Sunday, March 8, 2009

Scrawny Sweet P

On Thursday Penny ate 14 ounces - all day. Friday I was home with the kids (our nanny's grandfather passed away) and Penny ate 3 ounces in her AM bottle and .5 ounces at her 11 am bottle. I was beside myself so I broke down (in tears of course) and called the doctor demanding we come in for a weight check even though their 6 month visit was scheduled for this Thursday. 5 weeks since her last weight check and she's only gained 9 ounces - putting her down in the third percentile for weight (she was up at 10 percent at her 4 month visit and just under 10 percent at 5 month weight check).

We just cannot get her to eat her bottles. It is a 45 minute struggle to get 3 ounces into her so she's been averaging less than 16 ounces a day for a few weeks now. Our nanny is frustrated; I'm frustrated.

The doctor thinks it is "interesting" but acknowledged we don't want to hear our daughter is interesting. We're adding extra scoops of powder to her formula, including some olive oil in her veggies. She is totally willing to eat solid food. Now I need to schedule an appointment with a GI specialist. I know in my heart that this is not acid reflux - she doesn't have any signs of acid reflux and we've had her on different types of meds for months now. My sister thinks she might have allergies but there is no sign of that either - no rashes or hives. She doesn't arch her back or fuss when she eats solid foods - and she only fusses at her bottle if we try to pry open her mouth and shove it in.

It is absolutely the worst to know your kid isn't eating - that is something that they are supposed to do and what we can do for them as parents. She is very active - playing with toys and happy. She just clamps her mouth down and refuses to eat. We found a sippy cup she likes but it takes her forever to suck even an ounce out of it so that isn't really an option. We switch her up - a bit in the sippy cup and then slip in the bottle. It is very time consuming and stretching my patience to its limits at times.

To say I was upset on Friday is putting it mildly. I was so exhausted after the kids went to bed that I fell asleep on the couch at 9 pm. Thankfully I only had some work to do - which came in at 5:30 pm of course. And Husband went with me to the doctor while my mom watched Ned because I told him I needed him to back me up with the doctor.

I just hate that this takes away from my fun loving time with Penny - and Ned gets ignored a little when we have to deal with Penny (easier when 2 adults - happens more when there is only 1). I don't want to be frustrated about this and I worry it is impacting her development. I'll let you all know how it progresses. She's wearing lots of Ned hammy-downs - this photo shows her in one of his outfits.

Ned's new thing is sitting. He doesn't really roll around like Penny (she only rolls side to side, not over) - he's more of a stationary player. He can sit for a long time on his own - sometimes more than half an hour. It's kind of fun because he'll sit next to Penny on the playmat and she likes to steal his toys. He's drooling like crazy and pulling every now and again on his left ear so I think he might be teething but no sign of a tooth yet.

For the time change we did exactly nothing. The kids have already moved things back a half an hour on their own so we're just going with that. They are taking an incredibly long afternoon nap (and had a very short AM nap) so that's pretty good. I have to say I think time changes in today's society is stupid. We don't need it to go out and farm our land. But hey, they got up at 6 am today when really it was 7 am with the time change so I'll take it.
I'm doing the AM routine myself every day this week and lots of bedtimes. Husband has to travel for work two days and then he's going early Thursday AM to a boys weekend in Arizona. Let's hope my work schedule is accommodating. I've already been working at night during the week since items usually crop up late in the day. And I'm already behind in my billing. Hee!


Rhonda said...

My twin girls hated formula and never, never, never consumed more than 15 oz a day for their entire first year. We had to sneak it into their food and "dream feed" them at 11pm every night until their first birthday to get that much into them. Our pedi had us feeding them whole milk yogurt and introducing meat/egg yolks earlier than recommended to help them get the protein and calcium they needed. Solids were never a problem. They loved solid food. At 12 months when we introduced whole milk, their liquid consumption jumped to 24 oz a day in just a couple of weeks. This increased consumption didn't really cause a decrease in their solids consumption either. Since they stayed on their own growth curve the entire time, our pedi was never really worried so we didn't worry either. At age three, both girls are on the low, low end of the weight charts (less than 5th %tile), but are obviously healthy and they have wonderful appetites for all manner of foods that don't normally pass through the average toddler/preschooler mouth.

I can understand your worry and frustration, but there is a chance that this is just normal for her. Best of luck.

Liz Jimenez said...

Ugh, that is so frustrating. It's so hard as a parent, you just want them to eat up and grow big and strong!! I hope things improve and/or you get some answers.

H said...

I know nothing, about nothing, but what about soy formula?

Donna said...

So frustrating! Could it be something with her sinuses. I know that GERD goes hand in hand with post nasal drip sinus issues. If you were able to give her a decongestant (which I know from personal experience they don't prescribe to kids under 6 years old) you could dry out the mucus and it might be easier for her to drink. A. has told me a little of Penny's problems and I just feel for her and you!

Anonymous said...

What about a straw cup instead of a standard sippy? Both my boys took to those like white on rice. Might help her get a little more into her tummy.... Hang in there mama! I hope you get some answers soon.

A. said...

You already know that I think you need to rule out allergies/food insensitivities - rashes and bloody poop are just two symptoms of a really complex condition, and no one with allergies presents the same way. I'd put Penny on a hypoallergenic formula for 3-4 weeks, cut out the solid foods (maybe leave in just rice cereal mixed with the formula), and see if her congestion and appetite improves. If not, then at least you've ruled something out.

Poor little thing is struggling so much to eat/breathe, it can't be normal!

I really hope you get some help with figuring out what's going on. It may be that she's just going to be tiny and have a small appetite, but at only 6 months old her doctors need to keep trying to see if something is wrong.

LauraC said...

Poor thing! And poor you, having to worry about this. Hopefully your doctor can help figure out something.

Alex did the same thing but he was always right on track weight-wise so we never worried. We would just continue to offer him a bottle throughout the entire time it was good. And we had to try almost every bottle on the market to find one he liked. When he finally could drink milk, you would think it was the nectar of the gods.

(Oh and we did mix their formula wrong for months so that was another reason he was gaining weight!)

Nicole S. said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your little Penny is still struggling with this. I wish I had some advice to share! Our babes had "eating issues" in the NICU and ya, its the worst feeling. So I can imagine how hard it is now, without any nurses to take over for you. Hang in there - you'll find what she needs.

Chris said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Penny's still having trouble eating - if only Ned could give her some pointers! Seriously, though, I can only imagine how stressful this is for you - I hope you get some answers soon!

Anonymous said...

Can you try using formula (measuring) in cereal to try and get around some of the feedings?

Perhaps the extra scoops in the bottle is altering the flavor and not pleasing to her (I realize the intent of increasing the scoops), but perhaps it just ends up having her eat less ounces and take more time (having the same net effect with more time)? Again, I realize that she would still not be very into her bottles.

Keep the cups around; so she can get practice with it (maybe she'll get faster soon- 6 months is still early).

I appreciate your worries and you should press on with your doctors if you feel this is not reflux and continue to worry about weight gain. I have friends with children with weight gain issues and/or that grew small in utero. Most, end up consulting an endocrinologist (I am not saying you are there, but just mentioning it). As another commenter said, some are just meant to be petite (but surely keep track of her growth curve and she how she progresses).

She is a beautiful little girl and what a personality she seems to have. Enjoy her.