Ol’ Benny Boo finally had his nine month check up yesterday. What a lovie.
I had been given a heads up that the pediatricians like to do a foot prick to get blood and test babies’ iron levels at this check up. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I wasn’t entirely certain that this was necessary.
You’re wondering why?
Well, I asked the pediatrician if Bennett would be exhibiting symptoms were he to have low iron right now. She replied that he mightn’t necessarily show it now, but if he suffered from longterm anemia, down the road he could have trouble with mental development.
Hmmm… I’m not convinced.
Informing her of the fact that Bennett usually eats liver 3-4 times a week, has a diet rich in dark, leafy veggies and still breastfeeds, I expressed that it would be highly unlikely that he’d have low iron.
Bucking at this, the pediatrician was sure that even with the best diet and best breast milk, Bennett could still run a risk of having low iron. Then – get this – she poo-pooed my habit of giving him pureed liver! In her opinion, the cholesterol isn’t good for him!
Awesome. I might as well stop nursing by that logic being that human milk is at least 50% fat and cholesterol.
*tiny, mostly-stifled eye roll*
Sure, if you believe that all cholesterol is bad, then perhaps you’d come to that conclusion. But if you’ve studied up on the development of babies digestive systems and the incredible diets had by isolated people groups around the world (people who don’t have access to grocery stores and for whom cancer and heart disease are nonexistent), you might have more of an open mind about the cholesterol found in liver. …Especially since Bennett’s been eating it for over four months and passed this checkup with flying colors!
What I was concerned about was the way that my son often grabs his ears or the hair behind his ears. Sometimes it’s a move of bashfulness and that’s fine. But when he had a fever last week, I wondered if there was more to the ear-grabbing. The pediatrician checked and noted that there was nothing but a lot of harmless wax. When I questioned what to do about that, she advised nothing but to wait until it comes out on its own. Seeing the hesitation in my face, she then admitted that she could help get out some of the wax if I wanted.
Um, yeah, I wanted.
So Mrs. Pediatrician got out this little device and used it to get further into Bennett’s ears as he laid on his back, face turned to the side. I had to hold his arms down by his chest and the manner in which he wailed was… the worst. Hearing the rattling of his confused, scared cry, I asked her to stop so that I could comfort him before we moved on to the other ear. Oh, he fought it! Fought it hard. Bennett was absolutely, 100% against the ear clean out. It’s such a helpless feeling not being able to assure your child that everything is okay. *sigh* And it felt like betraying him to hold him down like that. My sweet, happy baby was so confused and protested this ear violation to the fullest extent.
When it was over, I comforted Bennett, wiping away his big crocodile tears and listening as the doctor was ready to move on to the foot-pricking.
Mama Bear Square Piece declined.
I didn’t voice every reason for which I declined, but summed it up by saying that I was more concerned about his ears than I am about his iron and that Bennett was already upset enough.
It’s obvious that this pediatrician isn’t told “no” that often. But I held my ground. Bennett’s thriving developmentally and even she suspected that he’ll likely be an early walker. Anyone who has taken one look into his beautiful, blue eyes can see the wheels turning in his little brain, the smartie. And while even I experienced anemia from time to time growing up, I still managed to be a straight A student in the top of my class, landing a full academic college scholarship. SoOoOoOoOooo all that stuff about mental development? Let’s consider the big picture here. Given the fact that Bennett’s incredibly healthy lifestyle will likely balance all of that out, unless my son begins exhibiting unusual, “off” behavior, I’d personally prefer to avoid the “let’s-just-take-a-look-see” type tests.
And, yes, I will continue declining the Hep B vaccine, thankyouverymuch, Mrs. Pediatrician. Yes, I will sign the waiver. Yes, I will explain again that there’s no way that Bennett could have contracted this sexually transmitted disease from us, his parents, and that he is in no present danger of contracting it by means of someone else’s blood. Let’s just leave his little body alone if he’s thriving, shall we?
Man. I’m definitely not the most popular mom there, but whoop-de-doo! I got this kid’s back.
PS: The “Which” Doctor Chronicles Update: Having been with the program for two weeks now, there isn’t even the tiniest hint of bumpiness left where I had been dealing with heat rash (or sun poisoning… who knows?). I’m not itchy at all anymore, praise the Lord. So thankful to have my skin back.