us that if he gave an endocrinologist Graves's charts and told him that he hadn't run any tests, he would be chastised, I felt like the tests were probably the right thing to do.

Drawing blood from nine month old Annie was difficult.  Drawing blood from fifteen month old Graves was impossible.  For today, anyway.  The ladies drawing it stuck him four times and they just couldn't get enough blood.  They called Dr. Denney in and he tried himself, but couldn't even get a good stick.  We'll be going back for a do-over soon.  [Yes, we could try just modifying his diet, but this is the way our practice likes to do it and I love these people and that's the way we're doing it.]

I was really holding up so well, until the sweet lady working on him whispered in his ear, "I know, this isn't fun, baby.  We don't like to make a pin cushion out of the sweet boy".  The way she said it was so soft, so she was speaking to her own child as she shushed him.  I wanted to sob and hug her neck. Too bad I was holding down the sweet boy pin cushion.

I've been so emotional today.  I have to keep reminding myself that it's probably nothing and we've been through this before.  And even if it is something, it's probably Celiac's, which can be controlled entirely by modifying his diet.  In the greater scheme of things, it's really no big deal.  But it's scary to think something's wrong with you perfect baby.

I think part of the problem is that I'm letting my anxiety paralyze me.  I've a big fan of Amber's blog and I've recently been following her story of her little boy, Titus, who is around Graves's age.  He's had some very serious issues with growth and his body is just not doing well.  I hate to even make the comparison, because our situation is (seems to be) so different.  But it's where my mind keeps going- to a place of fear and craziness.

I guess it's just that, until reading Amber's blog the past week or so, I had no idea that a one year old in a developed nation like the United States could really be labeled "failure to thrive".  Which is stupid, because anything can happen. It's ironic because these people are at a truly scary place and fear is not their primary response.  They are trusting in the Lord; clinging to things eternal, not temporal; and allowing those who love them to share their burden.

This is why I spend more time than I should reading blogs.  They teach me things.  Big things.  Things about myself and things about my God. 

We'll figure this out for our sweet, beautiful boy.  And in the process probably figure out a whole lot more.


Courtney said...

Sending prayers your way that you find the answers to help Graves.

Melanie said...

Before I had Colin this post would have not really have affected me, but I would have lost it too in office with my baby boy seeing that just reading your story has me tearing up! Praying for baby Graves and his momma!

Melanie said...

Before I had Colin this post would have not really have affected me, but I would have lost it too in office with my baby boy seeing that just reading your story has me tearing up! Praying for baby Graves and his momma!

Kareninaz said...

Poor Graves, hope he's ok. Btw, it's Gluten not Glutton :)

Mary Louis Quinn said...

I'm glad your ped is being thorough, but as I said when y'all were going through this with AP, you are a tiny person, so your kids are/will be tiny too. I was surprised to read that Graves was in the 0.8 percentile b/c he looks so healhty/big (and I can see the "chub" you mention) in pictures. I'm sure everything will come out ok! But I know that is disheartening and scary to have to go through all that.