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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Friday, February 1

Well well-childs

Finn and Korri had their 4-year and 2-year well-child appts yesterday. Overall, they are doing great with no immediate issues. I need to remember that and in the scheme of their lives, all is well.

I'll start with the recap of height/weight so you don't have to read through the minutiae if it doesn't strike your fancy (and I don't blame you if it doesn't!). Finn is 3' 2" (38") tall and weighs 38 lbs. That brings him to 10% for height and 70% for weight. It is actually just below the 10%, which makes me laugh because you have to be at or above 10% to be out of the risk of short stature and he has been at 9.X% for about 6 months! Of course. Korri is 2' 8" (32") tall and weighs 30 lbs. That makes her about 10% for height and 85% for weight (I didn't write down her exact percentages, but I looked them up online). If you subscribe to the rule of doubling your height at 2 to find out how tall you will be, Korri will be 5' 4"...which is perfect in my book!

They got one vaccine each: Finn for Diphtheria-Pertussis booster (he could have waited until Kindergarten, but Dr thought it was a good idea now since it is going around) and Korri for Hep A. Korri barely made a peep and Finn screamed bloody murder. Go figure. They each had to have blood drawn as well: Korri for standard 2-year lead level check and Finn for Vitamin D levels, calcium levels and ESR (a test that indirectly measures how much inflammation is in the body). Both screamed bloody murder for this one, but stickers made it all better after!

Okay, for the details; Finn first. We talked about his overall behavior/attitude as of the last three months. Dr said it was very normal and that at 4, it is common for kids to revert back to the Terrible Twos...oh great, two in that stage at once. Makes sense why our house has been a bit crabby lately! We brought up how Finn says constantly, but mainly in the evenings, that his body hurts, and usually his knees and/or legs. She said it could be growing pains, but it seems more comprehensive than that. So, she tested him for Vitamin D levels, Calcium levels and also for possible arthritic issues. I don't think anything will show up on these tests, but it is good to rule things out. In the meantime, she said to give him Tylenol if/when he can't be distracted from the "pain" and only use Advil when it is more severe (i.e. wakes up at night crying). We also mentioned that Finn has a very usual gait when he runs and that his balance is not good at all. She recommended that he be re-evaluated by PT to see if further measures need to be taken to correct these issues. This is/was frustrating for me and makes me sad that his gross motor delays continue to surface. I so badly just want to put his prematurity behind us, but that probably isn't realistic. After the appt I emailed his old PT and development teacher through the school district to ask what the process is to request the evaluation. So, we'll see. His endocrinologist wanted to see him back in 6 months, but since there aren't any over-arcing issues about his height, we asked if we could wait and the Dr agreed that once a year would be fine. And I need to find out when he needs to be seen by his eye dr because Jim and I couldn't remember when that was (maybe late spring?!?!). He did wonderfully during the physical exam and asked Dr to show him his testicles...he is all boy!!

Now; on to Korri. In a stroke of accidental genius (if there is such a thing), since Finn went first for the exam, Korri watched him and then she did amazing during her exam, too (in the past, she has refused to let the dr touch her). What is good for big brother, is good for her! We brought up her parent conferences at daycare where her teacher mentioned concerns about her language. But based on what she is currently saying, Dr is not concerned. I think I may ask Korri's current teacher for her feedback, just to make sure, but she talks all the time and while you can't always understand what she is saying (the plight of all 2-year olds!), she can name almost anything and she is talking in sentences. She certainly says more than 50 words, which is what a child should do at 2. They hadn't updated her records with the information about her UTI in November, so we talked about that. Dr wants to wait and see since she has had only two so far. There is a some-what invasive procedure you can do, but we can do it if/when she has another one.

The main reason for my saddness about their appt is that Korri is considered to be obese. Yes, people, I said OBESE! As you can tell by her percentiles above, she is short and weighs more than the average kid her age. Maybe I am deluding myself, but when I look at her, I just don't think, "Man, she is super chubby," which I would think you would if a child were truly obese. And her favorite food is fruit, for goodness sakes! She carries most of her weight in her belly, just like her big brother, which I feel should even out the taller she gets. I am so frustrated because I feel like we give our kids healthy options and portions. Part of the problem, I think, is that daycare continues to serve food until a child stops eating, which I don't think is good. So today when we dropped the kids off, we talked to the director about just serving her one portion of everything, which is what she should be eating. She agreed to this, which I hope helps. Dr said we can also switch her to skim milk, but she doesn't drink a lot of milk at home, so I don't think this will make a big difference. Part of the struggle is that when I stayed home, I had the time to focus on providing healthy things...let's face it, healthy takes more time to plan and manage than pre-packaged crap you can buy at the store. We can, and will, be more mindful of what we are offering to her, but I just don't see it making a significant change in her overall BMI. One reason this is such a hot button for me is that I have struggled with my weight my whole life and more than anything, I did/do NOT want to pass that issue on to Korri. I want her to be healthy but I also want her to be okay with whatever shape/size her body is. Unfortunately, as a role model and parent, I don't know how to teach her that :( This news makes me feel like I've failed as a parent...if I loved her more ro better, it wouldn't be an issue. I know it is crazy, but sometimes what you know to be reality and how you feel, aren't the same. Like I said, we will be more mindful, continue lots of activity and see what happens.

There's always something, isn't there?!?! But like I said, overall, both kids are doing great and the doctor was very pleased with their development.

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