Ho hum. The pediatrician called me personally to talk about Charlie’s iron levels today at lunch. They were at 10.9 at her 12 month appointment so we were just going to watch them because 11-14 is considered normal. At her 15 month appointment last week they were at 9.9. This coupled with her low weight has the pediatrician worried, and, therefore, also has momma worried.
We have to start iron supplementation ASAP-3 ml a day of Novaferrum. The ped said she recommended mixing it in orange juice but it would also be okay to put it in with her oatmeal and fruit, but just to try and make sure she gets some vitamin c with it to help with absorption and no dairy products for a few hours around the time of the dosage. She also said she recommended doing 3, 1 ml doses a day instead of trying to do the whole 3 ml at once because that’s a lot. I have so many concerns:
1. When I was researching the Mayo Clinic says that you shouldn’t have dairy with iron supplements BUT ALSO wheat bread or cereals, eggs, leafy greens….a lot of the stuff that my kid eats. My doc didn’t mention these others so maybe she doesn’t consider them to be as much an issue as the milk, because if Charlie is taking iron all throughout the day that basically means she can never eat dairy food, bread, cereal, salads, eggs….a lot of good healthy food.
2. We were supposed to be trying to get her to drink more whole milk so help her weight gain. Hoooow am I going to do that if she can’t drink milk . I want her to gain weight in a healthy way so I am going to have to seriously research how to get a kid who won’t/can’t drink milk, who also doesn’t like fatty meats to gain weight.
3. She eats so much iron rich food-WHY is she anemic? This is the doc’s concern too. Charlie’s whole diet is basically fruit, BEANS-SO MANY BEANS (very good amount of iron), broccoli, cereals, oatmeal, breast milk, and chicken. Most of that food has a decent amount of iron in it. We did not expect it go down. The doctor wants to recheck a month after we start supplementing to see if it’s going up, otherwise we’ll have to do more invasive tests to understand what’s going on. From my research, this could be celiac disease, pernicious anemia Thalassemia….scary things.
4. Right now my most immediate and biggest concern is how I’m going to get charlie to take this stuff. I’m hoping the novaferrum is better than the enfamil stuff we tried before because that stuff smelled so awful and stained and tasted so bad. We could smell it for days afterwards. I’m going to add the new stuff to juice like recommended as a first attempt. my preference would be that she take the whole 3 ml in the morning so that I don’t have to limit what she eats for lunch and dinner so much. I predict a future filled with constant worry over whether she gets her full daily dose in.
5. Her constipation issues. We’ve been dealing with them a little again recently, admittedly her diet hasn’t been as spectacular as normal because of the moving, but we’re getting back on track. I’m so afraid iron is just going to throw it all out of whack again and then we’re back on the suppository and miralax train.
So like I said, we’re going back in a month to see if the iron levels have gone back up, but the pediatrician also wants to check her weight again. The weight thing…I’m not trying to brush it off, but I’m not as worried as I maybe should be, and that’s because Charlie has ALWAYS been a slow gainer. The reason they seem so worried is that the time before we were in for her fifteen month appointment she weighed over 19 pounds and at her 15 month one she only weight 18 lbs 2 oz, BUT at that other appointment it was a sick baby visit and she was weighed with clothes and shoes on. Shoes with actual soles. At her twelve month appointment she was 17 lbs even, so if we had never had to go between 12 and 15 months there would never be a 19 lb weigh in on the chart and it would just look like she gained a little more than a pound in 3 months, which for my kid seems pretty dang good. So I feel like a bad mom for not freaking about that as much, though I am still and always trying to find fatty yet healthy foods that my child will eat (and now trying to balance them in with her rigorous iron supplementation schedule). But, on the other hand, the fact of the matter is that she is very small. She’s almost off the chart on small as far as weight goes but still above average on height, so it’s not even like she’s small all over. She’s a skinny baby, and I think that’s probably the one time in your life that the doctor doesn’t want you to be thin. And it’s not like I do either, but guys, she eats constantly. I never tell her she can’t eat. If she’s hungry she gets food, but she wants to eat fruits and veggies and super healthy things, low fat things. I have tried and tried to get her to eat cheese and hamburger meat and most of the time it’s just a big old no.
The thing that really is getting me though is that the pediatrician sounded worried. Like genuinely worried. Not like panicky or judging, just concerned. Anytime the doctor sounds worried, that is sort of a red flag, you know? She’s normally pretty upbeat and has been very nonchalant about milestones and whether or not Charlie hits them right on target, so hearing her sound so concerned on the phone has me thinking that something could really be wrong with my kid.
So that’s Monday. Any insight on this is so greatly appreciated. I’m about to start making her avocado smoothies to see if that would help. I found a recipe that is basically one whole avocado (minus pit and peel), cover with whole milk in the blender, add a few tablespoons of honey (i’m going to do blackstrap molasses because iron) and blend. But really, I’m open to ways to get my baby to eat fat. Throw it at me.