Saturday, October 20, 2012


That's where Peter is on the growth chart for weight. Zero percentile. Two weeks ago he was in the 4th percentile. He did gain half a pound over the last two weeks, but clearly it is not enough. I had been supplementing with formula a couple times a day, which amounted to around 4 oz. a day. The pediatrician I saw yesterday, (my doctor is on paternity leave), said he wanted me to limit my nursing time to ten minutes on each breast so he doesn't get too tired and then let him finish getting full on formula. He wants him to eat every 2 1/2 hours this way over the weekend and come back Monday morning to see if Peter is gaining weight. If he is not, then he wants to start looking for other possible causes for Peter's struggle to gain.

Logically, I know that I have done everything I can to breastfeed Peter exclusively. I can see that he is not thriving. That said, I feel like a zero in the mother department. This ordeal has seen my whole family suffer. I do not handle stress very well. I get overwhelmed. I get angry because the house is a total pit (and I am not exaggerating here folks). My time with the other kids is minimal, I send them outside a lot or I cave and let them watch Netflix. Schoolwork is slow (we have only completed 5 weeks of school and I started before Peter was born). Some things I can change. Some things I have little control over. I am praying my way through all of this. Praying for little babies who are sicker than my own. Praying for friends who have much bigger worries than my own. Praying that I become a better mother for my children.

I think I need to take things one day at a time, or maybe one hour at a time. Today, I will take Anna to Little Flowers. If that is all I get done, I will be thankful for that one thing. At this moment, I am thankful for my few minutes of quiet. The baby is asleep and so are the rest of the kids. I think I will go savor my coffee and even though the house is in desperate need of cleaning, knitting is quieter and soothes the soul.


  1. (Hugs) I'm praying for you. You ARE a good mom, because if you weren't, you wouldn't care about Peter's growth or worry that your other children are neglected. As much as I favor exclusively breastfeeding, the goal right now has to be plumping him up and giving you peace of mind. I was just looking at the WHO growth charts this morning and predicting that by his 4 month appt, Georgie MIGHT make it to the 3rd percentile (he's been at zero so far). Still, though, lots of people think he's only 2 months old which makes me sad.

  2. Jenny, do not be discouraged. You ARE a wonderful mother. Selena and I have told you and Tony before how much we admire you both. I have never known anyone who gives as much to her family as you do. Right now, Peter needs you more than your house does. Housework will always be there, but Peter will only be little once. You have taken every challenge God has given you before and met it head-on, this one is no different. You are always in our prayers...and we will add another just for good measure.

  3. Jenny,
    First of all {{{{{hugs}}}}.

    You have absolutely given your all. There is no benefit in feeling guilty. It certainly doesn't help Peter gain weight. It doesn't spend time with the other children.

    Here's a tidbit of knowledge you may not know: when St. Therese was born, she had to live, for a year, with a woman who could breastfeed her. St. Therese's mother could not breastfeed successfully and at least one of her siblings died from failure to thrive. St. Therese hardly knew her mother and father and sisters until she was weaned. It was something no one could do anything about. Her mother felt awful about it (guilt I'm sure) but she made the sacrifice so her child could live. Now she is being canonized.

    You will do what is best for your baby because you are a selfless person. It's hard to admit that you can't give your baby everything he needs. I was there once, too. Once you start it will get easier. Have your husband give him the first bottle and as many as he can afterward.

  4. OH, Jenny, I so wish we lived closer. (((((hugs--big hugs))))) across the internet. You are NOT a zero. You are a mom wanting the best for her baby and family. You described our life for these past 10 months. (seriously, and literally) I am counting down the months left of pumping for Simeon. When I'm pumping, the kids have free reign over the house, and it is in complete disaster if I'm not letting them watch cartoons during this time...which leads to other disasters. Their behaviors are just worse when we watch that tube thing!! I keep telling myself it's only a's only a I keep saying only 3 mos left, only 3 months left. I, too, have seen my kiddos suffer, in ways only a mama can see, the time I so desparately wish to spend with them--gone--for now. I grab little bits of time here and there and it has to be enough for now.

    I have a formula for adding formula for supplementing your breastmilk, or even an amount of formula that will add calories to each bottle. It adds 4 calories per ounce and a within a 24 hour period, it adds 100 extra calories--alot for a baby, Simeon gained about 11 ounces per week. Now, he's bigger and it has slowed to about a half pound per week. He was also below the charts, way below. When he got sick, he was below his below. Now he's almost in the 5th percentile!! (yippee)

    SO if you decide to quit nursing, I have a formula for you and if you supplement I have a formula....oh, heck, I need to call you....Can you let me know when to call. The formula is straight from my (the recipe of formula ratio) Simeon's dietician in the Pediatrics ward at our hospital.

    Something to get you started is 3 scoops formula for 5 ounces of water.


    1/2 tsp formula added to each 1 1/2 ounces breastmilk

    You are doing a super job!!! Peter will be fine. We are praying for you.

  5. Jenny -- so sorry that you are going through all this. I echo Jamie Jo - I sure wish I lived closer to you. I would come clean your house!! That being said - let go of the housework as much as you can. Everyone is right - you need to focus on Peter and the other kids. If you really can't stand it - choose one thing a day that you REALLY feel needs to get done. And ask the kids to help!! this is a season that will pass, but when you are bogged down in it, it's so hard to see down the road. Sending lots of prayers your way - for growth for Peter, for an answer to his lack of weight gain, for peace and comfort for you.

  6. Oh Jenny, HUGS! Baby will be fine I'm sure. You are a great Mom. Do not tell yourself anything different. Many hugs & prayers.