Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good enough for now...

That's the phrase I recite to myself all day long, "it's good enough...for now."  This is the state of mind with which I'm living in---and will likely be in---for awhile.

Jack had his appointment with the failure to thrive clinic last week---it went well, considering our fears going in.  Jack is 5 1/2 months now and at his appointment he weighed 11lbs, 6 oz (a 1/2 oz gain in 2 weeks)We still have no answers...but we have some direction, a plan of sorts.  Jack showed off and flashed smiles, giggled and just talked up a storm.  We heard the same things "he looks amazing!", "he's on track", "his physical exam presents no concerns."  All incredibly awesome things to hear.  They spoke of three potential causes off the top of their heads---1.)problems with his reflux (ie: the medicine is no longer working and that could somehow be hindering weight gain)  2.) he has a higher metabolic rate and therefore needs far more calories (there's no way to test for this) 3.)There could be a problem with how his body is absorbing nutrients.

So, we go back in about a week with a stool sample to test for problems concerning proper absorption and in the meantime we are continuing supplementing after every nursing session, only this time we were given a equation to concentrate the calories (think more powder, less water) in an effort to see if a higher calorie intake is necessary.

After months of feeling like I was doing something wrong, I left this appointment feeling respected as a parent and felt like I was heard, really heard.  I needed that.  I needed to hear from a medical professional that I wasn't ruining my child--and that there were several plausible explanations.  I'm hoping the addition of calories will bring a high weight gain and that a higher metabolic rate really is to "blame." 

In the meantime, fall activities have started up---the Mr. is still working two jobs---and the toddler is in the midst of those "terrible twos" that we have heard so much about.  Life around here is challenging right now, and that's putting it lightly!

So, for now...our motto is "it's good enough for now."  I'm fighting hard against comparing myself to all those fictional moms who "have it all together" and focusing on what really matters in this season of life---and right now, that's getting and keeping Jack healthy.

And what about all those other things I talk about so often?  Well, to be honest....I haven't used a coupon since July--true story!  And you know what, it's been a nice break and because of our couponing efforts in previous months, we also haven't done hardly any grocery shopping---except for perishable items.  Let me tell you, that's such a welcome relief to have "one less thing to worry about"  In coming months I'm going to have to "jump back in" to couponing to re-build our stockpile, but for now...we're enjoying the fruits of our labor.

As for a cleaning schedule....that went out the window when Jack was born and I haven't made my way back to it.  Our house doesn't get as "deep cleaned", dusted, or vacuumed a week as I'd like it to....but the "good enough for now" principle applies here as well.  I want us back on a schedule, and we'll get there...because it does make life easier...but for now, it's ok if the bedrooms don't get dusted one week....or we only grab the vacuum when we have animal cookie heads to sweep up.

And the cloth diapers?  That is one that has stuck!  Aside from church events and Jack overnight--our kids are in cloth diapers full time.  Yes, it's a bit more work....but it's something that is forcing me to slow down a bit and enjoy the one on one time with my kids---even if it is during a diaper change.  We've been rapidly adding to our stash without spending more money and I've been working to convert some very well-loved diapers.  I'd love to do a whole post on that....someday.

With three more Doctor's appointments on the calendar before the end of the month, my husband's long work-hours and two little ones that seem a little "high-needs" these days, I'm working hard to accept that "good enough for now" is really "exceptional for now!"  I pray if you find yourself in discouraging, hectic or stressful circumstances that you too would find the peace that comes from letting some things just....go

Saturday, September 3, 2011

in the dark and on my heart.

I have a running list of things I want to blog about----our successes in cloth diapering, how awesome my two kids are, our struggles in trusting God, my attempts to save us even more money & the ever popular "oh my stars will I ever sleep again?!" type posts.

But, much like my home sits in shambles most days---this blog goes neglected.  Simply stated, there's a huge lack of desire---and an even larger lack of time.  However, today all those excuses are tossed out the window when I just simply need a place to process some frustrations and discouragement.  Lucky you, I process well (and find great comfort) in expressing these thoughts through writing.  Lucky me, a friend reminded me that my blog can be an incredibly freeing place to share these frustrations.  So, today you get raw---you get un-edited feelings---you get what's on my heart without all the cute packaging.

Today, like most days lately, I'm feeling "in the dark."  I've shared before our struggles with nursing both kiddos and I've shared recently about Jack's inability to put on any weight.  You'll recall that he weighed in at a whopping 9lbs, 9oz at birth.  He lost nearly a pound within that first week---but at five months he was only at 11lbs, 5 oz. 

Now, there's no real indication if the two struggles go hand in hand.  Here's what I do know---until four months, I exclusively nursed Jack.  He has several wet diapers a day, has an "appropriate" amount of dirty diapers, interacts with others, is hydrated, appears developmentally on track, and up until he started teething (side note: still not sure the screaming is a result of ACTUAL teeth)---he's been a pretty happy guy (post colic/reflux of course)  At our four month appointment our doctor told us to nurse every three hours (which is about what we were doing)--I decided to additionally add in 4oz of formula supplementation a day (sometimes more).  After a month of doing all that, we saw a 4 oz weight gain....total.

I'm pretty sure my heart sank when they put Jack on the scale a few weeks back and those numbers flashed back at me.  Thankfully I was too exhausted to shed any tears of frustration---I saved those for my husband.  To be honest, that day (and really still today) I feel like I am somehow doing something wrong---that I am to blame for my son's lack of weight gain.  Primarily I feel that way because there is no other explanation at this point.

We've been referred to a special children's clinic that works with failure to thrive babies.  (even saying that phrase gets to me!)  We recieved our bright colored pamphlet (I think that's to make it feel more cheery?) along with all the necessary paperwork to complete prior to our two hour initial appointment where a team will "work with us" to "develop weight gain goals" and "identify potential issues" so that we can be "actively involved" in determining what is causing inadequate weight gain.

Now, this could all be a really simple answer----or, what we fear is that it could be something far more complicated.  There are some other concerns/symptoms we have that we've shared with our doctor that go along with Jack's lack of weight gain.  We just don't know....and it's that "in the dark" feeling that feels totally isolating.  We have waited two weeks and we know after this next appointment we'll likely have to wait some more.  If you know me, you know I am the least patient person in the world and that I've been web-md-ing the "situation"

It's been a humbing experience.  To read friends and family post about similarly aged kiddos and how big they've gotten just makes me have to fight bitterness....and feelings of feeling sorry for myself "why do their kids gain weight and my son can't?!"  When others tell me "how big Jack's getting"  I feel like I'm biting my tongue---because it's just not true---and I'm assuming that's the nicer thing to say then "why is your nearly six month old so skinny??"  And I'm embarassed to admit how prideful I have been when it comes to answering particular questions or upon being told we would be meeting with a team---which included a social worker.  "a social worker?  I'm not one of those people that starves my kids"  True story...exact thoughts spoken out loud to my husband.  (side note, praise God for the patient husband listening to all my thoughts!)

So, there's the story---raw, un-edited without any fancy wrapping.  In reality, it is such a miniscule problem to be dealing with---but when you're in it and feeling the judgement, questions, and opinions surrounding it---it somehow becomes a much bigger problem.

In the meantime, we continue to pray for quick answers and for humbled hearts.  For God to strengthen us and for us to recognize that Jack is His son first.  For God to equip us as parents to handle whatever comes our way (simple answer or complex)...and really, for God to continue to use this experience to make me more aware and strip away at my prideful, "better than you" complex.