Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Got faith?

Yesterday, Christie and I were introduced to the wonderful world of Anoka County family services. Due to his extremely low birth weight, Bryce is automatically classified as a "disabled" child (boo!), which means that there are a number of free services available to him through the county Early Intervention program (yay!). A couple of program representatives stopped out at the house yesterday and explained that Bryce is eligible for free home visits from a speech therapist, an occupational therapist and a home nurse. Based on his background, they're going to develop a program specifically tailored to address developmental delays Bryce is more likely to encounter. Once again, I was pleased to learn that all these services are available, but didn't care to be reminded that the overwhelming majority of 24-weekers have some sort of developmental problems.

We've settled into a fairly comfortable routine at the Sonnek household. Other than being extremely busy, Christie and I would be quite pleased with the status quo if it weren't for one teensy problem: the smallest member of the family is dead set on staying that way. After four days of nearly flat weight gain, Bryce is up only 3 ounces since his doctor appointment last Tuesday, and he's only gained 7 ounces since September 4th!

Since we received the baby scale, I've been tracking Bryce's daily milk intake. During the past three days, he took in roughly 600 ml (about 20 oz) per day, which is well above the 450 ml/day required by a 3 kg baby. When I presented this data to Bryce's pediatrician today, he agreed that his volumes are more than sufficient. So, he concluded that either Bryce is working too hard to eat (hence burning too many calories), or his digestive system is doing a poor job of absorbing nutrients because it still hasn't fully matured.

We briefly discussed introducing a higher calorie hypoallergenic formula, but the pediatrician said that he believes that keeping him on straight breastmilk is our best bet. He explained that if Bryce had trouble digesting the formula, he might develop gastrointestinal problems such as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which would be far worse than just growing slowly. Then, Bryce's doctor smiled at us and said, "have faith." At this point, I'm not sure how comfortable I am clinging to the wispy thread of faith I have left, but the mere mention of Chloe's arch-nemesis was enough to quell any opposition from me.

So, it seems that Bryce will be one of the few babies who actually gets a lot of use out of his newborn-size outfits. We'll keep plugging away, and hopefully his rate of growth will increase as he matures. Print this post

1 comment:

  1. I believe you are also from Michigan..right!? If so you can collect SSI for Bryce, because he was born under 2 pds he is considered to be "disabled." We do not get a whole lot from them, but it really helps and it let me stay at home with Lewis. There is no way I could of stayed working, and put him in daycare and with all the doctor appts I would have every other day off! So yes try and apply for the SSI, it really comes in handy!
    Early On is a great program as well! Love our therapists!