Thursday, January 10, 2013
We'd been on the road fifteen minutes when I realized I left our lunch at home. I thought about turning around, but knew I didn't have time if we wanted to make our appointment. I had a (fasting) blood draw and doctor appointment at 10:00 at a clinic 45 minutes from home. I knew I would be hungry, as would B, when the appointment ended. I panicked. I couldn't think straight. I drove all the way to my exit (about 25 minutes) with possibilities and plans running through my mind before remembering we were going to a town with many grocery stores, including two health food stores.
Our naturopath hasn't seen Bennett for a while. This appointment wasn't for him, but when she saw him she asked how he was. I gave my usual spiel, happy, healthy, but small.
"How much does Bennett weigh now?" she asked.
"Just over 17 lbs."
"And he's how many months?"
She crouched next to the stroller and looked him over. "You know I'm all about small babies being normal and healthy. You know I think there is a wide range of healthy weights." I nodded as she stood up and turned to face me. "But this - 17 lbs at 16 months - is concerning. I'm totally with your pediatrician on this one."
A parent's heart briefly stops any time someone connects the words 'concerning' and 'your child' to form a bridge of possible problems. As a parent who has lost a baby my heart briefly stops, then I tumble down the baby loss PTSD rabbit hole, which is not a fun place to visit, or reside.
"Well it's so hard with all of his allergies." I listed them out, which sent her eyebrows shooting upwards. "And his pediatrician doesn't really believe me when I tell her he has this many allergies."
"Of course she doesn't. It's because she doesn't want him to be allergic to so many things. I don't want it either. That's a very long list. Bring him in to me after Hawaii. I think we can do something about this. I think we can help."
"That would be great! I would much rather have this than not have it, you know? I mean rather this than nothing ..." I trailed off as she nodded her head.
"I know. I know. But it's challenging too."
After the appointment we went to the bookstore where I used to work. My original plan was to eat lunch in the car at the park, play for a little while, head to the bookstore then head home. Instead we bought Bennett fruit and snacks at the health food store, walked over to the bookstore, then walked to a local pizza place so I could have a slice. It worked out just fine. I didn't need to panic about feeding him for twenty-five minutes. It made me a little sad to walk around town with him though. I used to look out the windows of the bookstore and imagine strolling the streets with my Charlotte.
When we finished lunch I could tell Bennett had more energy to burn off so I took him to the allergen friendly bakery in McMinnville. He had his first doughnut (well half) then played for a good long while before I loaded him back in the car for home.
Driving home I almost cried. I feel like having a little one with allergies would be easier for some mamas. Like they would go with the flow, become amazing chefs and handle it all with ease. Their little would be fat and sassy even with a long list of allergies. They would be so darn grateful for a living child they wouldn't mind a little food related stress.
I hope our naturopath can help. I hope there might be an answer. Or a better way of coping. I feel really lost and overwhelmed right now as we transition off breast milk. A new allergy seems to crop up every day. It's hard. It's challenging. It's sad to watch Bennett scratch his stomach, neck and head and know I'm doing everything I can think of to prevent his discomfort and still not succeeding.
I get this pit in my stomach every time someone says, "He's small." My heart drops every time a doctor looks him up and down and frowns. Realizing that hitting developmental milestones may not be enough anymore makes me sad. J and I have gone back and forth for a little while on what to do and how to cope. We know we need to do more. We know the pediatrician is close to pushing for a solution. I know it's not a big problem and I know it's a manageable problem, but here in the thick of it, it seems huge, overwhelming and complicated.