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My name is Jennifer. Our son is Jack. He was born full-term, exactly 40 weeks. He weighed 5 lbs 8 ozs. and path showed an abnormally small placenta. He had a true knot in his cord (which I am told is irrelevant). We were sent home from the hospital with no special instructions or idea of any "condition" that he may have. Since then, he has struggled to be in the 2-3% for growth. I was nursing and that was a nightmare. He was pale and sickly, although he seemed to be eating. He was diagnosed with a VSD (hole in the heart), and it's being medically managed. The doctors say that shouldn't be causing any eating problems at this point.
But he struggles to grow, I know it, I am his mother. We have taken to measuring out how much formula he needs for the day, and getting it into him however we can. Sometimes he drinks well from the bottle. Sometimes we have to use a syringe to finish the feeds. He is now 3 months old. He still barely stays in the 2% for growth. I am not so much worried about his place on the charts, but more that I know he is struggling to grow. He still seems pale, and cries hard when he doesn't get enough. But still, he won't make himself eat.
I go back and forth between wanting to know more!, like, what is causing this??? and then just taking it for what it is and trying to feed him. I see all of my friends and their babies, and I know that having to feed my boy with a dropper is not 'normal' for 3 months. Developmentally he seems okay. And he is strong enough. But what causes this failure to thrive? How do the mommies here deal? And how do you deal with those people with 'normal' babies who seem to think that you just need to feed him more!?
Thanks for listening. THis is our first, and my DH and I are very overwhelmed with worry and frustration...
hi! your son is adorable! i also have a son named jack, he's 10 months old, but my FTT child is/was my older son, Brandon. we started having issues at his 6 mo appt. he had seemed to be doing okay until then and then, well, i don't know what happened. he actually fell off the chart for about a year. we did all kinds of tests and saw all kinds of specialists but no one could ever find a reason for his FTT. his was an issue of not eating enough, therefore, not gaining enough (some mommies here have children that eat enough but don't gain). when he got a little older he was put on a medicine that increase his appetite. now, at 3 years old, he eats okay. we are done with all the doctors and special meds. he's still pretty small (5% for weight, 10% for height) but the doctors have just concluded that he's just a small person. i also have a niece and nephew that had the same issues and are now doing fine. my son, jack, knock on wood, hasn't dealth with this yet (fingers crossed).
it's hard to see other, healthy, kids just eat with no problem. i found a log of brandon's bottles recently and at 6 months he was only having about 2 or 3 oz at a time! i was so jealous of "fat" kids or kids that would drink 6-8 oz at a time like it was no big deal. i had someone once ask me (she thought she was joking...you don't joke about this), "well, are you even feeding him?" it crushed me. over time i just developed a thick skin. i used this board for support, too.
it's funny that you say you son is pale, brandon is, too. i'm pretty pale myself and have just assumed that he gets his coloring from me. my other son and has coloring more like their dad. brandon also was always on target for his milestones (sitting, crawling, walking, talking). his doctors were concerned that he fell off the growth chart and when he finally "graduated" it was because he had his own curve on the chart, even if it was low.
i hope some of that helps, knowing people have been through it. every child's situation is unique here, so we may not all have followed the same path, but our feelings about it are usually all the same.
Thanks for the feedback. It does help to know we're not alone in this. We just came from a kid friendly cookout (why do I subject myself to these !)and all of the mommies were just glowing with their 'fat', drooly, happy babies. It's so hard not to be jealous as we struggle between screaming fits to feed him. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my little Jack for anything in the world, but we are too exhausted and frustrated to glow, and that makes me sad for us and Jack...
When DD was his age she drank a whopping 6 oz of formula a day... not concentrated formula or anything. She was tiny, no appetite, nothing we could do about. also no sucking reflex. I know how it feels to be jealous of the "normal babies" carrie is so far behind (she's 14 months) and kids that are 6 months are doing things that we only dream she'll do one day. her "friends" that are months younger than her tower over her and have that healthy chub. One day our kiddos will out grow them all. my baby brother was tiny. Premie, so many problems, couln't gain an ounce... they told my folks at one point that he may not make it. Even in the 6th grade he was one of the smallest in his class. Smaller than most of the females.
My "tiny" brother now, is 6'1" 2-sumthing lbs (built like a linebacker) and he's a success in the Airforce... Goes to show you what a "runt" can become.
"Disability is not a brave struggle or ‘courage in the face of adversity.’ Disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live."