Thursday, June 14, 2012

Failure To Thrive

Drew has always been a wee little guy. When he was born he was a mere 6 lb 5 oz. Sure, that's not exactly the smallest baby that has been born, but considering I was over 9 lbs when I was born, I was a bit surprised. In fact, I had to go buy smaller sleepers for him because the ones I had were way too big. He sure was cute in his little preemie pajamas though!

(our little grumpus on his birth day. ooo so tiny!)

As he continued to grow he never shot up. He always hovered at the 25th or less percentile for height/weight (40th for head ... but what can I say? he's a smart kid!). And then his percentiles started to drop. He went from the 25th to the 10th. And then from the 10th he disappeared right off the charts. 

(still just a wee little thing. drowning in his 0-3 month shorts)

As any good doctor would, our doctor started to get nervous. After all, they have these Bell Curves for a reason. And when someone isn't on a Bell Curve, they don't really know how to react to that. So we started to look more into what was going on. 

He considered the possibility that perhaps Drew's heart murmur was connected. However, after monitoring it pretty closely for a month, it became clear that it was fading, and that possibility was taken off the table. 

We were stumped. But, we just kept soldiering on. After all, our baby was happy and healthy (with the exception of weight). He was meeting all his developmental milestones. His little legs were quite chunky and he still hasn't grown wrists. Plus, he constantly moves, so we kinda figured he was just burning it all off. So, we were okay with his size. After all, his daddy was never huge, nor were his aunt and uncles on that side.

But, our doctor continued to be worried. I had to call in or stop in every month to get him weighed. And that number wasn't going up. Maybe an ounce or two a month, but that was it. So, we were given an order for a blood panel. We didn't rush right out to do it, but we knew our doctor would insist at his 12 month check-up if we hadn't done it, so we went ahead and did it ahead of time so he would have the results.

And? Nothing. There might have been a number or two that was a little higher or lower than it should have been, but nothing unreasonable or even noteworthy. 

All this leads up to last week. Our wee little guy went from being a tiny little wee to a bit bigger of a wee. 

(celebrating being one with Minnesota family and friends!)

And it was time for his 12 month well child check. We trotted in to get his weight, and I was feeling good. He felt heavier, he really had taken off on the whole eating real food thing, and he was obviously doing ok. So I stripped him down and plunked him on the scale with a bit of mommy pride. After all, I had done it. I had kept my little boy on the right track. I was certain he was up at least a pound from the last time.

Sadly my optimism was a bit too optimistic. 

He wasn't up a pound. In fact, he was down from the last time he had been weighed. However, in all fairness that was on a different scale and involved him wearing a onesie and a diaper. But, after I told our nurse that, she had me put him in a onesie and a diaper just for comparison sake. He was still down. The only argument I had on my side was that he was on a different scale. And since I was quibbling over mere ounces, somehow I don't think I really had a leg to stand on.

So, here we are with a little guy who is quite insistent on staying little. Not only did he stop gaining weight, but he stopped growing length wise. He dropped from 10th percentile to 5th percentile in height. And he still isn't touching the chart with his weight. 

All of that leads to a diagnosis: failure to thrive.

Well, ouch. That just shot mommy right through the heart. After all, I am the one feeding him and caring for him. He gets a majority of his sustenance from my very own body. And I didn't get the job done. 

Our doctor is worried, but supportive. Right now we are tracking everything he eats, including breastmilk, which means we may be working our way to weaning since I have to pump and my supply is way down, which makes pumping hardly worth it.

Since he is now one, his food possibilities are practically endless. And we are taking advantage of that! So far he is a fan of peanut butter. We are a fan of all its calories! 

We go back in on the 18th for a weight check and will assess then, but our doctor is currently working with a pediatric endocrinologist in the big city so most likely we will end up in that doctor's office within the next month or two. They are currently reviewing his files and will be getting in touch with us soon.

And if he doesn't have the answers? Then I really have no clue. We'll just keep trucking on. And enjoying our little boy, who may be little but sure has a BIG personality!

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