Saturday, June 16, 2012

The TinMan

Ya'll have seen The Wizard of Oz right?

(if you haven't, ummm, well, I'm going to say for the sake of living in America, you probably should, because hello, it's a classic. if you really don't want to watch the movie, then read the book! or the book series! both are fun)

I was talking with Luke today (and to be honest, crying a little, because, hello, hormonal woman!) and trying to explain to him how I felt about being in social interactions lately (spoiler alert: not very good). As I was talking about how I felt as if someone physically takes my mouth and keeps it shut, no matter how much I want it to open and words to come out, the idea of the TinMan came to me.

When Dorothy sets out on her adventure to the Emerald City, she encounters her 3 traveling companions along the way. First is the scarecrow, then is the TinMan. The TinMan has been stuck in the forest for years because he was out working when it started to rain and all of his joints rusted shut.

Including his mouth.

And that's where I come in.

I spend a lot of time alone. Mostly by choice, partly by circumstance. We have 2 homes, and have very sporadic schedules as to when we are going to be in each place, so it's hard to develop any kind of social schedule. Especially when you're an extreme introvert like me.

Plus, both places are new to me and so I am starting from scratch to develop relationships. And developing relationships takes time. And effort. And I have a baby who needs a somewhat consistent schedule and I am tired (cue: excuse symphony).

But as a result of all my aloneness (with the exception of the babe and husband of course), my words have dried up. According to a book called The Female Brain, women supposedly say 20,000 words a day (and men only 7000).

Ha. Ha, ha and ha!

20,000??? Sometimes I'm not even sure I say 1000.

Once again, mostly by choice. There are times where I construct flimsy excuses as to why I can't go to this or that or get together with this or that person. Or I just plain old chicken out of texting someone to go to the park, when I know that the worst they can do is say no.

And I am not a mother who spends a lot of time talking to Drew (don't get me wrong. I talk to my child. I just don't explain everything I am doing all day, every day, like some parenting sites tell you to do).

And with Luke's job, it's easier to talk to him via text rather than calling just because I never know if he is loading, unloading, or driving. We do try to talk at least once while he's on shift, but we mostly text.

Add in one short call to my mom on a typical day, and you get my lack of words.

And my rusted together mouth.

Because, as with all muscles, lack of use causes atrophy. And my mouth has atrophied. Not only is it physically tiring for me to talk a lot (seriously. sit me down with one of my besties, and I will talk. and walk away with a very, very tired and sore mouth/jaw), but it's emotionally exhausting to even think about talking. I see a nice looking mom at the park with a kid who's close to Drew's age and I do almost everything I can to avoid her. Oh, I try not to be a total snot. I do say hi, smile, etc, but I don't walk right up to her and strike up a conversation.

So the moral of the story?

I need to oil my mouth.

Except not literally. Because that's gross.

But in a figurative way.

I need to do something, because I am the dreaded 'l' word (lonely, for those of you wondering). But it's hard. And not as easy as just keeping my comfy pants on and staying home. But if I don't do it, who will?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Failure To Thrive

Drew has always been a wee little guy. When he was born he was a mere 6 lb 5 oz. Sure, that's not exactly the smallest baby that has been born, but considering I was over 9 lbs when I was born, I was a bit surprised. In fact, I had to go buy smaller sleepers for him because the ones I had were way too big. He sure was cute in his little preemie pajamas though!

(our little grumpus on his birth day. ooo so tiny!)

As he continued to grow he never shot up. He always hovered at the 25th or less percentile for height/weight (40th for head ... but what can I say? he's a smart kid!). And then his percentiles started to drop. He went from the 25th to the 10th. And then from the 10th he disappeared right off the charts. 

(still just a wee little thing. drowning in his 0-3 month shorts)

As any good doctor would, our doctor started to get nervous. After all, they have these Bell Curves for a reason. And when someone isn't on a Bell Curve, they don't really know how to react to that. So we started to look more into what was going on. 

He considered the possibility that perhaps Drew's heart murmur was connected. However, after monitoring it pretty closely for a month, it became clear that it was fading, and that possibility was taken off the table. 

We were stumped. But, we just kept soldiering on. After all, our baby was happy and healthy (with the exception of weight). He was meeting all his developmental milestones. His little legs were quite chunky and he still hasn't grown wrists. Plus, he constantly moves, so we kinda figured he was just burning it all off. So, we were okay with his size. After all, his daddy was never huge, nor were his aunt and uncles on that side.

But, our doctor continued to be worried. I had to call in or stop in every month to get him weighed. And that number wasn't going up. Maybe an ounce or two a month, but that was it. So, we were given an order for a blood panel. We didn't rush right out to do it, but we knew our doctor would insist at his 12 month check-up if we hadn't done it, so we went ahead and did it ahead of time so he would have the results.

And? Nothing. There might have been a number or two that was a little higher or lower than it should have been, but nothing unreasonable or even noteworthy. 

All this leads up to last week. Our wee little guy went from being a tiny little wee to a bit bigger of a wee. 

(celebrating being one with Minnesota family and friends!)

And it was time for his 12 month well child check. We trotted in to get his weight, and I was feeling good. He felt heavier, he really had taken off on the whole eating real food thing, and he was obviously doing ok. So I stripped him down and plunked him on the scale with a bit of mommy pride. After all, I had done it. I had kept my little boy on the right track. I was certain he was up at least a pound from the last time.

Sadly my optimism was a bit too optimistic. 

He wasn't up a pound. In fact, he was down from the last time he had been weighed. However, in all fairness that was on a different scale and involved him wearing a onesie and a diaper. But, after I told our nurse that, she had me put him in a onesie and a diaper just for comparison sake. He was still down. The only argument I had on my side was that he was on a different scale. And since I was quibbling over mere ounces, somehow I don't think I really had a leg to stand on.

So, here we are with a little guy who is quite insistent on staying little. Not only did he stop gaining weight, but he stopped growing length wise. He dropped from 10th percentile to 5th percentile in height. And he still isn't touching the chart with his weight. 

All of that leads to a diagnosis: failure to thrive.

Well, ouch. That just shot mommy right through the heart. After all, I am the one feeding him and caring for him. He gets a majority of his sustenance from my very own body. And I didn't get the job done. 

Our doctor is worried, but supportive. Right now we are tracking everything he eats, including breastmilk, which means we may be working our way to weaning since I have to pump and my supply is way down, which makes pumping hardly worth it.

Since he is now one, his food possibilities are practically endless. And we are taking advantage of that! So far he is a fan of peanut butter. We are a fan of all its calories! 

We go back in on the 18th for a weight check and will assess then, but our doctor is currently working with a pediatric endocrinologist in the big city so most likely we will end up in that doctor's office within the next month or two. They are currently reviewing his files and will be getting in touch with us soon.

And if he doesn't have the answers? Then I really have no clue. We'll just keep trucking on. And enjoying our little boy, who may be little but sure has a BIG personality!