Wednesday, November 11

Lesson #11 - The Doctor Isn't Always Right

Today is a federal holiday (read: a day that my boss was kind of legally obliged to let me out of my cage called an office). What a great holiday it was too - Veterans' Day. My father was in the Navy and retired after more than 2 decades. I respect those who serve in the military for our Great Country.

Not only is today a much needed mental holiday, but also the babe's 4-month well baby appointment. For all of you non-parents out in the blogosphere, this is one of many appointments when a psycho nurse gets an obscene amount of pleasure from the pan of your child's cries as s/he is poked with a number of needles. I definitely think that I end up crying more than the babe at these dreaded appointments.

Moving we get to the appointment, check in and proceed to sit in the waiting area. Finally our number is up and we get called back to the exam room. I jump up with glee as the man tries his best to keep up with my excitement. I'm not quite sure why I was so excited, but I think it was because I wanted to tell the babe's doctor about her advanced behavior! I wanted to tell the doc that she was now holding her head up without that wobbling-oh-my-god-is-my-head-going-to-the-left-or-the-right? She started holding her very heavy, 8 ounce glass bottle on her own or with a slight bit of help from one of her stuffed toys. Much to the man's dismay she has now figured out how to turn herself over in the middle of the night while still sleeping and wakes up much earlier than she really should. All of these exciting things were happening and I wanted to play Show-and-Tell.

Before I got to spill the goods, as usual, I had to strip the babe of all clothing and get her weighed and measured (I wonder if they would accept the reading from the grocery store weight machine next to the apple display as official). Off we went and I put the babe down on the cold, funny smelling baby scale. The nurse puts her arms up - to make it known that she isn't touching the babe or altering the weight reading in any way - and declares that the babe is now 11 pounds and 7 ounces. I was then asked to hold the babe's head against the top of the scale - in order to get an accurate height reading from a squirmy little pile of baby that doesn't want to sit still - and was told the babe is 23 inches. While I agree with the weight, the height leaves something to be desired.

We made our way back to the exam room and patiently waiting for the doctor to make her appearance. I was so excited to tell her all of the babe's new tricks and accomplishments that I couldn't BREATHE!! Finally she came into the room and shook our hands before pulling up the babe's medical records. She asked if the man or I had any questions and we didn't so she moved on to the exam part. The doctor checked her ears, eyes, nose and tummy. She made sure the babe didn't have a diaper rash that had been overlooked and checked her reflexes. Then she moved on to developmental milestone questions. The doctor had the babe hold onto her fingers to get her to sit up - which she did gracefully - and then put her back down. She asked how the babe was eating - THIS WAS MY MOMENT - so I responded that she was eating formula throughout the day and was getting oatmeal for breakfast and 1/3 a container of solid foods for dinner since the previous month. As I explained that the babe loved bananas, sweet potatoes and squash, I neglected to see the look of horror that was coming from the doctor.

Apparently it is not good to feed little ones solid food before 4 months old. Well, our babe is quite advanced and is doing just fine eating solid foods - THANKYOUVERYMUCH!! The the doctor pulls out weight-to-length charts and tries telling us that the babe is in the 5th percentile and isn't gaining enough weight for her size. The babe is petite - not very tall - as are my husband and I, so I wouldn't expect her to gain a ton of weight right away. The doctor also suggested having us come back for a 5-month follow-up to make sure the babe was gaining weight correctly.

I'm sorry, but NO! I am feeding my child PLENTY, she eats like a piglet when she is hungry and there is nothing you can do to make me force food down her throat. If she isn't hungry then she isn't going to eat. Apparently the doctor saw I was getting quite agitated and said the follow-up wouldn't be necessary. That is one major issue with Americans these days...they are so obsessed with weight that they neglect the health side of the argument. If the babe is small and healthy it shouldn't matter that she is 45% smaller than her "average" peers.


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