Those were the words the pediatrician wrote on my baby's medical slip and handed to me today. If there are any words that makes a mama feel terrible, it's those.
He has only gained one ounce since his last doctor visit 2 weeks ago and the doctor turns to me and starts asking all sorts of questions about his eating habits: "How often does he eat? When are you nursing him? Are you giving him formula? How much and how often? How are his bowel movements?"
I nurse my baby whenever he wants to be fed. I will drop what I am doing to sit down and whip out the boob so my baby can eat. The few exceptions are when I am in the shower; when I have to do a bowel movement of my own; or when I am typing up the last of a post on this here blog. I have been known to feed the baby while I type with one hand and I have also been known to bring the baby with me into the bathroom if the husband is nowhere to be found and the girls are a little too rowdy for me to trust them with a fragile little baby.
At the appointment 2 weeks ago, the doctor asked me to supplement his feedings with 2 ounces of formula, once a day, after I nurse him. I have done that, and sometimes he finishes it, sometimes he doesn't. That, to me, tells me he is getting enough to eat from me because he is too full to finish the bottle. At the appointment today, he tells me I was supposed to feed him 2 ounces of formula after every feeding. The husband and I both agree that is not what he said. Besides that, he hasn't lost any weight. If he was losing weight then I would be concerned, too!
My Oldest, when she was a newborn, was a slow gainer, too. The first couple of visits to the doctor's office brought the inquisition down on our heads. "Are you feeding this child? You aren't starving her are you?!" Well for pete's sake! Of course I'm not starving her! You think I would bring her in for a check-up if I wasn't properly taking care of her? After about 5 or 6 weeks, she started to gain an ounce here and an ounce there and to look at her now, you would never know she was such a small thing. She eats voraciously and I never have a problem getting her to eat her vegetables or fruits.
While I am grateful for the medicaid we are getting, I am resenting the treatment I am receiving from the doctors; from the rude doctor that broke my water without asking me; to the pediatrician who started talking to another doctor about my baby's file right in front of me, resulting in the other doctor giving me the 'eye'. At least wait until I am out of sight before discussing a patients file with another doctor.
Of the 4 births I had, the third one at home with a midwife was the absolute best and the care I received cannot be compared to any of the other births. After the birth of baby #3 we decided that we didn't want her get all the shots that they give babies and choose to "go natural". I would never deny my children any kind of care if they needed it, but it makes me frustrated when a person judges me and my capabilities by only seeing my child for less than 5 minutes every 2 weeks.
I am going to look for another pediatrician, because frankly, I don't like feeling like a terrible mother.
I'm not a bad mother. I'm not a bad mother. I'm not a bad mother...