Why We Decided to Put Our Daughter on Growth Hormones

growth hormones

After six years of closely monitoring our daughter’s weight and height, we knew that we needed to move on to the next step of finding out why she was behind on the growth chart and eventually putting her on growth hormones. Since our twins were born at 29 weeks gestation, they have always been closely monitored to make sure that they had caught up and were reaching milestones like full term babies. Luckily, both of our twins were able to reach these milestones but soon we realized that our daughter was not growing as fast as her brother.  

We knew that something was not right when the height and weight differences became very noticeable between them both. Why wasn’t she growing? What were we doing differently with her? As many of you know it’s sometimes easy to compare your twins together and many times that causes more worry. I always remind myself after comparing them together that they are two very different children, but this comparing them helped us see that we needed to watch our daughter’s growth more closely. Being on the growth chart was a struggle from the beginning since our daughter was only 2lbs 9oz at birth. Our pediatrician charted Quinn’s growth based on her own curve and not on the growth chart itself. At her six-year checkup, Quinn had fallen off of her own curve. Our hopes of her body kicking in and growing had passed. We knew it was time to find a Pediatric Endocrinologist who specialized in small stature. With the help of our amazing pediatrician we found a great specialist who helped us understand more about what the next steps would be for Quinn.

growth hormones

What made us decide to do it?

We have been asked many times why we decided to start our daughter on the growth hormones and the answer is really simple for us. Why not? Why not give her body what it needs to grow? Why not see if these shots will help her gain weight and fit into her clothing better? Why not help her not feel different from all the average sized little girls in her class? You would not think that in kindergarten size would matter or be an issue but for Quinn, it had already been an issue. She would come home and tell us how the other kids in her class would say she was a baby because of her size or point out that she was shorter than most. Of course, we explained to her that everyone is different and that size doesn’t matter but at age six she was already feeling the effect of being smaller. What would happen as she got older? We knew that as her parents we need to do everything we could to help her get what her body was lacking even if that meant a nightly shot.

I think for us knowing our daughter’s feelings, and how she would react to these nightly shots, played a huge role in our decision to move forward. Quinn had been through a lot in her life but had always been a fighter and handled everything thrown at her. I knew that yes, in the beginning, the shots were scary but that she would soon see that they were here to help her and give her a chance to grow.  

Concerns

With starting any new medication, the risks of side effects were a concern. How would her body react to the growth hormones and what long term effects could this possibly have?  Since I had gone through almost seven years of infertility treatments to conceive our twins, fertility was a huge concern. I needed to make sure that Quinn’s fertility would not be affected if she took the growth hormones. This may be a very odd concern but after going through the struggle we went through, this was a very big and personal concern for my daughter’s future health. After researching and speaking with the specialist they assured us that we had nothing to worry about. Being that this is something we have never dealt with I made sure to really understand what we should be looking for in case her body had a reaction. Once we started the shots I made sure that her teachers and school nurse were also aware of any side effects that could happen. We started the shots over Winter break just to give her a few weeks to get used to them. By the time she went back to school our nightly shot routine seemed like the new normal and has gone smoothly ever since. We continue to monitor her closely with the Pediatric Endocrinologist every three months. This will ensure that no side effects pop up and that she is continuing to grow.

Why We Decided to Put Our Daughter on Growth Hormones

What the ultimate prognosis is?

We are so happy to report that yes; the growth hormone shots are helping Quinn! She is now able to fit in 5T clothing, moved up a shoe size, gained some weight and the best news has grown a few inches.  At our last doctor’s visit, the specialist said that at the rate she is responding to the shots she should hit 50% mark on the growth chart within the next few years. To us, this is amazing news. At six years old, our daughter is finally on the growth chart at the 10% – 15% mark. To some, this would not mean much but to us it’s amazing. This is something that truly lets us know we did the right thing for her.  

Our goal of starting Quinn on growth hormones was not to make her 6 feet tall but to give her a chance to grow and get the growth hormones that her body is lacking. We are hoping that she breaks the 5-foot mark. Like all parents we want her to have everything she needs and for her, this includes growth hormone shots. If at the end of this journey we do not hit the 5-foot mark we will still be happy that she was able to grow and gain weight.

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Why We Decided to Put Our Daughter on Growth HormonesAshley Thomason is a stay at home mom to six year old boy/girl twins. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart of 14 years. Ashley and her family call Glendale, AZ home.  She loves getting to volunteer at her twins’ school and DIY crafts around the house.

 

 


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