And the New Featherweight Champion is…

So, the babies have not stopped having shitfits just about every night around 6 but I’m managing. And Sadie is also not growing adequatly. She is still shy of 8 pounds and it’s a pretty scary situation to me. But then again, running low on apricot beer is a scary situation for me so it’s possible that I’m overreacting. Because I can’t seem to stay away from my pediatrician’s office for more than a week at a time, I’m bringing them back in on Friday. At my last appointment I asked my doctor if I should buy a scale so I could weigh her and he said no because I would probably get obsessed. How did he know that about me? Am I that obvious? I must’ve had that slightly desperate look in my eye that said, “You know what would be great? A Google alert everytime my baby puts on an ounce.”

My doctor said that he too is worried about Sadie’s slow gaining and that he wants to take “more aggressive measures” to find out what’s going on. What does that mean? Of course I asked but he said he needs to see her again to decide what to do. Apparently supplementing the formula is not the way to go –at this point I want to give her a Quarter Pounder with cheese. Of course I’m driving myself crazy with my Preemies book and the Internet trying to diagnose her myself but it’s pretty difficult to determine. She just doesn’t eat very much. It’s not like she’s guzzling down formula but not gaining weight – she’s not eating enough. Anyone else had this problem? I’m scared.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on April 2, 2008 11:34 pmUncategorized23 comments  


  1. Lindy R said,

    Both my babies always had a fussy time, and wouldntcha know it was RIGHT at dinner time. Always. Without fail. Fortunately, they seemed to outgrow it around 5 or 6 months. Come to think of it, it was right around the time that I started stuffing rice cereal in their mouths. Hmmm…

    I didn’t have a preemie, but I can relate to worry about your child’s size… my 3 year old daughter is the same size as her 1 year old brother. Taller, yes, but the same weight. And he’s no heavy weight — just 22 lbs, (which is the in the 25th percentile). She’s just skinny. And will hardly eat. Anything. At all. Unless it’s candy. And while I don’t have a hard time feeding myself candy (hehe), I don’t really think it’s a great source of nutrition for her. I think as moms, we’ll always have something to worry about, and if it affects our children, it’s automatically a “big thing.” Hopefully this isn’t too big of a “big thing.” And you seem to have a good pediatrician who is helping you keep tabs on things. You’ll get through this, moment by moment. Hang in there.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 12:57 am

  2. Becky said,

    I didn’t have preemies, but both of my kids are in the bottom percentile. I know that they make high calorie (read: expensive) addins for formula, so maybe just making what she does eat really, really, really fatty is a good idea.

    Don’t obsess until you’ve talked to your doctor (easier said than done).


    | April 3, 2008 @ 1:03 am

  3. Jen said,

    Try rubbing butter on her gums? I don’t mean to make light, I also had a baby who was very, very slow to gain weight and yes, it is scary. (My “baby” is now 7 and still small but healthy.) I hope they’re able to figure out what is going on with your little one and get her gaining some weight.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 1:10 am

  4. MereCat said,

    Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry for all the worry you have had to go through with these precious little babies. It’s hard enough having one healthy newborn, and even harder with two, but when you have a baby that’s struggling, hard is simply redefined. I just want you to know that I’m thinking of you, and wishing you well for Friday… and an unlimited supply of apricot beer.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 1:13 am

  5. D. said,

    My cousin was like that as a baby – she hardly ate, was super tiny, and drove my poor aunt crazy with worry. All I can say is that she is a perfectly healthy teenager right now. She is still very thin (I’m sure lots of her friends envy her for that), but she’s quite tall and has never head any health issues that I can think of. Some babies are just like that – small and not very hungry! I know it’s hard not to worry (I am the biggest worrywart in the world, so I know). I’m sure your doctor will put your mind at ease.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 1:19 am

  6. Backpacking Dad said,

    Erin used to have the fussy hour between 8 and, uh, 4 in the morning. That lasted until she was around 4 months old.

    I don’t think we’ve ever had a weight-gain problem like you are describing. Although now that I think about it Erin has been fluttering around 20lbs for a few months now. I just attribute that to activity; she doesn’t refuse to eat or anything like that.

    But I can relate to getting obsessive about things. I think your doctor was very very wise to advise you not to get a scale. Especially if you are in the office every week anyway. When Erin was younger we would go to our local baby/new parents center, Day One, and we would weigh her all the time, just because we could. If she went a week without gaining weight we would freak out a little.

    I can’t give nutritional advice, and I won’t give parenting advice, but I can give some sanity advice. Even though you have twins you need to make something else your hobby. You can’t spend too much time trying to do research on the internet and elsewhere for a problem that you have already enlisted professional help for. If you are genuinely concerned about your pediatrician’s competence then you need to switch doctors. Spend your research time researching doctors if you want; but at least that will be end-directed research and not “mess with my head” research.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 1:24 am

  7. Cheryl Lage said,

    Like everyone above, I feel so good that your doc is clearly “on top of things” not only in monitoring sweet Sadie, but your anxiety. (I too was/am blessed with a similarly saintly doc.)

    And like Lindy R, and Jen and D, our girl was (and is) tiny…3% (and 1% at one panic-inducing point) until age 5. Don’t you hesitate to ask your doc what “measures” he’d like to pursue…you may be imagining more dramatic interventions than he is.

    Hang in Sister. Hoping you (well, not you, Sadie) have some mind-easing weight gain soon.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 2:05 am

  8. pippa said,

    From personal experience, look at your entire family history for little folks. She was a preemie on top of everything, and I think that doctors are getting WAY too hung up on charts now. I had a friend who had her first at the same time I did. Went through something very similar, although her little one wasn’t a preemie. At a year, I don’t think she weighed 15 pounds soaking wet. They put her through every test under the sun, and it turns out she’s just a slow grower. Both her daughter and mine are 8 now, and virtually the same size, even though mine was always wearing at least double her age in clothing size.

    I’m lucky that I have a doctor who stays on top of things, but doesn’t panic. After having giant children, my FOURTH is tiny. We were finally able to turn her car seat around a few months after her second birthday (she hit EXACTLY 20 pounds at about 28 months). And this was a fully-baked kid who was 8.5 pounds at birth! She has a growth curve all her own. She JUST hit a chart for the first time at 2, but plotting a curve under the line has worked for us. We did blood work to rule out anything horrifying, but other than that, we are just keeping an eye on her. She eats next to nothing other than frozen pancakes, but she’s happy, alert, and just a tiny little peanut. The best thing is we REALLY get our money’s worth out of clothes. Hang in there.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 2:40 am

  9. andi said,

    Of course, you’re scared. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to not know what’s going on.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer any words of advice. Just know that you and your sweet kiddo are in many people’s thoughts.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 3:17 am

  10. Cara said,

    I am so sorry that you are going through this with Sadie, but at the same time, glad I’m not the only mom dealing with this right now. My son is 7 months and weighs 11 pounds, 13 ounces. (He was born at 36 weeks weighing 4 pounds, 9 ounces). He has consistently been less than 3rd percentile, and is not gaining. I’m nursing him every 2 hours during the day, 2 times during the night, feeding him 2-4 ounces of solids 3 times a day (w/ oil added, per dr. advice, for the fat and calories), and one supplemental bottle of formula every afternoon. We had a “weight check” appointment with the ped. last week, and she is officially concerned, so we now being referred to a specialist where we will sit down with a nutritionist and run some tests. I’ll let you know how it goes. Good luck with your babies, and I enjoy reading your blog!

    | April 3, 2008 @ 3:50 am

  11. Anonymous said,

    I am not sure if you have thought of this but sometimes a feeding tube is what the doctors decide is best. I am sure it would be the last possible solution but one he/she might consider. It is not as scary as it seems, hang in there

    | April 3, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  12. Christine said,

    Oh, honey…I just want to give you a big hug and promise you that everything is going to be just fine. And drink apricot beer with you.

    I’m so sorry you’re scared, that Sadie isn’t plumping up like the docs would like. I am glad her doc is keeping an eye on her…but keep in mind that if they were really freaking out they’d be acting a lot more aggressively.

    I’m thinking of you…and reading your books!

    | April 3, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

  13. Tai Chi Mamma said,

    It has to be torture for you. I’m sure the doctor will have some answers for you on your next visit. Stay away from the internet! Whenever I’ve looked up sights for my own neurotic symptoms (I’m perimenopausal…need I say more?), you always get the worse case scenarios. Drink more, read less. Hang in there. We’re leaving for our conference this afternoon. We’ll see you and our brown eyed girl on Monday!!

    | April 3, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

  14. RhoRho said,

    Ugh..I feel bad I hadn’t gone back and read about the birth of your twins until today – since i just found your blog recently. Didnt realize they were so small. I guess you laughed when i asked “does gripe water help colic?” – Geez I’m an idiot. But as far as the weight of Sadie, does the doubling birth weight by 6 months rule count for preemies? B/c if so she’s ahead right? If it’s any consolation I know a set of gorgeous twins (now in their 30s) who each weighed 2 lbs. I’m sorry you’re still major sleep-deprived. I feel guilty complaining after seeing what others are going thru. Just feed that little thing as much as she’ll take, right? Hang in there~

    | April 3, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  15. Kate said,

    I hope everything is okay with your little one. I’ll be thinking of you!

    | April 3, 2008 @ 4:49 pm

  16. BabyShrink said,

    Oh Stef,
    It must be so hard with them being preemies, AND Elby to look after, AND the colic….AND this too. You are being supremely tested and I just wish I could come over there and fix everything right up.

    I know you know this, but time will fix all this. In time, they will sleep better, the colic will subside, and little peanut will continue to develop in a lovely fashion, just a tiny fashion. I am also sure you know that they are mainly looking at other developmental signs of progress, and those are quite reassuring, I will bet. In other words, if she’s doing fine otherwise, developmentally, she SHOULD be fine. Sure, get her checked out by a specialist, because like me, you’re a worrier, and the xtra information is helpful. And a new set of expert eyes…no matter how great the pedi is…will likely make a load of difference to you.

    Here, we have a “feeding team” at the children’s hospital, and they deal with this stuff every day, and always have some really practical, reassuring suggestions for parents in your situation. I am sure in LA there has got to be a fabulous feeding team to consult with.

    Hang in there! Thinking of you!

    | April 3, 2008 @ 6:06 pm

  17. Catwoman said,

    Both my sisters and I were terrible eaters. My mom said that it would take me close to an hour to eat an ounce of formula as an infant and that she would sob every time she fed me.

    The good news is, now I can eat a two-enchilada dinner, a basket of chips with two bowls of hot sauce, two containers of flour tortillas smothered with fake butter spread and a sopapilla without any problems.

    As long as she’s healthy, she’s ok. My sisters and I spent the first five years of our lives being under the weight percentile scale. I mean, not even CLOSE to it.

    Now, we all wishing we were as anorexic as we were back then, because at least our jeans would fit.

    Look at it this way, you get to obsess over someone else’s weight rather than yours. I’m sure your body image is thrilled about that! 🙂

    | April 3, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

  18. katd said,

    Keep us posted with what the doctor decides to do; that’s gotta be tough because what in the world else can you do? Sorry for your worry, and I hope things get better soon!
    Not to make light but apricot beer? YUM! Ever tried Lindeman’s lambic or framboise? One more minute until five here…then it’s not taboo to drink, right?

    | April 3, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

  19. that chick said,

    i know that terror far too well. my oldest was about to be hospitalized for failure to thrive when we figured out what was wrong. he was a little skeleton with no cheek fat and no bum. it turns out that he’s a celiac and was getting gluten from my breastmilk. the gluten kept him from absorbing any calories at all so he was starving to death. if nothing else works, try eliminating dairy and gluten from your diet for a week or two.
    i really hope something helps soon.

    | April 3, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

  20. Kathy said,

    🙁 Just think, a year from now you will be reading a blog on someone ELSE’s page who is writing about the same issue. You will leave a comment full of wisdom and support and then be glad that your babies are toddlers and will never scare you ever ever ever again.

    On a sidenote…would it be possible to transfer a little chunk from “chunky cheeks” baby and give it to “teeny tiny” baby? New age liposuction???

    | April 4, 2008 @ 4:56 am

  21. Kathy said,

    ps, they’re BOTH pretty stinking adorable if you ask me!!

    | April 4, 2008 @ 4:57 am

  22. sarah said,

    I’m so sorry the doctor is freaking you out. Ethan was a preemie and didn’t gain weight quickly, nor is he a bruiser now. He’ll be two next month and isn’t quite 20lbs.

    They have run every test imaginable on him and he’s just petite. Now he eats “normally” for a toddler, but as an infant, he just wasn’t that interested in nursing and wouldn’t take formula after the initial supplementing while we learned how to nurse.

    Somehow, my child is an “eat to live” kid instead of being a “live to eat”‘er like his mama. Lucky punk.

    I’m sure Sadie’s just fine, but I completely understand this anxiety. I lived w/ it for over a year until we finally just threw up our hands and said, “I wish I had his metabolism!”

    | April 4, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

  23. Anonymous said,

    I, too, have preemie twin girls and they are just about the same age as your twins. One of my twins was not gaining weight when they were 3 weeks old- it was very scary. We switched her to a high calorie formula (Ne0sure) for about a month and she gained adequate weight so they switched her back to our usual formula. A month goes by and she stopped gaining again. The doctor determined that she has acid reflux (which explained all the clear liquid she spit up all the time) we switched to Enfam!l AR and put her on meds. She is doing great now, still smaller than her identical sister, but she continues to gain. We have decided that no one in the house will be allowed to refer to them as the “fat twin” and the “thin twin” 🙂

    It is so stressful when they are not gaining weight. I hope the doctor finds a simple reason for the lack of weight gain and Sadie is packing on the pounds soon.

    | April 4, 2008 @ 8:24 pm

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