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2008-02-03 - 9:20 a.m.

...Failure to Thrive and Other Great Phrases...

It's been a rather trying time in the Teranika household. It's been kind of hard to Wake Up Little Susi, so to speak. Last week we visited the doctor three times and had two visits from the community nurses. It seems that little Susi has been diagnosed as having a "Failure to Thrive."

After two weeks, Susi still hadn't recovered to her birth weight. So we've instituted round-the-clock feedings. And thought that we were doing better and better. And then we went back to the doctor, and discovered that little Susi hadn't put on much weight at all.

Failure to Thrive. What a FABULOUS phrase to lay on a newborn and a new mom. Makes me feel SO adequate. Intellectually one knows that it isn't mom's fault. But it was kind of a dark couple of days for this new mom and dad.. Who comes up with these phrases? What about trying "Thrive Challenged" or "Remedial Thriver"? Do we have to involve Failure at this early age??

Especially when the cure is just to feed more. and more and MORE. But it seems that I suffer from an embarrassment of riches. Another phrase to describe this situation is one from my German father-in-law: "What's too much is is too much!" It appears that little Susi is literally too small for the breast. She is too small and too weak to suck out the milk. I enclose this photographic evidence of what this kid is up against (a request from cloudy..):

I know. I know. Let the caption competition begin...with a few choice entries from Blighty:

"Baby Tests Airbag"
"Baby Cuddles Exercise Ball"
"Selfish Earth Mother Feeds Only ONE Baby"
"Dairy Farmers Form Emergency Union to Teranika Threat."

The end result was that, in spite of marathon time slots on the breast, she was getting no food. And was not strong enough, and becoming exhausted from the suckling. A downward spiral that hopefully we've short-circuited at this point.

Her weight started going up at the end of this week, which is good. She is well-hydrated, and alert and animated when she is awake. So...all good signs. It's been a bit of a haul for a new mom who has been feeding and pumping and feeding and pumping around the clock, with very short breaks in between. But there are worse situations - this is one of those things to keep in perspective. Apart from a few moments of frustration, we're keeping calm and just happy to have this happy little kid around.

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