Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Helena had her 15 month well baby checkup today.

She is in the 40th percentile for weight. Her pediatrician said he's no longer worried about her weight, and said we can make the switch to milk from formula once we use up what we have left.

Take a moment, and look at that growth chart. It's also missing time she was in the 3rd percentile. Not long ago, she was barely on the growth chart and today she's in the 40th percentile. She hasn't been that high since she was born. This is the highest percentile she's been in since birth.

For Helena to get into the 40th percentile and both her cardiologist (who I sent the pic of her chart to immediately) and her pediatrician to say they're no longer concerned with her weight... Well, it's amazing.

The struggles we endured to get her here were tremendous. Months of NG tubes, oral aversion, puking... I would beg her to just eat. I didn't even care what - candy, juice, sugar, cookies.. Anyything. I would have gladly given her a bottle of Kool-Aid if she would have drank it. You take for granted that your kid will want to eat, to have to face the horrible reality that putting anything in her mouth makes her gag is terrifying.
Just back in March, she was fully dependent on the NG tube for all of her feedings, and was barely on the growth chart. She was puking up more food than she was keeping down. I was obsessively weighing her on a daily basis, hoping for any increase, no matter how small. I would celebrate even a one ounce gain, but more days I would stress about a loss. Even just maintaining her weight was a sort of victory. Our days were stuck inside, covered in puke and we were all miserable. I'd have to restrain her and shove a tube up her nose multiple times a day, only to have her pull it out, or worse, puke it up. As awful as it was for us, I can't even imagine how horrible she felt.

I honestly didn't believe we'd get to where we are today. We were weeks away from setting up a g-tube surgery when Helena finally was able to eat orally. After her surgery, I was convinced that she would regress back to needing the NG tube, but she surprised me. When her nurses told us that she took 6 ounces of Pedialyte from a bottle after her surgery I cried with relief.

I cried with relief again today when her pediatrician told me she's in the 40th percentile. It's just something I never thought would happen. I almost didn't even let myself think that it could happen so I wouldn't be upset when it didn't, if that makes sense.

Today, Helena is thriving. She'll eat anything we put in front of her, and will even try to steal food from us. She's not only eating orally, she's enjoying eating. She's gaining weight, and she's progressed so much. She's like a different baby than the one we knew just a few months ago.

She's cruising, sitting, crawling, and is getting closer to walking every day. She's learning and using more and more baby sign language, and is saying "da-da" and "ma-ma". She's curious and loves exploring her world and trying new things.

New things like bounce house slides

I'm still going to weigh her on a fairly regular basis, and I'm sure I'll always be concerned that she's not gaining enough, but for now, she's ok. She's ok. We did it. We got her to a place where she's eating successfully and is able to not only maintain, but increase her weight. We got her to place where she's not just surviving, she's thriving and loving life. She's just so happy, and we can't even express how much that means.