Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baby Steps

Over the past few years, we have dealt with some big issues with Lexie.

Shortly after Lexie turned 1, she stopped eating almost everything. Up until that point, she was an amazing eater, much like her brother. She was breastfed, and ate everything we offered to her. At 14 months old, her eating habits drastically changed, and she was eventually diagnosed with a pediatric feeding disorder.

At 22 months old, in the midst of the eating drama, she began to have diarrhea several times a day, every day. She was so healthy, so this was a mystery to us and the doctors. We spent the next 9 months seeing multiple doctors, eliminating foods from her diet, and having blood work done. Other than her picky eating, she was extremely healthy, and had only been sick once or twice with a minor cold. This was a very scary time period for us. She was tested for cystic fibrosis, and we were sent to an oncologist because her Neutrophils were so low. After months of worrying about a child that seemed so healthy despite the diarrhea, a repeat allergy test showed that she was allergic to eggs. Once we completely eliminated eggs from her diet, the diarrhea stopped.

Over the past year and a half we have struggled with her eating. We have tried all the tips the nutritionists have given us, with no luck. At her 3 year checkup, the pediatrician gave her a year to improve before she would need to start feeding therapy. We were really starting to worry as she approached her 4th birthday, because she showed no improvement.

Until recently! First, we were able to reintroduce eggs into her diet. After several weeks of trying, it appears that she has no reaction to the eggs. Only an allergy test will confirm it, but her doctor was fairly certain that she would outgrow the allergy, and it seems that she has! This is great news, because eggs were one of the few foods that she would eat!

On top of that, she has tried two new foods in the past 3 weeks. This is a huge deal for her! Three weeks ago she tried some rigatoni. Since then, she has asked several times for pasta with a bit of tomato sauce on it! Tonight, we nonchalantly asked her if she would like a fish stick, just as we always do. She accepted and took a bite...which led to her eating 3 fish sticks!

I was thinking that the rigatoni incident was an isolated one, but it seems like she's finally more willing to try other foods. Her diet is still pathetic. She doesn't eat meat, and she has not had a single fruit or vegetable since she was 14 months old. However, any improvement at this point is a big deal!

Lexie has been getting routine blood work done since she was 22 months. Her neutrophils and iron continue to stay low, and she has several deficiencies, probably due to her poor eating. She's due for another round of blood work in a few months, and I'm really hoping that these levels have gone up!

Lexie looks like a perfectly healthy little girl, and has an incredibly strong immune system, but to us, the past few years have been a struggle. We are so proud of how far Lexie has come in just the past month!!!

22 comments:

  1. Awww..I'm so glad she is finally starting to break out of her shell and try new things. I hope it only continues to improve for you. Oh, and yay for the nesting! :)

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  2. What a relief that must be for you. Way to go, Lexie!! :)

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  3. Oh my that is so difficult. You would never know...from the pictures of her, she looks to be an adorable, healthy little girl! I am so happy for you guys that you've seen some improvements and hoping there are many more.

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  4. Oh wow, I will pray for her! I would have never guessed.

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  5. I'm so glad for her and you all that your sweet lexie is making progress. I can't imagine how stressful and scary it must be. I'll say a prayer that she continues on this path!

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  6. Her eating issues are so interesting to me. Graham is such a big eater, so this piques my curiosity. What has Lexie said about it?

    Anyway, hooray for progress!!

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  7. YAY for pasta and fish sticks!!! That's wonderful news!!

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  8. It is so hard when something is wrong with your child and you can't just "fix" it! I am so glad she is doing better (for your sake and hers!)

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  9. Yeah for Lexie! I'm sure this has been difficult for you all; I hope the progress continues!

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  10. That's awesome that she's allowing some additional foods and trying more things. I hope the blood work reports good numbers!

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  11. it must have been hard. hope things improve.

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  12. So glad to hear this.. I know that has to be hard.

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  13. Yay Lexie, VERY impressive progress!!!

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  14. Awww...I bet this is so hard for you!!

    SO happy to hear that Lexie is taking steps in the right direction. Fingers crossed that she will continue :)

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  15. Wow! NO Fruits and veggies or meat? What does she eat?!?!? Food and kids can be rough enemies sometimes, it's so hard to find a balance and keep your kids healthy at the same time. We have friends who take their kid through the McD's drive thru every single morning b/c all he will eat is hashbrowns for breakfast.

    Have you tried any of the recipes that sneak veggies in? I mean, as she starts getting more ambitious, you could sneak some extra stuff into the pasta sauce... it's not much, but at least she'd be getting something. http://www.amazon.com/Deceptively-Delicious-Simple-Secrets-Eating/dp/0061251348 That's the cookbook that I know of that does it. I wasn't OVERLY impressed with it, but again... maybe it could get her on the right track.

    *shrugs* I applaud your efforts and hope that this really is a turning point for her!!!

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  16. I can't imagine how stressful and frustrating it must be every day - I'm so glad she is making some progress!!!

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  17. I am so glad she has tried two new foods in the last few weeks that is amazing. Hopefully as long as you keep offereing she will try a few new things.

    We are going through foods with Avin right now and she has become super picky which is weird because Alex ate everything when she was avins age. Makes it super hard for dinners and what not which I am sure you know :)

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  18. That is rough I'm sure. Sounds like you just described the true meaning of being a parent. Loving them even when it is tough!

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  19. What a tough journey you've had! I think we've talked about it before, but L & T are very similiar. T was a great eater up until around her first birthday or just a few months past. She is beyond a picky eater. Thankfully, she hasn't had any other issues other than being a picky eater, but it is very frustrating. I still can't get her to eat fruits & veggies, and never mind trying something new. At least L is otherwise good and healthy, and hopefully this will be something to look back on in a few years and simply say "Oh, I remember when..."

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  20. good job baby girl! for sure that is just the start! :)

    I thought I was having a hard time with my little tot whom is almost the same age with your Lexie, being a SUPER-PICKY eater. Only to find out that it was nothing compared with what you are going through. hugs!!! Don't you worry sissy, she'll continue to progress :)

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  21. man, it's all about perspective--- I get frustrated when Brayden won't eat his greenbeans!

    So glad that it looks like things are getting better for you guys... way to go Lexie!

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  22. What a sweetheart. I am so glad she is making progress. That is really great!

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