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.