Sadie, Sadie, Skinny Lady

I’m tired of doctors. I’m tired of specialists. I’m tired of therapists. But most of all, I’m just tired. I’ve never had a child who is “at risk for special needs” before, so I guess I just don’t know what to expect from day to day which is especially frustrating for a control freak like me. I want a solution and I want it now and I don’t want all the fuzziness and contradictory opinions and wait and fucking see…I just want Sadie to gain weight and then to hopefully start catching up developmentally. And I want it yesterday.

Last week a developmental therapist came over for the first of what will be weekly visits with Sadie. She’d heard Sadie’s medical history but we still caught her up on the latest anyway since Sadie was copping some zz’s at the time. Once we brought her out the therapist exclaimed “Aww, mercy…how cute. She looks little but healthy! You know what you need to do? Feed her whipped cream.”

“Really? Whipped cream? You mean whipping cream?”

“No. Kool-Whip! Reddy-Whip! It’s great. It’ll get some fat on those bones.”

I ran this helpful hint by the nutritionist who is a twice monthly visitor to our home and she said, “Excuse me?” in the same tone of voice I would say “Is she on crack?” Then she said, “Please, please don’t give her that. There is no nutritional value in Kool-Whip but there are plenty of additives and chemicals.”

What we are supposed to be doing is feeding her avacado, sweet potato, bananas and other higher calorie baby foods including those little Gerber turkey and gravy, chicken noodle and veal jars. What we are, apparently, not supposed to be doing is giving her all of those food in one day. Which seemed like a good idea to me at the time. Hey, if a little’s good then a lot is better, right?

I guess not to a ten pound baby, it’s not. She was on a food and formula strike for days after my little run of trying to feed her way too much. She’s got a little delicate system and I stuffed her like a Thanksgiving turkey. I suck. So, now we’re back to basics: oatmeal, fruit, a little avacado and more oatmeal.

I need to learn patience.

I’m soooo bad at being patient. I want to be proactive. I want to Google the shit out of what’s wrong with her and find someone else to tell me how to fix it. But, I can’t. Not for now. Sadie makes my heart hurt when I look at her sometimes. Mattie is practically running marathons and Sadie watches, takes it all in, and waves her little arms and legs around a bit.

But her smile. It kills me. And if we have to see a thousand doctors, I’m ready to do it. And I’ll go easy on the Reddy-Whip. But I may have to do a few whippets while I’m at it.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on July 25, 2008 10:28 pmUncategorized51 comments  


  1. Diane said,

    Well, she is absolutely gorgeous. I can imagine how frustrating it is trying to get some answers. I hope you find some patience and answers so you are all feeling better. Someday she surpass her sister and laugh!

    | July 25, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  2. Cheryl Lage said,

    Stef, she is so gorgeous. We were told to do avocado and black olives as well.

    Do I EVER remember folks giving “conflicting” (yet all authoritatively) advice…started in the hospital…give ’em sugar water, give a paci, no pacis ever…let ’em suck as long as they will, they’ll exhaust themselves…evryone is an expert, and all give different advice. Hard for us control-oriented folk.

    Hang in there, and dodge too much Google. Parentally — not baby — fattening.

    Hoping you get some answers soon, or better yet, just some massive gains.

    | July 25, 2008 @ 11:19 pm

  3. Count Mockula said,

    She’s lovely. As you know, my Zadie is small, too. It is frustrating to deal with. I’m just offering empathy, not advice or anything, ’cause it sounds like you’ve got the doctors for the advice part. But here’s a virtual hug.

    | July 25, 2008 @ 11:23 pm

  4. Backpacking Dad said,

    Yeah. I’m impatient like that too.

    | July 25, 2008 @ 11:46 pm

  5. heather said,

    I’m thinking that our little ladies are just sitting back, taking it all in, and then one day BAM! They are gonna be fat and big, crawling and doing calculus. I HAVE to think this because otherwise? The antidepressant dosage will need to be upped.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:04 am

  6. iheartchocolate said,

    Wow, she is amazingly beautiful. I am sorry you are having such a tough time with everything that is going on, with little resolution.. Stinks, but I hope the very best!

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:06 am

  7. Jillian said,

    Thanks for sharing the picture of her. She is a lovely and clearly much loved little girl.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:09 am

  8. CaraBee said,

    Someday, when she is a robust and active teenager, you will look back on these days and say to yourself, “man, I was so worried, and just look at my beautiful Sadie now.”

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:20 am

  9. Undomestic Diva said,

    She’s just doing it HER WAY. (God help you when she’s a teenager and still determined to do everything her way…)

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:21 am

  10. A Free Man said,

    I know what you mean about patience – my son and partner are blessed that I have to work a lot, because if I were around I would be fixing the boy’s lactose intolerance and anything else that I could find wrong with him.

    Oh, and googling for baby advice – the educational equivalent of Kool Whip.

    Glad that I’ve stumbled on your site!

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:32 am

  11. A Bumble World said,

    She’s a cutie pie alright, so why not top her with a little HOME MADE whipped cream.

    All the fatty caloric goodness, none of the additives. Grab some whipping cream, add a little powdered sugar and use a blender or mixer until it’s whupped.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:37 am

  12. Aunt Becky said,

    I understand completely.


    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:57 am

  13. Carolyn...Online said,

    Oh honey, as all my girlfriends would say to me, just breath. It’s so hard waiting for the answer and the diagnosis and then getting six maybes and no definites. Then you finally have a term, a best guess, a medical illness to cling to and then they think maybe that’s not it. Let’s keep looking. Let’s be patient. And then your head spins around. And your friends call you and say, oh honey, just breath.

    No advice from me. Just bloggy love and internet hugs.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 1:03 am

  14. zellmer said,

    Here’s hoping she fattens up soon so you can stop worrying. As if! Worry = motherhood.

    Oh, and nice whippets reference btw. I could totally do one of those right about now.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 1:04 am

  15. scarbie doll said,

    Nate wasn't a preemie, but he was in the NICU for a while due to a stroke he had during L&D. "They" made me panic about every single thing. He wasn't going to walk ever "they" said. He wasn't gaining enough weight "they" said. They made me put him on formula, and give him dairy before I was ready, etc. "They" suck balls. "They" often don't have a clue what will work. "They" didn't realize that the anti-convulsant narcotics they had him on were affecting his taste buds and his desire to eat.

    Just go with your gut. A smile like that is the sign of someone who can process feelings of love and happiness. Fret not.

    PS: Loved that I got to talk to you at the Macy's party. You are good people.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 2:27 am

  16. momomax said,

    wow she’s cute. I wish you luck in getting her plumped up. I have no helpful advice…just a remark about how adorable your little girl is.


    | July 26, 2008 @ 2:38 am

  17. Mommy Melee said,

    I can sympathize with some of how you feel, although my son’s current issues are nothing like miss Sadie’s. I have a three-month wait before I can get him in to the developmental pediatrician. I’m going nuts and I want the Internet to tell me what’s wrong. Of course, it can’t. It can only make me crazy. I hope things turn around for your beautiful girl soon.

    (Kool whip?!?!?! Jesus.)

    | July 26, 2008 @ 2:39 am

  18. Anita said,

    So tough to wait – our son, whom we adopted from Ethiopia has all sorts of physical and developmental issues (he also cannot loose weight) and again experts giving us different opinions….
    I hope she starts gaining weight and catches on real quick.
    She is so pretty!

    | July 26, 2008 @ 2:46 am

  19. Kyddryn said,

    Aww, sugar, she’s just fine! A real cutie…

    I wish I could just wrap you in a big old hug and make it all good…

    Shade and Sweetwater,

    | July 26, 2008 @ 2:51 am

  20. LiteralDan said,

    I hear you on Googling the shit out of something and owning it, and I probably would have done the same treatment of everything at once.

    Cause that way you know whichever one does the trick will definitely be in that tummy. Unless she spews it all back, I guess.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 3:48 am

  21. sarah said,

    Ohmygod, she is so stinking adorable!!!

    I had a nutritionist (yes, a person trained in nutrition) tell me to give Ethan juice every day. My pedi had the same “Is she on crack?!” reaction to that one.

    I feel your pain–we spent 2 years doing weight checks, extra pumping, concentrating formula, offering pediasure (again and again and again) and doing blood tests for everything. under. the. sun.

    Here he is at 27 months and weighing 21 lbs. Happy, healthy, but with a metabolism that would make Kate Moss jealous.

    (oh, and my parents are coming into town tomorrow–days earlier than expected. joy. I will definitely be getting in touch with you once they leave b/c I am full o’ questions about life in these parts).

    | July 26, 2008 @ 4:16 am

  22. Threeundertwo said,

    She is so adorable. I wish I had brilliant advice to make her fat tomorrow.

    I wont tell if a little whipped cream ends up within her reach. . .

    | July 26, 2008 @ 6:23 am

  23. Marinka said,

    She’s a beauty. And when she’s in her mid-30s, she will laugh so hard about the KewlWhip.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 11:36 am

  24. sam said,

    I think she’s perfect!

    I coworker of mine has a little girl – by little I mean 2 years old and about 16 POUNDS! NO lie.

    The little girl is THRIVING and beautiful just like your Sadie – but just on the small side.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  25. MereCat said,

    Oh bless you. I am so sorry this has been such a struggle. I want everything to be perfect for you, and I wish I could do something to help. Just know that I am thinking about you guys and hoping that Sadie outgrows this stage very soon.

    You have a beautiful little family. Elby, Sadie, and Mattie are so fortunate to have a such good, loving mama like you.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 12:26 pm

  26. pam said,

    Oh for the love of God don’t put that picture of that baby on that page!!! She.is.a.beauty.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

  27. Kristin.... said,

    New to your blog. Love it.

    I have twins too…one we call the Moose and one we call the Squirrel. Moose is 3 lbs heavier than Squirrel and almost 2 inches taller (they’re 18 months) and they eat exactly.the.same.things. We figure Squirrel will be all teeny and fluttery and dainty all her life. Or, she’ll surprise us and be bigger than her other siblings.

    I wish you luck. I’ll be reading!

    | July 26, 2008 @ 3:07 pm

  28. Melisa@andbabywillmake4 said,

    I wish I had advice to give that was concrete, but sadly I don’t. Hang in there, she’s a beautiful girl with a loving family. She’ll do things when she’s ready, no matter what everyone else thinks!

    | July 26, 2008 @ 3:49 pm

  29. Rachael said,

    First off, she is just. so. CUTE! How could you not fall for that smile?

    I can’t believe the advice some people give to parents… Sadie’s lucky she has a Mom like you – you are doing great, even if you tried to stuff her too full, you’ll find your rhythm and she’ll grow and it will be great.

    No matter what happens, she has you for a Mom so it will all be okay.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

  30. Amy in Ohio said,

    I’m no expert, but I can tell you from personal experience that cool whip does a fine job of packing on the pounds. I submit my ass as Exhibit A.

    Good luck Sadie – I’ll be thinking beefy thoughts for you!

    | July 26, 2008 @ 5:11 pm

  31. inmomniac said,

    What a beautiful girl! I want to pick her up and hug her 🙂

    If Sadie will not eat avocados, try mashing it up with some banana. My son is almost 4 and he STILL asks for it. Sounds gross, but she might enjoy it!

    | July 26, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  32. Lisa said,

    My oldest was a preemie and the line I was THE most tired of was “every baby’s different”.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 6:43 pm

  33. merlotmom said,

    She is so beautiful. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It sucks. But whippets are a really good idea. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

    | July 26, 2008 @ 6:45 pm

  34. CP said,

    My heart hurts for your love and frustration. But despite all of the wait and see, etc Sadie is a gorgeous beautiful girl with a smile that comes right through her pictures!

    | July 26, 2008 @ 11:35 pm

  35. Anonymous said,

    Almond butter in the oatmeal. I’m working on fattening up a skinny one, too. Sadie’s super cute…

    | July 27, 2008 @ 3:38 am

  36. mamachiro said,

    i had a little 8 mo old patient once who had multiple health issues and went to see the experts at the feeding clinic and they told his mom to feed him CHEETOS. what. the. fuck.

    i feel your frustration and worry and hope you find your answers– yesterday.

    in the meantime, a little coconut milk may add some good fat and calories and supposedly has some health benefits to boot!

    | July 27, 2008 @ 3:48 am

  37. Her Bad Mother said,

    Why is it that no one ever prescribes whipping cream to ME? Or hot fudge sundaes, for that matter?

    Hang in there. Do.

    (so, so gorgeous is she, really.)

    | July 27, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  38. LD said,

    I don’t know all the details or anything. But, I will tell you that my sister’s daughter was TEENY. She was always super small and went through similar stuff to what you are. At 8 months she was wearing 0-3 month clothes, and wasn’t a preemie. So you get the picture.
    The thing is she did grow. My sister fed her whenever she would eat and did give sugary stuff partly to gain weight. (and healthy stuff too).
    Honestly, my niece is now 6 and completely fine. She started growing as she got older. By 3 she was well above the 50th percentile, and she’s now a healthy happy little girl.

    | July 27, 2008 @ 10:54 pm

  39. Alicia said,

    She’s just beautiful! You are doing an awesome job with her. KEep up the good work, mama! You will get through this.

    Love the blog by the way 🙂


    | July 28, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  40. WickedStepMom said,

    Since they are twins, it may help for her to see her sister eating the fattening stuff too. Maybe have them face eachother and give them both some of the stuff. I might just be full of crap though.

    Good luck! And lots of Hugs!

    | July 28, 2008 @ 2:00 pm

  41. pixiemama said,

    She can have my fat.
    all of it.
    free of charge.

    EVERYTHING you are doing is right.

    And seriously? Cool Whip? I can only imagine your response. WTF.

    I have a son with autism. We’re surrounded by “experts,” and I am here to tell you – you are the only expert on your child. Get help, yes, but your intuition is going to help guide you on what advice is worth while.

    | July 28, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

  42. Ms Picket To You said,

    everything is better with whip cream.

    my advice: put some on everything you eat from here on out. and then follow your heart.

    | July 28, 2008 @ 3:33 pm

  43. Lauren said,

    I’m so scared to even mention this because I don’t want to come off as one of those assholes who are so sure of what the problem is (if there is one at all). I only mention this in case it hasn’t been explored. The child of a friend of mine had similar weight issues with her daughter and it turns out she has a rare form of CF that wasn’t found during her initial pregnancy screening. I’m sure this isn’t what is going on with your beautiful Sadie and your doctors have probably already ruled it out, but in case they haven’t, there you go. She’s just beautiful, though, and I’m sure she’s just taking things at her own speed and will be totally fine. You seem like such an amazing mother. Wishing you some peace and rest!

    | July 28, 2008 @ 4:24 pm

  44. Catwoman said,

    I can only speak from the little experience I have as the older sister of twins (who I obviously raised all by myself, being a whole three years older than them). My parents were told that my sister V. was probably mentally retarded. Because she wasn’t where my sister A. was developmentally.

    Not only did V. grow up to be just fine, but she is the smartest one out of the three of us and the most educated with two college degrees and an MBA to her name.

    Although, she does have on hell of a maturity problem and we fight all the time, but surely sweet Sadie would never be like that!

    | July 28, 2008 @ 4:51 pm

  45. Kim said,

    She’s stunningly gorgeous. You’re a great mom and she’ll catch up! She will, just in Sadie time.


    | July 28, 2008 @ 8:18 pm

  46. Jennifer said,

    What a beauty! Really!
    So…we have a skinny-minny at my house and the boys’ doctor said…no joke here…syrup. Can you BELIEVE that? “Put it on everything in the morning.” And here’s what I finally came up with. I am the mom. I don’t have an MD. But I have my flag (think red flag, not freak flag) that goes up when something doesn’t sound right. And after months of fighting with that after my first little one was born…I learned to trust it. And if Cool Whip sounds right to you. It probably is. And if Cool Whip doesn’t sound right to you. It probably isn’t. The point is…to quit listening to all the other sillies who are telling you ABSOLUTELY what to do…take a sampling of what everyone has to offer…and then go with your gut. She is YOUR little girl. YOU are the MOMMA! When I was worried, it always helped for me to smell their little baby heads or wiggle their little teensy toes. Sounds weird. But it helped. (Googling will always make it worse.)

    | July 28, 2008 @ 8:51 pm

  47. Kristine said,

    She is gorgeous!

    I know all about the pain of not knowing what is wrong with your child and wishing like hell you could fix it, but not being able to. It sucks!

    Just know you aren’t alone with those feelings.

    I wish I had some great advice, but I really don’t. Just wanted you to know I’m reading and understand.

    | July 29, 2008 @ 12:23 am

  48. DivaDunn said,

    I’m a few days late on this, but couldnt pass up saying she looks pretty darn perfect to me!

    Don’t know if it will help, but here’s a little recipe my picky-eater, ‘5th percentile in weight’ baby couldnt get enough of…
    1 slice avocado
    1/8 of a banana
    1 tbs apple sauce
    6 oz plain kefir (or formula/milk/coolwhip!…whatever she likes)

    Blend it into a smoothie and give it in a bottle (yes…i know “they” say not to put food in the bottles…) or spoon feed it to her.

    | July 29, 2008 @ 5:16 pm

  49. Piccinigirl said,

    She is gorgeous, look at those eyes.
    As a mom I know it’s frusrating to not have the answers to fix things now, but I know Sadie is going to be amazing. Because she already is and she has a wonderful mom.

    | July 31, 2008 @ 4:28 pm

  50. carol said,

    Hi there.

    I don’t know how old this post is but for what it’s worth…my twins (who will turn 20 this Sunday so this is an OLD story)were born at 38 weeks – term for twins – my daughter was 4lbs 5 oz and my son 7lbs 4 oz. My daughter had been diagnosed IUGR during my pregnancy (interuterine growth retardation sp? – a big fancy phrase for we don’t know what the fuck is going on)and there were murmurs of cogenital defects that weren’t being seen on the ultrasounds. Healthy from birth, she only wanted to start smoking, drink coffee and eat every 5 hours from birth. My son the limpet wanted to feed continuously and insisted that he was starving all the time. At 14 months she started to drop off her own growth curve and then she got some gastric bug. She ended up in hospital and noone could figure out what was going on. The day before invasive investigation i.e. opening her up to see what was inside, her system settled and she never looked back. No explanation ever as to what it was, what changed. The wise pediatrician just said ‘there are still things we just don’t know’.
    She was a wee thing until 7 years old and then started to grow and put on weight. She is now a solid healthy girl drummer in a band and just ooooozes good health.

    Courage ma fille!


    | July 31, 2008 @ 9:19 pm

  51. Bec said,

    Everyone’s full of helpful hints aren’t they? We ALWAYS get “does she like ice cream?” and I feel like saying “what part of aversion to cold food makes you think she’d like ICE cream?”

    | August 3, 2008 @ 11:20 am

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