Sunday, July 25, 2010

My little peanut

Mary just had her nine month well-check Thursday morning.  Well-checks around here are usually pretty boring.  None of my children currently have any medical conditions, so these appointments usually amount to me chatting with our pediatrician (who's actually a personal friend) while he examines Mary.  He's a great doctor, and super thorough.  

Anyway, I was really nervous going into this well-check because I suspected that Mary has not been gaining much, if any, weight.  She is TINY.  Anna was small too, but Mary is REALLY small.  Anyway, on my way out the door I quickly glanced at her stats from her 6 month checkup, so I'd know right when they weighed her if she'd made any gains.  Thirteen pounds, six ounces.  (I told you she is small.)  I made a mental note and hurried to the car.

I set Mary on the scale in the little room, and watched with complete and utter dismay as the digital numbers settled on...thirteen pounds, six ounces.  The medical assistant actually re-weighed her, just to make sure.  Still it remained.

And so we waited for the doctor to come in.  I fidgeted, and tried not to worry, but my chest felt tight.  What was the doctor going to say?  Was he going to freak out?  Did I wait too long to start solids?  Is my baby girl completely undernourished?  Am I the world's worst mom?  Is my daughter sick?  I picked up a book from the basket with some bugs on the front, titled "Think Big",  for Mary to look at.  As my friend the doctor came through the door, he greeted us and noted the title of the book, and said encouragingly, "That's what you gotta do, Mary!  Think big!"

My fears that the doctor was going to report me to CPS immediately vanished.  I quickly told him that I was concerned, and not sure what was going on, and that maybe she hadn't been getting enough or something, although she hadn't seemed dissatisfied...but he assured me that it wasn't anything I did wrong, and that there are all sorts of potential reasons why she hasn't gained, and said that he wants me to up her caloric intake and that she'll come back in for a weight check in three weeks.  He doesn't expect her to make any huge gains in that time, but even just an ounce or two would show that she's able to put on the weight.  If there ISN'T a change, then he'll order some labwork to see if she has some sort of disorder or developmental issue.

They did check her iron levels at this appointment, and they were excellent.  She's not anemic or anything, and that is good. 

She's meeting developmental milestones.  That is good too.

I know in my head that:

we just recently began solids
Mary began crawling about four months ago
Mary stopped nursing at night within the last three months

and that all of those things could contribute to this.  I ALSO know that Kaitlyn completely fell off her growth curve at six months old as well--she actually LOST twelve ounces (!)--but she was a huge baby so, while it was strange, it wasn't as big a deal.

But my mommy heart worries. 

Over the past several days we've gotten into a routine of solids three times per day, lots of nursing of course, and the consumption of many calories.  The doctor has me adding olive oil and butter to the veggies and legumes that Mary is eating.  She's having yogurt (made from whole milk) and I'm trying to convince her that cottage cheese is a good thing.  She's gobbling it all up and whether she has a disorder or not, I think she was not getting enough calories just from breastmilk as of late.  I'm hoping that's all it is.  If it's not, well, Mary Lu is happy and sweet and truly a gift.  We'll get it figured out.  Nobody wishes for something to be less than pefect with their child, but life is less than perfect, and all I have to do is look at Mary's chubby toes or big ol' lopsided smile to see that she is just as she should be, no matter what.  "Perfect" is relative anyhow.

All of the staff at our pediatrician's office are super sweet.  There's one assistant in particular who is just in love with Mary.  She calls her "peanut" because, well...Mary is roughly the size of a peanut.  :)  This woman is always so over-the-top excited to see Mary Lu.  "Hi peanut!"  she'll say.  And as she was loving on Mary this particular day, I felt comfort knowing that my baby girl is right where she should be.  I don't like having doubts and questions and concerns about my little ones, but it's also a great reality check to remember who is really in control (God), who is the giver of all good things (God), and how much of a blessing a child is no matter what they may face in this life.

Most likely Mary is just fine.  Maybe she's not.  Maybe none of it matters when she's giggling, grabbing for my food, or zipping around on her hands and knees chasing after her siblings.  She's got a whole lot of sweetness packed into her little nine-month-old-self.  And for a mama, that's what counts--because who doesn't love a cute little peanut?


Angel said...

Oh girl! I totally get the freaked out momma feeling. She sounds VERY healthy though! My brother wasn't on the growth chart for YEARS and we were all a little worried. Then he outgrew all of us! HUGS! Angel

excitedtobeafamily said...

Avocados are a great way to add healthy calories and fat to her diet. They were the first food I gave my kids and they still love them to this day. Avocado sandwiches and there favorite lunch. My eldest is a peanut too and since I am not they have always worried about her. I am the shortest in my famiy and I am 5'9. She was 16lbs at a year, 20lbs at 2 years and now at almost 7 she is only 38lbs. They wanted me to add all kinds of gross stuff to her food. I also breastfeed until she was 3 so they were convinced it had something to do with it. Funny no matter what I did she has always been on her own growth curve at just under 0% for weight and 15% for height. God makes them perfect that is for sure! I am sure she is fine but it does get a moma worked up!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I found your blog through my sister at Thankfulmom...I can so relate. My daughter weighed 8 lbs 2oz at birth and then had a difficult time gaining weight. We weighed her every two weeks on the baby scale until she was 2 yrs old. By that time she was finally in the 5th percentile and slowly gaining. It was a huge process of nursing, calorie laden solids, and prayer. Now she is 16, 5" 8" and weighs about 120 lbs. She is a healthy and active ballet dancer doing great. Keep feeding and praying! Laura

Angela said...

oh friend, i understand! maegan was either 12 pounds or 14 pounds at a year old...and now is 37 pounds at 7 1/2. Tiny is cute on girls...just look at YOU!
hugs and prayers for you and mary lu...sweet peanuts that you are!

Kristen Borland said...

She'll be fine. Might I remind you about her petite mama? Have you met her? Yeah, besides the fact that she's an enviable size, she rocks as a mom. So I have no worry that even IF something is wrong, Mary's family will handle it with such grace and beauty that it won't even seem like anything is "wrong" at all.


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