So the last week of January, I spent in the hospital.
I had taken Lorelai to her doctor appointment that morning, expecting a good report. She'd been having issues gaining weight like she "should" but I was sure she had grown that week. The first month, I fed her myself completely. The second month, I started pumping, and giving her a little formula if she still seemed hungry after eating. Two weeks later, we upped the calorie count in the formula. But it was not enough. So they sent her to the hospital, and I went with her!
I was wracked with worry, guilt, and even fear. I was so sure I could do it this time. I thought I had figured out all the problems. And yet she wasn't growing. Failure-to-thrive is a term that can stop any mother's heart, and that's what I was hearing from the doctors.
I was blessed to be visited by several people from church, and even an old friend, while I was at the hospital. Lor and I both got blessings, hers to be healthy, and me to be comforted. I'm so grateful for those good people and their service. And I'm grateful for all the thoughts and prayers given on our behalf by the ward and all my friends.
We spent a week, and they did every test they could think of to test her metabolism, blood counts, what have you. I had to stop feeding her because it was too tiring for her and she wouldn't eat enough that way. I'm not one of those women that could feed a whole passel of children, or soaked through nursing pads several times inbetween feedings. I knew that if I stopped feeding her, I would lose my supply. But every time I tried, she lost weight. In the end, I decided it was reflux, and started giving her the medication (baby Zantac), but it was too late. She was too weak, and I was losing the supply. I took every natural supplement I could, so I could make it last as long as possible, but I knew it wouldn't be long.
She gained a pound that week at the hospital. She gained 3 oz the next week, and 7 oz the week after that. Today, I finally do not have to go to the doctor first thing in the morning, which is good, because she didn't feel well over the weekend, and therefore didn't eat well, and it would have reflected poorly. She's awake and alert when she should be, and sleeps when she should. She still urps all over the place, but she keeps more down every day, and I'm confident we're on a good path now.
I still wrestle with my role in what happened. There are days when I'm hard on myself about what I could or should have done, was I too stubborn, was I not tenacious enough, why didn't I see the signs. I try to find that silver lining, though, and the main one is that I've now entered the realm of motherhood where I'm more sure of myself, and I will not let them bully me about her weight gain. I'm pretty well convinced she's just meant to be small, and as long as she's growing a little, and developing like she should, I can stand up to them (because sometimes doctors are too by-the-book). And my other kids turned out all right with formula. We'll be okay.