Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Failure To Thrive...

I don't know about you, but as a parent, no one wants to hear those words uttered by any doctor. I have been struggling with whether or not I should post this, but maybe it will be therapeutic for me.

Since I have heard those words uttered by different doctors about Juliana, I have been dealing with a lot of different emotions. Those words hurt, no matter who speaks them. I feel like I am failing my daughter. We can't get her to eat. No one can tell us what is wrong with her or how to fix her. I am angry. We live in the 21st century where there are so many advances in medicine, and yet all these brilliant minds can't figure out how to get a 9 month old how to eat.

I went to see my migraine doctor yesterday. My blood pressure was high. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have very low blood pressure. One time a doctor told me that with my blood pressure I should be on a slab in a morgue, not standing in front of them. During my pregnancies when many women are told their blood pressure is high, I had to do things to boost my blood pressure- caffeine, compression stockings. So the fact that my blood pressure is high, says something. Merle wants me to take a leave of absence from school because she feels that my stress level is too high causing my blood pressure to be high. I'll be honest, school is my escape from the stress. It's a time when yes, I'm worrying about Juliana and her eating issues, but my mind is able to drift away from that for a little while. If I took a leave of absence, I think, and others agree, that my stress level would be even higher, because I would be dealing with Juliana's eating problem 24/7 without any relief. It's not like she eats better for me, or Ryan, or Theresa. The burden and worry are shared between the 3 of us, which I think makes it less stressful.

I don't like the phrase "failure to thrive". It hurts me every day. Juliana is small. She doesn't eat. I get that. But don't tell me that she's failing. I am doing the best that I can. We are doing the best that we can. Juliana is fighting to the best of her ability. We won't give up. There's too much at stake for us to give up.


  1. Oh Jenna, I'm so sorry. I wish I knew why things are the way they are. I wish there was something I could do for you and Juliana. I'm glad you haven't let those words make you give up.

  2. My heart hurts for you. Wish there was something I could do to help.

  3. I wish we could help. All we can do is pray. I know when I look at her smiling face that she isn't failing--she's not listless, or limp--she just looks small. You and Ryan and Theresa are doing a great job!

  4. Juliana needs some chocolate and a Diet Coke (although she may prefer Coke), I think. I'm not trying to make light. I can imagine those words are hard to hear. We have your family on our prayer list and will continue to pray for your sweet Juliana and you and Ryan as well.

  5. I want to help and fix this...I can't. God knows...God knows and my heart hurts for you. I love you. And yes, you are doing a great job for this little girl. Love Mom

  6. Don't ever let it be said that you aren't doing all that can be done. If one Dr can't give you an answer or a method we will find another and another until this is resolved. We are all with you and Ryan and Juliana and Noah in this fight.

  7. Jen,
    The pictures you post of Juliana tell a much different story. She looks like a happy little girl and it's wrong of that Dr to say failure has any place in her life (or yours for that matter).
    I don't even see you guys and I know you're doing everything you can.

  8. Thank you for writing this as this allowed us to get a better understanding of what you are going through. We just finished a 24/7 prayer week and she was one who was prayed for. Our small group has been praying for her and so have we. We love you both and Noah and Juliana and we know you love your children very much and are giving your all to them. Our hearts feel some of your pain.
    All our love, Grandma and Grandpa Mahlberg