George at 4 months

Hi!

I never did a “George at 3 months” blog post.  George is now 4 1/2 months, so I need to hurry before “George at 4 months” is past history.

We’ve been busy.  High school takes a lot of time, for both Fritz and me.  Always, the first child navigating a new experience requires more time from me than the next child doing the same thing.  Once I know what I’m doing, I can direct activities with more speed.  But the first time through, I try to get it right, so I read everything.  Add that to the demands of an infant, 4 other students, piano/guitar/trumpet/violin lessons, and 3 – 5 days a week soccer practice, and there is no wondering why I only did 3 blog posts in the entire month of October.

I’d much rather look at my siblings than the camera

At two months, George was very skinny, and I had been working hard to increase my milk supply and reduce the supplement I was giving him.  The pediatrician wanted to see him again at 3 months, just to check his weight.  I remember that I went at least 3 weeks straight without a single bottle, checking his weight every few days with my own baby scale.  I remember closely reading about weight gains in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and constantly calculating his growth to confirm he was within normal range.  I would not let my pride interfere with his health, so if he had not been gaining enough, I would have supplemented.  Although his gain was at the lower end of normal, I was pretty happy that we had managed to get to that point.

OK.  This is getting old.

And then we went to the pediatrician, and she frowned a serious frown, and told me that he should be gaining 2 pounds per month – the top end of what I had understood to be normal – and if he didn’t do better by his 4 month check up, we’d have to consider blood work or other testing to see what was wrong with him!

This is the last one, and then I’m going to start rolling, which is much more fun.

I was upset.  I thought perhaps my book had a typo.  Perhaps I read it wrong (8 or 9 times).  I went home and checked it.  I went online to various other sources to confirm it.  Two pounds per month was ideal, but as low as one pound per month was still considered normal for exclusively breastfeeding. I was right after all.

Nevertheless, I decided to give the child one bottle per day of 4 ounces, just to see how he would do.  I wanted to soothe the concerns of the doctor, and honestly, the child could use the extra calories.  Although his weight gain was normal, he was still at zero-percent on the growth chart for weight.  That one little bottle was all he needed to pack on the ounces at more than one every day.  In fact, by his 4 month check-up, he had gained two and a half pounds, and made it onto the charts at the 9th percentile (or 5th, depending on which chart you use, the CDC or the WHO…I’ve learned tons about these charts, if anyone cares to know.  Interesting stuff).

Teenage boy + infant brother + camera = silliness
More fun than algebra

Unfortunately, the triage nurse who weighed him was inexperienced (or incompetent).  Not only did she measure his head incorrectly, managing to get a smaller circumference than at 3 months, she also could not read her own handwriting and could not remember what the scale had read.  She decided that the number she had written must have been 5.1 kg, instead of the 5.7 kg it actually was.  Those 600 g are nearly one and a half pounds, meaning that it looked as though, once again, my baby had only gained 1 pound in a month.

Sweater (and hat) by Nana (best photos I could get)

The doctor came in with this mis-information and announced George would have to be re-weighed.  She was hot.  I could see “failure to thrive” alarms going off in her head, concerns of abuse and/or neglect.  She did ask me, though, if I remembered his weight, which I did, of course.  And since the nurse had gotten the head circumference wrong, she quickly focused her wrath on the nurse instead of me…especially once she entered his real weight into the computer and saw that he was now, in fact, on the charts.

The kicker, though, was when I boldly challenged her assertion that my baby must gain 2 pounds per month.  I insisted that 1 pound was also normal.  She asked for my sources, and, having been prepared for this, chose the most respectable source I had seen: Dr. Sears.

“Dr. Sears is unreliable,” she retorted.

I was momentarily speechless.

“Um.  How about La Leche?” I asked tentatively, wondering what I would do if that source were also lacking gravitas.

She decided that they were acceptable, but was still skeptical of my parenting skills, since I
quoted Dr. Sears.  I later (thank you Facebook friends) realized that Dr. Robert Sears, author of The Vaccine Book, is probably who/what she was finding unreliable.  I had been thinking about Dr. William Sears, his father, but either way, I can not see how a doctor’s researched opinion about vaccines would make his knowledge about weight gains in breastfed babies unreliable.  They are doctors, too.  And with loads of experience.

What’s up, Mom?

Aw, no, not more photos.
Seriously, I have had enough.
OK, one smile, and then I’m going to start screaming.

Side note: like Eve drawn to The Forbidden Fruit, the doctor’s comments convinced me to read that vaccine book, and I have no idea why anyone would find it anti-vaccine.  I don’t think there was a single vaccine that he said not to get.  He does raise some alarms about the level of aluminum in the vaccines, but his solution is to space the shots out and avoid the shots with 2 or 3 or more vaccines in one – so more shots, more often, than what is usually done.  I highly recommend this book for anyone with children.  It’s good to know about these diseases, and the risks of getting the shots vs. the risks of not getting the shots.

I do think things have changed in 5 years, the last time I had a child getting shots, because I have never had a child have as strong a reaction to the vaccines as George has had.  At his 2 month shots, he had a low-grade fever and was cranky, as they all were, but with him it went on for over a week.  It also upset his tummy badly.  It might have been coincidence, however, he had the exact same reaction after his 4 month shots.  And when I mean cranky and upset tummy, I mean hours of colicky behavior every day for 7-9 days.  So, at his 6 month check-up, he’s only going to get the DTaP, and we’ll get the others at his 9 month.  I can’t wait to tell the doctor that I’m spacing the vaccines because Dr. Sears suggested it.  I’m aiming to be her favorite parent.

OK.  Enough about the obnoxious doctor.  George is growing and doing well.  He’s inquisitive, and a wriggly, squirmy bundle of energy.  He is the center of joy in this household.  He loves his siblings, and nothing makes a grouchy teenager happier than seeing his little brother’s face light up with delight just because his big brother is looking at him.

Maybe I should get my son a foosball table?

He is vocalizing now, after being a very quiet newborn.  If he isn’t laughing or screeching “dadadada”, he is doing his best imitation of a pterodactyl: “SQUAWK SQUAWK!”  Getting photos of him during our family photo shoot session this past weekend was a challenge, because he wanted to roll over.  The photographer had to be quick.

It won’t be long before he’s mobile, and then the adventure really starts.  Last night, I had just put some dishes from the oven on the bar-height counter in the kitchen from whence I planned to serve dinner buffet-style.  Not realizing what I had done, Fritz sat at the bar, while holding George, and quicker than anything, the child had reached out and grabbed the dish, getting 2nd degree burns on 4 fingers of his right hand.  {sigh} It was a bad-mommy moment, but just a warning that we’re going to have to be on top of things with this one.

*************

I had a bunch of photos to upload and share, but alas!  I seem to have reached some blogger maximum of free storage and they want me to pay to upgrade.  Um.  No.

I think this may be the end of this blog, folks.

Not the end of blogging.  Just the end of blogging here, after nearly eight and a half years of having this space.  Wow.  I don’t quite know what to do about that.

Suggestions?  WordPress better?  Or stick with Blogger?  Or something else?

************

One last photo.  This one was taken on a typical day.  He had been fussy and unable to go down for a good nap all day long.  I finally got him to sleep about a half hour before we had to leave for one of the kids’ activities.  My favorite rule of parenting an infant – never wake a sleeping baby – gets violated often with this poor kid.

Right before I picked him up.

 Can you see the difference a few weeks make?  This photo and the ones of him with the sunglasses were taken about a week before he turned 4 months.  The ones with Billy were done about two weeks later.  He’s getting thick.

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12 thoughts on “George at 4 months

  1. You might check the cost of adding space. It's been a while since I ran out and added more, but I think it was like $5 or something. Maybe worth the $$ rather than start over.

  2. I hit this point on Thanksgiving and B-Mama from G-Ville hit the max photo point a day or two later. The answer is Photobucket. It's not a massive hassle to upload to them and then add to blogger which I was worried it would be. At Photobucket they give you 2GB of free photo storage. It took me 4 1/2 years of blogging to exhaust the 1GB of photo storage blogger gave me. The new fee structure for blogger photo storage will run you $30 a year at a minimum. Apparently if those of us who have just run out of space had done so back in April of this year we could have paid just $5 a year for a nice chunk of storage space, but now they want to gouge us. Go check out Photobucket and post some pictures of that precious baby when you find a few spare moments.

    So sorry to hear about poor little George's burned fingers, but glad to hear that he is gaining weight.

  3. I SO HEAR YOU about the baby changing the grumpy teen. It's great!

    Just for your consideration while planning out your vaccines. DTaP can be a big offender in making a baby cranky. Our youngest had a reaction at 2 months and had a rather different/pitchy cry for 2 solid days after she got it (I had only heard this cry with my 1st – none of the other kids were quite as affected). So, at 4 mo our doc suggested skipping that one to see if it was the problem. We did the rest and she was fine. We will need to catch up (everyone has their opinions but I want my kids to have the DTaP). So, soon we start playing catch-up, hoping her growing body can handle it better now at almost a year.

  4. Barbara, yes, the price has gone up quite a bit!

    Karen, thank you! It's not as easy to use Photobucket, but it's better than starting up a whole new blog right now.

    RM4L: another mom said she heard it was the DTaP, too, that causes most of the crankiness – her daughter is a few weeks younger than George and she had the same problems with her daughter at 2 months, but not her other kids at that age. Since he only has this last DTaP shot to get, I'll do it, but not compound it by getting the others. I, too, want my kids to have the DTaP.

  5. He's just adorable! And that photo with the sunglasses reminded me of what Big Brother used to do when Little Brother was a baby–when LB was in his car seat and we were almost ready to go out the door, BB would stick Daddy's shoes on LB's tiny feet and then run for the camera.
    The baby foosball–TOO funny! And I hope the little guy's fingers heal quickly. You'll need speedy reflexes with that little guy. Good thing he's got plenty of older siblings to run after him.

  6. Wow, you and I hit the blogger photo limit at exactly the same time! What a crazy random happenstance! I cleared out a ton of pics from Picasa (which I didn't even know I had) but still, I have no room to blog with photos. I decided I will pay, because I was actually quite pleased to have all my digital photos actually in one spot where I could see them and I have a fear of something happening to all my HHG and losing all my memory cards and physical photos.

  7. George is such a cutie! I'm so happy Photobucket worked out for you. Yay for cute baby pictures!

  8. Amy, I think I want to do a big backup of my blog, or at least the posts about family life and our travels. I'm happy I don't need to do it yet, but it would be a shame if a computer glitch lost me nearly a decade of stuff. This just ticked me off, though, with Blogger. I was not in the mood to get that message yesterday!

  9. He looks bigger to me!
    Yeah, DTaP is more likely to cause adverse affects and yeah they seem to combining more and more vaccines every year! I've been taking the kids to a Ped with lots of Autism experience, so he's a lot more understaning of our adversion to vaccines. But I have slowly started to administer them again, still I'm definately avoiding these newer super-combo vax shots and opted for the older models that have more long term studies to back them up.

  10. I too have run into the Dr. Sears as an unreliable resource thing with doctors before. Grrr… I actually really like the Vacinne Book and it has helped inform me in an area where I just felt I couldn't get valid information anywhere else. We have chosen to sort of do his alternative vacinne schedule, except I don't want to have to go in every month, so we go in the same time as we normally would, except don't get as many vacinnes. We make sure they get the big ones first, DTaP and HiB and then go from there.

    BTW- George is a cutie!

  11. Ug…Vaccines, not vacinnes. 🙂

  12. I'm laughing at you about the doctor. I would totally say something about the vaccines, just to see the reaction. Because I'm snarky like that. Sheesh. Because you don't have 7 children and know what you're doing…….!

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