Failure To Thrive

October 05, 2011

Life with this little one never seems to have a dull moment.  I think I forgot how bittersweet these early weeks can be... and how exhausting!  True to her personality, Lily has decided that she will not do things the way that people (aka doctors) would like her too.  As proven time and time again, even before her birth, she is not one to follow the "rules", however upsetting that may be to her mother.  You would think given all we've been through this year, that I would somehow be able to easily relinquish control, but no, I still try and make things go my way, when I am definitely not the one in control.

She is 18 days old, and still is 3 oz shy of her regaining her birth weight.  Most babies are back to their birth weight's by 2 weeks old.  Am I surprised?  No... really not.  This is Lily after all, and she does things the way she does them.  Am I frustrated.  You bet.  Best of all... this is officially known as "Failure to Thrive"

Now as a mother... no, make that post-partum, hormonal, C-section recovering mother - giving a label of "failure" is enough to make you sit around and do some major crying.  I'm not sure who thought up that term, but honestly they ought to be banished into Siberia or something!  Being told your baby is not growing... or at least not growing fast enough has to be one of the worst things someone can tell a new mother.  My sole responsibility right now is to feed this baby... and now that's turned to failure!  UGH!

You'd think that little babies love to wake up and cry and cry telling you they are hungry.... not Lily.  I actually have to set my alarm so that I can wake up to feed her.  After yesterday at the doctor our routine goes a little like this:

Wake up baby.
Take off all baby's clothes, because it is impossible to wake her.
Breastfeed for 20 minutes
Offer a bottle with "weight gainer 3000" formula
Watch as baby squirms and chokes on the bottle only to find out she's taken less than 1/2 an ounce, and has officially clamped her jaws shut, and is now giving you a look of betrayal.
Coax baby to please take more.
Plead with baby to let you control her.
Repeat for 40 minutes.
Give up and bang head against the wall, sure that she is going to end up in the hospital with an NG tube, like "L" did.
Go to the bathroom, get a drink, settle back in, and now since 90 minutes has elapsed, collapse into completely non-restful sleep and repeat again in 90 minutes!

So... if you see me and I seem a little crazy, you know why.
And if I have to hear that stupid word failure one more time... I'm going to officially lose it!

You'd think with the genes my children have they would be really good at gaining weight!

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  1. My thoughts are with you hopefully things will ease up here soon

  2. Sarah, I'm praying that you will be filled with love, peace and joy!

    Sending hugs!

  3. Continuing to pray for you & Lily and your family.

  4. <3
    oh Sarah! You know you are not a failure. Some docs & especially those in nutrition field are trying to move away from that term. So loaded! In my own sleep deprived state I can't recall what some are labeling it...
    You are doing your best!

  5. Sarah- none of my babies had medical issues, so it isn't the same, but two of my babies were "failure to thrive." That would be Zach and Anika. They just would not bloody eat. I remember the same freaking cycle. So, so stressful. As you know them now, I think it is safe to say nothing came from the failure to thrive label (although they are both still small kids who just don't eat a lot). Much tears, much ado and eventually they gained weight and were fine.

  6. I agree. Failure to thrive should be banished. As if it isn't hard enough trying to make your baby healthy and keep up with the rest of the family, we don't need that label on top of it.

    I just think feeding babies isn't as easy and natural as people say it will be. My daughter has struggled with feeding issues since she was born. I was so grateful to find this website that helped me understand that I wasn't alone (far from it) and that there is help out there. Now with her therapists we've finally found a way to keep up the weight. Thank goodness for all the help available out there.

    Best of luck to you both.


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