Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Still Facing Backwards in Life...

By State Law, children need to be at least 20 pounds and one year before their carseats can be facing forward.  Well, at 13 months Howie is still facing the rear and this is why...
He has been riding the lowest curve on the height and weight charts since about 3 months of age.  The pediatrician has us come in for routine weight checks as we watch Howie surf in the 3 percentile.  I have seen a nutritionist to get new ideas on how to add fat and calories to his already restricted diet.  That meeting happened about three weeks ago and it seems to me that he has since consumed more fat than most sumo wrestlers.  We have focused on maintaining good eating habits (i.e. not snacking, offering the nutritionally sound stuff first, making sure Howie isn't "drinking" his diet) and we are working on his table manners to prevent mealtime from becoming playtime. 
The disappointing news is that he acutally lost weight since his May check-up with Dr. Nick.  He is at 18 pounds, 8 ounces.  They can officially term it (and our sweet doctor cringed as he said this) as "Failure to Thrive".  We found ourselves at Cincinnati Children's Hospital with a needle in Howie's arm and a lab order sheet with just about everything checked off on it.  They are checking for thyroid issues, Celiac Disease, glucose levels. etc., etc...
Sigh.  Although cognitively, I know that I cannot take this on as my own doing since I have done almost everything I can nutritionally for Howie.  However, I still find myself combating those self-defeating thoughts of not providing and caring for my son as he needs.  Anyone else out there experiencing the same situation?  It seems like everyone's children are above the 100th percentile.  Anyone... anyone?


Kris said...

Our 9 month old girl is just below the 5th percentile in weight. The Dr. didn't seem concerned yet though. She is just starting to switch from mashed baby food to finger type foods, which seems to take forever to feed her, and I still never know when she has had enough.
I hope everything turns out OK with the check up and you find a solution!
(my husband dwight was a member of sigma theta epsilon)

Jenny McFadden said...

Hang in there, Becky, you're a wonderful mama who is teaching her son how to eat well. I know it must be discouraging to have him not gaining at this point, but keep on keepin' on! You're doing all the right things - he'll gain weight!

Melanie said...

Jenny sent me over to try to offer some advice in the food arena ... my Samuel (who is 19 mos., now and doing fine), dropped from around the 30% at his 9 month well visit to the 7% at 1 year.

We don't have any allergy issues, but some of the big food helps for us were: soy butter & jelly sandwiches, cottage cheese, and (check with your doctor on this) 24 oz. of whole milk per day. Still, at 19 months, Sam only gets water when he's had all his milk for the day. I personally think all those calories in his milk is what helped him pack on the pounds!

Sam also turns his nose up to meat, so I offer beans and cheese (and eggs, though that doesn't help you) as much as possible and he loves them - especially black beans... not a ton of calories or fat, but good protein and iron at least!

The only other word of wisdom I have is to try (and I KNOW this is hard) not to freak out at meal times. Sam was a great eater until his weight dropped and I got all panicky. I wouldn't want to eat if some crazy lady was in my face asking me every 10 seconds if I wanted another bite, either :)

On the good side, there's nothing wrong with still being rear-facing - the AAP is now recommending that kiddos ride rear facing until they reach the rear-facing weight limit of their seat. Sam's almost 25 lbs and 19 mos and still faces backwards.

Sorry this is so long - Jenny can give you my email if you want to chat any more!