Teeny Tiny Truman

This page is all about Truman, born Aug. 8, 2006 to Kara and Ben.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Struggling to Grow


In the last month, Truman gained five ounces, which is very low. At this rate, he will be just shy of 18 pounds at the age of 2. There is this misperception out there that all preemies "catch up" to their peers in all ways by the age of 2. It is just simply not true in the case of micropreemies, a statement which I find myself saying to people all the time.

Our pediatrician told us that a recent study out of the UK shows that micropreemies tend to make it onto the growth chart at around 30 months. Mind you, that's not "catching up," that's just making it onto the playing field. This is a scary study considering that we've also been told all along that one of the biggest predictors of long-term developmental success in a preemie is early weight gain. I guess we can take comfort in the fact that Truman's head (and presumably the brain inside) is outpacing all the rest of his growth.

I know many preemie moms out there, and this seems to be one of their biggest struggles as well -- just trying everything to get these children to gain weight. All of the infant and childrens' nutrition books talk about starting early eating habits promoting vegetables and other healthy eating habits. Instead, we find ourselves shoveling butter, oil, carbs, starches -- anything that makes other children overweight -- into our kids. Hopefully, we aren't creating horrible dietary habits for them later in life.

It's not that Truman doesn't consume as many (or more) calories than other children when you consider the fortification to his breast milk and the butter and Neosure / Duocal added to his solid foods. It's just that he seems to need amazing amounts of calories just to maintain his weight. Hopefully he will appreciate this when he's 35.

Truman went to his first football game this month. It was important to Daddy, but it's not an outing we'll try again anytime soon. He lasted about a quarter.

Here's our little family out at the family farm during a trip to East Texas.

It's a rare moment when Truman is willing to snuggle, but he made a little time for his Papa Perry.

Truman and Daddy read his favorite book. Notice Truman is holding the pages open for himself.

In other Truman news, we learned that the white spots on his hands and feet that the pediatrician thought might be fat deposits are simply something called miliums, which is just clogged skin cells, perhaps due to old NICU needle prick sites getting clogged. They will go away on their own. In fact, one fell off this week.

Truman's latest milestones include pulling up all the time and climbing stairs. He can make it up two or three steps on his own. I'm not sure what I think about that -- time to put up the baby gate on the stairs. He is still not babbling yet, but he is making more and more noises everyday and seems to really be exploring what sounds he can make. He has a hearing evaluation next week, which is a preliminary step before his upcoming speech evaluation to address the speech delays. He has also started having separation anxiety with regard to both of us. It really makes it hard to leave for work in the mornings.

He has had a mild cold this week. It hasn't seemed to bother him other than a runny nose.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you all on how far you have come. I had just found out I was pregnant when Truman's blog was emailed to me. It was so hard to read your posts throughout the pg, but I have truly cried and laughed with you along the way. I distinctly remember getting to weeks 23, 24, 25... and thinking - Truman has shown us we CAN make it from here.

Thank you for being so brave to post this - it can help so many families struggling as you have!

- Amber McBurney of Clear Lake, TX - grateful mom of Aidan 4yrs and Grayson 7 mos

2:23 PM  
Blogger Family of 4 said...

Hi there,

My son was 1# 5oz and at almost 3 1/2 years old he is 25 lbs and 35". He is SO smart-and I don't say that without backing it up-he is ahead of his peers by far.

I also want to mention I had a baby Nov 29 (due Dec 19) so I can say with some certainty that Truman is catching up to his peers developmentally. Zoe is climbing stairs, cruising, etc.

I hope his babbling catches up!

7:23 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

I hear the concern in your note, but just remember Truman is no ordinary micropremie! He's already accomplished so much and neither Truman nor God reads those studies!!!
I have followed a micropremie in Japan that was born in April 2006 at 23 weeks weighing 2 oz more than Truman. He made no noises until he was 14 months old and then just yelled.
You know every baby is different. Dionne's twins proved that to us--one walked at 9 months; the other waited until 18 months--but then he didn't ever fall like his brother did!
You and Ben are doing an excellent job so let me encourage you: Truman is, and will be, just fine!

Love and Prayers,
Sue Hammons

12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truman sounds like he is doing wonderful. I always cringe when I hear of the weight "struggles" b/c it really sounds like Truman is not nearly as far behind as the doctors make it sound. Please remember that many children just ARE light weights. My little boy is not quite 8 months old and in perfect health, and we had him weighed this week and he is a whopping 12 lbs 14 oz!! He had gained only 4 oz from his last weigh-in 7 weeks ago!

His weight is really flat lining, and he has yet to double his birth weight (7lbs 12oz) but there is NOTHING wrong with him, he is just small and has a fast metabolism!!!

I guess I just want to give you some encouragement to remember to always take your instincts seriously, b/c if you feel that Truman is just a small for average kid, your likely right, and don't have much to worry about. My 3 year old was always small as well, and is only 29lbs, but healthy as they come!!

I enjoy the updates, thanks so much for sharing them! Truman looks fantastic to me! He is ahead of my little guy in pretty well all the milestones!

Shawnee (BBC)

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Christina - miraev3@wowway.com said...

I have been watching his progress since Truman was born. My little one was born in December and is only about 2 lbs. heavier than him if that.
In regards to the weight thing, you may be surprised. My oldest was full term but had growth umbilical cord. She was a slow grower and was only 25 pounds in kindergarten. In fact a 4t was huge on her and it took her until this year to look the part in 8th grade. She is now 5 ft. 100 pounds at 13. Now 5 kids later we have learned that a lot of this growth issue had to do with genetics. My other kids are on the small size while growing too. I also want to note that he will "catch up" just don't drive yourself crazy over the numbers. My sister was a 30 week preemie almost 19 years ago. She just graduated second in her class in May. The future holds all possiblilities don't let anyone tell you they don't.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Jessie said...

First, let me just say, what a miracle your little boy is. I heard about your site a couple of months ago and check in from time to time. I have a 9 mth. old and as a parent I can only imagine the struggles you must have with wanting the best for your child. If it's any consolation, a friend I work with, his non-preemie child (born at 37 weeks) at one year was 13 lbs. She obviously is having difficulty growing, but has not gone through a speck of the obstacles Truman has. Hope that makes you feel a little better. I am still so in awe of your little man, God certainly had some big plans for him.

1:39 PM  
Blogger abby said...

Truman is ADORABLE.

We know (all too well) the weight gain struggle. Hallie is flirting with 20 lbs now (15 months, 11.5 adjusted) and it's still the biggest issue that keeps us busy.

I just discovered this yogurt at Wholefoods called "Mediteranee' Liberte'" and as far as I can tell the thing that it liberates you from the most is having to wear a bikini. Which means it's great for Hallie--260 calories and 8% fat in 6 glorious ounces. She loves it, and she's worth it (the stuff goes for 1 dollar a pop). Anyway, I don't know if Truman is into yogurt, but this may be worth a try. A container of this stuff, 18 ounces of pediasure or nutren, and then a couple of jars of baby food might help him grow and grow.

11:44 PM  
Blogger april said...

Truman :) It does my heart good to read about all of your new milestones!

::gaining weight vibes::

Enjoy exploring your wonderful home.

April/Hastings' mom

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi There Truman, Mom and Dad,

My name is Sarah Kendall and I am a cursilo friend of your grandparents in Lubbock. I've been keeping tabs on you since I learned of your arrival.

Do you know what I see when I look at your pictures? One big smile + two big, bright eyes = one happy,eager to learn boy.

I wish a could give you a big hug and just a few of my extra pounds.

Prayers and blessings for all of you.



12:55 AM  
Blogger Mamã da Bruna said...

he is so big! And so gorgeous! Congratulations you have done a great job with your sweet baby! Thanks to your devotion is doing soooo well!

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gosh i have been watching (thru the comp lol) truman grow and grow from the first post you left on ivill he is just so handsome he really is take care and huggs!!!!

xoxox kylie (kainesmum)

4:52 AM  
Blogger Polly said...

Hi Buddy!

You are just one amazing guy. Keep up the good work. I sure enjoy reading all of the good things in your update.

Sending you angel hugs, praises and prayers.


3:51 PM  
Blogger Tara Poulsen said...

What an absolutely adorable baby he is. My daughter Savannah was born at least two weeks early (12/4, due 12/23) and she is still small. She weighs 14 pounds 4 ounces and she is 9.5 months. I have a nephew that is the same age and he weighs almost 30 pounds. I guess our kids are just off the charts :).
I think that all Truman has accomplished, all the obstacles he has overcome, are just amazing. He is one super kid!

Tara Poulsen


2:22 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Nice to know about the white spots on his heels. My daughter had these and I never did find out what they were... until now!

Truman is doing so well. I couldn't be happier for him or your family! Congrats on a job well done, Mommy!

2:45 PM  

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