5 months, 3 weeks, 1 day, 11 hours, 28 minutes old

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I haven’t dedicated an update just to Charlie since he was three months old . . . well, don’t I feel like a bad mama!

He has started to change SO MUCH, SO FAST. He’s a completely different baby than he was just three months ago. His little personality continues to develop and it’s really cute to watch. He’s very stubborn (just like daddy and me) and very dramatic (Sorry, Charlie, can’t imagine where that comes from). He’s also really funny and sweet. He loves babbling and blowing raspberries (that can be a little awkward when in public and he’s sitting in his car seat making toot after toot sound – the boy is obsessed).

This afternoon we made a trip to the pediatrician. We’ve been going every two weeks to check his weight, because his growth started plateauing and falling off the curve.

Right after he turned four months, we took him to see an occupational therapist (who specializes in feeding) and a dietician. We were concerned he wasn’t eating enough or eating efficiently. I just knew something wasn’t right and since he also wasn’t gaining weight, the pediatrician agreed.

At three months, I weaned him and switched him to formula. I had attempted going dairy free, but turned out soy also caused his colitis to flare up, so it was the best decision for my own sanity (I would have been living on air) and for Charlie’s health (his poor tummy needed to heal) to transition to a hypoallergenic formula.

It was a very emotional few days while he got used to the formula. It smells like dog food and I cried feeding it to him. I felt like such a failure for not being able to breastfeed, then I couldn’t even exclusively pump for him because I wasn’t able to modify my diet enough to support him. Those were some of the darkest days for me. Looking back, I’m sad that I allowed myself to feel that way. l hate that we as mothers beat ourselves up for things that really don’t matter . . . is baby being fed? Yes. Is baby loved? Yes. Why can’t that be the end of the story?

The occupational therapist confirmed he is not an efficient eater and also set my mind at ease regarding breastfeeding – with the way Charlie eats, he would have never been successful, which is why three different lactation consultants couldn’t help us. The dietician also confirmed he wasn’t eating enough calories in a day. So, with their combined advice we had a plan drawn up to get him eating better and taking in more calories. (We went up a level to a faster nipple, focused on a more consistent feeding schedule instead of allowing him to snack, and holding him upright and continuing to burp him well so his reflux doesn’t act up).

It’s been a bit of an uphill battle, but finally, six weeks later and he finally hit his target weight gain. He’s still itty bitty – just 13 lbs 4 oz and 1 week shy of 6 months, but we’re getting there! And he went from averaging 2.5 ounces a meal to close to 5! AND . . . he started sleeping through the night! (Sleeping through the night being defined as sleeping for 5+ hour stretches . . . he still gets up 1-2 times consistently, but he just eats and goes right back down . . . usually. We have lucked out with a handful of nights were he’s slept up to NINE hours!!!! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it makes me so happy!)

Today we also got the go ahead to start introducing solids!!! In anticipation of that upcoming milestone . . . I ordered a huge haul of items that arrived this afternoon . . .

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In addition to the bowls and spoons I already have, I ordered some baby food freezer trays, a BPA free steamer to cook veggies, a baby puree cook book, the Baby Bullet food processor kit, and a bowl to mash things like avocados and bananas in. Now I realize NONE of this is required. I could just pop down to Target and buy some baby food pouches. And I’m sure that I will at some point! Don’t confuse me with some food purist. (I’m typing this with lemon Oreos in my mouth to prove it.) But, I AM trying to eat healthier. And I subscribed to an organic produce delivery service. It’s a weekly serving for one, but I’m still not great at eating all of it before it goes bad and I realized I could just steam and puree many of the left overs up to freeze and feed to Charlie! In the freezer I currently have zucchini, pears, bananas, squash and apples. And this weekend I’ll have green beans, sweet potatoes, more apples and pears, and some avocado I’ll try fresh.

Baby’s daddy isn’t excited to start solids . . . he sees it as an added mess and step . . . and yeah, I can see that. But, for a preemie mama . . . this is HUGE to me, because Charlie gets to start doing something age appropriate for his chronological age and that’s a BIG DEAL people!

Stay tuned for how solids go over and to find out what we have planned for Epic Sunday Family Funday! (Hint: it involves pumpkins. Because what doesn’t involve pumpkins this time of year? Yeah, that’s right . . . nothing!)

Comments

  1. He is itty bitty, but I can’t really talk bc my kids were behemoth….. Ben never wanted to nurse either and at 2 months old he was only 3 oz above his birth weight. I had to supplement him with formula and my supply tanked when I did that and I couldn’t pump anymore after he was 4 months old. I felt so guilty too, so I can relate. It’s amazing the pressure we put on ourselves to raise these little things. He’s adorable. Have fun with solids!!

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