Thursday, October 28, 2010

18-month checkup

The weight-gain woes continue.

It's been no secret Jacob is petite, as he's drifted along the bottom of the growth chart his entire life. But after stuffing his face full of high-protein foods for the past couple months, his weight continues to hover around 20 pounds.

Our pediatricians, both former and current, said they typically don't fret over a child's impeded growth as long as it remains consistent with the child's percentile.

However, at his 18-month checkup last week, our new pediatrician, Dr. Bottoms, said his growth was beginning to plateau.

She said if he doesn't show progress in a couple months, he'll need to be screened for Coeliac disease - a condition that disrupts the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, resulting in a child's failure to thrive.

My heart sank when I heard this. I just stared at Jacob sitting obliviously in Erin's lap, playing with whatever he could get his little hands on. I tried to combat a heap of negative thoughts infiltrating my mind with positive explanations.

Dear God, let it not be true. Is this our fault? How could we let this happen? Why have we been letting this go on for so long? What will this mean long-term?

He's fine. He eats. He eats plenty. He just had a bad week; He's getting over a nasty bug. He's constantly moving; He burns a lot of calories. He's fine.

One good thing going for Jacob, when asked by the doctor, is he's a good pooper. Diarrhea is a symptom of Coeliac disease; Jacob's had none. His lungs and heart also are in tip-top shape.

Regardless of what happens at his next appointment, we're pleased our new doctor is showing concern over Jacob's weight struggles, rather than telling us he's just petite.

So now we're trying to fatten him up - again - at a time when Erin and I are trying to trim down. We've been ordered to feed him healthy fats, such as avocado, butter, and the mother of all healthy fatteners, Pediasure.

At 240 calories a bottle, this love-handle-inducing drink is advertised as a sure bet your toddler will lose further sight of his feet every time he steps on the scale. Jacob can down an entire bottle in one sitting, and still have room for dinner.

Erin had to drink Pediasure when she was a child, so it could hereditary. Our day-care provider also tries to ease our worries by telling us her two children were petite just like Jacob, and now they're average size. Every child grows physically, emotionally and cognitively at his or her own pace.

That being said we're certain he'll be OK. Just because he's not morbidly obese, which seems to be the encouraged norm for today's children, doesn't mean there's something wrong with him. We'll find out in a couple months. For now, think heavy thoughts.

Girth aside, Jacob has grown upward 2 inches since his last checkup - a sign that maybe, in a family of many vertically-challenged people, he inherited his uncle's gangly genes.

1 comment:

  1. As one of the vertically challenged members of the family, it's ok to be "petite". Just be patient - he's about due for a growth spurt, isn't he? He is so precious - and don't worry, Cousin Beau can't push him around yet!