Update on the blood test.
I managed to not cry. Mostly because I had to help hold you down on the table and you were looking right at my face, so I thought I should keep it together and look calm and in control for your sake. Inside I was quaking. (and I managed to keep the chocolate down too).
You screamed, and they took at least 7 vials of blood (which I think is a lot for a little boy), but overall you made it through relatively unscathed (though you’ll have a bruise tomorrow). You really weren’t happy though, lots of tears, trying to wrest yourself out of the grip of the three people holding you (me being one of them) and not even breaking crying for my spectacular rendition of “twinkle twinkle little star”. The bubbles the pathologist blew afterwards and the sultanas I gave you after helped a little though.
Why the test?
What was all this in aid of? Well, apparently you’re not progressing on the weight chart as the doctor thinks you should be, so at your 12 month check-up, you got referred back to the peadiatrician.
Failure to Thrive
So… Your referral to the pathologist read: “failure to thrive”. I think you’re thriving, just not as big as some other babies. You were about in the 50th percentile when you were born, and you’re still that for length and head circumference, but you’ve dropped off in the weight department. Despite the fact that you still breastfeed about 4 times a day and eat a lot of food.
Anyway, the whole “failure to thrive” thing really is a bit weird. I mean, do they have to use that kind of terminology? Surely there is a more specific but less emotive way to say it: “decreased weight percentile over time” or something more clinical? As one of my fellow mothers who had the same diagnosis with her baby when he was just little said, “they may as well just say – ‘failure as a mother’ in addition to the ‘failure to thrive’, as that’s what it implies”. She felt that as a mother even the terminology used emphasised a judgement of her ability to provide for her baby and was completely non-supportive and esteem-sapping. It really could be better, couldn’t it.
This discussion lead us all onto the medical term “spontaneous abortion”, which a few people had been faced with after miscarrying. Another one with quite negative connotations and unnecessary emotive-inducing connotations. Again, you’d think that it would be better to just come up with a term that worked better….
Before we head off to the paediatrician again, we need to get everything tested. Hence the 7 vials of blood and pee sample.
Yes, pee sample. I was wondering how they collected a pee sample from a baby. Pretty simply really. We took your nappy off and caught the pee in a bag. The bag was smallish, and was closed-in apart from a round opening with an edge of sticking-plaster about 1cm wide. The round part fit right over your penis and balls so they were in the bag. Then your nappy went back on and we just opened it up half and hour later and there was a bag of pee. Peeling the sticky stuff off your scrotum area wasn’t quite to your liking. It obviously didn’t hurt, as you didn’t cry, but it was unusual or uncomfortable, as you tensed up all the muscles in your bottom and legs as the pathologist removed it. But the bag served the purpose, the pee was caught and all was good.
You’re fine, having your afternoon sleep. I’m ok. We’re ok. All is well.