I was feeling pretty optimistic over the weekend about N's weight. I had a plan and I was sticking to it! I was kind of nervous, but I thought that by being more intentional about higher calorie foods we could help him gain enough weight that the pediatrician wouldn't be so concerned.
However, starting on Sunday night, this kid has started refusing almost all food. Every meal and snack is a battle. His upper gums are swollen so much, it looks like there are two little balloons up there. :( When his two bottom teeth came in we had the HARDEST time getting him to take a bottle. And this time he's not only refusing the bottle, but also his solids. :/ It makes the days so very stressful and upsetting for everyone.
If we weren't having this weight check a week from tomorrow we wouldn't be stressing as much about it, but we know that he really, REALLY needs to put on weight in order for the doctor to not be concerned, so we are doing what we can. Which means we are giving him Tylenol, putting natural gum gel on this little top gums and putting his nipple in the freezer before each feeding and feeding him in front of the tv. :/ This is NOT what we want to make a habit, but we discovered he will eat when distracted (and is the only method of doing so when only one of us is with him.
We've gotten close to his normal number of liquid ounces, but like I said, each time it's a fight. He will take a couple of ounces at the beginning without a fuss, but after that he cries and squirms and we have to get him settled and distracted again. I feel so horrible for him, but we don't know what else to do. Once he's distracted (if we're both home instead of the tv, it involves Dave dancing around with stuffed animals. I think I'm the more entertained one there... haha) he will eat a little more, but sometimes not much at all.
You know how when you're sick or when you have a cold you just don't feel like eating? I'm sure he also has that feeling with the pain in his mouth so we feel so bad for him. I even tried freezing bite-sized blobs of his favorite baby food and feeding them to him in small, cold bites, but he doesn't seem to like it. :/ The odd thing is that when I put his coconut oil on his face to help with the dry skin (after his bath) he always opens his mouth for bites. How can I say no to high calorie, healthy saturated fat!? I can't, so I don't!
My mother-in-law is a speech therapist at a clinic where she works with lots of professionals, including physical therapists and feeding therapists, etc. She told me that with their clients, those whose children have feeding difficulties, of all kinds. She said it's because with babies and small children you're feeding them all throughout the day, so every feeding time can become stressful, especially when they're needing to gain weight.
That's reassuring to me that I guess that makes me normal. And that all the tears are normal. That the feeling of being powerless is normal. Knowing that when it comes down to it that the situation is out of your control is normal (and upsettingly reminiscent of infertility).
Just a week ago I felt like we were in such a good place with his eating. He took his bottles without a problem and other than his lunch bottle they were all over 5 oz, which was great! And he ate his solids REALLY well and had just started to eat entire jars of food. And now I feel like since our Dr. visit last week, the pressure I now feel, the buddy's sore mouth and disinterest in food (he used to get all excited when he saw his bottle, but not anymore), that we are moving in the wrong direction. I'm so discouraged tonight. Please pray that those top teeth will pop in soon and that our sweet boy will get relief from his pain and will start eating well again.
I'm trying to trust God. I know in my head I'm supposed to let Him carry this burden, but as a new mom, I think I just feel it so heavily on my shoulders right now. And I just really, really want to see our sweet boy happy and healthy and growing as he should. And right now that seems like an incredibly lofty wish.
Thanks for the prayers!