Then, in my baby book, I read that they suggest taking “month” pictures with a stuffed animal (or toy) for “scale”. It helps you to see how much the baby grows month to month. Good idea! So, Jace and I grabbed his new lion friend and had another photo shoot. This all happened at about 4:45am (he was not a fan of sleeping last night). Most of the pictures I took had my feet in them. Or my hand covered the flash. Or I took them in such rapid succession that the flash hadn’t charged and the picture didn’t turn out. But I did get two pictures that are okay. The first one shows his reaction to the flash (it was on red-eye reduction – he wasn’t pleased). The second one is pretty cute though, right?!
He was NOT happy to be woken up, but we headed to the pediatrician’s office anyways. The appointment went fairly well. I still really like our doctor. Here’s the report:
* Jace weighs 6 pounds and 12 ounces. That means he gained a whole pound in the last 5 days (we had a weight check last Wednesday).
* Jace is 19.5 inches long.
* Jace has a cranial circumference of 35 centimeters.
* His weight, length, and head circumference are all in the 2nd percentile. This seems really low, but he’s being compared with other babies who are one month old – and Jace still isn’t term (we’re two weeks from the due date now).
* Apparently his left hip “clicks”. The doctor assured me that isn’t as bad as a hip that “clunks” (her words, not mine), but that it is something that needs to be monitored pretty closely. Premature babies have really relaxed ligaments, so clicking indicates that the hip bone isn’t fully in the socket (clunking indicates the hip is fully dislocated). There’s a chance that this will correct itself over time, but if it’s not showing signs of improvement soon we’ll be headed to a specialist for x-rays and a brace. Early detection means that the chances of needing a surgical correction are really slim.
* Right when the appointment was wrapping up, the doctor realized that Jace never had a follow up blood screen done to check his iron levels. He had “anemia of prematurity” when he was born. They did a follow up blood test today (poor Jace, another heel stick). His hematocrit and hemoglobin levels are both lower than they were when he was discharged from the NICU – and they were pretty low to begin with…. The doctor wasn’t happy with this, so we have a follow up appointment in two weeks. Until then, we’ll just keep giving him his vitamin (with iron!).
* Based on the doctor’s recommendations, Jace now sleeps with a “crib elevator”. It’s more of a preventative measure right now, but acid reflux is really common for premature babies. The crib elevator is a little foam insert that keeps his throat elevated above his stomach. This should make him more comfortable, reduce spitting up, and help his digestion.
* Other info…. Jace is allowed to go outside! He’s not supposed to have any contact with people – so stores are still off limits – but if we buy a mosquito net for his stroller and only go outside when the temperature is below 75F and avoid direct sunlight and limit our time outside, then we’re allowed to go on walks! Hurray! As soon as I’m cleared to lift the stroller, Jace and I are totally going on walks!