We found out that Jacob was a anemic at our 1 year check up. He had not grown in weight or height since 9 months, but, his head circumference had followed its same growth pattern so the doctor ruled out a lack of growth hormone. Everything else about him was fine, he was meeting all of his milestones. . .didn't have loose stool or was vomiting all the time. . .but, his finger prick revealed low iron and a lead level of 6.9 (CDC guideline is it must be under 10, doc likes it around 3). So we went and got some more extensive blood draws done, and because I am crazy I requested that Jonathan and Levi get them as well . . . what an experience.
Of course, Jacob woke up from his nap that day vomiting and having loose stool, so, I was sure the end was near. Then I started talking to family and it turns out that everyone I had seen over the weekend all thought they were having food poisoning. I have never been so thankful for the flu!
The next morning I had two missed calls from the doc's office, one at 4am, and one at 8am...that's always a good sign.
We scheduled an appointment with hematology at Saint Louis Children's Hospital, and had more blood drawn. Then I spoke with the doc and she told me that Jacob was severely anemic and that if his levels dropped anymore that he might start having system failures and that it was also going to make it very hard for him to get over the flu. So, we ended up getting a blood transfusion that afternoon. I have decided that blood transfusions are my favorite kind of "medicine," sans the 5 times they had to poke Jacob to find a good vein. They finally found one in his foot that worked.
We are hoping that this is all that was needed to help Jacob start growing again. Up until 6 months old I thought that Jacob was going to be my darkest child. Then he started getting more and more pale. With our history of long lasting jaundice in the family I figured he had just had some lingering around giving him that Italian glow, and that he was going to be pale. 6 Months is also when most babies start eating real food, foods that have iron in them. Jacob was not ready to eat real food at 6 months and was almost exclusively breastfed until he was 9 months old. I did not give him an iron supplement, my reasoning was that supplements were not well absorbed into the body. Plus, my other kids hadn't needed them.
Jacob wasn't the other kids though. I think Levi consumed his first t-bone around 5 months, and both he and Jonathan were full term, so they got that extra dose of iron from my body in their last few weeks in there. Plus, their mom wasn't endurance training, which takes even more iron out of her body and I assume passes less of it through breast milk.
So, we are now almost back to our normal chipper self, really I think the only reason Jacob has been lethargic and not his normal self is because of the flu. Jacob is an incredibly happy baby, so, I am not sure when I would have noticed that something was wrong with him.
We are taking iron supplements now and follow up with the doctor in 6 weeks. We are also going to go to an allergist and see what food allergies he has and if there are some malabsorption problems (I am sure there are). We will also be drinking a lot of bone broth.
At one year Jacob weighs 18lbs 13oz and is 29.24" long. He as 5lb 3oz at birth and 19" long. He had brown hair then and blonde hair now.
We've found that we are not very good at calling everyone and giving you updates on our lives. We do want you all to be up to date on the very exciting things that are happening in Arizona and in our lives - with that we dedicate this blog to you. ta dah.