Friday, September 27, 2013

Tests and evaluations

Yesterday was B's 18 month checkup. As always they had me fill out a lengthy questionnaire before the appointment, and as always I found myself lying on a few questions in order to look like a more responsible parent than I actually am. When he was littler I would lie about co-sleeping, knowing it was frowned upon; now I lie about little things that are related to how lazy I am in general and not concerned about germs. But I was honest when I answered "no" to his being able to use at least five words. 

Once in the doctor's office I mentioned that B is not talking. At all. Well, in the last week he has started to say, "no" and "yeah", but interchangeably; I think they're just sounds to him, he doesn't seem to know what they mean. To me that's not "talking". He does not name things, although I have at least taught him where his nose is and his belly is, and most of the time he can point these out. He presents his feet when I ask him if it's time to put his shoes on, and seems to understand quite a bit, just hasn't taken that leap to actually saying words. The pediatrician said to work with him and if things are the same in two to three months, have him evaluated. Which was pretty much what I had been thinking - I'm not too concerned at the moment, but don't want to be neglectful, either. In my heart I feel like he's working up to it and will get there - but we'll see. A lot of it might very well be his environment, ie, me. A friend of mine pointed out that since I don't live with another adult, he doesn't hear conversation very often, at least not as much as a baby who lives with two or more people. Also, I'm very much in the habit of speaking for him (as in, asking him a question and then answering it), or just not expecting him to understand or be capable of things he can probably do, like get me things when asked or put things away. I need to start treating him like a child, not a baby, and have the expectation that he is capable. So I have been asking him questions and waiting for an answer, and if he does answer yes or no, following through with that so he understands what happens when he says yes or no. I know this may sound very obvious to some of you, but for me it's just a question of breaking old habits. For so long he's just been a little baby who had to bend to my will - now we're having lunch, take this drink, put these clothes on. Now I need to start presenting choices and listening to his opinion. It's a whole new world. 

Also at the doctor's office I sheepishly admitted that no, I have not been feeding him at least two portions of red meat a week. The doctor said in that case he'd like to do a blood draw for iron levels, which I agreed to because I figured I should have that information, too, to make sure our diet isn't harming him. Well, I didn't realize just how brutal drawing blood from a toddler would be. It was that newborn heel prick thing all over again - holding down your screaming child for probably 10-15 minutes while a nurse digs mercilessly in one arm, then another, with a needle. It was awful. And as of right now I have some results but not the iron levels. I don't know how long it'll take but I'm dreading the results. More guilt headed my way I'm sure.

I took myself off the B6 and Unisom regimen a couple of nights ago to see if I could stop now. I think I might continue a little longer. I've been waking up drenched in sweat and then freezing cold to the point of teeth chattering all night both nights, and today have been pretty nauseated. Back on the drugs. 

I'm so pleased I don't have another Kaiser appointment until end of October. I can't shake the feeling that these are the salad days - those weeks pre-week 20, before all the problems start happening. The gestational diabetes, the swelling, the protein in the urine, the searing heartburn, the insomnia, the general discomfort and incapacity. I keep thinking of Bed Rest friend who was under the impression that she was having the perfect, healthy pregnancy until her 20 week check up where they discovered he cervix had shortened dramatically and she was then and there put on hospital bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. Things can turn on a dime like that so easily. As with everything you just have to cross your fingers and hope it doesn't happen to you. I'm somewhat bolstered by the fact that at sixteen weeks everything still looks good for me...but they did last time, too, so that kind of means nothing. Ugh. 

In other news, Mom Guru gave me several numbers for doulas. I'm excited to get to interviewing some of these ladies. I think settling on one will do a lot to ease my general anxiety.


  1. Sorry that it was so hard to get blood from B. Don't feel bad about the meat. There are lots of healthy vegetarian infant/toddlers. If his levels are low, you have enough knowledge to figure out what to feed him to fix the problem.

    Ashlynn was a hard stick too (she had to put the needle in at a strange angle and dig around - ugh!) and I have to go get their lead levels checked now that they are a year, so we'll be going through it again. Yuck!

  2. As you know, Elena still isn't talking @ 2.5. We've started a fabulous program for her. You're on the right track with allowing him time to answer your questions. Our speech pathologist calls it loving sabotage. Why would he try to talk if he knows you'll answer for him? Not sure if you do this but with E I always spoke in complete sentences. Tho she could understand everything I'd say, it left her with nothing to mimic. The technique the speech pathologist suggested is to speak to her as though she would speak if she could. I have noticed her mimicking me more & more.

  3. The last blood draw we had to drive to an entire different place because the first one couldn't get it, so I feel you on that one.

    When it comes to giving Isaac the opportunity to do things on his own, I frequently forget, and sometimes I'm just no longer in a patient mood after teaching all day. It is something I'm working on too, but I do see that he is proud of himself when he does the right thing (like puts a toy away).

  4. We are vegetarian and I haven't heard anything about iron or lead levels. I wonder if they'll want to take blood at the next appt?

    Some of Felix's first words were associated with really unique things, like a book with a page full of ducks. I pointed all over the page saying "duck duck duck duck!" etc. and duck really stuck, probably because it wasn't surrounded by other adult nonsense. :)

  5. We don't eat red meat, and Jordyn had her lead level checked at her appointment a couple of weeks ago, and it was fine. Just FYI. Also, for the blood draw, they just pricked her finger, and used the same vial for both the lead and anemia tests. It took a while to get her to bleed enough to fill the vial enough, but it worked. No needle in the arm. And if there's ever a next time, make them let you hold him on your lap instead of on the table. And bring a few favorite small toys that either light up or make noise or something, and use them to try to distract them. Or pull up a video or toddler app on your phone and distract him with that. It's amazing how well it can work. Blowing bubbles is another good trick. There's also a numbing cream you can buy over the counter to help with the pain called LMX-4. Two issues, though, are 1) You have to put it on about 30 minutes prior to the stick, and you won't know where they're going to poke him, and 2) at B's age, the hardest part is being held still, not the pain so much (although they do feel it, it's just that being held still is even worse for them). Sorry, I'm a child life specialist, and helping kids cope with medical stuff is what I do!! :)

    Glad all is going well with your pregnancy. I had a doula for Jordyn's birth, and she was great. So glad you're doing that this time around.

  6. I agree with you. I wasn't exactly a nervous wreck during my pregnancies but I did feel like I was always looking over my should for the other shoe to drop (forgive the mixed metaphor--I'm exhausted!). Wishing you the very best of continued health--you are and will continue to be a wonderful mom!