Thursday, December 23, 2021

Phoebe's well-child visit

I took Phoebe in for her one-month check-up this morning. Before I left Andrew and I both guessed how much she'd weigh in as. I guessed 8 lbs. 3 ounces; Andrew guessed 8 lbs. 10 ounces; she clocked in at an astounding 8 lbs. 15 ounces—nearly three pounds above her birth weight (and in the 25th percentile)! So she's growing well. 

All she's done the past five weeks is eat and sleep (and poop) so this really shouldn't be shocking. 

She's only 20.5 inches long, which is a little on the short side (5th percentile), but I think part of that is simply because she's still "unfurling." If something doesn't involve swaddling and/or cuddling, she tends to not like it very much, so she still spends a lot of time balled up in the fetal position. I imagine she'll gain some length soon. 

Overall we're pleased with her growth and her reflexes are all up to snuff. 

She's a little weak on head lifting (she doesn't raise her head up when she does tummy time, except to move it from side to side) but she's got time to master that skill. Rachel had excellent head control by one month (and would hold herself up on her elbows during tummy time), but Rachel was always a little ahead of the curve in meeting her baby milestones. Phoebe's been sleeping through life so I think she'll take a little longer to get things down, and that's fine. 

She can roll from side to side, so she's obviously working her muscles somewhere between her constant naps. 

A little stretch between naps this afternoon

I've been worried about her hips since the doctors we saw for her last couple of visits were concerned about her hips, so I've been doing a lot of research about it. We're still going to keep our appointment for the ultrasound (just to make sure), but according to my research (here, here, here, here), asymmetrical skin folds of the medial thigh isn't a strong indicator of an infant having developmental hip dysplasia (at least in the absence of other indicators). Phoebe's thigh creases are very asymmetrical (her gluteal folds are also asymmetrical but...not very) and she was breech, so those are the two reasons she was referred for an ultrasound. The gluteal folds are more concerning than the thigh folds, but I asked today's doctor (we have see a practice that rotates physicians and patients) if they could feel her joints popping (or any other sort of sign) and they said that her hips feel fine (in their opinion). But, as I said, we'll still keep our appointment next month just to be on the safe side. Still, I'm less worried about it today than I was at her two-day check up. 

(And thus we see that research is good; I've had some doctor friends tell me not to research medical things because I'll just get myself all worked up...but I can't help it! With Phoebe I did a lot of research on 17-P shots (though I only linked to an NPR article in that post, I also read some more scholarly articles as well), which helped me feel courageous enough to not have the injections (though I wound up with gestational diabetes anyway) and now my research on hip dysplasia has also put my mind at ease. So...research is good.)

Anyway, the last thing for Phoebe was her second round of the Hepatitis B vaccine. 

The doctor, surmising that our little oinker enjoys nursing (she does), told us that we could stay as long as we needed afterward to comfort feed, which is something I've done with my kids in the past to help them calm down after their shots. This was an interesting thing for the doctor to say because we also addressed reflux, which Phoebe definitely has (it's what my kids do) and the doctor suggested that Phoebe is, perhaps, overeating and then just spitting up all the excess milk (I'm 100% positive this is what is happening, but I also knew that beforehand). The doctor suggested trying to cut her off a little early (which I've actually also already tried doing, but Phoebe doesn't always agree with this; I've even tried having her take a pacifier but she's not a fan). Anyway, we'd just finished discussing how to help Phoebe not overeat and then the doctor was like, "You're welcome to stay as long as you need to after her shot, to comfort feed her," et cetera and I was like, "Huh. Okay."

Not that I wouldn't instinctively offer her milk when she was sad (it's like the one thing in life she enjoys* (besides snuggles)) but it was a bit of a whiplash conversation.

But it didn't matter because Phoebe was surprisingly uninterested in nursing after getting her shot. She roared when that needle was plunged into her thigh, but when I picked her up she instantly fell asleep. 

My brother David posited that sleep is her coping mechanism and she's just...a little afraid of her siblings. I think Phoebe is just naturally a more sleepy person than other of my children have been. But...I also think David may be on to something. Phoebe stress sleeps. For sure.

She didn't really wake up until late this afternoon. She was sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. It's like she was a newborn again! I know she's still pretty new, but she is starting to wake up more and is starting to fight against gravity. Not today, though! She was sleeping hard and was completely boneless all day! I had to force her awake to eat...and then she'd just sleep more. 

Snoozing on Mommy's lap while Mommy put together a conference program for work

But, she's doing well. I'm sure we'll see more of her personality emerging in the coming weeks as she falls into a wake/sleep pattern beyond "Please may I just sleep all the time?"

Finally seeming a little alert at dinnertime (only to fall back asleep five minutes later)

She, unfortunately, has been having "awake time" for the past 1.5 hours or so, so we might be in a little bit of trouble tonight... The middle of the night seems to be one of her favourite times to be awake, anyway. Here's a picture of her feeling very alert at 4:00 am on December 17:

Hello, world!

We just take awake time when we can get it right now (unfortunately), since Phoebe can't/won't be convinced to stay awake when it's convenient for us.

* Side story:

Alexander has taken to holding his hands over his ears when Phoebe cries. She sleeps well, but when she wakes up she wants her milk now, so we call her 0-to-60 baby. 

The other day I had her on my lap while I was getting ready to feed her and she was screaming her pretty little head off. Alexander approached me, with his hands covering his ears, and hollered, "SHE CAN'T SEE YOUR MILKERS, MOTHER! SHOW HER YOUR MILKERS!"

Apart from, you know, just everything he said, I was taken aback by his choice of the word "mother."

He's never called me "mother" before! None of the kids call me mother. I'm not sure where he's picking that up. 

I'm lucky though, I guess, because since Grandpa arrived, Alexander has been mixing up Grandpa and Dad. He called Grandpa "Dad," he called Dad "Grandpa"; he just couldn't keep them straight. So when I told Andrew that Alexander had called me "mother," Andrew said that Alexander had called him "grandfather" the other day. 

Just like, "Grandfather, can I play Minecraft?"


Like, where is this coming from?!


  1. Nice to see those awake pictures!! Beautiful little girlie.

  2. It makes sense that she'd be awake in the middle of the night, if she's a stress sleeper. It's the only time she can get some peace and quiet! This also sheds more light on my own insomnia.