Tuesday, August 4, 2009

a life motto

I don't have the spare minutes, or even the right words, to describe how hard things are right now. I'm wrestling with God in a big, stubborn way. Why? Why? Why? This is SO hard God! It has gone on SO many months! Can we just go one whole year without a crisis? How 'bout half a year then? I. need. rest.

Then I read this post and I was humbly reminded that life is hard for everyone. And besides that, no one has been diagnosed with cancer around here. My husband and I keep telling one another that.

However, the newest worry is that Anna Grace is mildly to moderately anemic (but no symptoms), which is unusual for a 7-month-old exclusively-breastfed baby. Believe me, I've researched this the past two days. She has started on rice cereal and Poly Vi Sol w/iron vitamin drops.

The hemoglobin test done (at the WIC office) was a toe prick, which isn't as accurate as a CBC blood test (from the vein). If the person administering the test squeezes the toe, more plasma comes through, which would give a lower, potentially-inaccurate hemoglobin number. My doctor doesn't see a need to do anything further until Anna gets a vein blood test at 12 months.

I, on the other hand, want to do at least another toe prick test in one month to see if the number has risen. If it hasn't, something could be going on--like leukemia (worst-case scenario), or intestinal bleeding from allergy (unlikely for breastfed infant). Why wait until December for further answers? I'm thinking of changing doctors over this. My pediatrician is young, with fewer experiences under his belt. Yes, I'm an excessive worrier--especially when it comes to my children's health.

BTW, my iron level is fine, but even if it wasn't, Anna would still get easily-absorbed iron from my breastmilk. Dietary supplementation is often necessary after seven months, but for anemia to have already started is very unusual. Her birth weight--two ounces above the official low-birth-weight cut off--is one explanation, but usually only premature or VERY small babies deplete iron stores before six months.

Her levels are not bad enough to cause brain damage or anything, thank God. She tested at 8.9 (under 10.5 is considered anemic). I read on several sites that 12 is average, 11 is the minimum desired, and below 10.5 is anemia.

Today my doctor said 10 is considered normal. That conflict in information bothers me. Nothing in my three hours of research--including standard tables of levels--supported a level of 10 as being normal.

Anyhow, back to my first paragraph about things being hard; the only life motto that makes any sense at all is this:

Sit down! Shut up! Look up! Enjoy the ride!

On a lighter note, we picked blueberries today, and I'm checking u-pick farms for red raspberry picking dates. Infuse life with the simple things--that's how to enjoy the ride.

Berries always make me smile.

1 comment:

Jess said...

pam- katie had this same issue just recently. and although i don't recall either of my other kids even being tested for iron while infants, hers was lower- in the 10 range. i can ask my dad, who has an advanced degree specializing in blood what other things can cause the # to read low. i can assure you if anna grace was seriously anemic you would definitely see symptoms. overtiredness would overwhelm her to the point of excessive sleep. if you aren't seeing signs of anemia it very well could be she is fine. however, if you really want her to be tested through her vein you should request your doctor to do so sooner than later-unless there are issues with doing vein draws in infants. that way your mind can stop wondering if she is really ok or not. the mind can do some mean things to a mama!
so in the mean time, i would just say relax, keep giving her the food with iron and the vitamin with iron (katie uses the same thing) and just watch her. i'll definitely get back to you with what my dad says!
take care, sweet pam.