*Disclaimer: This post in no way means that I feel negatively about Lincoln's actual healthcare. I trust and adore our P.A. Chad. We've been seeing him since Bree was born, and wouldn't think of going to anyone else. My reactions in this particular story are highly irrational, driven by raging postpartum hormones.
Thursday Lincoln saw Dr. Chad (he's actually a Physician Assistant, so we should just call him Chad, but that get's confusing at our house) for his second check-up.
At his 4-day-old appointment, Dr. Chad pronounced him healthy as can be. He said we'll schedule an echo-cardiogram at two months to follow up on a slight tricuspid valve prolapse, but since murmurs among all newborns are common, we're not too concerned. They weighed him at 6lbs, 8 oz, which is what he weighed at the hospital before we came home. Okay, cool, see ya in a couple weeks Doc.
So when this Thursday's appointment rolled around, and the nurse weighed him at 6-8 again, I was like, "WHAT? Weigh him again. I mean, weigh him again, please." So she did. 6-8 again. This kid is three weeks old! He was 6-15 at birth! What the heck? So Lincoln and I met with Dr. Chad, and the first thing he said was "I am not happy about this weight thing." Of course, I automatically (and irrationally) took that to mean that Chad wasn't happy with me, since I'm the one responsible for this little person, and by extension his health and growth, and I experienced the deflating feeling of failure. I'm thinking, "Okay, so I don't keep a rigid feeding schedule, but I'm pretty sure he's eating enough...I think he's eating enough...Oh no, I'm a terrible mom!"
So I get defensive and say to him, "But your scale was acting funny! I swear!"
Then he talks about consistent growth chart percentages, and throws out the term "Failure to Thrive," and recommends I keep Lincoln on a rigid every-two-hour feeding schedule during the day to make up for the fact that my perfect little angel sleeps 7-8 hours straight at night.
And I'm trying to keep it together.
And I forget the things I was going to talk to him about during this visit. Like getting the more sophisticated genetic test that can tell us which of the four types of Down Syndrome Lincoln has. Or what else I have to do to get that next echo-cardiogram lined up. Or the special growth chart for kids with DS that I had brought with me and forgotten in the car. (Post-partum "mommy brain" is a legitimate thing. Really. And stir a little stress and heightened emotions into the pot, and my brain goes into emergency power-save mode, with no capacity for multitasking, recall, or critical thinking)
Then Dr. Chad says, "But otherwise he's absolutely perfect." And he high-fives me like he does on every visit, says, "You got this, Mom," (which is something I always need to hear) and I let out a sigh/groan and I sport a look that says "I'm trying, at least."
So on the short drive home I hold back the tears. But at some point during the day, the overwhelming worry about my kid who isn't, by medical definition, "thriving" gets to me, and I lose it. I'm bawling. Chad takes it much better than me, and says, "He's eating plenty. We'll just keep it up, and he'll gain weight. I'm not worried." Which is okay, because I'm programmed to worry more than enough for the both of us.
So a couple days pass, and I decide to try to ease my mind a little. I step onto our bathroom scale with Lincoln to do the math and get a rough estimate of his weight. An 8 pound difference! Can Lincoln actually weigh 8 pounds? Even allowing for a pound of error, I would still be happy with a 7-pound baby.
So then I get creative with the kitchen scale:
And I feel so much better. I should never have believed it anyway. I mean, those thigh rolls don't lie.