My Family

My Family

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Growing off the curve

I bet you can guess what this post will be about:). 

So a couple of posts ago I touched on Cary's refusal to gain weight.  I have started operation beef up baby with mixed results.  The good news is that Cary has is putting ounces on.  She has put on close to 4 ounces.  The bad news is she still doesn't like to eat so I have had to use some more sneaky tactics to get the food in. 

I remember when we brought Marvin home.  He ate anything.  Literally.  Brussel sprouts, lima beans, fish, oysters.  Anything you put in front of him.  I prided myself on having a non picky child and found myself dispensing advice to others.  I got picky children to eat in my care for years.  I cajoled, bribed, and stood my ground.  And yes those children still eat pretty well today.  At least as far as I know.  I really had some nerve. 

So I figured the same would be true with Cary.  After all, I have had a very high success curve with others and MY son is a great eater. 

Well, let's just say I have met my match.  Meal time is a battle ground.  Cary is grudgingly starting to accept more foods, but now that the shoe is on the other foot I don't feel quite so high and mighty anymore.  I can cram it in her, but she has a gag reflex like you wouldn't believe and she throws it right back up at me.  I now find myself at the other end of those patronizing remarks and wonder why parents didn't shoot me when I made the same comments. 

But she is gaining.  Begrudgingly, but slowly.  We have reached a compromise.  Mind you there is a bit of dirty pool involved, but I am taking what I can get. 

This last week we went to endocrine.  Cary was growing at a nice clip even if she wasn't gaining, but her body has stalled.  She is dropping off the charts.  When I explained that her bio family is short and skinny they countered with the fact that they are taking that into consideration.  But they still have concerns about her growing.  They mentioned that she may not be producing some growth hormones necessary for development.  Then they brought up testing. 

I am not opposed to testing.  But this one scared me.  They would require fasting and then place two drugs in her body.  Both would pump out the hormones quicker for testing but the side effects of raising her sugars to dangerous levels, bringing on seizures, and other fun factors really made me pause. 

There comes a point when you as a parent are forced to make choices.  I love my child.  She is NOT a freaking science project.  She is a human.  So I did something brave.  I said no. 

No is not a word doctors like to hear.  But after weighing to pros and cons I really decided that at this second I am not ready to rush out and book a room and pump her full of dangerous drugs.  I wanted to to research and get a second opinion.  Which is what I stated.  Plus I figured my husband would like to have some input. 

So the grumpy doctor left the room and came back with another doctor who went through the same speech.  But this time they told me there was no rush and we could wait until she was 4 or 5.  I restated my decision.  Plus I added that my husband had not been consulted and we are a team.  So they gave up, took three big samples of blood and let me go home. 

At this point my husband and I looked at options and found out there is another way to get growth hormones.  It involves a longer hospital stay and drawing blood about every two hours.  But there are no drugs involved.  The body is allowed to produce hormones naturally and my child will be much safer in the end. 

So for now we wait and go back in a couple of months.  I am hoping that her growing speeds up some again and if she does need testing we are going to fight for option B.  In the end I am my child's strongest advocate.  I have to make choices.  I know in my heart I have made the right choice for now.  Cary is strong, but I don't think she is strong enough for this yet.  I am willing to fight to the bitter end to get what is best for her.  And learning that I am stronger and braver than I ever thought I could be. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Some people become parents easily.  A bottle of wine, a little music.....   Some people become parents by accident.  A bottle of wine, a little music.........  You get the picture. 

For me, it was a harder journey.  When I married Shannon we talked about prudently waiting for children.  That lasted all of three days.  We decided that if we were going to have them we were going to have them.  So I eagerly waited and hoped.  But soon things went wrong.  There was month after month of no baby.  Watching my friends have babies.  Putting on a happy face while everyone in the world got pregnant.  But me. 

I also found out that I just can't seem to carry a child to term.  So my heart broke a little more over miscarriage and I was falling apart.  I wanted kids.  So many rotten people have them and Shannon and I were the good guys.  Why couldn't we? 

While I was dating Shannon I had told him I wanted to adopt one day.  I dreamed of going over to China and getting a little girl.  Shannon said he would like to have our own first.  So when that didn't seem to be happening I timidly approached the subject again.  Shannon agreed but told me that he wanted to adopt from the US.  We have plenty of children here that need good homes. 

So with no idea of what we were getting into we took classes, had strangers in our homes, let people pick over our finances, jobs, lifestyle, and religious beliefs.  It was exhausting, scary, and overwhelming.  But after about three years we adopted our first child.  Our son.  I was a mommy and I loved it! 

I had thought after years of working in early childhood that I knew everything.  I found out I knew nothing and that I would never sleep in on the weekend again.  So we had a few years with Marvin and I started feeling that twitch again. 

Shannon was not as enthusiastic this time when I broached the subject.  We had been through the ringer.  Why do this again?  Aren't we the perfect family?  But after talking it out and thinking it over we decided to try one more time.  To keep my sanity I started to blog. 

After another round of roller coaster rides and feeling like quitting our second child was presented to us.  We were told she had many special needs and the chances of getting her adopted would be very slim.  But when I held her in my arms that very first time, I knew she belonged to me. 

So was it worth all the drama? 

Yes.  Every stinking bit of it.  Is my life crazier than I imagined?  Yes.  Do I find myself channeling my mom after I vowed never to do that?  Yes.  Do I complain about them, threaten to sell them to the zoo, and find people staring at me in the local grocery store while I babble like a complete fool to my baby?  Yes. 

But no matter what I say or feel at the end of each day I look at them and remember.  Remember how lonely life was before they came to our home, how quiet it was, how incredibly empty it was.  And I am so thankful that these beautiful blessing came to live with us.  I would never have it any other way. 

Happy Mother's Day. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

"Weighty" matters

I know I know.  Bad blogger where art thy posts?

I wish I had some really good excuses, like I caught on fire or something like that, but I don't.  I do have a cold thanks to my wonderful hubby but that has really not impeded me except in the breathing  department when I try to sleep at night.

It has been an eventful few weeks so I will try to catch you all up to speed.

First, I have been fighting with the IFSP dragons, otherwise know as early intervention.  We are do for a rewrite and since I went off and reported my agency as non compliant I have had a much easier time of getting things done.  They are still being screwy, but a lot less so and they return my calls much quicker too:).

We did have to say good-bye to one of our therapists.  So I am going to use a name and picture of her.  When Becky came to our home for the first time I was a little (OK a lot) intimidated by her.  She was brisk, businesslike, and didn't take much nonsense.  She also challenged me to believe that my child was capable, can do things, and flat out insisted that Cary give 110% every time.  Cary tried her best to avoid her, poop on her, throw up on her, and sleep through her.  As you can see, Becky won in the end.

Here they are.  Becky is making her push a ball and you'd think we were trying to kill her the way she goes on and on about it.

So Becky is leaving.  A new speech person, J, is in are area and closer.  But we have a small snag with that.  You see, I really only have two days a week for therapies unless well notified in advance.  But J just figured I would magically change my schedule since it wouldn't work for her.  Unfortunately, she has picked the one day I can't change at all.  So we will see how this one turns out.  I am holding strong and hope we can come to a peaceful resolution on this one.  

We also added a new member to team Cary.  We have an all inclusive therapist!  Yay!!   This one I cherry picked.  I knew her before hand and she has taken over my old vision person's post.  Cary loves her and so do I.  She is calming, fun, and has given me more good ideas in the past three visits than our old vision person in the whole months that we had her.  Hooray!!  Plus Cary threw up all over the place visit two and she still came back.  Which is great, because my kid makes puking an Olympic sport!

Cary seems to be thriving in all areas but one.  Her weight.  For the last three months Cary has been 18.3 ounces.  For me, it was not a big deal.  She eats.  She is taking solids again.  So I was good with that.  Plus her bio family is tiny.  Bio mom is about 3 pounds soaking wet.  Really.  And short.  So is bio dad.  They make me want to go eat a pack of cupcakes.

So when we went to weigh in I was really thrown for a loop.  The doctors came in and were not pleased.  Cary has dropped 2 percent tiles and has not grown enough to suit them.  They gave her a new title that day.  Failure to thrive.

I was ready to cry.  I mean really.  My child IS thriving.  Just in her own way.  I tried once again to explain genetic and her slow growth hormones.  Because like it or not, those are a factor.  They really didn't want to listen.  So I asked a question.  How much do you want her to weigh?  They couldn't answer that either.  But she should have gained.  So I asked for ideas.  I swear there were crickets chirping in this person's brain.

So I decided that I was an intelligent person and could figure this out.  So I went home, made calls, googled (I don't know how I ever found anything out before google!) and posted on forums.  Within 15 minutes I had 9 pages of recipes guaranteed to make you fat looking at them, products natural and unnatural, and three people offering to call the hospital and scream at them or offer a free eye exam because a child with a double chin is anything but wasted.

So operation beef up baby has begun.  I am aiming for about 3-4 pounds on her.  We have tried some new things.  Some she has loved.  Nothing like chocolate powder in pediasure to fatten up the baby.  Some she has tolerated.  Grape seed oil and a little heavy whipping cream boost fat in baby food and in my opinion make it taste better.  Cary begs to differ.  And some she just throws up.  Cream of wheat is not a hit and makes her gag reflex kick in full force!

She has a delicate tummy and even though everyone tells me she needs to go on pureed table food and I want her to as well, she is just not ready for a lot of it yet.  She has really only been eating baby food for a couple of months and her little tummy needs time.  But time is also the enemy and is working against us.

So we continue to work on eating, growing, and learning that balls can be fun.  She has come so far and beaten so many odds that I know we can overcome this too!