Saturday, July 25, 2015

Itty, Bitty, Happy

Gianna was a pretty small baby, if you go by growth charts and percentiles. She also projectile vomited after every bottle, and sometimes in between for 9ish months.

Aleesia was a really small baby, if you look at her growth stats. She also battled sepsis at 8 weeks and that little journey really set her body back on the whole growing part of babyhood.

Vivian came along and was the biggest baby I have birthed, I was so ready for some chubby baby thighs! Exceeeept that she followed in the slow gaining footsteps of her sisters, as was evident at her well visits. Thankfully her pediatrician didn't jump straight to the "she needs formula RIGHT NOW" conclusion right away, after seeing that her sisters were also slow growers. They let us work out our breastfeeding relationship, fix the problems, learn to work together, etc.

Then came her 6 month well visit. A week or so before I had a few people ask me about her size. I always made some comment about her portability and shook it off. After all, she ate every 2 hours, almost around the clock & truly never seemed unsatisfied after her feedings, with a few exceptions & those times we would give her a bottle.

Also, Vivian is the happiest baby I have ever had! She was hitting her milestones, I had no concerns about her other than just wondering how big she was getting.

So, our pediatrician told us that our itty, bitty, happy girl was seriously itty bitty. She hadn't grown in 3 months! (For the record, at 6 months she was 10#6oz) but she looked great otherwise, was hitting all her milestones, and was showing off her voice for the pediatrician! But we had let this weight situation try to work itself out for 6 months, it was time to do something else since there is no reason we could come up with why she wasn't getting bigger. Even though she was generally super happy, this weight situation needed to be dealt with as her small size would really work against her if she were to get sick for any reason & we want to make sure she keeps developing appropriately. First step was to determine (or assume) if there was inadequate intake.

For 2 weeks we supplemented with about 8 ounces of breast milk or formula on top of her regular nursing sessions. The next weight check was OK, but she'd only put on another 5 ounces when we had hoped for 8-10. We started working under the assumption that increased intake helped some but may not be the whole problem. Her pediatrician asked me to start mixing her bottles to 24 calorie since the volume she was taking was adequate at this point. So we tried that for 2 weeks and were able to move her to about 10-12oz extra a day plus nursing whenever she wanted.

Her weight check this week (at 7 months) had her checking in at 11#2oz, not a huge jump. We discussed moving to 27 calorie formula but she is already pooping so much more (apparently from the high-cal formula!) that her pediatrician didn't think that was wise. I did convince him to let her start solids, though. She has been ready to yank the food right out of my hand for at least a month so I was happy when he said we could try it. With the understanding that if her volume intake started to decrease her solids intake would have to decrease too as the higher calorie milk was more important.
We were both OK with this decision! I'll try anything to combat that pesky failure to thrive diagnosis.

(Of course, she got the touch of a stomach bug yesterday which had me a little worried about her. She's much better now, thank goodness!)

We get a month to keep doing what we are doing to see how she grows. It is tricky to time when to nurse her, give her a bottle, and food, but we will figure it out. I don't love breastfeeding like some people do, I pretty much do it because they say it's beneficial and it is really very convenient. But it is still kind of hard and she recently started to NOT be satisfied more after feeding because she doesn't want to work for it/GIVEMEABOTTLEPAHLEEZE. I am happy to have made it to 6 months exclusively, but the girl has to eat and I'm going to feed her however she needs to be fed! She's going to take the lead on what happens with our breastfeeding relationship, I'm good with whatever she wants/needs.

Let's just hope she is a little bit less itty and bitty and still just as happy in a month!

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