Unfading Beauty and Strength

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It's Never too late to say thanks

Inside: A Gratitude Story: a personal remembrance of forgotten tears and thanksgiving

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My son was diagnosed with failure to thrive somewhere between the age of four months and two years.

Two years ago, in my gratitude journal, I wrote one thing I was thankful for. It was simply, that my son had gained weight.

Many people may think I only have one child: My spirited and emotional daughter who tests me and challenges me every day.

But I assure you, I have another child. While he is far from perfect, he is generally a little more obliging. He does not like to test the waters too much. Our struggles with him have looked different.

We all have our own crosses to bear.

Everybody has their struggles. All our lives are different, yet strung together with tiny threads that we may never see or may realize years from now.

Our struggle with our littlest one started when he was about four months. We went in for our checkup and he had not gained any weight.

This was quite surprising, as he was one of few breastfeeding babies who gained weight after birth. So much so, that the pediatrician said not to come back until the one-month check (usually there is a two-week check). Our little man was fine at one month, and at two months.

Then along comes the fourth month, and he had not gained any weight. His lack of weight journey lasted until he was two years old. For the sake of time let me tell you in summary how our life went those two years. (Mind you, I had a two to a three-year-old toddler I had to drag around as well.)

Peek Inside Our Week:

Weekly weight checks.

Counting calories daily.

Adding every type of calorie possible to his diet, just trying to get our little boy to gain weight.

Testing different formulas. (Obviously, my breast milk was not cutting it.) We finally found a formula that seemed to help. It was over $200 a case, which lasted maybe two weeks. If we had used our insurance, it would have been around $800.

Going to a pediatric GI specialist on about a weekly to bi weekly basis.

On top of the weight issues, my poor boy had horrible eczema (he still has flare-ups occasionally), frequent ear infections, and would usually have strep back to back.

At one point he fell off the growth curve altogether, which prompted the initial GI consult. He was officially diagnosed with failure to thrive.

I wish I could say I went through it all with grace and thankfulness and gave all my worries to God.

But I didn’t. Instead, I would often cry to God as to why we could not figure out what was going on. Why wasn’t my little baby boy gaining weight? I often cried out in despair in the private sanctuary of my bedroom, not always to God. I definitely did not say thank you.

Then in true mom fashion (and nurse fashion to make it worse), my thoughts often went to the causes, from cancer to Chrohn’s, to some other chronic disease to which my little boy would have to bear his whole life.

On top of the weight gain, he was also not walking. To the point that we were about to to see a physical therapist.

Then it all started to change.

He finally started gaining weight, and he took his first steps at 17 months. He walks and runs and eats just fine now. At our last check-up, he was still in the tenth percentile and he will probably always be little, but he is growing, and that I am ever thankful for.

What’s the point?

We’re each single threads woven together in a tapestry God has created. Only he sees the full picture, but not even a sparrow falls without his knowing.

Francine Rivers

And though I did not give it all to God back then, I can look back now and see the gifts he did place in my life at the time. It is never too late to say thank you.

The Gifts I Was Too Blind to See:

  • The possibility of working part-time so I could take my son for the multiple weight checks and doctor visits and constant preparation of his food and formula.
  • I had a friend, whose child was recently in remission from cancer. She was a great comfort and resource at the time. With both of us being nurses, we knew just what the worst-case scenario could be, her from personal experience as well.
  • Remember that $200 formula we finally found that helped him gain weight? We were given at least three to four months of free samples.
  • The Bible study I was a part of at the time was such a blessing. They prayed for my little man and to this day still ask me about him.

And while I am fully aware of the many parents whose stories did not end so well, my heart goes out to them even more. If you need a prayer warrior, please contact me HERE. I will be happy to pray for you.

The final gift, though certainly not the least:

A God who so lovingly reminded me of all these things and whom I never stopped to thank. So I say it now, and I pray if you are going through trials and tribulations, you will find encouragement and prayers here.

My most Heavenly Father,

I praise you most High. For what you have given you can take away. I praise God for my gifts of my children and that I can raise them to be strong warriors for you. For I know you hold the future and I need to give everything to you in prayers. Thank you. Amen

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