Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nutrition & Denial

Yes, I know, I went from nothing for over a week to 3 posts in 2 days.  When I do something, it's all or nothing.  ;-)

So... I just got off the phone with the Down syndrome clinic at our local Children's Hospital.  Roo was in there about a month ago because of some concern over his weight gain.  After the appointment, I posted some of the suggestions they gave... but honestly, I haven't been doing most of them.  I did up the calories in his formula like I had been doing when he was first born, but I didn't start adding melted butter to his food or anything like that.  I thought it was silly to just add calories and fat to his diet.  He is growing, just not super fast.  Right?

The doctor at the clinic doesn't agree.  Our pediatrician's office faxed over Roo's height and weight from his one-year checkup, and she isn't too happy.  Apparently he's gaining an average of 4 grams per day, and he should be gaining a minimum of 11-12.  Now not only does she want us to see a nutritionist (something we were already supposed to have scheduled... but hadn't...), but she wants to do a swallow study on him as well.  (This is because she had wanted us to increase his formula intake, and I have attempted to do that, but he is just completely uninterested in taking any more formula in.)

I'm frustrated and I'm sad.  I don't want to start adding calories to a baby's diet when part of me feels like--given the fact that he has Down syndrome AND (let's face the facts here) the fact that he is related to me and Mr. Fantastic--he's likely to struggle with his weight anyway.  And he IS growing.  And he isn't sickly--OK, he's had his share of congestion and stuff this winter, but he is happy and growing and proportionate.

On the other hand, he's over a year old and still in 3-6 month clothes.

Am I in denial here?  I just don't know what dangers we're facing.  I am definitely going to the nutritionist appointment (which I DID call to schedule after talking to the doctor), but I don't know if I want to do the swallow study.

And can I just say... my baby's health is absolutely the most important thing here, but... is this all really necessary?  To be very honest, my husband is self-employed, the economy sucks, and we have a very high deducitble insurance plan... and these extra tests are a little stressful for our emotions AND our pocketbook.

So here we are.  I've spent the last month laughing about the suggestions the doctor made, and now part of me feels like I should have taken them more seriously... and part of me still feels like they are unnecessary and may even do more harm than good in the long run.  Am I crazy for thinking that?  I am not a medical person, so who am I to even think that?

Oy, I wish this were simpler.


Wren said...

Melted butter I might not do, but EVOO, melted cheese, peanut butter, ice cream, half and half in cereal/oatmeal...those are all things I do on a regular basis with my boys and they are not little. In my opinion babies need extra calories, they are growing at such a rapid rate that they need the fat. I have tapered off with Landon now that he's almost 3 and not growing as quickly but he still gets his oatmeal made with milk just not half and half and a little extra here and there.

I'm not an expert or a nutritionist but it does sound like he could use a few lbs on him. Being parents is the hardest job in the world, I hate questioning and second guessing every decision I make. Good luck and I'll be anxious to hear how your appointment goes!

Erin Suttle said...

Hey avocados and coconut oil are healthy fats too, also whole grain carbs help with weight gain. Also just from my viewpoint gaining weight and growing are two very different things I think God directs us in the area of nutrition if we allow him just like in everything else. We don't always agree with our Dr's and often find other advice from naturalist. I also have to take probiotics to help my stomach digest foods properly, b/c I have trouble with vitamin deficiencies. We give them to Gavin as well b/c it helps your body break down and absorb more of the nutrients. I have been studying natural health a lot lately and if you would like any more info let me know.

Katy said...

Erin, I'm not sure if you'll see this, but that would be great--I'll take any info you have!

Anonymous said...

I've heard all the same things.. Its tough to hear & hard to know what to belive... Beckett is 3 months younger just hit 14lbs & still in 3-6. I have been thinking the same things you, our boys will be smaller & have a very hard time throwing more fat down his throat. My thoughts have been he will get there... I declined the swollow study they have requested for the last several months. I pray you figure it out. Know that you are not alone, as we talked about before I think that the DS clinic is alarmist that have "concerns" with everything. I know Beckett started gaining better now that he's on table food. My little guy rearly conplains so I have to remember to feed him a little more. Good luck. Miss you by the way:)

Jan said...

Hey Katy- do you have a good source of milk- like farm milk or organic milk? I would use full fat whole milk like Hartzler Dairy milk- it comes in a glass bottle and you have to shake it- kids brains need good fats!