Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Failure to Thrive?

I shouldn't even be writing this because I'm feeling super emotional and dramatic, but this is how I roll.

Lena had a doctor's appointment yesterday. She measured 22 inches and weighed in at 10 lbs, 1 oz - up only 15 oz from her 1 month appointment exactly a month ago. Our regular doctor is on maternity leave, so we saw the PA. I could tell he was concerned when I told him she only nurses 5-10 minutes on one side every 2-3 hours. Then when he plotted her stats on the growth chart, he declared her "borderline failure to thrive." Sigh. A large part of me expected it - I know she's small and not gaining tons of weight. But it was still kind of devastating to hear.

The thing is, almost everyone has scoffed at his "diagnosis." I had so many friends on facebook share stories about their small, healthy babies. And I was never on the charts as a kid because I was so small. But I still feel terrible.

The PA encouraged me to really try and get Lena to nurse on both sides every time. I have been trying, but she is not interested. She unlatches herself on the first side and starts smiling at me or looking around. I'll try to put her on the second side, but she takes a couple sucks then pulls off either crying or looking around again. I really think she just gets full quickly and is content only eating off one side. Today, when I really tried hard to get her to eat on both sides, she puked more than ever. Aren't we always taught that babies self-regulate? Why am I pushing her?

I asked the PA if my milk isn't high-calorie enough because of my diet, but he said diet has nothing to do with it. (And my research on backs that up.) I don't think I have a supply issue, so I don't think fenugreek or mother's milk tea is the solution.

Basically, I've been trying to feed her more often - back to like every 2 hours. Hopefully she'll have gained some weight by her next appointment in a month, and I'll be able to relax and quit feeling like a failure in the meantime.

But Lena's weight issue isn't the only reason I'm feeling like a failure these days. Lucy has been such a little monster lately. I really hope it's just because she's getting over being sick, and this isn't her new normal.

She is SO whiny and demanding. If she doesn't get her way, she dissolves into tears . . . and doesn't stop. I am so sick of the crying. I've tried sending her to her room, but it doesn't make her stop crying. She carries on with the stamina of the Energizer Bunny. I've tried distracting her. No luck. I've even tried letting her watch TV or do something fun, but she does.not.stop. I don't know what to do with her, and I feel like a worthless parent. I feel like people are judging me for not keeping my kid under control.

Seriously, I can't even put it words right now. I just feel so inadequate and frustrated. Blech. Maybe I'm the one who's failing to thrive . . . (I told you I'm feeling emotional and dramatic.)


  1. We feel like we are bad parents when are kids are out of control. But you know what perks me up is to see another kid in the store being just as bad as mine..haha. Just makes me feel like i am not alone in this. I think you could be the best parent in the world and still have naughty children some of the time. The fact is that most of these things are phases and they will go in and out of them fro many years to come:) stay consistent and fight the good fight. You are not alone!

  2. I'm really sorry you have to go through this. I remember having a breakdown when I got the same news about Orion... I just felt like a total failure. I had a really hard time admitting "defeat" and start supplementing with formula, but I was SO glad I did. It just made nursing like a zillion times less stressful because I didn't have to worry that I was starving my baby or that he would want to eat AGAIN in an hour.

    However, it sounds like- as you said- she's just an efficient eater and satisfied with one side. If she's happy and smiling after nursing, that says she's feeling full and happy. I don't know, I'm not a doctor, but some babies are just small or slow growers. Mine were both average til about two or three months and then fell off the bottom of the charts. I was also a tiny baby/kid. I think it's totally possible you just have a little baby.

    Sorry, you probably don't want or need more advice, but I really just want to share my experience and let you know I really DO know how you feel, and it sucks. Even the monster child thing- that's my Desy. We call him the Hulk. Oy. Anyway, I really hope you and your doctor get things figured out soon and you are able to feel comfortable with whatever plan/non-plan you chose for your Lena! Love ya :)

  3. did your mother feel bad that you werent on the charts?
    formula will likely be higher calorie and quill help her grow.. remember if her bones and muscles aren't growing, her brain isn't either.

    keep up the good work... you are amazing Sadie!



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