So yesterday we had a social worker show up at our apartment. I was reported for child abuse toward Fenton. She asked if I knew why. I was racking my brain and had NO clue. So she told me. Someone called Monday morning claiming the following:
- Fenton has only gained 1 pound since birth.
- He has never been seen by a doctor.
- I don’t produce enough milk.
- I refuse to supplement with formula.
So I just thought I would address those false claims here. But first, a video of my boys from this morning.
Fenton was 7lbs, 8 oz at birth. He dropped down to 6lbs, 13 oz (I think). When we went in for his 2 week check up (where he saw the midwife AGAIN) he was still not up to his birth weight. We had been using a shield and I guess I didn’t properly gauge how that impacts the amount of milk he was getting. I had no clue we had a problem. She suggested using a Supplemental Nursing System. It completely stressed me out. I decided to try to get him to gain without.
Throughout that week, I nursed more often and for longer periods of time, often waking him up as he was nursing. I also weighed him daily and could see he was gaining. She had a birth and we had to reschedule our appointment so it ended up being 2 weeks from our last appointment, at which point he was seen again by the midwife and a nurse. He had gained 15oz in 14 days. The midwife said that was perfect. She likes to see babies gain 1 oz/day.
A couple weeks ago, I noticed Fenton’s pupils were uneven and one didn’t react to light. I ended up taking him to the ER (it was late evening while we were hanging out and cluster feeding on, you know, my non-existent milk). He weighed 9lbs. Not giant, but still steadily gaining. And 1.5lbs up since birth 2 weeks before these false accusations were made.
He was looked over by an ER nurse, nurse practitioner (still in school) and an ER doctor. All commented on how cute he was and how perfect he looked. There was nothing wrong. (Sidenote, apparently the uneven pupils is common in up to 10% of the population and it may go away or may stay. Per the doctor that he has supposedly never seen.) The nurse even said she could give me the discharge sheet, but there was really no reason because all it said was he was healthy and nothing was wrong with him. She let me finish nursing and then we left.
Fenton has also had 3 chiropractor appointments, along with attending some of my appointments (where he was seen, but not examined). Never any concerns. Additionally, my mom is a nurse at the hospital and I’m pretty positive she would say something to me if she was concerned about Fenton.
As far as supplementing with formula goes, not one person has ever told me to. The SNS was recommended, but I was supposed to pump and use MY BREASTMILK with it. Not formula. The Midwife was even pleased that I had gotten him to gain without using the SNS. I take that back. I guess she did mention formula, but specifically said NOT to use it.
As for my supply, I have never had a problem with it. I nursed my first two until 14 and 15 months with absolutely no issues. I can pump and get plenty of milk. (And I have no idea how anyone would know what my supply is like. Seriously.) He regularly sleeps 7 hours at night, wakes up, eats (but doesn’t drain me) and goes back to sleep.
He is still a bit behind from the first couple weeks of life where he was slow to gain. He is steadily gaining now, but just not gaining a ton of EXTRA to make up for it. But he is healthy.
So, long story short…
- Fenton has gained over 1.5lbs since birth (not including the normal post birth weight drop).
- He has been seen by our midwife and her nurse a handful of times (and has another appointment next week), the chiropractor 3 times, an ER nurse, nurse practitioner and doctor once and his Gramma who is a nurse many times. He hasn’t been to the local clinic to see a pediatrician, but I’m not sure why that would matter or how anyone would even know that unless they searched his records. Not that going to that specific clinic is mandatory.
- My supply is just fine. When the SNS was suggested, the midwife told me to pump 2oz and feed it to him every 2 hours. I pumped and had nearly 2oz on each side. (I obviously produce more than that now, as that was nearly 2 months ago.)
- No health professional has ever recommended formula in any way, shape or form. So I’m not quite sure how I could reuse it…
All of this has left me with a lot of mixed emotions. When the social worker was here, I was shaking and nervous and scared. Would my baby get taken away over these ridiculous false accusations? Who the heck would do this? Obviously someone who does not know us well. If they did, you’d think they would know the truth, or at least talk to us with their concerns.
Then I was mad and felt like crying. I felt attacked. Like someone must have done it out of spite. I felt inadequate. I already struggle with feeling inadequate as a wife and mother. I really didn’t need someone telling me more things that I am inadequate at (even if it is not true).
I wanted to know who it was so I could set the record straight. I wanted to be able to shelter my children from whomever was making false claims about them. About my parenting and the health of my babies. Apparently I don’t get to know because abuse claims are kept anonymous.
I feel the need to prove myself. I kind of feel like pumping so much that my freezer is packed with milk, just to prove a point. But I know that would accomplish nothing and I have no way of even knowing that the reporter would see it and know that they were wrong.
I feel like calling them dumb and chewing them out. But I can’t. And that really wouldn’t be nice anyway. Coming from a typically very non-confrontational person, that’s saying a lot. For once, I really want to confront whomever did this to me. To us. My heart hurts.
As it stands now, the social worker will be checking into whether I was telling the truth about his midwife and ER visits. My older 2 kids have to see her next week to make sure I’m not abusing them. (They were out with their Gramma when she came.) Really, she should just weigh Ki and watch Ella eat. They are not starving! Ki is very proud that he weighs 56lbs now. He was chanting it a couple days ago. The social worker said they have 20 business days to close out the case, but she doesn’t see why it would take that long in our situation. He looked fine to her.
So I guess I wait. I want to be able to DO something. To resolve this mess. To confront someone. But I can’t. And it stinks. I still have a mess of emotions about it. I don’t know how you could go through this and not. I don’t plan on being around too many people or discussing Fenton with people (outside of a couple trusted friends and family members). I can only assume that it was someone at one of the 2 birthday parties we went to this weekend and that hurts. I don’t plan on letting my kids around the majority of those people again because I don’t know who did this.
I don’t really know what else to say on the matter. I guess if you have experience with this kind of stuff, input/experience would be welcome. For now I will just work on forgiving this unknown person and not dwelling on figuring it out or becoming bitter towards them.