Thursday, January 13, 2011

Growing and Learning

After beginning my journey as a mom with enough milk to feed quadruplets the last words I ever expected to hear from a doctor were, "Your baby hasn't gained any weight." She actually said it much more sweetly and gently than that, but my eyes had been filled with tears from the second the nurse read the number on the scale. I knew that was not right.

We talked about what possible causes might be. We talked treatment options. And the whole time I felt like my world was falling apart. That probably sounds really dramatic. He wasn't being diagnosed with cancer. No one was implying I was a bad mom. But, as my husband said later, hearing your child isn't gaining weight hits at the heart of who we are as his parents. We are his providers, his care takers, the one's who should notice first if anything is amiss. And we missed it. We saw the spit up and thought "all babies do that", we noticed his diapers seemed less wet and thought, "he must be metabolizing the food more effectively.", we knew he was skinny, but we were both thin babies, especially me.

I've gotten past blaming myself. Although all these signs are so obvious in hindsight, to a first time mom, they're not so apparent. That's why doctors have you make well baby visits. These problems can be easily corrected. They just need to be caught.

Basically we are feeding him more. He gets 3 meals/day of solids plus I've added additional nursing sessions. The awesome news is, it's working. We don't have a scale here (part of why we didn't know there was a problem in the first place) but already we've seen a huge increase in his "output". In fact he started nursing so much that I started having concerns that I wasn't producing enough for him, but as usual, the troops have rallied and I seem to have plenty once more.

We are also keeping him upright after his feedings, this in combination with the rice cereal, seems to really be helping the food stay down. He spits up, but not like before.

It's been a hard two days of processing all the emotions that came with this, pumping like crazy to help get my supply boosted more quickly and have milk to put in his cereal, and the endless effort on my part it takes to keep him upright for 30 minutes after a meal when all he wants to do is go scoot around on the floor. But this morning I feel like I can breathe again. I don't know if he will gain weight, but I know we are getting more food in him and that makes me feel so relieved.

Thanks to everyone who has offered words of encouragement. They've been much needed.

Hopefully we'll be adding some chub to this guy soon:


Kelly Davis Kirkpatrick said...

Sarah so sorry to hear you are going through this,but I also know that "All things work together for the good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose."! For the first time in a while, I can actually say I totally understand what you are going through. I was right where you are with Mallory about 3 months after she was born. I will never forget thinking all the crying and spit-up was normal. I kept thinking all babies are fussy and spit-up, but after it continued to get worse I finally did some research of my own and realized there might more to her crying and spit-ups. After my own research, it all then made sense!! Many symptoms I had not really noticed she had.. such as arching her back and turning her head!! After seeing her doctor, changing formulas and adding rice cereal to bottles, sadly she got much worse. I tried everything I knew to do... it had gotten to the point that she wasn't gaining weight either, choking on her spitup and wasn't digesting solid food at all!! Let just say 3 doctors later, 2 different medicines, more testing, no more rice cereal and 3 diganoises' later we were finally doing much better. Relief even short term was such a blessing and a much need break!! Not to my suprise that didn't last long and as soon as teeth started to come problems got worse... but I can now say we are totally off the special formula, no more medicines and she hasn't spit up in 2 months and we have put on more weight!!! Prasie God for this cause there were times where I wasn't sure if she would ever out grow all these problems!!

If there is anything I could say to encourage you it would be to trust God and pray consistantly for patience. It took lots of patience going through this, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. God really taught me so many lessons through all of our ordeals. One of those being what total reliance on Him means and how awesome His peace is even in a storm! I will never forget how freaked out my mom got the first time she saw Mallory Choking, and how shocked she was at how calm I was---that was totally a God thing!! Praying for Caleb to gain weight and for you and David to have patience and peace during this time!! If you ever need to talk just let me know!! Oh and sorry this ended up being so long!!!

Sarah_Joy said...

Thanks Kelly. If we don't see some improvement at the weight check (in 2 weeks) I will definitely be messaging you for advice!