Questioning Doctor's Orders
I’m becoming more and more disenchanted with doctors and the medical community in general. When we started taking Grayson to specialists at 3 months old, I had a lot of faith that these doctors would be able to run their tests and use their vast medical knowledge and experience to diagnose and “fix” my little boy.
Umm, it hasn’t quite worked out so easily. We have no real diagnosis, no real prognosis, and no satisfying answers.
And honestly, I can’t blame these things on doctors. I realize medicine is limited and doctors don’t know everything.
But. Sometimes I feel like these doctors aren’t really digging for answers. They don’t question slightly high blood levels, don’t (in my mind) try and link all his symptoms, and sometimes seem annoyed and brush off my questions (again, this could be just my perception, but it is- my perception). And sometimes the things they suggest, when I think about them for any length of time, just seem pretty dumb.
We saw a Gastroenterologist this morning. Poor Grayson was dead asleep when it was time to leave (he was so tired from traveling I put him to bed at 4:45 pm, he slept until 4:30 am, bottle, then back to deep sleep until I finally woke him at 6:15). The GI doctor was dry, to put it nicely. He didn’t say one word to Grayson, even when he was examining him. Weird. I understand not everyone is comfortable talking to babies, but you are a pediatric doctor.
Basically the doctor’s great diagnosis for G’s being underweight is he isn’t consuming enough calories. Well yes, I know that. G will often sleep 12 hours and then drink a whopping 3 ounces of formula. He’s 9 months old and has never taken more than 6 ounces in a bottle, and usually it’s 4 ounces. So I had several questions for the doctor.
Do you have any tricks or tips on getting him to drink more formula each bottle? No
What variety should I be feeding him in terms of solids each day? Doesn’t matter, a calorie is a calorie.
What?! Really? So you’re saying if I feed him a donut it’s as good as feeding him a bowl of peas? I don’t buy it.
Then a nutritionist came in to talk to us, armed with 3 samples of Pediasure- chocolate, vanilla and strawberry (Neopolitan! as Ryan called it). She wants us to feed him a bottle of Pediasure instead of formula before he goes to bed at night. I looked at the ingredients- guess what the second ingredient listed is, after water? Yep, sugar. Grreeaat. So you want me to feed my 9 month old basically a chocolate milkshake before bed? Sounds healthy to me! Oh, but I guess it’s ok, as long as he gains weight, right?
Then she suggested we start mixing a pat of butter in with his solids. I’m wary of this one too. As my friend (who has also gone through this with her daughter) said today, “Do we want our kids growing up to think peas taste like butter?”.
Her other suggestion was start feeding him Cheerios. Cheerios have no real dense calories- they are just going to fill him up. Plus he can’t pick up Cheerios yet. Ugh.
So tonight, I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated that a world-renowned hospital’s nutritionist thinks the solution to my baby being little is sugar and butter. That in a day that we are bombarded with warnings of childhood obesity and diabetes, our doctors aren’t offering very helpful advice on good fats and smart calorie choices. I sat down and googled “Good Sources of Fat for Babies”. Once again, Dr. Google was way more helpful than Texas Children’s.
And another thing. Every book, website, chart, etc. says babies are supposed to triple their birthweight by one year. G’s birthweight tripled would be 16 pounds, 5 ounces. He only has a little over a pound to go and almost three months to get there. So I guess now my question is (after thinking about this all day), is he really underweight? Is he expected to weigh as much as a baby that weighed 8 pounds at birth when he weighed not even 5 1/2?
Aren’t humans supposed to listen to their body’s cues to tell them when they are hungry and when they are full? Is it possible Grayson really does only need 3 ounces in the morning sometimes? If I start feeding him more than his body tells him it needs, is that going to screw up his system and possibly cause him to become an overeater later on? Of course I don’t want to deprive him of what his body needs to grow and become strong, but are we making an issue out of something that doesn’t need to be made an issue?
Any thoughts, comments and/or suggestions? Am I totally off-base here? Do you think I should feed Grayson Pediasure and butter?