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Forum: FTT and Weight Gain Issues


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July 16th, 2007, 01:13 PM
AnnaBananasMom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 14,475
(Xposted from May06PR)

Well, good news is that the GI doc saw no reason to believe there is anything really physically wrong with her. I told her that she struggles with constipation from time to time, so she gave me a prescription for a gentle stool softener. She said that if she is backed up, it affects her appetite, and we want to get rid of the possibility of anything like that interfering with her eating. Other than that, she had no reason to believe that she had any issues outside of extreme pickiness.

We are upping her Pediasure intake and will be mixing her whole milk with some half and half. We have to pump her up with calories, and soon. Those things alone will help, so in the meantime, my project over the next six weeks is to end the control/power issues that surround mealtimes. She MUST accept my feeding her, and she is not allowed to tantrum her way out of eating anymore. I let her get away with it and control her own feeding for the past four months, and she lost so much ground and her health is in jeopardy. Unfortunately, it's time for some really tough love and not let her get away with anything. When it becomes a power struggle, it's my job to not cave in. She said it's going to be very difficult for a while to get her to accept it, but that the Pediasure and the heavy milk will help maintain her while we "break" her.

It was hard to hear that it has come to this, but the doctor insisted, and I know deep down that she is right. It is going to be so hard to face five, now six times a day and never give in. I don't want the time I spend with my daughter to be such a struggle, but her health is at risk at this point. The doctor really wanted to make sure I understood that this wasn't an issue of parental approaches anymore, but that her weight has become a significant health risk. It's not just her total weight that is alarming to her, but the enormous discrepency between her height and her weight. Her body proportion is already that of an ill child. It won't be long before her height becomes compromised, and she said it WILL be if things don't change very soon.

So, from now on, it is a rigid schedule of three meals a day with three snacks, all of them in her seat. No nibbles here and there. Nothing but a few ounces of water in between. I will be kind, but firm with the spoon and not give her any option but to let me feed her. I'm not going to punish her or get upset when she doesn't, but I'm also not going to give up, no matter how much she fights. At the same time, each meal will last no more than 30 minutes, regardless of what she eats. She needs to understand the new order of things. Ugh. We'll see.

The nutritionist is coming tomorrow to address more specifics and help with specific food ideas. We also will be scheduling a session with a "feeding team" made up of a GI, nutrionist, psychologist, and speech therapist. In addition, the doc is referring us to an occupational therapist.

I'm sick of dealing with this. I wish I could just be a normal parent and just do whatever and not think about anything other than what seems right. What seemed right to me before got us here. It makes me feel awful to think.

I'm watching a show about an anorexic girl right now, and it makes me sick to my stomach. I feel like she's already there at one year old. I was happy to hear there wasn't anything physically wrong with her, but it's also so difficult to understand how she could willingly do this to herself at this age.
Rosalie, Mommy to Anna (05/06) and Thomas (10/08)

Video Montage of Anna's First Year
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July 17th, 2007, 09:45 AM
AnnaBananasMom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 14,475
Update: I just met with a new nutritionist, and, well, basically her recommendations were the polar opposite of what the GI recommended yesterday. I'm so torn on what to do. The GI recommended to increase the fortifying we were already doing with the added calories in her milk, buttering everything, adding oil, Pediasure, etc. The nutritionist said to cut out the fortifying altogether because she is getting full prematurely and we want her to increase her food intake. For the feeding techniques, the GI said to force her to accept food from me and not let her tantrum her way out of eating no matter what. The nutritionist said not to pressure her and make food a source of anxiety and power. I just was on the phone with Anna's pediatrician to talk about all this, and she understood why I was frustrated, but told me to try and stick to the GI's recommendations.

I'm so torn up over what is the right thing to do. I agree with the nutritionist's point about the food anxiety. That was my instinct from the beginning. That's why I backed down and stopped pushing her with the eating. I hated that she associated food with torture. I pulled back, and she became a much happier baby. However, that is also the reason we've ended up in this situation to begin with! It is the general belief (and was mine as well) that a baby knows when she's full, follow her cues, a baby won't starve herself, etc. However, this did not work out in our situation, and it is what led her to fall to such a dangerous weight. Anna could not care less if she eats or not. She doesn't mind starving herself, apparently. So that's why as hard as it is for me to buy into, what the GI said yesterday made sense. I did two meals with the GI's recommendations so far, and it's hell. The GI said not to let meals drag more than half an hour, but also not to cave in to her tantrums. Umm...Anna has no problem tantruming for as long as it takes. This morning, she held out 45 minutes of screaming and crying before I was finally able to shove an empty spoon in her mouth. I knew it was going to be hard, but it's like no one understands just how hard it is, and now today I had someone who makes a living off of feeding issues as well tell me not to do it, and it's enough to make me feel even worse about it.

AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!! On the one hand, it makes me feel better that I can't figure it out since even among professionals there is a lot of different opinions, but it also makes me feel horrible. I can't rely on my instincts, but I can't just follow outside advice either because it's all so different. I'm going to lose it.
Rosalie, Mommy to Anna (05/06) and Thomas (10/08)

Video Montage of Anna's First Year
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July 17th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Oh, gosh, i know just how you feel! brandon is just a bad eater plain and simple. i've just decided to do what he wants and go with it. usually that means giving myself bigger portions cause he always wants whatever it is that i'm eating. i know i've said this like a million times, but i really really recommend the scandishakes. they do make them full after they have them but really how are you suppose to reason with a toddler that they HAVE to eat?! hugs, you know we are always here to listen!!
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July 20th, 2007, 12:27 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 16
You have been in my thoughts all week. I hope that things are going better. I hate it when you get contradictory information from specialist. That's why the multidisciplinary approach is best when everyone can be in the same room and agree on a protocol.

I don't want to go against anything your doctors have said, but I have found that the house gets claustrophobic when we are tied to the chair in the house for feedings six times a day.

When my little one and I are at our wits end, I make the next meal a picnic outside. You can even consider bringing the high chair out. If the chair is a source of stress then put her in some clothes that can get messy and do a picnic on an old beach towel. Sometimes, the change of venue can change the dynamic between you too. Just make sure that the spot that you pick doesn't have a lot of toys or other distractions.

Just a thought.
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July 30th, 2007, 08:45 AM
AnnaBananasMom's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 14,475
Thank you! And yes, I worry that all of these recommendations will only aggravate the problem. I feel like we can't do anything sometimes. Good idea about taking the chair outside. We live in apartment, so we don't have a yard, but we do have a park nearby that we can walk to. Maybe I'll try that more often. Thanks for the suggestion!
Rosalie, Mommy to Anna (05/06) and Thomas (10/08)

Video Montage of Anna's First Year
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