In general I like to stay pretty positive or at least attempt to, but some days or in my case weekends just make that attempt more difficult than others. Before I get into the details I want you to know that I still have found plenty of good to be thankful for this weekend but sometimes it helps to just harp on the bad for a second. With that being said it truly was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weekend. Ok, let’s get started…
We kicked off the weekend by going to Foster’s 9 Month Old Check-Up Friday night at 4pm. I know, I know…we are wild and crazy guys! But, this was the best time to go since it allowed Aaron to go with us and Lord knows I am so thankful he was with us.
I was particularly nervous about this appointment since at Foster’s 6 month check-up he had lost around eight ounces compared to his 4 month old check-up. At this time our doctor was concerned but we chalked it up to poor sleep habits and my breast milk being exhausted since he was nursing all through the night at the time due to our co-sleeping survival method. Since then I’ve been trying not to freak out and instead tell myself that he just gained weight quickly up until 4 months. After all he was 17.8 lbs(that’s pretty big for a baby at that age) at the time, and now he’s evening out. Sounds logical to me, but looks scary on his growth chart.
After his 6 mont check-up we made changes to help our little man gain the weight he needed. We crib trained so he’s sleeping in his bed for 10-12 hours for a more sound rest at night. I started breast feeding him consistently every 3-4 hours. Plus he’s eating solids three times a day. I’ve really been trying to stay on top of the solid foods part to ensure his weight gain. Thankfully he loves to eat, so that’s not a problem. Like, the kid can eat an entire sweet potato plus a banana on his own. I think that’s pretty impressive for a baby. Despite the changes we made I have remained very worried about his weight. I couldn’t help but wonder if the changes were enough.
Now fast forward to the moment we were in… his 9 month check-up. I sat in the doctor’s office and watched as they weighed and measured my son. To say I was nervous to hear the results would be a complete understatement. I felt like I was back in eighth grade waiting to hear if I was going to be excepted onto the cheerleading squad. Knowing that so much(at the time in eighth grade) power was in the words about to be spoken. When the numbers were finally revealed my heart sank. Much worse than it did when I didn’t hear my name called for the cheerleading squad and was rejected the rose that was only given to the girls who made the squad (that didn’t scar me at all…right?!).
The doctor told us that he had lost additional weight, his head had not grown and he had only grown half an inch in length. Then it happened. He officially categorized Foster under the title of “failure to thrive.” Even as I type this I am crying. It just sounds so horrific and it’s hard not to take personal because, well…it is. The doctor tried to down play this saying that it simply meant the he’s not growing right now, but it was too late. That scary, scary name was out there. I had Googled (of course) it before so I was familiar with what he was talking about.
I immediately blamed myself. I am his mom. I am the person that cares for him everyday. It’s my job and privilege to make sure he does thrive. I am the one that feeds him day in and day out, so this means I’ve done something wrong. I’m the failure and it’s my fault that my son is not thriving. These are all the awful thoughts going through my head as the doctor continues to speak to us. I tried to bring back my focus to his words. Thankfully I was able to zone my attention back to the doctor just in time because what came out of his mouth next was better news. Good news, positive news, better news is what i’m trying to shift my focus to. But, it is proving to be a battle that I’m fighting minute by minute.
He went on to say that despite Foster’s lack of physical growth he felt very positive about Foster’s development. He is right on track for all his milestones. Foster is sleeping and eating well. Playing with toys or more like non-toys, which are his favorite things to play with, all while attempting to navigate himself around every room in the house. Plus he is always in a good mood (unless tired or hungry but who isn’t). He also said that just by looking at Foster you would not have a concern in the world, but when we look at the growth chart we get different data.
So, as a precautionary measure our doctor decided to do some blood work to eliminate anything else that could be going on. Once again terrifying…what does “anything else” mean?! I am fighting the urge to Google things as I type this. But I know it wouldn’t do any good. It would just breed more fear or build on the fear that I’m already feeling.
Next it was time for them to take Foster’s blood, so they could look for the “anything else” spoken of previously. This process was heart breaking!! They were holding him down as he was yelling momma the entire time and trying desperately to find me so I could save him. I tried to hide from his line of sight since I knew if I made eye contact I would snatch him from the nurse and make a run for it.
They had a hard time getting blood(babies have tiny veins) so it felt like it took eternity. Aaron was a champ and stood next to Foster the entire time(see why I needed him there). Finally it was over and I could console my son. He just clung to me and sobbed. This is yet another time I felt like I emotionally damaged my son. Being a parent is not for the faint of heart people!
**Also, little side note… I know people are going through things much worse than us but this is our current reality. Hopefully someone will resonate with what we are going through and hopefully find a little peace in knowing they are not alone.**
I keep clinging to a blog I read months ago where the woman was talking about blood work her son had to get done because of some concerns the doctor was having about his health. She was so strong in her words and stayed so positive. I know this is what I need to do too and I’m trying, but at the moment I’m not doing so hot.
Although, I do cling to the truth despite my fear I do know with all of me that God is in control. He is watching over Foster and He knows exactly where he is. I know I don’t need to be afraid because fear and faith can’t exist at this same time. I’ll get there.
One of my friends sent me this encouraging verse that I keep reading over and over again.
Thank God for good friends to be strong for you when you are weak. I am so thankful for the women in my life that help me find peace and calmness when I can’t find it on my own.
After our appointment Aaron and I were both scared and hungry (not a good combo) by this point. The closest thing was Whole Foods, so we ran in quickly and got a few things and ended up spending half of what we normally do on our weekly grocery budget for our dinner that night(not awesome). Oh well, live and learn.
But, we did get a few things to celebrate completing our first Whole 30 (here’s our Whole 30 Re-Cap). This celebration was not nearly as awesome as we had anticipated. We now had something much bigger on our minds…our sweet baby boy’s health.
I got dark chocolate…praise Jesus. I felt like I had been waiting for this moment for years. Aaron chose popcorn. I don’t get that choice but hey, if that does it for ya. Do your thang.
The end results from our non-Whole 30 foods were upset stomachs and an early bed time. I think it’s safe to say that we did not re-introduce non-Whole 30 foods back into our diet the way that they advise you to and we paid a price. But, that didn’t stop us from eating the same way the remainder of the weekend. I just couldn’t stomach eating any veggies, so chocolate was my main diet.Plus when your child is sick nothing else really matters. Including what you put into your mouth. Yup, I said sick. That happened next…Foster got sick.
Saturday morning was pretty normal. Aaron had to work so Foster and I hung out and kind of had a chill morning. Just playing around the house. Once Aaron got home I noticed that Foster was starting to act a little puny and he felt warm. I took his temperature and it was 102 degrees and that number is scary!
When you first have a baby the doctors stress to you that if your child has a fever of 100.4 degrees you need to get them to a hospital ASAP. Well, now Foster is 9 months and realistically that precaution no longer applies but in my mind it does. Fever=immediate freak out for me.
We gave him Tylenol and cuddled the rest of the evening. I also tried to fight the urge to Google once again (my nemesis). I’d love to report that I was strong and didn’t do it….but, I did! And you guessed it, all sorts of fears were released in my mind as I searched different symptoms. It’s crazy how our minds go to the absolute worst place and mine surely did. I was convinced that our news from his check-up and the fever were related. So, I was looking up things about weight and fever and so forth. Until I had myself a little breakdown or two…or three. Once that was out of the way it was time for bed. Who can have sweet dreams after that, right?!
Sunday Morning Foster woke up around 4am and was pretty warm once again. I gave him Tylenol nursed him and held him. He went to sleep but woke up not long after and felt HOT. Once again took his temp and found that it was now 105 and major freak out began at this point!!
The Tylenol wasn’t bringing it down, so I called our doctor and he advised us to go to Vanderbilt Children’s Clinic since the fever wasn’t going down with medication. So, Aaron and I frantically got ready and jumped in the car. Foster looked absolutely miserable and I just felt helpless. We kept looking at one another for reassurance that we were doing the right thing. There really should be a parenting handbook. That would be super helpful!
At the clinic we waited for about two hours before Foster was seen. The wait time literally felt like foreverrrr. We were waiting in a room full of sick people and all I could think is that Foster is going to get more sick from people in the room that we were waiting with so we could try and get him well…isn’t it ironic…don’t ya think?!
They finally called our sweet boys name and Foster was less than excited to see anyone in scrubs after our trip to the pediatrician on Friday. The doctors asked a series of questions and examined our little baby and then determined it was a Viral Syndrome. Basically that’s a fancy word for a virus. They instructed us to give him a bigger dose of Tylenol and alternate with Motrin.
The nurse also passed on a tidbit of info that I’ll pass along to you (but you may already know). She said that fevers are not necessarily bad. It’s how their bodies fight whatever infection or bacteria is going on, so we should not be so scared of a fever. That kind of helped me but… I’m still mostly afraid of it.
By this point Foster was absolutely exhausted. We went home so our poor baby could finally sleep. Oh, and did I mention that it was Super Bowl weekend, so Aaron didn’t get to watch the game since we don’t have cable and we were planing to watch the game at my sister’s house. I wasn’t too torn up about this part, but I did feel bad for him. But, that’s just how awesome of a dad he is. I told him I supported him going to watch the game, but he wanted to stay home and make sure Foster was safe. He’s just an amazing dad!
Now we are to Monday morning an his temp is 102 degrees again and I’m having a hard time remembering the doctor’s logical advice about fevers. I think it’s not just the fever. It’s how he’s acting. My usual happy and playful baby has been so tired and lethargic. Then on top of that I’m still thinking about the blood work results.
So, let me sum it up for you…blood work +spent too much money + upset stomachs + fever + long wait at clinic + missed Super Bowl Sunday + still sick+still waiting = a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weekend.
I’m continuing to pray for Foster’s healing and trusting God for great test results. But, real talk, waiting is hard to do!
Despite all this I still believe with all of me that Everyday Above Dirt is a Good Day! Even thought it was not my weekend of choice I’m so thankful that I got to be with my family and that what we are struggling with are little things that will be solved soon. Yes, they will be solved!!! (that’s me willing positivity in my thought…are you impressed?!)
I sincerely hope you had a much better weekend than we did!
Have you ever over reacted(not that I did:)) when your child was sick?