Is there such a thing as doctor induced illness? Like a forced hypochondria?
I realized today that my experience with Daphne’s Doctor has made me worried about a ‘condition’ that was not there before.
Being a first time mom can be tough. There are questions about a wide assortment of things:
Is her poop supposed to look like this?
When will she start talking?
How do I treat a cold and fever?
Why won’t she stop crying?
Is she getting enough to eat?
Are those fingernails indeed sharper than razor blades?
Not all questions are easy to answer.
I have brought many questions to my pediatrician and her answers were wanting– especially concerning breastfeeding and Daphne’s weight.
I have been to more weight checks for Daphne than I care to remember. Each of those seem to beg the question, “Is there really something to worry about or is this inducing a problem?”
I wasn’t worried about Daphne’s weight or size until my doctor figuratively pointed to Daphne and exclaimed “She is small. She needs more food. Feed her more. See these growth charts? She is below the 6th percentile. She needs to be fattened up.”
I have doctor induced hypochondria.
Today was yet another weight check for Daphne, 5 days after the last one. Sam and I took bets yet again on what Daphne would weigh. I guessed 9lbs 14oz, Sam guessed 10lbs 2oz.
Daphne weighed in at a whopping 10lbs 5oz. This was a 5 ounce gain from 5 days ago. Muh baby is gettin’ fed!
Daphne has been gaining weight steadily the past month. She is still in the lower 5th percentiles, but she is gaining on her own little curve.
The doctor still wasn’t pleased. Still.
She suggested that I should start adding formula to my breastmilk and the SNS.
She said that she wants to get Daphne up higher on the growth chart.
Being small does not necessarily yield health problems.
Either way, I left feeling quite odd.
I felt sad. I felt dejected. I felt happy at the weight gain. I felt frustrated at the prospect of adding formula to my milk. I felt defeated, like everything I’ve done in the past month to get my supply up and get Daphne to gain weight is for naught.
Through all of this, I felt nothing–if that makes sense. I was so overwhelmed with everything. Still am.
Daphne and I went home. I fed her and we both took a nap.
I woke up feeling a little better but still was confused at my Doctor’s behavior: her lack of affirmation in all my efforts, her ease of dismissing any progress Daphne has made, and her quickness to want to add formula to my milk just to get an extra 30 calories daily.
I needed to clear my head.
I packed up Daphs, jumped feet first into my workout pants, and headed to base for my walk.
It was quiet. It was cloudy. It was hard work. It was 62 degrees. It was wonderful.
No matter how much I tried to make her laugh, she refused to smile or curl her nose.
Daphne and I completed 4.75 miles today. It felt so good to complete so many miles. Daphne does so well in the jogging stroller. The ride is smooth! The stroller isn’t too heavy to push and glides easily on the pavement.
Being a mom is amazing—being able to share so many experiences with my little one is such a joy!
I do not think that breastfeeding or weight gain should be this much of a concern to a first time mom. I had never imagined that I would face these issues as a mom. Oh, how much I have to learn.
You know the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child?” This is so true.
I think a lot of people get very confrontational and up in arms when another person comments on another person’s parenting habits.
I am not one to advocate going around playing the “parenting police,” but I am one to advocate sharing helpful and life saving information.
Sharing photos of Daphne with my friends and family on Facebook is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy bringing a bit of baby-light to a dark day.
A friend of mine noticed that I had fabric covers over the carseat straps keeping Daphne in the carseat. She mentioned to me that aftermarket products like that aren’t safe and using those specific items make the clasp sit lower on the body–not up on the chest where it should be.
Now, I admit, my first response was to get up in arms and upset. I thought “Why is she commenting on it? Who is she to tell me what to use with my daughter? How does she know? She’s being a know it all.”
I quickly realized that she was right. She was being honest and it takes a bit of bravery to speak up about that kind of a thing. It’s a touchy thing, to correct a mother.
That phrase came to mind and I became very thankful for her advice. I realized that she IS experienced, having a child of her own. She HAS done research on safety for infants. I am thankful that she mentioned it to me. I took off the strap covers and was able to adjust the clasp up higher on her chest where it should be.
Is it likely that Daphne would have been fine with the covers? Sure.
It is also likely that I would have absolutely regretted not listening to her advice or taking it into consideration if something were to happen to Daphs while in the carseat.
Many moms take offense to advice. Sometimes the offense is rooted in how the advice is given, in addition to the source. Sometimes we, as first time moms, think we’ve got everything under control and don’t need help from others.
What a shame! Of course we need help from others!
Heeding advice from experienced moms will not only help to protect our children, but will also help to create lasting bonds throughout our lives. Knowing that I can turn to a family member or friend for information or advice about child safety or parenting habits is an absolute relief. I don’t have to do this thing alone.