Good Things Come in Small Packages.
by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
Sadie, Sadie teeny tiny lady… I haven’t written a lot about Sadie and her eating, growing, issues lately. Sometimes, especially when things are going fairly well in that area, it slips to the back burner. A few months ago, Jon and I made a decision to try and stop feeding her through her g-tube overnight for awhile. We wanted to see if maybe taking a break for a few days might increase her appetite. When your child eats a couple of lint covered Cheerios she finds under the counter and then acts like “whoa, I couldn’t eat another bite” for the rest of the afternoon, you start to wonder if maybe she is just full. Once she’d been off the tube feeding for a few days her appetite did perk up. But at the end of our week long experiment she’d lost a few ounces instead of the gain we hoped for.
Rather than go back to the tube, on the suggestion of Sadie’s nutritionist, we decided to try the appetite stimulant, Periactin. Periactin is an antihistamine that has the added benefit of causing people to eat like they’re starving, stoned and premenstrual. It’s given to cancer patients and anorexics. The rest of us should probably stick with Benedryl. Within one day on the medicine, Sadie was eating more than we’d ever seen her. For maybe the first time ever, we actually heard her ask for more. More! The word more was so beautiful, so stunning and unexpected it brought tears to my eyes. She was like a completely different baby and we relaxed for the first time since she was born.
The scale moved slowly from eighteen pounds (Worry! Dread!) to twenty pounds (Happiness! Celebration!) and then she seemed to hit a plateau. It doesn’t seem to matter how many Carnation Instant Breakfast drinks she sucks down, the scale refuses to budge. But here’s the thing: She eats, she’s happy and energetic, and actually at only 30 inches tall she’s in perfect proportion. She even has some adorable cellulite - a miniature, dimply little butt –it’s delightful!
This doesn’t mean that Sadie’s lack of gain isn’t a concern at all, it is. She’s still way too small for her age and her endocrinologist isn’t hopefully that her short stature will correct itself even though she’s eating more. Sometimes when I hold up a pair of pants for a 12-month-old that fit Sadie perfectly even though she just turned two I get bummed out. When I see that Sadie can’t walk up a step that is a piece of cake for her sister to navigate, my heart hurts a little bit. Her endocrinologist said that without growth hormones she may not be taller than 4’10”. I wonder if she’ll be teased.