Once Rew was out of NICU and in my arms I was your typical neurotic mom. I analyzed feces, weight and sleep problem. I memorized averages and plotted her on the imaginary scale of progress. She grew into a bright, lanky and contemplative baby. I listened to doctors when they said she was failing to thrive. I let myself be convinced her freakish attention span was not a good sign. The bony knees I loved to tickle were a sign of my failure as her mother. As suggested I replaced her carrots, ham and whole grain breads with Pediasure and everything buttered. I charted everything she ate. She ran. She played. She grew taller and started walking on legs engineered more for a runway model than a toddler. We enjoyed life until the scheduled doctor visits. Every tests with a normal result prompted longer and more invasive tests. Finally my sweet toddler had so many tests she began offering up her arm to the needle without being prompted and I put my foot down. I was thin. Her father was thin. She was ours down to the very tips of her sharp little collar bone.
I learned that doctors specialize in medicine and I specialize in my daughter. I started trusting less in books, doctors and people with more experience with children than me. I started trusting in myself and my child. When I was pregnant with our second daughter my doctor was dismissive of my thyroid condition. My oldest daughter had already paid the price for my lack of confidence in myself and I refused to make the same mistakes. I insisted that my fatigue was not just a regular result of my pregnancy. When my doctor continued to ignore my pleas I requested to see a specialist. I made it harder to ignore me than to just fill out the request. The very day I was referred to a specialist her office called and doubled my current dose of Levothyroxine. The nurse urged me to fill the prescription that day because based on the same test results my regular obstetrician had my levels were low enough to put my pregnancy at risk. I was fired as a patient. My doctor dropped me like a hot potato. Our second daughter was born via VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and we were both home healthy within 24 hours after birth. She is dainty just like her sister. I have had pediatricians push for tests because she is not growing at an average weight but I refuse the tests. When she has vaccinations she fights the needle with an unrelenting ferocity that I love. Next time you have to pin your child down for a vaccine treasure the fact that it happens so infrequently they have it in them to fight. I assure you seeing a child's spirit broken by countless testing, poking and prodding is worse than a spirited battle with a healthy child.
There are still amazing and wonderful doctors that consider the health of your family a team effort. A special thank you to those fabulous doctors who realize patients are more than tests results and chicken scratches on a medical chart.
**If you are a pregnant woman with a thyroid condition please know that your needs change with pregnancy. A pregnant woman's targeted levels are different. I have yet to meet a regular obstetrician that was even aware of that. During my second pregnancy I lucked into an endocrinologist very familiar with the impact thyroid conditions have on conception and pregnancy. She worked closely with my new obstetrician to ensure that my second delivery was completely uneventful.
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