6.03.2005

Mali Six Months--Verified

Yesterday was Mali's official six month regular pediatric visit. It was our first meeting with the new pediatrician, Dr. M. She is wonderful! Warm, practical, good-humored. Young, too. I think that may have made a difference with respect to her pro-choice attitude towards vaccinations.

She works in the PAMPERS rabbit warren, which has the disadvantages of a large organization (front desk: "We don't know if the Doctor has your medical records; that's not our area") and the advantages of an extremely well-run large organization (being handed a packet upon exit with your baby's current measurements plotted on growth charts, all the information you'd ever want to know about this point in your child's development, etc.).

Dr. M did feel obligated to discuss the dangers of Mali's not being immunized, which is fine. I do not have a problem with people providing me with information in a non-judgmental fashion. She also had me sign a form declining the vaccinations. PAMPERS having such a form on hand is is cheering, to me at least.

We talked a bit about my concerns about Mali. I asked the doctor if she thought Mali's head was a funny shape, and she said yes indeed, it was. It is flat on the left side, behind her ear, from sleeping on that side in anticipation of nursing whenever she wants to. But both of her fontanels are still open, so if I switch back over to Seymour's side of the bed--which will make Mali sleep on the other side--it should correct itself.

Here I am reminded of KV, whose youngest has more pronounced plagiocephaly--the helmet-wearing kind--and whose pediatrician told her that babies' heads are so malleable that if you put a star-shaped helmet on them, they would end up with a star-shaped head.

I forgot to ask about her slight head tilt. I suspect it has the same sleep-side-preference cause. Next time.

I also asked why she thought Mali hasn't found her toes yet. She pointed to Mali's new stats of 75th percentile for weight (17.1 lbs) vs. 10th for height (24.5 inches) and said the same thing as Giddy privately suggested--it's too hard to reach over all that pudge. Dr. M also said that bringing her hands to the midline, which she's been doing for months, is more important anyhow.

We talked a bit about eating habits and other gastrointestinal issues. I mentioned that Mali hadn't had a BM since Sunday--five days ago--when we started pears. She said that solids can be constipating and to try the ol' rectal stimulation/lubricated thermometer trick. And to not forget to give Mali water along with the food.

I told her how Mali lunges after anything I'm eating. She said something I hadn't thought about but which was somewhat reassuring--that for wee babies eating is only partially about food. It's also very social. This is reassuring. Any social cues are reassuring. Now that I think about it, I don't really remember Leelo trying to eat all my food, all the time, the way she does.

Nice to hear. But I still worry about her eye contact aversion. She only likes people from 3 feet away or farther. I think I'm just going to be a big worrisome freak until she is 24 months old and having conversations with me.

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