Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pouring my heart out, a day late!

My lovely friend Shell, over at Things I Can't Say, started a new carnival today. It's called Pour Your Heart Out.

I'm sorry I didn't get this up earlier, but I wanted to support my bloggy friend and I have something I need to get off my chest.
I am worried about my baby.
I know, I know. What Mom doesn't worry about her babies? Perhaps I am a bit neurotic. Perhaps. Maybe I am just in a funky down and out mood. Maybe.
But I am still worried about her.
Let me give you a little history first. Baby B was born a few weeks premature, 35 weeks and 4 days to be exact. Not too early, but early enough to spend a week in the NICU with respiratory distress, jaundice, and learning how to feed and grow. For those of you who haven't experienced having a child in the NICU, it is hell. And my kiddo wasn't nearly as sick as some of the other children in there.
But it is hell, nonetheless. Tubes, monitors, nurses, doctors, people with serious looks on their faces. Never knowing what the next day, hour, or minute will bring. The greatest part of this hell for me is being separated from my baby, from the little human who had been a part of my body growing for all those 35 weeks and 4 days.
Once we got her medical issues under control, we began the feed and grow portion of our stay. Because I wanted to exclusively breastfeed her, I was allowed to stay in the hospital in a room adjoining the NICU. Little Baby B, all 6 pounds of her, did not want to eat, not for long anyway. She would nurse for 7 to 10 minutes and then fall asleep. I worked with nurses and lactaction consultants. Everyone said I was doing fine and to give her time.
After a few days of this, B showed enough progression and weight gain to go home. And now I was really a nervous wreck. My pediatrician assured me the next day when we visited her office that everything was fine. She was doing great.
Everyday I worried, is she eating enough? Is she gaining enough weight? Is she meeting her developmental milestones?
At her four month appointment, we noted that B fell down the growth curve a little from 10th to 6th percentile, but she was still gaining weight. At her six month, she was down to the 3rd percentile.
Developmentally, she rolls over but not as much as Miss H did at this age. She is only sitting up assisted, and doesn't sit well. We have been working on getting her to eat solids for the past three months and she is just now getting the hang of eating. She doesn't eat much of those either.
So that's it. I am worried about my baby. I'm worried that she doesn't eat enough. I'm worried that she doesn't sleep enough. I'm worried that she isn't developing as she should be. Worried. Worried. Worried.
And do you know what's worse? The other moms who ask you how much your baby weighs and what your baby can do to compare their child to yours. Yes, my baby is itty bitty. I get it. No, she can't crawl or sit up or stand yet. Thanks for rubbing it in.
Right after Baby B's six month appointment, I posted a facebook status something to the effect of how little she was and that now I knew what it was like to be the mom of an itty bitty baby. A friend of mine, yes A FRIEND, commented "Isn't she like seven months old now? MY BABY weighed that much at her two month appointment!"
Really, I don't give a flying flip. And no, she is only six months old, five if you adjust for her prematurity. I think Shell has a word for women like her....
Man, it feels good to get that off my chest. Thanks, Shell.


Kmama said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. I know what it feels like to worry about your baby. Buddy is very small for his age. In the 5th to 10th percentile for both height and weight. He was even diagnosed as "failure to thrive". That's a diagnosis you NEVER want to hear.

He was also very slow in everything he did. VERY slow. But you know what? He's perfectly normal now (aside from being small). He's small but mighty.

Don't ignore your intuition, but at the same time, don't overreact either. She's a beautiful girl!!

Chelle said...

{{{hugs}}} honey.

As moms it is natural to worry. I worry about Maddie. She doesn't do nearly as much as Bella did at her age. When she was born I was certain something was wrong {there wasn't} and I never told anyone. I finally told my mom & she brushed it I was a little crazy. Ugh.

I'm here if you need to talk to someone, okay? Sometimes us moms just need a shoulder to lean on and I am here for you 100%. xoxo

gina said...

yes, Shell does. Let's say it together...

I've never had preemies, my stinkers held on to my womb tooth and nail, I had the opposite problem... but I digress. I do know that you shouldn't worry about any sort of "milestones" if your doctor is not. I also know that they say you should use a preemie's due date when thinking about milestone timelines, not their DOB AND I heard that most preemies catch up - in everything- by age 3. That gives you lots of wiggle room. Every new mom is going to worry but know this (from a mom of 4) - your baby WILL let you know if she is NOT HUNGRY, HAPPY, AND OR HEALTHY. And you will KNOW. It will be different from worrying, you will just KNOW. So hang in there and keep giving your darling little girl LOTS of LOVE that's what babies need the most!! :)

Shell said...

How awful. Yes, I do have a word for people like her.

People are idiots. Why do they have to compare? Do they think that's going to make you feel better somehow?

If she's just 6 months, though, she might not be ready for food. My middle son wanted nothing to do with it until he was almost 9 months old. Spit it out, wasn't interested. He just nursed away. So, 6 months and no food- she's okay, mom. ;)

But, I do hope that you can figure out something that will relax your worry.

Thanks for joining in.

Melissa said...

My son has been in the 3-5% since after birth (at birth he was 95%). a) have you seen the exclusive breastfeeding growth charts which are different? I used those with my daughter so I wouldn't worry (as much) and they were a life saver. Now my son wasn't born early, but he is a happy healthy almost 5 year old who is still low on the charts, he just hit 35lbs! As long as they stay on their personal curve, and don't dip to low, off their own curve they really are fine.

But I know how you feel, really! I hate hearing how "cure and little" my kids are.

Confessions From A Working Mom said...

I have a couple of friends whose children received that feared "failure to thrive" diagnosis that Kmama was talking about. I've heard their concerns, and I have a sense (From them) of the pain you're going through. Hang in there! You're a great mom, and B is going to be on the up and up in no time.

My daughter was in NICU, and yes, it's hell on earth... it's scary for your own child, but to me, the worst part was seeing the other babies who wouldn't be going home any time soon. It breaks your heart.

Confessions From A Working Mom

Heather said...

I'm sorry. I worry like crazy about Josie and Violet and they weren't in the NICU, so I can't imagine how much more you worry. I confided in my friend about their lack of talking where my first daughter was speaking a LOT at this age. She said "yeah, I think it is weird too. Maybe it's because you let them watch TV". Ouch. I don't think she was trying to hurt me, but she sure did. I already feel like everything is my fault.

Anyway, hang in there. I wish I had more helpful words for you.

nathat9 said...

Oh Erin - I am sorry you are worried, but it is because you are a good mommy!!! Flip the situation around and wear that NICU experience like a badge of honor. Look at how far she has come instead of how "delayed" she is (I put that in quotes because I dont think she is delayed - I think she is perfect!). A year from now you will chuckle when you remember that you were worried...I promise!!! Keep your chin up girlie!


MoDLin said...

Erin, I hve a sense of what you're feeling. My grandaughter is small. She was in the 25% for weight when born and by 9 months was down to the 4%. My daughter has be very concerned. The ped thinks it's mostly due to her overall lack of interest in food (she is VERY easily distracted when she eats), but she also has been cutting a ton of teeth for weeks on end, actually months. Now that the main teeth are in and she can sit up and participate more in feeding herself, she is doing better. She was back to 8% a month ago and we expect her to be 10% or better at her one year checkup.
Have you visited the March of Dimes community for parets of preemies calld Share Your Story? They have a section focused on nutrition and feeding issues. You might want to visit the site - it's very supportive.
Hang in there! said...

ok several things.....

A. LOVE the new blog design - I really heart polka dots

B. It is always a Momma's right to worry - trust your gut and ask lots of questions based on what you see and read and experience with her everyday.

and not on

C THOSE other mothers who say boneheaded stuff! It amazes me the things people say - a week before your wedding about their cousin's divorce or a week before your due date about the death of their sisters cousins baby and OH I DESPISE the comparisons - all three of mine were so different and did different things at different ages because - as my 5 year old reminds me often - we are all snowflakes - different and special. :)

Anyway - glad you got it off of your chest!


Messy Mommy said...

That's our job as mothers! To worry. We wouldn't be normal if we didn't! Baby B is doing just GREAT! Every baby has his or her own timeline! Hang in there mommy!

Brandi said...

Baby B is adorable!

I had a 35 weeker too (he was 35 and 5). Thank God he didn't have to go to the NICU. He was jaundice and had trouble latching on, but other than that he was fine.

I can so relate to the developmental things... I started freaking out around 6 months when he couldn't sit up unassisted or crawl. I got online and did a bunch of 'research' which only freaked me out more. To make a long story short, he could finally sit up and crawl pretty good by 8/9 months. Then, all the sudden he just took a giant leap and decided he'd walk before his 1st birthday. He turned 1 in Feb. and he is practically running through the house now... way sooner than my other two boys ever walked.

Ignore the MB's!

Beth said...

She's a beautiful baby and you are doing great!! Some babies are little and some are big and I think all babies (big, small, medium)seem to invite comments and unsolicitated advice. Can you imagine if people just started commenting on adult's sizes and giving them unsolicitated advice on what to eat?

I got comments about Ryan's size (who was a solid baby, but not fat), including from the pediatrician who when he was 1 year old told me I should stop feeding him yogurt, sweet potatoes, and bananas because he was too big (which is one reason we switched to a civilian pediatrician).

I know its hard but try not to take it personally.

Debbie said...

Are you sure that was a friend? Yikes!
And my kids are very thin. I did a post about that a few months ago and how rude people can be about it. I am sure if your doctor says she is fine, she is fine!
Thanks for my award, btw. I really appreciate that you thought of me. It meant a lot to me.