Monday, July 7, 2008

Hyrum vs. Chanch

Other blog post titles include: "Why I stay up so late at night" and "Episode 6: Return of the Baby Fat"

Time for a hat tip. My old mission companion and golden (aka greenie), Mike Baker, got married and had a baby just before we did. They affectionately nicnamed him: The Chanch. This was him at one month.Quoting from their blog:
for those of you who don't know; that is in reference to the extremely chubby kid who loans Jack Black some stretchy pants; I know-Mike and I fully realise that we might have to pay for counseling later-but look at those cheeks. Can you blame us?
... Sadly, the only language that he is fluent in is wookie. Mike and I have done some frantic perusing of the old episodes in an attempt to communicate with him, but so far all we have really figured out is that most of the time he is saying "Mom I'm starving, I'm starving, I'm starving!"
Regularly, their blog (featured on the right) refers to the Chanch's struggles with life. It's tough being a baby, y'know? Chanch vs. Pears; Chanch vs. Swings; Chanch vs. The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy (j/k); and so forth. Hence tonight's blog titles.

Hyrum has had a real struggle to be where he should be. Joy has even more. The blessed lot of fatherhood has been to struggle with them.

Hyrum was born at about the 33rd percentile for weight and the 88th for height. Tall and slim. There was just one problem...

He would NOT eat. He would scream murder and the veins pop out of his head when we offered. This was psychologically shattering.

He lost more than 15% of his weight before we got him home. Regular readers will remember we started feeding him by syringe then. This was not particularly fun, but it was a LOT better than the alternative. By that time he was at the 6th percentile for his weight.

Well, that worked for a while. His weight stabilized and started going up. The docs took us off emergency status as he went back up to the 8-9 percentile.

He continued growing. His ribs disappeared. He started getting a teeny tummy. He got up to 8 pounds! Finally, a pound above his birth weight, after two distraught months. We were very happy.

Until we visited the doctor again and learned he was NOT keeping up with the other kids. He was at ... the 0.96 percentile for weight. And his height had not kept up either: from 88th percentile to 15th!

That's when I started staying up until 2-5 in the morning to work on the second chapter of my dissertation ... and to feed Hyrum. This lets Joy sleep through the night (mostly), and lets him Chunk Up.

This bathtub pic was taken a month ago at 10 pounds and 5th percentile.

Two weeks ago at our doctor's visit, he was 12.5 pounds and 15th percentile. The doc told us we could ease up finally since his weight had caught up with his last measured height. We don't have to wake him for a midnight feeding ... except that if we don't, he wakes us up for a 4am feeding, and so we're still being a little preemptive. We'll test him out again without the midnight feeding this week while I'm in DC.

If he has maintained his previous rate of growth, he should weigh between 13 and 13.5 pounds now. That would be somewhere around the 25th percentile. He's outgrown I think all of his newborn clothes because he's too tall (at 4 mo.) and Joy brought out the rest of his 3-6 and some 6-9 mo. clothes to try on.

I have never been so thankful to see a chubby cheek or a second chin in my life. It means hope. It means growth. It means life.
Of course, a lot still depends on the camera angle. But there is no question that he is a happier, heftier, healthier baby. I cry with gratitude tonight for Joy's sacrifices and efforts, and the multiple doctors it has taken to figure out how in the World to get him eat.

It still takes sacrifices and effort and near-perpetual adjustment. But I'm so thankful for my sweet little baby who I love so dearly and my tough as nails wife who has never given up, no matter how hard it was. Thank you, my Queen. I only wish I could do more. Thank you, God, for seeing us through.

And now it's time to fetch and feed my son before joining my wife in slumber.


Shari said...

I'm so grateful Hyrum is doing so much better with eating and growing. He looks so "deliciously plump" (that's what I used to say to my two chunkers when they were babies) in those last two pictures.

Grandma Jule said...

That first pic of The Chaunch looks like "he'll make you an offer you can't refuse!"

I think I'll keep the one God gave us, thank you very much!