Feeding Issues: Our GI Visit Today

Ellisa has always had feeding issues. In NICU she would spit up most of what we would get down her. Once home, we struggled constantly with bottle feeding and unfortunately breast-feeding didn’t last too long before she refused that too. For probably close to half an hour, Charles used to walk her around the house with a bottle at night just to get her to take a couple of ounces more. We were constantly trying to figure out ways to trick her into drinking but in the end, she just didn’t want to drink. Solids started off really well but soon after her independent spirit took over and she didn’t want ANYBODY spoon-feeding her. Since her fine motor skills weren’t good enough to feed herself, and she was too young for chunky adult food, we went months struggling to get her to eat her solids. We’re finally at a place were she drinks a decent amount and eats just enough to gain weight. It wasn’t anything we did other than have the patience to let her do it her way and of course, see a gastroenterologist.

That brings us to today.

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Ellisa and I went to see her GI doctor. It was basically a check-in to see how much weight she has gained since starting Periactin, an appetite stimulant. She’s been on it 6 months but this was a 3 month follow-up.

Ellisa Being Cute After Her Appointment

Ellisa After Her Appointment

The appointment went well. Ellisa is 21.6 lbs based on their scale (her weight changes a lot based on different doctor’s scales) and we decided to take her off the Periactin to see how she gains without it. Yeah, another medicine gone. At least for now that is. We’ll go back for another follow-up in three months. Her goal is to gain 1.5+ lbs in 3 months, but I’m afraid if she doesn’t reach her goal, her weight will be below the charts. The doctor said she’s fat enough that if she doesn’t gain in the next three months, it’s not a problem. I’m tempted to fill her full of butter and oil so she’ll gain, but I’m going to keep her diet reasonable to see how she truly can do on her own. It will be a challenge for ME to let her drive her own food intake and diet.

We checked her other growth curves at this appointment too. Her height has gone up to 30.5 inches, so I’m exited about that. Now if her head would just grow, she would be just about average all around. According to their measurements, her head has not grown since September–still at 42 cm. I’m of course worried about this but will hold off on freaking out until we meet with Dr. George, her neurosurgeon, in a month. I’m hoping he can explain why this is happening. My gut says her shunt is over draining and we may have to go in to adjust it. I’m praying she doesn’t have slit ventricle syndrome, but that’s another story. Let’s hope for the best even though I’m not sure what that is at this point. She really is developing great so I’m not too worried yet. No one else seems to be.

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BTW: For anyone that is having problems feeding their baby, good luck! You always hear about babies eating too much or mother’s having nursing problems, but how often do you hear of babies not wanting to eat? Not that they don’t eat enough or won’t eat their veggies. I mean, they won’t eat period! It was a real problem with Ellisa and twice I thought I was going to have to take her to the ER due to dehydration since she hadn’t drunk more than 2 ounces in 24+ hours. I guess there’s a syndrome (there’s one for everything, right?) that NICU babies can get where they absolutely refuse the bottle or breast. I’m sad to say Ellisa had it. Whatever that syndrome is called. 

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