Mallorie's had a rough winter season, with some respiratory stuff, and now some gastrointestinal thing, but she seems to be coming out of it.
Monday, when Mal got her last RSV immunization for the season, I wasn't surprised to learn her wt was down. It was 20.5 lbs, her usual low. I'd do a not-me and say I didn't start giving her soy protein, since about a week prior, I triggered some diarrhea and vomiting and diaper rash by giving some whey protein, but I'll just admit I did. Gave her whey, and yes, I know it's dairy and that she is allergic or something to dairy. And gave her soy protein because I was in a panic and realized she needed more calories than she was getting and more protein. Matthew had sat down with me one evening, and using the blenderized diet book and reading labels on jars of baby food, unintentionally made me see just how little she was getting each day, while I was appropriately giving her pedialyte when she wasn't tolerating milks.
Yes, I remember Dr. B's comment that she didn't necessarily have to gain weight, but she just didn't want her losing weight, because then she was moving in the wrong direction. Well, I swallowed all the responsibility for the weight-loss, and drew the straight line between Pedialyte (at 100 calories per liter vs milk at 100-ish calories per 5 oz) to weight loss, and decided to start adding things again. You don't even want to know all that Matthew and I decided she should have, but I bought a bunch of canned meats, Dinty Moore beef stew, and soy protein powder, and went a little hog wild with her diet, plus olive oil.
Took me a day to realize she was also running a fever, and since her tummy didn't take so well to the new diet, maybe the combination was that she had what Matthew and Jacob had had? Or maybe just moving too fast, again!
Took me another couple of days to realize that she look weak. And really felt pretty light. And when she got extra sleepy about mid-week, I called the pediatrician's office. Know this first: Dr. B is pretty popular, and you probably want to call the day before or early in the morning if you want to beat the throngs making their way to sit at her feet. So are her colleagues. So calling at 1:30pm is silly, but I was lucky enough to get an appt with one of them. Here's what I learned:
Her weight was down to 20 lbs, with her clothes on, and a big granny diaper. Poor baby can't have a working mom and wear all cloth diapers when she's having diarrhea, sorry. Especially when her mommy and daddy are up all night dealing with babies vomiting and having the kind of diarrhea diapers that cause rashes.
I lose the forest for looking at all the trees. Yes, I even knew this before, but apparently, knowing it doesn't prevent it! Dr. W smiled, and told me to step back a bit, look away from the trees, so I could see the forest. Then he walked me through the steps which I already knew, but had to shut my mouth and listen to ... because I really wasn't following the rules! She probably has some sort of stomach virus, so clear liquids till she can go 8 hours without vomiting (and he gave us fluid rates, since she was probably somewhat dehydrated, I loves me some numbers!). After 8 hours of no vomiting, we could drop the rate, and see if she could take some soy milk (doesn't have the lactose that breastmilk has), and work slowly, slowly moving beyond with the diet. He assured me that Mallorie, like any other baby, can go a little while without "proper nutrition." I cannot tell you how very badly I needed to hear someone tell me this. Another couple of trees for me .... I worry about protein intake whenever Mallorie gets her diaper rash and it won't heal, and about calories whenever I actually do a calorie count. I worry about her heart's VSD not closing, ever, because of inadequate nutrition. Heck, I worry a lot.
After all we've learned about Mallorie and soluble fiber, you probably won't believe I had already given her a whopping dose of oatmeal plus rice cereal the night before we brought her to see Dr. W. Thank God, she barfed the first time we tried that. And it's also good that when I spoke to Dr. B the next night, she told me giving her cereal when her gut was still messed up was rushing her too fast, because that meant she only got cereal the one time. Because last night she was screaming the cry we recognize from when I've done this before. We gave her lactulose and 2 enemas, and I've asked all the kids to remind me to put the cereal down the next time I get a bright idea that she can "take it" if she has watery poop. She can't.
Some things I've learned:
I don't need to wait till Mallorie is quite sick to bring her in to be seen by a pediatrician. Even if they do actually look at me funny, and tell us she's fine, it's OK.
I can't remember one other thing when I try to figure out calories, or protein, or some other detail. Pediatricians are good about helping someone like me with the whole picture.
I love Dr. W. And who knew he'd be so good at calming me down, considering Mallorie weighed in at 20 lbs, and mommy guilt oozed out of me in that moment of truth.
But I missed having Dr. B lay her gorgeous brown eyes on our baby.
Dr. B says it is always OK for me to bring Mallorie in for even minor illness. That it's what she's there for. And when I spilled out some of my crazy (how I worry over her VSD/protein intake/calories/what-have-you), she told me I could let her worry about her. And when I said, "So, OK, it's on you," she agreed. And here is a rough quote: "Yes, you are absolved of all responsibility, if you let me handle it." Apparently, by how light I felt at the end of that conversation, I was in need of a dose of absolution!
Dr. B is the queen.
And her colleagues also rock.
Mallorie is in some very competent hands.
Ignore the dates. These are from today. I couldn't figure it out in time to fix this, and am NOT going to try moving them from the camera to the computer, again. This was already over my head!
What Jacob says it takes to make Mallorie smile. As if he needed an excuse! :)