Sunday, September 27, 2009

Eating is supposed to be fun!

I did my best to remain calm as Bryce's weight remained steady or slowly decreased for most of last week, but when he dropped an entire ounce on Friday, I decided we'd had enough of this "wait-and-see" business. Bryce's home nurse stopped by for our weekly visit in the morning, and during his exam, he noted that Bryce's bowel sounded "too active". This, combined with the nearly constant stream of material coming out of Bryce's backside, led him to suggest that Bryce might have a condition called malabsorption. Basically, this means that Bryce's body is not absorbing enough nutrients from the milk as it passes through his digestive system, resulting in the stagnant growth we'd observed for the past couple weeks.

It was already halfway through the last workday of the week, so I immediately switched to pesky parent mode and started calling every doctor in Bryce's lengthy list of care providers. An hour later, Logan and I were headed to Children's Hospital to pick up a sample can of a special formula called Elecare, which we'll be using to fortify Bryce's milk for the foreseeable future. Elecare is an "elemental" formula, composed of basic amino acids, which is recommended for babies with very sensitive stomachs.

Given the fact that we've only been adding it to half of his feedings for two days, the results have been dramatic. The dirty diaper rate has decreased to a more normal 3-4 per day, and his weight is up 100 grams to 3 kg (6.6 lbs) despite the fact that he's taking in quite a bit less milk. It's too early to declare victory, but we're both feeling good about the change.

The only downside to the new diet is that Elecare tastes terrible. When Bryce came home, feeding was a high-anxiety activity involving choking, shrill alarms and overwrought parents. Over the past two weeks, things had gradually improved to the point where I almost felt comfortable watching TV while he was eating. Now, it seems we're back to square one; as soon as the formula/milk mix touches his tongue, Bryce scrunches his face, starts squirming and stops breathing. Fun. Hopefully he'll get used to the taste, and as he starts packing on the pounds, perhaps we'll be able to add it less frequently.

With the exception of our feeding woes, things are going quite well. Everyone is still healthy, and with respect to being held by Mommy and Daddy, Bryce is happily making up for lost time. Logan loves to share toys with his little brother, and we're all anxiously awaiting the day when Bryce is old enough to reciprocate. Meanwhile, we'll enjoy the good times, and try to make the best of the rest.

Print this post


  1. We also were tested out Elecare at point in time, they do have a Vanilla flavor that is not as horrible! But yes we know that look of complete disgust when we tried to feed him! It is like we are trying to get him to eat this to gain weight, but what kid is ever going to eat anything that tastes and smells like pure garbage! Good Luck!

  2. What a wonderful discovery.You just turn on that "pesky parent mode" whenever you see the need. Maybe you can get some of the vanilla flavored Elecare. We'll keep supporting all of you in prayer. That is what we know how to do.
    Steve came over today. He said "I'm afraid to ask, but did Jason's boy make it?" I said yes and showed him pictures and videos. He was greatly relieved. And so are we.
    Blessings and love,
    Grandma & Grandpa