Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hard Places Continue

I've been neglectful in updating about Abraham lately.  In part because I'm not even sure what to say, but also because it's just plain hard.  I feel as though ever since this happened, we haven't been able to really rest in him being healthy.  But hello, that's not where we find rest anyway, so me setting up my children's health as a place to relax and find solace is faulty at best and an idol at worst.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."


So I need to find my rest in Jesus and just keep fighting with His strength for my son's well-being.  Got it.  Well, as much as I can.  Until this afternoon when I need to repeat the Gospel to myself because I'm living as though I am not freed from the burdens of this life.

If you remember, back in October we were testing Abraham for crazy diseases and syndromes.  Thankfully, the tests all came back negative.  But that doesn't change the fact that he still had/has some of the symptoms of those things.  He was and is small.  Now, that in and of itself isn't an issue for all kids, but it is getting to a point where it is worrisome for Abe.  He was born in the 40th percentile and has slowly slipped each month down to his current standing in the 2nd percentile.  His worst drop was this month when he only gained 1 ounce.  In a whole month.  The doctors want him gaining 4-5 ounces a WEEK.  Ugh.  

So after much looking into it, the issue does not appear to be with the quantity of food he's getting.  In other words, it's not that nursing him isn't working (because I know that's where a lot of minds go based on the immediate questions I get when talking to people about this).  I make enough to satisfy him.  So the problem could be many, many different things.  It could be that he has some sort of GI problem that makes him not want to eat as much as he truly needs to grow.  Or that he's eating plenty, but not absorbing nutrients properly.  Or that he spits up too many of his calories to grow.  Or that he's allergic to something in my milk and that's causing inflammation and growth issues.  We just don't know, yet.

So for right now we are trying to maximize the number of calories he takes in.  This means feeding him bottles of breastmilk that have formula added to them to increase the calorie count per ounce.  He doesn't like this idea very much, but each day is getting a little better.  Meanwhile, my house is falling apart as I try to balance the added time and energy involved to pump, make bottles, wash pumping supplies and bottles, and feed bottles.  It's reminding me why I like just nursing so much.  We will check his weight again on Friday to see if this protocol is doing any good for his chubbiness.

But, the new feeding plan doesn't really tell us what is wrong; so tomorrow he's having a GI scope done of his esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.  I'm less than thrilled about the procedure.  He will be put under general anesthesia and be intubated so that he doesn't spit up and cut off his own airway.  They will do biopsies along the way as well as look for any physical abnormalities.  

Abraham, in the meantime, is his happy go-lucky self most of the time.  He's unfazed by the worry of the adults around him.  I will keep you all updated on how tomorrow goes, although it will take a week to get any results from the tests.


  1. Praying for you guys. Would love to help with dishes sometime this week if possible?

    1. Anyone who wants to wash dishes is always welcome in my home!

  2. Boo hoo. No me gusta. I'm thankful for the update to know how to pray but sad for you and Scott and Abraham. Hang in there, sis. Love you. You're a super mom. :)

  3. I'm so sorry you're having to worry. I hope that this procedure will bring you answers that can eventually lead to some peace. I am so thankful that he's such a sweet, happy boy! He couldn't be more adorable!!!

  4. Thinking of you. Being a parent truly is like walking around with your heart outside of your chest. Praying for answers and solutions. And i hate that people automatically think it's your breastmilk/ability to feed him. I have soooooo been there. He's beautiful.

  5. Liz, I'm so glad you are willing to share your stories and your personal faith in the process. And preaching the gospel to yourself is not a sign of weakness..it's something we should all do every day!! Praise God for your faithfulness to trust Him! We are praying for you and all your little ones!


  6. ugg. how hard.i'm sorry...
    praying for an answer and for you to find comfort in the God who made your son and knows what's up. :)

  7. Hey Elizabeth...it's Stephanie from Baton Rouge. I just wanted to let you know that we experienced almost the same thing with Lyla. She was diagnosed with failure to thrive at 7 months because of her inability to gain weight. She stopped gaining at 4 months and started losing. We tried uping her caloric intake but she was admitted at 7 months because of her staggering weight loss. At admittance she weighed barely two lbs over her birth weight. Anyways, long story short, now at 16 months she looks like she swallowed the previous version. She started coming out of it around 12 months or so and has been gaining ever since.

    I just want to encourage you as you walk this all out. Adoption is such spiritual warfare! We battled so many issues, including questions that felt accusatory about our "adopted" daughters health. It was so hard to remain strong for her while undergoing so much scrutiny; but, through it all, God was ever faithful. By the end of her seventh month, she gained over 3 lbs. She came off of all her meds and she is a chunky, fluffy beautiful toddler. Accept all offers of help, ask for meals and laundry days, and rest in knowing that there is a miraculous end to all these health woes.

  8. Hi Elizabeth. I know you don't really know me, but I'm another holistic adoptive mama in the area. I'm so sorry to hear about how much your little guy is struggling to gain weight. Have you tried seeing a chiropractor? I am a chiropractor and I've helped many people when it seems like nothing else can help. I'm pretty far South in the metro, so you may be able to find a chiro closer to home, but I would love to answer any questions you might have or help in anyway.