Monday, November 24, 2008

Not Me Monday! ~ (Calling all moms and dads: feeding advice needed.)

OK, we're officially in over our heads.

Mallorie's lost about 1.5 lbs ... probably in just the past month. I was going to write this out honestly, but just realized I'm going back and changing the title (done) so I don't have to own up to all this. :)

I can admit this: When Mallorie was getting ready for surgery in September, I decided, single-handedly, to put her back on an all-milk diet. Breastmilk, not cows milk ... in case you want to go all medical on me. I felt it was a great plan for avoiding the problems (gagging/reflux/vomiting) we run into when we mess too much with her diet, because the one thing we know she does NOT struggle digesting is breastmilk. And it was also a way to make sure she was getting the great immune-boosting benefits of human milk.

This was not the problem. This plan did great; she kept her wt up (and I think gained a tiny bit), wasn't having digestive problems, and did great recovering from surgery. She even continued to do great when I sort of "forgot" about The Plan, and continued her only on breastmilk, because, heck. She was doing so well! She was healthy, energetic, and her health was fine. And since shortly after my supply dipped after her February hospitalization, I discovered the generous gift of milk from other mommies who allowed us to have some of their excess (Despina, Lyanna, Michelle, Tamara), I wasn't really stressed about The Plan or the timing of it all.

Here I'll start "confessing."

While I was busy forgetting about The Plan, I did not realize that she was really only refluxing at night, so I didn't decide to just eliminate a nighttime feeding so she could go a longer stretch at night between feedings ... but forget that she needed to make up those calories elsewhere.

I surely didn't focus so hard on replacing total fluid volume to prevent constipation(so I gave extra water and Pedialyte pre-feeds), that I forgot everything I ever was taught about nutrition.

I didn't fail to even think about calories until the Early Childhood dietician came by with his portable lie detector scales.

I didn't sort of shrug when I realized my error, and think, hey, she's still healthy, and sort of slowly edge back on The Plan, until a couple visits to Dr. B required something of an admission ... like, OK. I think the only reason she lost weight is that she's been getting fewer calories. (To which Dr. B replied, Ya think???)

It certainly didn't take me that long (like only a week between first polygraph weight check and the one where Dr. B pulled the acknowledgement out of me) to realize that just maybe I needed to add back the missing feeding, and then figure out adding solids to her feedings.

Because I'm totally not that dense.

End of confession. Now for the request. There are 6 yrs between Mallorie and her brother who came before her, and I just don't remember these things. Heck. I was the whatever-it-will-all-work-out mom when it came to fitting in the solids, and I just don't think it was this hard to figure out. What are we doing wrong? Do other babies spit up sometimes when they are transitioning to solids? I remember being told to try small amounts of solids, and only one new food at a time, but was it really that hard getting to a fairly high percentage of solids per meal? I honestly don't remember. I do know I was the mom who (on principle, and I'll admit that) waited till seven months old before starting any solids .. because I was told to start at four months (by an antibreastfeeding doc), then surely/absolutely by 6 months ... :) But I simply don't remember all this gag/vomit/reflux, even with her refluxy brother.

So you parents of non-tubefed babies, did you have any struggles with the transition, and if so, what helped? Because what she is struggling with is getting to a normal (solid) foods diet. At least we know tubefeeding formula issues aren't part of the problem.

And you parents of children with tubes. Is this something typical of just having a tube? I'm having trouble seeing it that way, because with her, the bad problems came first after a long hospitalization, and then with the addition of certain foods. And they seem to go away when we identify and eliminate certain triggers (like we know she can't do milk or eggs right now).

But obviously, I'm in the dark here, and not sure about much of anything at all.


Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

You dont remember with your other children because you didnt have to think about it. No numbers, no scales, no cc's, no weigh ins. Of course you dont remember.

Our number one battle is feedings, I wish I had an answer for you.

Anonymous said...

I know very little of your struggles, but just remember adding little bits of cereal to the milk in the beginning. I always thought that helped with reflux, making the liquid a little heavier and harder to come up. Fruits came next (high in calories) followed by veggies.
I remember finding citrus fruits (peaches, apricots) to have allergic reaction (cheeks, butts), but other then that, had it easy.
Hope this is what you were asking....

Laurie said...

Hey Connie,

Don't know if I can be of much help here but I can tell you that my granddaughter Hannah LOVES avocado, I mean LOVES it. She will be one year old on Dec. 3rd. She's not much on texture yet but I just mash the snot out of it and she eats the whole thing. Good kind of fat and good calories to bulk up on. I love you girl and am praying for you and hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful.

Love and Hugs, Laurie in Ca.

Cathy said...

Wow, avacados! I learned something, thank you Ms. Laurie. All I can tell you, Connie, is that before Annabel had g-tube eating was unbearably slow. I can't tell you how many time I started and stopped. It just didn't work many times. You can ask Lyndsey about it. I was pretty much on my own but it was so frustrating. And Annabel was a yo-yo with her weight. Wish I could help.

The VW's said...

I can't give you any advice, since I'm in the same boat with you. It's so difficult watching your little one gagging and spitting up. I am constantly told that it's because of the tube that Gavin has, but his gagging started before he got his G-tube as well. His also started after a hospitalization/surgery. I keep asking doctors if it could have anything to do with being intubated during the surgery. They look at me like I'm crazy, but it started right after the surgery...So, what caused it?! As for weight gain/loss issues...don't even get me started!

Wish I could help, but know that I can at least sympathize with you. Hang in there! I pray that answers will come for you!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Laurie said...

Happy Thanksgiving Connie! Thinking about you guys today and hoping your day is a blessed one. We have a little 250 day old T18 warrior named Zoe that could really use prayers today. She is on the Batiansila Blog Powered By The Prayers of Saints. She is coming out of a delicate heart surgery and is doing good but needs prayers for coming off the vent. You know how this is. She is amazing and so is her family. I don't know if you will be checking in but if you do, prayers are needed. Love you girl.

Laurie in Ca.