Since the official word is out, I wanted to explain a little bit of what is happening. Many people have messaged me after hearing that Ansley and I are returning to the U.S. for some testing, so I thought it would be best to explain things here. We don't want to alarm people or for people to worry, but we would appreciate prayers.
Let me start by saying we don't really do "well baby check ups" here. If one of the kids is sick, we just talk with one of the docs and they are treated. We do have the immunization clinic and that is where we last weighed Ansley when she was 5 months old. She was 7.2kg, which is just over 15 pounds.
About a month ago, Ansley needed to be put on an antibiotic for a little infection she had in her arm. For the antibiotic dose, we needed to have a current weight on her. John took her over to the hospital and weighed her. When he came home I casually asked how much she weighs now. He responded 7.2 kg. That alarmed me. She had not gained any weight for 7 months. For a while I had been thinking that she was small, but I just figured she was petite. I mentioned the fact that she had not gained any weight to one of the pediatrician heres and she said it was definitely something that we needed to look into.
For reference, Ansley was 9 pounds when she was born. According to standard growth and development guidelines, babies should double their birth weight by 6 months and triple it by one year. So at 6 months, Ansley should have weighed around 18 pounds; however, she weighed 15 pounds at 6 months which isn't terrible. But now at one year, she should be close to 27 pounds...she is still 15 pounds. So right now, little Ansley is not even on the growth chart.
For a few weeks now we have been pushing high calorie foods to see if she will gain. We also have done every possible test that we can do here at our hospital which included blood draws (that required her to have IVs started in her head), urine catheters, chest x ray, heart ultrasound and kidney ultrasound. The x ray and ultra sounds came back fine. But some of the blood work and urine tests came back a little abnormal. They need to be followed up on, but we don't have the ability to do further testing here. We are also weighing her weekly to make sure she is gaining something with the high calorie diet. She had gained about 300 gms over the last couple weeks, but when I weighed her today, she had lost 150gms.
So the 2 pediatricians here talked and both felt the Ansley needs to be seen by a pediatric endocrinologist in the States. One of the pediatricians also talked with a pediatric endocrinologist friend of hers in Kentucky and he also recommended that she be seen in the US. They say it is not emergent that Ansley be seen (meaning we don't need to do a medical evacuation) but that it is urgent and we don't need to wait any longer. We have done everything we can here.
Usually it takes months to get into that kind of specialist, but our family doctor's office (Mt Olive Family Medical Center) worked a small miracle and got an appointment for early June at UNC with a pediatric endocrinologist. Right now, the docs are thinking she may have a growth hormone deficiency or a kidney disorder. But I am praying that it will be nothing....God can do that!!
So, June 2nd Ansley and I will fly back to the U.S. for some more testing to be done. We don't want people to worry. She is the sweetest, happiest baby ever. She doesn't look sick. You would never look at her and think something is wrong, which is why I guess I didn't catch it before 7 months! But her numbers are pretty bad and we want to do the responsible thing and have her evaluated.
Would you please pray that she would remain healthy and gain weight over the next few weeks? Also, please do pray for Eliza and Olivia. We haven't told them yet that the 2 of us are going back to the U.S.....it will be tough for them. Aiden....well, he is so laid back he will be fine!! And of course, please pray for John as he will be stepping out of the hospital and clinic to stay home with the 3 big kids.
We have a big God who knew all of this was going to happen. We are trusting in Him to take care of our sweet baby girl!