Well, things had really improved last week, and I was hopeful. After nine days of zero weight gain, Ainsley gained weight beautifully- eight whole ounces in a week (5-7 is ideal)- and her digestion appeared better. However, I could tell that her digestive issues were worse this week. My fears were confirmed when she was weighed today- she’s gained zero ounces since the last visit.
Author’s aside: enjoy that I’ve done what I must do with all data- I made the obligatory nerdy spreadsheet. Note that she’s sadly behind her ideal weight gain curve, which I have set at the lowest acceptable part of the range.
The visit today was for a feeding study, and it revealed what I’d already suspected: she’s a lazy eater. Early on, she was having problems with coughing, and that led her to slow down her eating. Her suck reflex never really developed.
The good news is that we can correct it. The bad news is that she’s a bit older and it’ll be hard for her to unlearn her bad habit. The worse news is that this new routine will require even more time and effort on my part. At least I’m no longer at my wit’s end and feeling like I’m failing, on the verge of tears all the time.
The excellent news is that the nurse commended me on all of my efforts so far (SCWOB diet, nursing techniques, feeding schedules, et cetera) and said that if I hadn’t been doing all of the things I’ve done, Ainsley would almost surely be losing weight. It really made me feel good to have someone give me a verbal pat on the back.
Oh, and it appears that my diet was not at fault, so I can slowly add new foods. I added oatmeal- made with water and sugar only- and it was sadly the most delicious taste I’ve had in a long time. A cool side effect of the blandness: my sense of smell is acutely heightened, and I was already very good at smelling things. Maybe because I don’t exude garlic odor, I can smell it more? And the same for other foods? My sister was drinking wine yesterday and I could identify the grape from a yard away from her glass. It’s kind of fun…unless someone has garlic breath. Ew.