My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Grumpy Day

If you're having an awesome day and just don't want to read some deranged woman's rant, stop reading right now. I won't hold it against you. You have been warned that I am just a grump today, and although this is rather long, I just need to get it off my chest. It's more for me than it is for you.

So, the day started bright and early at 5am for me. Today was the baby's specialist appointment, which is over an hour away. We tend to visit places that are within a 20-minute radius of our house, so while some people make a daily hour commute, an hour drive is pretty long for us.

Hubby had work last night, so he got a grand 3 hours of sleep. I got 4 hours of sleep, mainly due to my own fault since I forgot to go to bed. Oops. Anyway, We left the house 2 hours before her appointment time, and barely made it. Things weren't going so bad, until we met the baby's specialist.

I totally respect the guy, and he's obviously an expert in his field. I think the clinic is rated like...5th in the nation or something awesome like that. He's been through decades of schooling, has years of experience, and he probably makes more in an hour than we do in a month. But that doesn't give him the right to talk to us like dog doody.

In case you're clueless, we're having a problem with the baby's weight. She's failing to gain weight, and she's even starting to lose weight. We've been on top of this - her pediatrician is an awesome guy who's pulled out all the stops for her. We visit with a nutritionist, and we even have a home nurse coming out to weigh her. Basically, there's a small team of people working together to figure out what's going on, and this doctor is a new member of that team.

Anyway, back to the doctor. First, a very nice nurse and an excellent dietitian comes in and asks us a bunch of questions about how much she nurses, how much she eats, her habits...etc. I'm so used to answering this stuff - maybe I should get the answers printed up on business cards and hand them out to save time. They do their thing, and then run off to this mystery awesome doctor that we still haven't met (or know his name). Finally, the doctor comes in about an hour after we initially arrive. He spends all of 5 minutes asking us the same questions, and then asked us how concerned we are about this.

Let me take a second to say that although we're concerned, we're not freaking out about this. My husband actually isn't even concerned yet - she just started this completely new diet, so he's giving her a week to take the calories in and get adjusted to it. I'm a bit more worried than he is, but I've been working hard not to completely lose my mind about it. She's a happy active baby, and apart from her size, there is absolutely nothing wrong with her.

After hearing our answer, he gives us this mean look and crosses his arms, and says that he's "VERY concerned" (because, we're obviously not, even though we did drive 2 hours to see you). He then launches into a quick lecture (remember, 5 minutes of his time is worth more than a week of food for us) about how feeding her 4 or 5 times a day and giving her solid foods once a day is just not cutting it. I'm sorry, but our pediatrician, nutritionist, and home nurse do not think that I'm doing anything wrong to demand-feed her. She cries, and I offer her some food. She does sleep through the night, but she nurses more frequently during the day to make up for it. Some days she nurses 5 times a day for marathon runs, and others she snacks 8 times a day. She's new to this whole solid foods thing, so apart from the allergy concern if we bombard her with an array of foods, she's just plain old not used to it yet. Shoving a spoon down her throat constantly isn't going to help.

Then he goes to criticize us on not having clothes on the baby. We had to strip her to get her weight, and obviously in an INDOORS HEATED environment I'm not going to dress her just so I'll have to undress her again in 5 minutes when the doctor comes in to poke at her. He said that she obviously doesn't have a lot of fat, and he doesn't want to see her outside in a state any close to "that" (that being butt naked except for a diaper). Mind you, I had taken my huge fuzzy blanket with me into the car, and I had it in the stroller too. While we were waiting for him, I nursed her under that, and afterwards I kept it out so she could be wrapped up in it. So obviously, even though I have enough forethought to wrap my child up in a huge twin-size blanket, I guess I'm stupid enough to take my child out in 24ยบ weather in just her diaper.

He wants to see her back in 2 weeks, and basically, if she doesn't gain an ounce a day he's going to admit her to the hospital. The way he was talking about sounded more like a threat. They ended up not taking blood-work or doing anything else except poke at her and talk at to us, so they sent us away with "Nutrition/Discharge Plan Recommendations".

Basically, I'm to feed her solids FOUR times a day (I don't even eat 4 times a day), and mix her cereal with formula. I'm to nurse her on one side for 5 minutes, then switch sides and let her continue there (the theory is that since she's content to just use mommy as a pacifier, we might as well use that situation to our advantage and let her get some extra calories). Oh, and I'm supposed to wake her up at 3:30am to feed her too.

The little princess does not like formula. We've tried mixing her cereal with formula - she hates it and repeatedly turns away. She's fine if we mix it with water, but she just doesn't do formula. When I told the nurse this, the response was that she's a baby, she doesn't know any better, and if I keep shoving the spoon down her throat, eventually she'll like it. Oookaaay....? What happened to let your baby set the rules and don't force her to eat or else she'll hate the food forever?

Obviously, I'm not too happy with the way that this day turned out. I'm not going to lie, I don't like their methods, and I would prefer a doctor with better bedside manners, but it's not like I'm going to shut them out either. But I'm taking it all with a grain of salt. I'm consulting the doctor that spent hours with her and calls me first thing in the morning after her blood-work gets back. I'm getting a second opinion on the feeding "recommendations" from the nutritionist that will MAKE time for our child in her busy schedule. Although we haven't known these people for long, I'm comfortable with them and I feel that genuinely care about us and our child.

Although this is the size of a short story, I just HAVE to get something else off my chest. Hubby's work technically doesn't start until 2:45 pm, but they want him there early for whatever. Our appointment was at 8:30 am, and the estimate they gave us was an hour. We didn't get out of there until 10:45 am. So while we're on the road, he calls them to let them know that he's on his way back, and he should be there by 12:30 pm or 1 pm. Apparently they wanted him to teleport or something, because "on my way back" isn't good enough. It's not as if he was sitting in McDonald's saying "I'll start driving after I finish my chicken nuggets".

And then after he does get in, they tell him that he's not going to anymore appointments. Even though that the next time we head up there, we could very well not come back if they're admitting her. But, military comes before family because we weren't issued in boot camp. I'm not even going to say how outrageous this is. I know that it's a demanding job and all, but let's be serious here. He's not essential to their daily functioning. The world is not going to blow up if he's not there. Although it's not a life-or-death situation, having your 6 month old 10lb baby girl admitted to a hospital in another state is just maybe sort of a big deal. It's not like he's in Iraq and I'm asking them to stage some elaborate mission to pull him out. He's sitting at a desk doing stuff that no one cares about, and all I'm asking for is that he is allowed to be a parent. He's not some anonymous sperm donor, so while you can make the argument that I can drive 2 hours by myself, he has the simply RIGHT to be there.

Just because we're a young family, they think they can take advantage of us. I can't even count on my fingers the times that we've been lied to since we arrived 5 months ago. I'm not some expert on military rules and policies, and honestly I don't care. It's his job, his thing, his passion - not mine. I really don't want to know the ins and outs of how they do random stuff. But by instinct I'm pretty sure it's not too much to ask for him to attend doctor's appointments and be with a hospitalized child. I'm not stupid either. I'm not afraid of your stripes or your shiny buttons on your Halloween costume uniform, and I'm not afraid to use the resources available to me. I'll talk to people, and I WILL find out what their policies and allowances are on issues like this.

My head is spinning a bit, and "grumpy" is an understatement at this point. I have posts for the rest of the week lined up so it won't be a graveyard here, but please cut me some slack if I'm late replying to emails or moderating comments. I'm going to be busy shoving a spoon down my baby's throat force feeding her.


blueviolet said...

Wow, what a day you had! I'm sorry that the doctor was so condescending. It's almost like he was accusing you of neglect and that's ridiculous.

On a side note, will your little one take formula from your husband better than from you, by chance? Mine wouldn't take it from me because she knew I was the milk truck and she didn't want anything but the real deal out of me but she eventually took it from my husband if I wasn't around. It took a little while but she did.

Good luck! I'll be thinking of ya!

Rita @ My Precious Pennies said...

Thanks for the suggestion, and we're going to try it since so far he's had more luck with all this food mess. But the thing is she also went on an anti-bottle campaign about a month ago and she's still going strong. She USED to take a bottle (formula or breastmilk), but recently she wants absolutely NOTHING to do with them.

Strangely, I wasn't told to shove a bottle down her throat. When I asked them if I should pursue the bottle issue, they just said to let it go.

ginabad said...

You are TOTALLY allowed your rant! What a pompous you-know-what the doctor sounds like. And man, that sucks about your hubby's job. Argh.

Ok, let it out. Relax. We're here for you. And I'll say a prayer for your little girl (and you, and hubby and all her health care providers).

Hope it gets better...

Sydni said...

Wow, what a stressful day! I will send good thoughts your way. As for her not liking the cereal mixed with formula...what about mixing it with breast milk? I always pumped milk because I worked, so we mixed our baby cereal with warmed breast milk. He liked that much better than water. Good luck with your force feedings! I pray you don't have to hospitalize her.

Ali said...

Girl, let it out! Say, "I am Rita, hear me roar!" Okay, the last part was a bit cheesy, but what can I say, that's how I blow off steam.

On a more serious note, I'm praying for your little princess. I can imagine the feeding/weight issue is causing a lot of stress - and I KNOW you are doing the absolute best that you can do (and then some). That's just what we moms do - our doctors and specialists think we are crazy, but our mom gut lights a spark in us that causes us to do ANYTHING for our children. Unfortunately when some "hot shot" says that's not enough, we go into fight mode (okay, at least I do).

You go girl!

Erin said...

Oh dear- I'm so sorry you had such a rotten day. I will pray for weight gain for your peanut. I have lots of friends with lots of babies and they are all different sizes. Hang in there, she'll be OK.

Also- my girls would NOT take bottles unless I warmed them. They liked breast milk- which is automatically warm and would not take something cold- maybe that would help?

As for military, my mom was a military mom for awhile when my sister was a baby. It is not easy, but she made it and my sister is awesome. Hang in there- and fight for your rights :)

Angie said...

Wow! That totally makes me mad when doctors (or anyone else for that matter) talks down to parents. He needs to remember if it weren't for parents like you bringing their children in..he wouldn't even have a job! We went through a similiar situation when my son was born. He wouldn't latch on to my breast and wouldn't take was a hairy couple of weeks tryin to get the kid to eat! Then, we find out he wasn't gaining weight because he had allergies to all kinds of stuff. Have they considered it could be some sort of allergy? I feel for you sooo much. You stick to your guns..and don't ever let anyone tell you what is best for your child and try to make you feel like you aren't a good mother. And, your hubby has every right to be there at appointments with you...since when is paperwork more important than family! That is just outrageuous...I hope everything gets sorted out soon..I will check back in to make sure all is well! Take care of all 3 of you!

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

I don't know your babies complete story but wanted to encourage you. My youngest (who is now eleven) was diagnosed with failure to thrive at one point during his infancy and it wasn't until he went to an endocrinologist that had his adenoids and tonsils removed (he was sick all the time) when he was 8 that he had a growth spurt (he had worn 5T clothes for 3 years!)
I tell you this to say hang on and your baby will be okay. The most important thing is having a mama that advocates for you- which you obviously do. God will take care of the rest and you are in my prayers!

Amy L. said...

My daughter is just a few weeks older than yours, so I have enjoyed your little side stories about her. I am sorry to hear about this most recent development, though. I wanted to send a couple more ideas your way: try mixing the cereal with either breastmilk as someone else suggested, or apple juice, which will give her some extra calories vs. using water. My daughter shows a clear preference for cereal when I mix it with apple juice over my own milk (and she LOVES to nurse). Also, you could try a sippy cup at this age if she is having a bottle strike. I haven't tried milk in a sippy cup, but my baby has enjoyed drinking water and juice out of it. If she has trouble getting the liquid out, remove the valve from the sippy cup. It will come out a little faster than she's used to, but it's better than her getting frustrated and giving up completely. Good luck and I will continue to follow along for updates on your baby well as your great money saving info! :-)

Life as a Greenstreet said...

Hey Rita, I just want to add that mommy inutition is (almost always) right! If you think she's fine, then don't let that Dr. bully you. My son is 21 months old and 17 lbs. He isn't even on the growth chart. He's small. End of story. I'm not going to feed him cream and add butter to everything. I've done my research and listened to all the options. As babies get older, weight gain slows down. As long as she doesn't lose weight...don't let them tell you a darn thing! Also, maybe pump some breast milk to add to her cereal?

Avacados mashed up...fatty and most babies like them.

Shaylyn said...

I'm sorry you had such a rotten day. It sounds like the specialist was completly out of line and shouldn't be working with babies if he doesn't have the bedside manner to deal with their parents. Doesn't he know you can't bully a baby into doing anything? Can you try giving the baby oatmeal baby cereal instead of rice? I didn't stick to rice cereal with my 3rd child because he HATED it. But he loved oatmeal and took to it right away. I mixed with with breast milk and then with pureed fruits once I was sure he wasn't allergic. Maaybe you could talk to your doctor or nutritionist about some of those things. I wouldn't do a thing that the specialist said without talking to your doctor and nutritionist first. I'm sorry that your husband has a boss who is a pompus ass...hopefully things will work out. Good luck and keep us posted.

Danielle Porter said...

I'm not sure what service your husband is in, but there should be some family advocate for you. In the Marine Corps there is a Family Readiness Officer that should point you in the right direction and the EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program) should point you in the right direction for having your husband accompany you to the out of state doctor appointment. The best place for help for any service is the They are there 24 to help you with anything. Give them a call, and they will do all the leg work for you.
Best of luck with the baby!

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like you did have a crummy day. My daughter (who is now 7) sounds exactly like your daughter. When she was a baby she was deemed "failing to thrive" and they wanted to do bloodwork, run tests, have her see a nutritionist, a gastroenterologist and the list goes on. I put my foot down and made a definite plan as to what I was going to and NOT going to put my daughter through. Long story short, she is perfectly healthy happy and yes small in weight and height for her age, BUT that is how my daughter is built. She is petite and gains weight very slowly and that is probably the way it is going to be for the rest of her LIFE. DON't let those doctors make you feel like you are a bad parent (they made me feel that way to) because you aren't! You know what I told the doctors, I said I can make my daughter a 1,200 calorie meal but if she doesn't eat it, it won't matter, I can't force feed her. By the way my husband was in the military for 10 yrs, I feel your pain. Keep your head up!

mei said...

sorry to hear that the doctor is an idiot. it must have been really hard to keep quiet while dd was never on the charts. she just didn't like to eat an refused to drink formula. we did end up getting her adenoids and tonsils out this september (age 2) she still doesn't eat alot but she finally is on the ten percent scale. i personally think if your child is moving around an doing normal activities they should be ok. my son is 7 monthe old right now an he will not take a bottle or a sippycup. i have tried everykind. an we only have luck with feeding him bananas. each child is different i wish you luck an i would talk to your hometown docs again. they know her better an can help you more.

Family First and Debt Free said...

Now I feel like a total idiot. I don't blame you for your rant. When it comes to your children, you need to be ONE with the caregiver's. You need to feel like they are working with you and believe that you are working hard to protect and nurture your child. I have heard that breast fed babies take bottles from dads better. I have also heard about wrapping an article of your worn/dirty clothing around the bottle while you try to feed. That way the baby has your scent right there in his/her face. I have a friend that is having trouble getting her 6 month old to eat solids. He doesn't have a weight issue, but it concerns her nevertheless. I hope things improve with your baby girl. She is just precious.

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