So I haven’t written a post in a while. We recently bought a home and I have been spending a lot of my time working to make it feel like home, for the time being. One broken AC unit, broken car, and new truck later, I am back!
This morning I was feeling really nostalgic and have been thinking about the past year. It was about a year ago that they labeled my son as Failure to Thrive. Just typing the words makes my throat catch. It’s such a hurtful “diagnosis.” Being a new mom, tons of thoughts weighed down my mind this time last year. The typical…
So my kid is already considered to be a failure?!
Did I do something wrong?! What should I have done differently the past few months?!
Why can’t he gain weight as easily as other babies?!
…on and on and on.
Following this, all we got were suggestions – from doctors, specialists, family, friends, and strangers. Mind you, none of these suggestions, even between those on his healthcare team, were in sync. It was hard determining which direction to go with all the information we got. Do we follow what his primary doctor wanted, his GI specialist, or his nutritionist?! All of a sudden, people were starting to correlate his age with what size he should have been and telling me how small he was. And then, it was like I became paranoid about it. I kept trying to justify his size, like it was something that even needed justification.
We spent months hauling little man to appointments, where he was poked, prodded, stabbed with needles, hospitalized for losing a teeny bit of weight, and just made plain miserable. They changed up his formula a couple times. They made us feed him ten or more bottles a day of his $50+ hypoallergenic formula; that he barely ever drank and we usually poured down the drain! And even when he did drink the formulas they prescribed for him, he barely gained any weight! I’d even dare say that since they intervened, his weight gain has been slower than it had been before they found out he had milk, egg, peanut, and wheat allergies last September.
Today, it only bothers me come time for appointments. Today, I am more angry with those doctors and specialists than I am sorry for myself and my son. Today, I have yet to be given a tested, proven explanation (aside of oh, so scientific belly pushing) for why my son is so small. Today, I tell myself that he is happy, healthy, intelligent, energetic, and just slower to gain weight. He is small, but he is mighty! And I joke about how we are praised for being chubby as babies and shamed for it as adults. As long as he’s healthy, it’s all that matters. Maybe he just puts all his calories toward driving his mommy nuts with all his activity and has little to spare for chunking his little belly and limbs up!
Anyone else willing to share stories about their FTT kiddo? Any tips for how to survive the years it may take before doctors stop looking at me like I starve my child?!