We met with a different pediatrician today (same office). I was worried about Sam’s wheezing — especially as I was just getting over a cold myself. It turned out to be nothing but regular snot, but I’m so glad we went. We had a much easier time communicating with this pediatrician than we did for Sam’s “regular” doctor. While her regular doctor has a fine command of English (though it’s not her native tongue), we don’t feel like she listens to us and our questions particularly well. We felt like this new doc listened better answered and anticipated our questions better and was just generally more communicative with us. The trip is still a pain, and the visit felt like a whirlwind, but we left more comforted than we arrived, but also a little more freaked out.
For one thing, Sam didn’t gain any weight. She’s back to her birth weight, which with most babies would be a fine thing at just under 2 weeks. But for someone as tiny as Sam, it’s still a bit of a concern. In the discussion with the pediatrician, it became clear that Carolyn’s not producing as much milk as Sam would like to consume. The easy (short term) answer, of course, is to up the supplement. That gets Sam more food, but has a detrimental effect on her demand on Carolyn’s supply. Fortunately, this doc is so pro-breastfeeding that this was not the proposed answer. We are to continue to supplement until we’ve got Sam gaining weight, but now Carolyn’s working with her midwife to try to find ways to increase her milk supply.
Also, we learned just how lucky we are that Sam’s alive in the first place. I’d mentioned her being “Small for dates” quite a few times in this blog, but figured it was some issue with ultrasound readings and her station being so low. Or the fact that, you know, Carolyn’s a small person — it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for her to make too big a baby. I had no idea how tenuous a situation we were really in. I’m not entirely sure that the doctors/midwives did either, though they certainly had a better idea than we had. At least not until the report came back on the placenta, then they knew full well, but didn’t share it with us because we were pooped, and it wouldn’t have helped at the time anyway. Finally, this pediatrician went over the details with us. I’m going to give a direct quote from the doctor. Try to follow it even though it may get a little technical. “Pretty much, you had a crappy placenta.” And, “It’s a good thing she came out when she did. She probably wouldn’t have made it to term.” This one’s my favorite though, “The placenta was dying“.
Apparently, the placenta didn’t attach well to Carolyn’s uterus. Even the cord stump gives it away, one last doctor quote: “The cord stump looks like that on a baby of a mother who smokes two packs a day.” Before this trip, we didn’t know what an infarct was. Only that the placenta had 2 of them. I mentally categorized them as zits. Annoying, noteworthy, but that was all. I didn’t think of them as lesions of doom. OK, I still don’t really know what they are, but I now know that they were a lot more serious than I first understood.
No, Carolyn didn’t do anything wrong. No, even had the midwives had a perfect picture of what was going on would there have been anything that they coulda’ done differently. I already felt blessed to have little Samantha in our lives. I feel doubly so today. The thought of having lost her, especially at so late a stage in the pregnancy is scary/freaky. I mean I cried yesterday while trying to sing “Oh my darling Clementine.” — And that’s a fictitious little girl from 150 years ago!