Friday, March 20, 2009

Un-Alarmist

My friend Val's mom once told me she wishes she could have started on her fourth child because by then one knows what's important and what's not. I thought that was a good philosophy. (I even used that as an excuse when we weren't ready to have kids: "We're trying to figure out how to start on our fourth child. Or have grandchildren first.") So, now I'm trying to treat Olivia as if she's the second child. In the name of Building Immunity we don't wash pacifiers or boil water to use for bottles. I'm trying to be laid-back, not making everyone wash their hands before holding her, not getting upset when others care for her differently, realizing that I can't control everything, and acknowledging how resilient children are.

Olivia has had skin issues since like Week 3-4. She had this dry, scaly redness that started on her face and progressed to her arms and chest by our appointment in Week 7. Dr. Dameron said it was normal, and predicted it would continue to work its way down to her legs, skipping the diaper area because of the moist environment. And it did just that and I didn't think much of it; I apply baby oil gel after her baths and lotion on the other days and basically keep an eye on it. Second child mindset! Laid back! No worries!

Well, yesterday it was 70 degrees out so I put her in a short-sleeved onesie to go shopping with my mom. Olivia is always hot and sweaty because of the BundleMe lining her bucket seat anyway. But Mom, seeing Livi's arms for the first time in a while, was concerned because her skin was pink in the creases (neck, inside knees & elbows, fat rolls). I figured it was just the heat and didn't worry about it because it didn't seem to bother Olivia. This morning I met friends (veteran moms) for coffee and after Renee pointed out that Olivia's arm had an area that was starting to weep. When I got home our friend Jill, whom we had seen while shopping yesterday, left me a message to say she's concerned because she thinks Olivia is breaking out because of something I'm eating. With the suggestion of a food allergy I switched into Mah Bay-Bay! Mode and called Dr. Dameron. I felt awful, like a pediatrician parent whose kids are running around with broken bones while I'm saying, "Aww, you're fine!" Dr. D didn't seem super concerned at the appointment this afternoon (he's pretty laid back as well). He said it's not a food allergy because it isn't on her face or scalp at all, but we now have Eucerin cream, .5% hydrocortisone cream, and a Rx for an oral steroid because he's not sure what's causing it and he wants to treat her whole body at once.

I had done baby laundry with unscented dye-free detergent at the beginning, but here and there I'd throw one of her sleepers in with our laundry. She didn't show any sign of a reaction (the skin issues were on her face then) so I stopped keeping her stuff separate. Let's face it, laundry is annoying enough already. But now she'll be getting her own detergent and fabric softener again.

Oh, and for the record, Olivia weighs 14lb 7oz including a size 2 diaper. (It wasn't a normal checkup so we didn't strip her down entirely.)

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