Failure to thrive. That’s what brought us to the hospital this time. With the amount of time our family has spent in these hospitals over the past couple years, I am seriously considering proposing a “frequent flyer” program to the board of directors. Kind of like how when you buy fro-yo, they punch your card, and after you buy a certain amount of yogurt, you get some for free. That’s what they should do at Palmetto Richland. But seriously, when you have two kids admitted during the same month, you should get some sort of prize or something. Maybe a designated parking spot? We are kind of like VIP’s at this point.
Failure to thrive. FAILURE. That’s how I felt after taking Savannah in for a weight check after getting her on a stricter schedule– only to find out that little miss priss hadn’t gained any weight since her last appointment. I heard the words “failure to thrive” and you may as well have just shot me right through the heart. What kind of mother am I if I can’t properly take care of my child? The thing I wanted most in life, and I was failing. Which I am definitely not used to.
That afternoon we went from our doctors appointment to the children’s hospital where we were admitted for some lab work. We were there to make sure that there was nothing physiological going on that was preventing little miss from gaining weight like she should be. We all knew that there wasn’t a reason other than she just wasn’t getting enough calories during the day, but we had to prove that.
Since Savannah was born, our life has been even crazier than usual. She was in the NICU for the first six weeks of her life because she was technically premature (by three hours… insert eye roll) and a lazy eater. I would be too if I was getting fed from a tube every four hours. She was fat and happy in the NICU, and I blame that whole experience for the issues we were now facing. She had gotten to be so laid-back that she wouldn’t give you any cues that she was even hungry. That was the first problem. And with two other toddlers in the picture, one of which is undergoing cancer treatment, it was easy to let her go for stretches without eating– especially when she seemed to be so content. I realize that it is the mother’s responsibility to know when to feed the child and to feed the child enough, but I’m just being real with you here. She was sleeping through the night, and while I should have been waking her up to feed her, I was letting her sleep. Because that was the one thing in life that seemed to be working. With the chaos that comes along with having a child with cancer and just having three young kids in general, it was so nice to be able to get a full night’s rest.
For awhile it was difficult to get her to eat. She would spit out the formula and cry when we tried to feed her. At first we thought it was reflux, so she was on Zantac for that. We finally figured out that she was spitting the formula out because she was repulsed by bottles that weren’t warm. Total diva status. If you want this child to eat, you need to heat up her bottle for 15 seconds. Otherwise, she’ll spit it in your face and throw a tantrum. No chill.
Once we figured that out, we continued using the nipples and bottles we had gotten from the hospital because we didn’t feel like we needed to buy new ones just yet. Come to find out that the nipples we were using and reusing over and over again were in fact meant to be disposable. The holes in the tips of those had gotten stretched from overuse, so the flow of milk was too fast for Savannah to handle. So she was dripping a lot of what we were feeding her out of her mouth. I didn’t realize then that that was a bad sign.
During our stay, the labs obviously came back normal. A calorie deficiency was the reason Savannah wasn’t gaining weight as she should be. It was because she wasn’t being fed enough. While I’m so thankful that there is nothing physiologically wrong, I can’t help but feel like a crappy mom for not being able to properly feed my child.
So now we have switched to a higher calorie formula and better bottles, and I have an alarm set on my phone to feed her every three hours. And she has been gaining weight. Thank goodness.
That was just this week, but I know I owe y’all an update because I’ve been MIA for the last month.
While Savannah was in the NICU, Reese completed the radiation phase of his treatment. He went in Monday through Friday and was sedated for radiation for four weeks. And Cole started going to drop-in daycare. Matt was doing an inpatient rotation that required him to be on call every fourth day– meaning he’d leave around 6:45am and get home around 10pm. I was having a rough time with postpartum depression and anxiety. I’m sure most of it was purely situational, but some of it wasn’t. I know this because depression is something I’ve struggled with for years.
I’m finally beginning to come out of the postpartum depression fog, thanks to a nice cocktail of antidepressants. Sometimes you just need a little help. I have always had a hard time asking for help and accepting help that is offered to me, but it is definitely something I’m working on. I want the fun, confident, brazen, sarcastic, bold, sassy, totally basic Lindsey back. I know she’s in there somewhere, I just need to find my mojo. And I think I’m starting to.
I’m going to try my best to get back to blogging more regularly because I know how good it is for me, and I know how entertaining it is for y’all. Thank you for sticking with me through all of this. Y’all are seriously the best.