I don't really know where to begin. This has been weighing on me since Friday, and I still haven't figured out the exact word to describe how I'm feeling.
At Selah's one year doctor's appointment, the doctor and I discussed her weight a little. I knew she wanted Selah to gain more - we've been talking about it for several months. But, as far as I understood, it was always a "She's doing fine, I'd just like to see her a little chubbier" kind of conversation. And honestly, that's how the conversation seemed to go on Friday too. The doc recommended I start Selah on Pediasure just to help her get enough calories, and I told her we'd give it a shot. She gave me a WIC prescription in case we were eligible (I wasn't sure at the time) and I stuffed it in the diaper bag, figuring I'd check it out later.
Well, when I got home and looked at the prescription, I saw three words I had never even considered being applied to Selah: "failure to thrive". Yeah, she's scrawny, and yeah, she hasn't tripled her birth weight yet...but I never honestly considered that there was something wrong with her weight. After all, she was hitting every developmental milestone right on time or early. So, the diagnosis came as a shock.
At first I think I kind of denied that she really had a problem. I told myself that the doc just wasn't taking into account her length (which is at the 75th percentile for her age). But when I took a look at the growth charts and saw just how low Selah fell - below the 5th percentile - I realized this was more than a doctor being paranoid.
Since starting solids, Selah has never really been a big eater. She would eat maybe 3oz of baby food at a meal and be perfectly ok with that. When she started eating 6oz at a meal at around the 9mo mark, I was absolutely floored. I guess I just always figured that she didn't have a big appetite and that she had a fast metabolism.
But in the last few months, it's gotten worse. At some meals she would eat 3-4 pieces of the meal and be totally done. It didn't matter what it was, she didn't want to eat. The past 2 weeks or so, she had days where we practically had to beg her to eat, even with things that were her favorites. Now, teething does play into that some, and her eating takes a HUGE nosedive any time she is teething. But still, for a toddler to be going maybe all day eating half a granola bar is not normal.
So, we have some kind of a feeding issue on our hands, and to be honest, I have absolutely no idea what to do or where to go from here. Pediasure is so incredibly expensive, and at the amounts the pediatrician wants her having daily, we would be spending almost $150 a month just on that, not even including food. I don't love the idea of giving her a sugary drink to bump up her weight. But what else do I do?
So, for now I am kind of fumbling my way along, trying to figure out what to do for Selah.