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Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Last week we had Christian's annual check up with his pediatrician. I kind of like this appointment because it's so benign and...normal. Just like all the other kids who turned four, Christian got his four year check up, too.

I was relaxed going into this appointment. But in the back of my mind sat the issue of weight. Did he gain enough?

Gaining healthy weight is a concern for most parents but when your child is fed through a tube, it becomes an entirely new beast. And then when you make the decision to start a blended diet, it's put up or shut up.

Why so dramatic? Well, I think doctors, specifically GI doctors have this attitude that if we are not going to follow their orders or recommendations - the status quo - well, then have at it, crazy parents! At this point, we as parents set out to prove that we've got this! We know what we're doing. But it becomes very complicated with a child with special needs. Because we rely so much on medical advise, when we decide we want to take things into our own hands, there is a need to prove we know what we're doing. 

So when I set out to do the blended diet, I was dedicated, I tried to learn as much as I could, but it didn't prepare me for what happened in the beginning. He immediately lost weight. The former GI doctor was concerned. Hell, I was concerned! Kids aren't supposed to go backwards in pounds, they're supposed to go forward. The GI doctor told me I could never match in food calorie for calorie what I could give him in formula. It was "complete nutrition." Yes, he used the word never. And complete nutrition. I mean with that kind of reasoning, why aren't we all drinking cans of vanilla flavored formula. Sounds delicious, right?

Anyway, I freaked when he lost weight. I took it completely personally. I was, after all, directly responsible for his source of food. I chose the food, I blended it, I added the calories, I fed it through the tube to my son. So I was responsible!

Then I heard weight loss tends to happen initially when switching from formula to whole foods. That was comforting, I think. But when exactly was he going to start gaining again? I mean, with the occasional bouts of throwing up, the initial weight loss, how was this going to remedy itself.

And then it did. I can't remember when, but eventually I stopped worrying. I just kept adding healthy oils and fats along with the rest of his balanced diet. I made him food like I would make any normal four year old food and we kept moving forward.

As I mentioned, Christian's four year check up was last week. The time came to weigh and measure him. I knew he had to have gained because he felt heavier. And then I got the numbers.

34 pounds and 41.5 inches. That's a gain of four pounds and five inches in one year, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Ah, vindication, you are so sweet.

Not only did he have an appropriate weight gain but it was right along with his curve. I was elated.

So there you go. My boy is growing just fine.

And today was picture day at school so it was only fitting that he would wear a new outfit. A button down shirt with a collar. Since he was too handsome to let it only be seen by me (and his school, of course), I decided to snap some pictures while we were bouncing on the yoga ball.

I wanted to get some pictures of him lifting up his head since he is so great at it on the yoga ball. I had to practice my acrobatic bouncing Christian on the ball while snapping photos on my phone skills.

I think I may have captured my favorite picture of Christian. Ever.

This might just look like yet another picture of my handsome son. It's more than that to me. I prayed every day and every night for two years to see happiness in Christian's face. Just a smile, a facial movement, an eyebrow twitch, something. Anything.

I can't stop looking at the picture. I see happiness. I see joy. I see - Mama, look! It's me! I'm here. I know it's taken me some time, but I've always been here and little by little I'm coming out. You'll see, Mama!

The picture above is not just something.

It's everything.


Alicia said...

Ahhh, so sweet! The weight gain, the new school clothes, the joy on his face... just awesome!

lucilovesraspberries said...

well said as always shauna - and I agree about this photo - it says it all! love you Christian! peg

lease said...

I saw the photo on the sidebar before I saw it on the actual post and I thought the same thing. He looks so happy. The photo brought tears to my eyes. Thanks so much for sharing.

Deana said...

What a precious moment you captured! It is everything!

And kudos on the weight gain! I was just certain that Max was going to lose so much in the hospital this last time that we wouldn't get to try to blended diet again. Lucky for us all as he lay there sleeping they were pumping full of fat and protein and calories, and the turkey gained weight!

Anonymous said...

His eyes are smiling! Love this picture!
Beth Anderson

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