At Sadie's 12 month checkup, the doctor told me Sadie's too skinny. She had gone from a little chubbers, to skinny mini in about 6 months. At 6 months, she was just above the 50% in weight. At 9 months she had dropped to 25%, and by 12 months she was at zero. That's not good, doctors don't like to see that, especially in special needs children, ones who are already on the radar for feeding problems. At 9 months, when Sadie started dropping, Dr. Wendy called our state services coordinator and requested that we get the ball rolling on feeding therapy...we didn't actually see the feeding therapist until the week before Sadie's 12 month appointment.
As good as I know they are for babies/kids/people who really struggle or just can't eat, I am deathly afraid of a feeding tube. It would require surgery, and maintenance, and screaming, and it would break my heart a little. So when Dr. Wendy told me to come back in a month to weigh her, and if she hasn't gained she's going to send us to G.I., I freaked out. I know she didn't mean it to be, but to me it was a threat. A challenge not to go down the slippery slope toward G-tube.
It's hard work for Sadie to eat, definitely. And it's hard work, as well as a lesson in patience, for whoever is feeding her. But we tackled the problem head on, and immediately started feeding her 3 meals a day. And soon after that, we started keeping track by writing down what time she ate and what she ate each meal. We saw a pattern develop, she was eating at about the same times everyday. So we tried to stick to it. Then we started weighing her food and trying to get it up over a certain amount everyday. That prompted the addition of a meal, so now she's up to 4 meals a day. Then we moved to counting calories, and now I'm even writing down when she nurses. This might seem like a lot of work, but it's a lot less work than what comes with a G-tube...and she's gained over a pound in the last month.
We have our weigh in appointment on March 8, and I plan on bringing our food log with us. I think Dr. Wendy will be happy that Sadie has gained weight. I mean, she actually has a fat little belly and her face is filling out and when you pick her up, she feels solid. I just really hope that as she grows bigger and bigger her eating skills also improve to fulfill her calorie needs. There still may be a G-tube in our future...but we're going to fight it as hard as we can for as long as we can.
Here's a little video of Sadie having her feeding therapy. It's meant to stimulate and wake up her mouth so that she is more aware of it and can use it more efficiently when eating. It actually works really well. You can see how it makes her yawn when we do it though! What a good little eater she is becoming! We are so proud of her!