Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dear Facebook, I'm feeling a little insecure | Feeding Disorders Are Hard

After gaining two pounds at Disney World, Lakshman has, in protest I think, decided to lose it all back again.  Every day this week his weight has dropped below 17 pounds.  He usually gains back half a pound or so during the day, but the weight can't seem to accumulate.  To say we are feeling stressed about this would be an understatement.

His intake hasn't really changed, so we are a bit stuck.  Objectively he is really really small and not even close to getting back on the growth curve one hospital stay, several feeding tube trials, three different pediatricians, four GI specialists, and two therapists later.

Having this stuff stress us out does nothing to help the situation of course.  We both get nervous about every feeding.  Missed ounces feel like a tragedy.  I become very sensitive to remarks from random strangers.  Probably unnecessarily so.  But why does every part of parenting have to turn into a competition.  The stupid growth chart, with it's grade like percentage points, really isn't helping.

I know, I know, the percentiles are nothing like grades.  Getting a 99 isn't analogous to an A+ or something.  I still can't help feeling a bit jealous though.

The way the facebook comments erupt into a shouting match below an article posted about breastfeeding.  Bottle feeding parents feel slighted and want to let everyone know.  (All of my kids have done both for the record.)  In reality, I think, the articles are often referencing pretty dry study findings.  The judgement and guilt we read into those findings are our own.  '

I spew all my random frustrations about comments on Lakshman's size on facebook too.  It's my favorite place to vent.  I mean, if I never felt insecure I would probably never be on facebook at all. 

Of course I think that other parents should feel proud of their kids and how big they are.  I feel the same way about my one child who actually does willingly eat his food and seems to be growing.

Of course people may comment on his size or ask his age.  It's just small talk.  I pretty much have nothing to say to other kids other than comments about their appearance.  "Hey [kid]!  I like that shirt/pants/dress/shoes."  I don't know.  What do less awkward people talk to other kids about?  Seriously, I have no clue.

I know all this, but the insecurities still find me.  I feel like he is being judged as lacking.  I'm sure he probably isn't. But his weight is all I can think about anymore.  It's hard feeling like I am failing him so badly that random strangers can't help but point it out to me.

With the weight of all this stress on me I was starting to feel underwater.  The facebook comments and support from friends were nice but I needed a big win today.  Or several small ones even.

In the spirit of memory keeping, this is what I need to remember right now.

  • We had therapy this morning.  He eat one shred of cheese total.  But his face.  His face when he was blowing bubbles with the therapist. It was too cute for words.  He pursed his lips and tried to help but didn't actually know that he needed to blow air out.  The therapist and I both died of cuteness for a minute there.
  • Despite the call for a tropical storm in Texas, we actually had a delightfully sunny morning.  Lakshman played on the water table while I sat on the garden steps reading a book!  A book.  A really real book.  Not The Little Red Caboose, not Guess Who Elmo.  Not even Barbie the Bunny. But a real adult fiction book.  This last almost fifteen minutes and it felt awesome. 
  • I took the kids to get pie before taking them to a promised bouncy house visit.  This took almost an hour (one less hour trying to keep Lakshman from jumping into the ball pit that you know is fullllll of old bandaids, ew).  They also completely filled up and forgot to ask me for snacks every ten minutes at said bounce house.  Because they never want the snacks I bring.  They only thing they will eat is the $5 bag of microwave popcorn.  Or pie apparently. 
  • Eating apple pie gave me so much energy I actually ran around the bounce house with them instead of sitting catatonically in a chair like I usually want to do.  
  • At home, Avinash told me to come upstairs because he had a little surprise for me.  I sort of panicked on my way there expecting to see a dried up lizard carcass or something.  Instead he had written out "I love you" with his locker magnets.  The amazing part is that his room was clean too.  I know. Will wonders never cease.  He asked me to watch TV exactly zero times today.  Not exactly normal behavior. 

  • My random decision to make quinoa for dinner tonight actually paid off.  I haven't thought about eating it in at least a year.  Not only did Ryan not complain, he enthusiastically ate it.  Then Lakshman watched Nandini take a spoonful in her mouth and decided he wanted some too.  On a spoon.  Fed by us.  I started getting heart palpitations from joy and the fear that this wouldn't last. It didn't. He only had one or two bites, but he let me hand feed after that.  When he wasn't wildly craning his head in the other direction, he even smiled and seemed to be enjoying the taste.  The kid who wouldn't try pie today.  Not apple, not blueberry, not sweet and salty caramel chocolate.  That kid was enjoying quinoa. I know it wasn't many calories, but I was still thrilled.  For our very stubborn and won't take food from anybody this was huge.  I know that breakthrough is coming.
Maybe try to put some of that cereal in your mouth instead of all over the floor?  That would be great, thanks. 


  1. I'm so sorry Hun. Just want to give you a big hug right now. Lucky is incredibly fortunate to have two amazing parents who are determined to help him get through this.

    1. Thank you so much!! I'm so lucky to have such great friends.


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