There are few times in my life that I’ve felt as scared as this afternoon, when the pediatrician told us that Violet was dehydrated and losing too much weight. We came home from the hospital yesterday, excited to start our new life of little sleep, dirty diapers, and a baby girl, but this morning, we had to admit that something was wrong. Every time we looked into Violet’s diaper, it was dry and empty, and with every feeding and unfilled diaper, we grew more frantic. The pediatrician echoed our concern, and wanted us to bring her in immediately. She weighed Violet and found 10% of her birth weight gone – not an unheard of amount, but too much too quickly. Linda’s milk wasn’t coming in yet, so Violet’s breastfeeding wasn’t giving her enough to eat. The doctor said we needed to supplement with formula, and we did.
Tonight, Violet’s taken in a good amount of the formula, and I was never so excited to see urine as I was when I opened her diaper at 9 PM. We have an appointment at the pediatrician tomorrow morning, and I know tonight will be a long one (I tried - without success - to stand her on the bath scale to she if she gained any weight).
The other bright spot tonight came after Violet’s 10 PM feeding. It was one of the few times she was awake and not eating, just observing the world within the twelve-inch scope of her vision. I read her her very first book, The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. She stared in my general direction the entire time. Maybe it was the sound of my voice that kept her eyes on me, but the weight of her gaze was like no other.