Smoothies made me a better mom. That sounds silly, right? Read on and you'll find out why giving my babies (now toddlers) smoothies helped me break free from a fear many preemie moms have... failure to thrive.
It's no lie that my kids were tiny at birth. They were excruciatingly small at just over 2 pounds each. Did you know babies born at 30 weeks have not yet learned to suck? While they were in NICU they learned to eat. There were days I'd leave the hospital in tears because they just couldn't do it. The coordination of sucking, swallowing, and breathing was just too difficult for them. Sadie had the most difficulty and this was the only reason for her extended stay.
More than 14 weeks later, once all three were home, I became obsessed with tracking their eating. How many bottles? How many ounces? Even though they were on a high calorie formula I was so worried about them gaining weight as quickly as they should. Eventually, my nerves calmed and I stopped recording their every sip. Then, the day came that we were given the okay to stop the formula and start them on whole milk.
I have all the faith in the world in our pediatrician, but it was so hard for me to let go of the crutch that I was holding onto for so long. I knew the high calorie formula was reason they were growing. What would happen if they started losing weight? Are they getting enough calories? I compared them (a no no, I know) to all the full term babies out there. At just over a year old they were small, but healthy. So, I did it. No more formula. I was terrified.
They loved (still love) milk. And the full fat milk provided what they needed. But, they were slow growers. They were making their own chart, as the doctor would tell me. In life I was already a nervous and anxious person. Add three babies to that and I was unbelievably high-strung. I never felt so much stress as I did over not knowing if my babies were truly getting the nutrition they needed. Then one day another preemie mom mentioned to me that she made high calorie, high protein smoothies for her little girl. That was almost 2 years ago. I have been making them smoothies ever since.
They started out very high calorie and full of protein. My smoothies always included whole milk and full fat Greek yogurt. Sometimes I included an instant breakfast drink packet or even heavy cream. I made them that way almost every day for what seems like forever. Then much like before, my nerves calmed once I was confident that we they could survive without the formula.
Smoothies are something that only I make for them. Today, they ask for them on a daily basis. "Mommy, I want a moothie." I often oblige. They love them and I love making them. Smoothies not only helped me escape from my formula prison, they helped me let go of the fear that my children wouldn't thrive. I started realizing that they are happy, healthy, and are blossoming into who they are supposed to be - nothing like those full term babies I once compared them to. I stopped analyzing my children and started raising them. I just let go of the worry and my outlook on motherhood changed completely. I know it's silly, but making smoothies has made me a better mom.
Angela is the mother of 3 year old triplets Jase, Henley, and Sadie. She and her husband Matt raise their family in a small town in Illinois. Angela spends her days loving and sometimes loathing the experience of raising triplets. Her life is chaotic and she often takes it for granted, but at the end of the day Angela thanks God for all he has given her.
Angela started blogging several years ago before she had children, but unfortunately stopped when she became pregnant. She wanted to begin again once the babies were here, but quickly found out that her time was not her own. Now that Angela is back into the blogging world she is loving every minute of it. She feels like herself again. Angela absolutely loves sharing her life with triplets on her blog The Triplet Farm - all the tears and tantrums and especially all love and laughter that comes with raising multiples! She can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.