Akira is officially 2 months old, and I still cannot believe […]
Akira is officially 2 months old, and I still cannot believe how fast the time is flying. We went for his routine check-up at the pediatrician’s office this past week. Every time we see the pediatrician, I get a little nervous.
When Anaïs was a newborn, she was in the 99th percentile for weight, length and head circumference. It was a point of pride for me. Not only did she arrive on her due date, she was literally physically perfect. As the months went on, though, she would grow in length but her weight wasn’t quite catching up with the rest of her the way her doctor expected it to. On top of that, her metabolic screen test came back with an abnormality that alluded to her having a pretty rare genetic disorder called galactosemia, which is a frightening thing to learn, given the fact that galactose is one of the sugars in the lactose found in breast milk. I was told to cease breastfeeding immediately and to put her on a soy-based organic formula until more conclusive testing could be done.
Imagine this: You’re a first-time mom with a 7-day-old baby girl, and you get that information from the lab at 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon. I had plans to only breastfeed for an entire year. I didn’t even have a pump! I was one week postpartum and was juggling insane hormone fluctuations, sleep deprivation, the whole new-mom thing and now a potential genetic disorder? No. I was not prepared for that news. Knowing that any genetic disorder could yield a lifetime of complications and sacrifices, I was so upset and nonsensically blamed myself. I think that any parent in my position would have felt the same way.
Long story short, further testing was done; her original test actually showed us a false positive; and she turned out to have no disorders at all. I was able to resume breastfeeding, and her weight eventually caught up, but she’s always been a lithe little girl, thanks to genetics. Because of Anaïs’s galactosemia scare and inconsistent weight gain, I was wary about Akira’s developmental progress.
Well, his metabolic screen results came back with zero concerns from our pediatrician and this little boy is gaining weight like you wouldn’t believe! At nine weeks, he is now 13 pounds and 2.4 ounces. He is 24 inches long (2 feet!), and he shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. I know that charts and percentiles can be daunting, but being able to track his growth in this way actually gives me peace of mind. The line graph keeps showing that he’s on the up and up, and I honestly am so thrilled with it. There isn’t any unnecessary worry or blame. I can relax knowing that everything I’m doing for him is exactly what I need to be doing.
Another cool thing that’s happened with him in the last two months is his reactions and responses are really starting to shine. He definitely recognizes Jesse, Anaïs and me. He smiles and coos back at us when we talk to him, and I know I’m not the only one in this family whose heart melts every time it happens. He’s just the sweetest little boy, and I feel like whatever sort of fussiness (erm … colic?) he had in his earlier days is really starting to disappear (fingers crossed!).
Yet, with all this really great stuff, there is something that hasn’t been fun to try to remedy. As luck would have it, Akira has cradle cap (insert sad emoji face here). Because he has such a full head of hair, we never noticed it until he started smelling musty and we couldn’t understand why! Upon further inspection, we discovered the culprit and after researching natural cradle cap remedies, we are now covering his head with coconut oil and washing his hair with a gentle brush to get rid of the scales. Yes, scales. That’s what they’re called. I mean, it’s bad enough that cradle cap is also known as milk crust. Couldn’t it just be called “baby dandruff” and instead of scales, we could just stick to “flakes”? In any case, the coconut oil is helping, and he now smells like a piña colada instead of a rind of Parmesan cheese! I’ll take it!
It’s amazing and exciting to watch Akira grow. Each milestone feels huge and each time we reach it, it feels like we did something right. And although I’ve done this before, it’s fun to do it all over again because I’m finding out that it’s never the same thing twice.