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The Weighting Game

Posted by on June 22, 2011
Ugh, I’m feeling like a bad mom right now. We just got back from my younger son’s neurology appointment. It was a follow up for the Botox injections he received in his leg and hand to treat his cerebral palsy. Let me preface, by saying he is fine. However, he has only gained one pound since December and grew only a centimeter.

Why do I feel like this is my fault? Well, because when we moved here, I made appointments with a pediatricians’ office here to get the boys established into their practice. It was a wonderful experience and quite different than what we experienced in Virginia (not that VA was bad). The nurse that took us to the waiting room, got my son’s vitals and that was it. I thought that was strange because I am used to the nurse asking a whole bunch of background questions. I was delighted when the doctor walked in with her laptop and did it herself.

In the course of the appointment, which I thought was pretty thorough, the doctor told me I didn’t need to force the calories on my son anymore. He was on the growth charts at 5%. Woohoo! She said, I could pick the McDonald’s apples over the French fries for him. I was so relieved. She told me since she just saw him, I didn’t need to do his four year old check up, since it was only 3 months away. She said to just see her when we had a concern. This was wonderful news and amazingly, he has managed to stay healthy enough where we have not been back since that appointment back in November. But, I should have known this was too good to be true.

You see, my son was born 16 weeks early. Yes, 16. He was a mere 1 pound, 13 ounces.



He is my miracle baby. We have been to so many appointments in his lifetime of 4 years. He has had more surgeries in his 4 years of life, than most adults have in their entire lifetime. However, my son is doing exceptional well. In fact, the doctors are awed by his progress. I guess, when I was told by the pediatrician that we could relax, it was like a breath of fresh air. The idea of not having so many appointments was wonderful.

However, now I am feeling guilty, like I should have known better and called to have a weight check appointment or I should have checked his weight at home. They used to watch his weight like a hawk in Virginia. The neurologist here is concerned that my son might have endocrine issues. She was asking questions related to celiac disease, and if anyone has ever followed up on his anemia. So off to the lab tomorrow to get blood work done.

The reason why I started this site was to help each other make the transition of moving easier. I wish there was a site like this BEFORE our move so that I might have selected a pediatrician more experienced with treating preemies. So I will fill out a review with my experiences here to help the next parent learn from my mistakes, won’t you please consider doing the same?

Have any of you had to fight to keep weight on your child? Can you recommend some healthy foods with high calories?


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8 Responses to The Weighting Game

  1. Jill Q

    Hey! I just read this and wanted to comment (I know, super late).

    Kate was a preemie (though not a micropreemie so I can’t even pretend to relate to what you went through with Tristan). Anyway, she isn’t a very big girl and I am often looking for things that are nutritious and that she likes.

    A few idea:

    Avocado (or even guac), Edamame, marinated steak, homemade muffins or bread (Kate loves pumpkin bread and I sneak a bunch of good stuff in it), eggs with cheese, yogurt covered raisins, yogurt (whole fat like yobaby)… I’ll think about it more…

    I hope he gains some weight soon!

  2. Laura

    Thanks so much Jill! Some great ideas! I hadn’t thought about the yogurt covered raisins before. What a great idea. I also found fig newtons. Only 2 cookies and you get 100 calories. Have you seen the whole fat yogurt in the bigger containers? I have been looking, but only see the small one servings. I hadn’t realized edamame was high in calories either, the boys love them. I think because they are fun to eat. I appreciate you sharing your ideas! 🙂

  3. amybarrett

    Have you tried Pediasure? My friend had twins at 25 weeks, the girls packed weight on with Pediasure although the boy did not (they later found out he has growth hormone deficiency). It smells bad (and makes their poop STINK), but it’s worth a shot! BTW she also got Tricare to pay for it …

  4. Shot's Spot

    Hey! First time here, though I follow you on FB. Just wanted to say that we all have that mom guilt…don’t let it hang around in your heart too long! Also, if the Celiac test comes back positive let me know! We are a gluten free (among much else!) family and I have an overwhelming amount of resources, tips, and tricks!!

  5. andrea

    Email me if you’d like to meet – we are still in RI. My twins were 26 weekers and are turning 5 next week. One has mild CP and we are doing the botox thing too. My daughter (with the CP) hasn’t gained hardly a pound this year. She’s 30 lbs but growing taller very slowly. We use Boost Essentials for Kids 1.5 with fiber. I order it from CWI medical online. It’s pricey but well balanced and makes up for the calories she’s not eating. our nutritionist told me sometime ago she needs something crazy like 1800 cals a day. So she eats what she wants and drinks the special milk. I’ve got loads of high cal recipes if you’d like.

  6. Jeanna

    It’s been several years since I had to worry about my daughter’s weight, but one thing the nutritionist recommended to us was giving her Carnation Instant Breakfast or Ovaltine. She said both were high calorie and much less expensive then pediasure. Another thing I remember doing was buttering all her veggies.

  7. Tracy ~ A Natural Process

    My son is also just barely at the 5th percentile on those charts. He was also born premature but only 4 weeks. He is now 3.5 and still my little little guy!

    Pediasure, butter, cream, full fat cottage cheese all that was mentioned above. Anything that we say is fattening is what they can eat to pack on weight.

    We had all kinds of tests done, bone scan, celiac and they even tested him for malnutrition! Seriously as if I was starving him. Whatever. He did have sleep apnea due to tonsils and adenoids. However our new military doc didn’t seem so concerned with following so I stopped taking him. He is growing slowly but he is. When we move in the next couple of months we are going to start the fight again.

    Good luck to you Mama!!

    PS also you should watermark your photos with your name or blog name or something. That helps deter people from taking them. You can find free programs to do this online. Like Picasa or something.

  8. J

    Hi i just wanted to say i am sorry for you and your sons health issues. I want to encourage you to feed your child real whole food. You have a child who’s health is fragile he deserves and NEEDS REAL FOOD. That stuff at fast food restaurants, pediasure, boxes of whatever, cans of whatever, freezer meals, etc. are not real food. They are full of all kinds of bad fats, synthetic ingredients, artificial flavors and colors, etc. No one has ever died or gotten sick because they are deficient in processed “food” items that were made in a science lab. But people do get sick and have health issues from not eating real food, from being deficient in the building blocks from ture natural whole foods – fruits, vegetables, farm or backyard eggs, meat from local farmers if you can find some, home made breads from freshly milled grains or at least from whole grains not that bleached flour that is rancid sittong the shelf for weeks waiting to be shipped to stores. Our bodies need true nutrients from real food that rots with ina few days not “food” stuff that can sit on a shelf for yrs because it has basically been embalmed with a chemical cocktail. His body needs a pure whole food diet to regain health, to heal, build a strong body.

    I am in no way trying to pass judgement on you at all or anyone else i seriously say this because i care i want every child to have nutrient dense foods. I grew up in a processed food home, raised my kids that way for the first ffew yrs. When we started having medical problems arise in us all i started looking at our diet i did not want to meidcate and band aid symtpoms. Our bodies were designed for perfect – real food. That is the stuff that was alive and growing from the soil or got it’s nourishment from eating objects growing in the soil. That boxed stuff is dead, plain and simple. The bags of lettuces are dead you neeed fresh leafy heads that are full of nutrients. Not some bagged stuff sprayed with whateber to keep it fresh inside. Yes these processed foods come with synthetic vitamins but they are not the real thing. Our body can’t really assimilate them. Just because it is called a food and it can be eaten and it has a label that claims there is nutrients in it does not mean it is real food or that it will provide nutrients = minerals and vitamins in a form that our bodies can use. Example Iron fortified = pieces of metal shavings so small we can’t see them. This is not he same as the iron in spinache or liver or beef. These sahvings we can’t assimilate and make into a nutrient for our body. We are a nation with food a plenty but real food, not real nutrients,a nd our kids are paying the price. Their kids will pay the price unless we change our diets and teach them the difference between real living food and the ake processed easy stuff.

    Please consider reading up on http://www.westonaprice.org. That website is full of so many great articles. Click on their beginners tour. It is not about becoming this or that or eating all raw or …….. it encourages people to just go back to eating real food like what families ate before the processed food took over. They ate what could be grown and raised. Boxed food is niether. I would be happy to email wit hanyone wanting advice on how to start. How to baby step and wean off of processed foods. Our families health is so much better. My children that appeared to have autism is so much better now. My kids born after revamping our eating habits are so strong, healthy, hardly sick, the autsim symptoms did not repeat with them. Life long problems for myself that doctors could not explain or heal in me and my oldest child went away soon after changing our diet from processed fake food to real farm fresh like eating. The few times we slipped back into processed foods for the convenience because of military moves we started feeling the old issues that had finally been healed start coming back again. As soon as we pulled the processed stuff back out it was gone again.

    Please check out their site, take the beginners tour, the articles are long, present a lot of information/research, advice, etc. it is definitly worth taking the time to read up, an education in food science and nutrition for sure.

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