B went in for his 4-month checkup this morning and I left in tears. And not because of the shots-- though I did shed a tear during that as well.
You know when that happens that something needs to be re-evaluated. I then went home and chugged a bunch of water, ate a big bowl of pasta with spinach, a Magnum ice cream bar, drank more water, and have been feeding B on both sides every 1.5 hours since.
Why? Because I got those eyes from our family practice doctor and the run-down on how he is hanging on by a thread in the percentile category (for babies 3 weeks ahead gestationally and on the formula-feeding charts) for weight gain. I was encouraged to give him a formula bottle before bedtime and to start feeding from both sides-- which is the only thing I agree to doing (and the only reason I hadn't been doing so regularly is because B seemed to be content with one side feedings every 2-3 hours). She even encouraged starting him on rice cereal of which I already declared would not ever be a part of his diet because of its void nutritional value. I'd prefer to start him on a food like avocado that is high in good fats and protein.
Let's dispel some myths here. Exclusively Breastfed Babies (EBF) have their own chart, people. It's not fair to assume or compare that formula-fed babies and EBF babies should be compared on the same scale. I consulted the CDC website and it states that the CDC recommends that health care providers:
- Use the WHO growth standards to monitor growth for infants and children ages 0 to 2 years of age in the U.S.
- Use the CDC growth charts to monitor growth for children age 2 years and older in the U.S.
According to the regular charts (at 11lb 14.5oz), B is measuring around the 5th percentile. Small. But according to the WHO website, he's topping the charts! That leads me to believe that even if both are inaccurate (how can you place a basis for babies that are all different with different DNA to begin with?), he's got to average somewhere in the center of fine.
He's eating every few hours, meeting all of his milestones for 3.5 months (because I don't have a 4-month chart) and is even meeting most 5.5 month milestones! Also, his head circumference and height are all well within normal limits (on the CDC charts even!) and he's having at least 3-4 dirty diapers a day. And let's not forget that I'm a pretty small person and my husband's not exactly Hulk Hogan. He's even sleeping in 6-7 hour stretches at night, wakes for a feed, and goes back down for another 2-3 hours! And best of all, B looks and acts, and smiles, and responds and is... happy.
|Look at me. I'm freaking happy.|
I'm just feeling discouraged above all things. I'm not against formula if it must come to that, but I just wanted to be able to feel like I could personally sustain my child and do something as a parent that isn't a failure-- all on my own. I couldn't keep Andrew alive or have any idea of how or why he really died and I failed him. Going into pregnancy with B, I was ultra cautious and the induction happened because we were all afraid of failing him as well, because the NSTs were not looking too fantastic. He was born and had to have NICU intervention and formula then because of his early release... hence feeling like a failure again. Each and every wellness check since his birth has been met with a challenge: low weight, possible hip dyplasia & herniated tissues, and now low weight again. When will I ever take B to the doctor and get high-fived for growing this boy up well?
It's just plain hard having mama guilt over Andrew and dealing with that residual guilt on top of raising B. It's hard enough being a parent of a baby without a previous loss and here we are dealing with B's issues with a nice helping of Andrew sadness and guilt as a base layer to make it all the more frustrating.
Bottom line. My kid is healthy. I truly, truly believe he is. I'm drinking more water, feeding more often and more in general, considering solids a bit earlier than anticipated, and possibly considering a pediatrician switcheroo in the near future. Any recommendations, local Chicago suburbians?
Oy to the vey.