Things That Make You Go HMM…..
Three Weeks Ago…
Three weeks ago Fabi was brought to my clinic. Her mother has a learning disability and was completely overwhelmed. It was very clear this mother loved her baby and was doing all that she knew to do… she just really didn’t know/understand/have the resources to care for her baby.
Fabi was lethargic. She could not hold up her head. Her eyes would not track my finger. She did not reach for anything. We started her on formula – believing it was simply a malnutrition issue.
Two Weeks Ago…
She came back for her follow-up visit and the baby was very alert! She was reaching for my finger and tracking every movement in the clinic. So we gave her formula again. She’s 7 pounds. Perfect size for a cute little 2-month old baby! Yeah we win she’s going to be okay!
This week she came back. The mother had been given enough formula to last her two weeks but she came back less than 4 days later. She said she was out of milk. She said the baby was constantly throwing it up. A conversation exploded in the waiting room where the patients/people waiting to be seen – began making fun of the mother. To the point that now the mother is sobbing.
We also got confirmation of a rumor about little Fabi. Fabi is not a perfect little 2-month old. NO. Fabi is 9 months old – born in May of last year.
WHAT? Can’t be right.
Nope. That’s right.
This perfectly proportioned – seemingly perfect little newborn baby – has only grown about 2 inches in 9 months. I feel like if she was born a decade ago we’d be putting her in the circus and you’d be paying a dollar to see her!
As many of you know – I’ve had over 17 children pass through my home – needing extra medical attention. All of the came from my clinic. Some stayed for a few weeks, some months, some years, and 4 I call my own! I have seen severely malnourished/failure to thrive babies. Gigi was 2 years old and 7 pounds. But her arms, head, & legs grew. Mikela was 10 months old and 4 pounds…and she measured 10 months old.
This little baby is simply not growing. She doesn’t show any signs of typical dwarfism that we can tell. So on Monday we brought Fabi home with us from the clinic so I could just monitor what she does all day. How much does she sleep? How much does she drink? Can she sit or roll over.
I still have some baby things from Isebelle…..which was ultimately from Asher/Levi. It’s not like I can go to Walmart here. But I found Asher’s pacifier that he took until he was 3. I have no idea why I saved it but we found it in a tub with their old clothes and baby items. We also found his picture with that same pacifier!! SO I cleaned that sucker off and BOOM – Fabi is hooked!
Here’s what I’ve learned…..
1) Our kids love babies! I can’t believe how much Gabriel and Asher fight to hold her.
2) Having Chronic Insomnia is really an asset when monitoring a baby at night…. just don’t take a 5-hour energy when you really don’t need it…..makes for a jittery/miserable day.
3) I forgot how much I love the smell of babies and how good it is to hold something small that doesn’t bark or talk back!
4) I forgot how much I love my job…. putting my medical thinking cap on – – measuring inputs/outputs & sleep/activity…..trying to find ways to help little ones thrive regardless of their disability.
Here’s what I have tracked/done….
She only slept 3 hours total. She only drank a total of 12 ounces of formula…no more than 1 ounce at a time about every 85 minutes. She did not have a wet diaper until 16 hours after she was in my care. She’s not a fussy baby. She keeps her knees bent and her arms tucked close to her. She wouldn’t stretch her legs out…she won’t put her feet down for you to try and have her stand. She cannot sit by herself. She cannot roll over. But she’s actively watching everything around her. In fact she’s actually glued to the TV already!! LOL! AND SHE LOVES THAT PACIFIER!!
Now drinking 2 ounces per sitting but still only 12 ounces for the whole day. When swaddled up & with a pacifier – BINGO – baby slept 14 hours this day. She’s now passing stools & we’re regularly changing wet diapers. I spent 15 minutes – 4 times a day – stretching her legs.
Now drinking 3 ounces per sitting….but still on track for 12-13 ounces for the day thus far. Spending 15 minutes – 4-5 times a day helping her sit on her own. AND she’s starting to do it some! 🙂 Her sleeping is more balanced today. AND she’s stretching her legs out now all on her own.
I’ve contacted a few doctors who are trying to help me diagnose her – she just doesn’t fit any typical case they’ve seen! Please if you know anyone who could help – share the story! We’re driving ourselves nuts trying to research it online.
Just like any child we’ve taken in…. I don’t know exactly how long she’ll stay…. sort of depends on her progress and the mom’s understanding of how to care for her. BUT – we are excited to help her thrive any way we can.
Categories: Mission Stories