This little boy who has not been able to eat since he was born, is slowly starting to eat. Way back in January he had a swallow study, which revealed he was aspirating on all types of liquid and thicknesses, except for stage 2 baby purees. We’ve been doing LOTS of feeding therapy. Since that study he’s getting better and better with stage 2 foods and I’ve been approved to feed him at home up to two times per day.
The kid loves to eat and wants to so bad. But he’s getting bored with the jarred baby foods. Have you ever tasted those by the way? They are oh so bland. My kid likes flavor, which makes my house a bit like a test kitchen.
I puree everything I can. Lasagna is too lumpy. Chicken Parmesan is too sticky. He hates Sloppy Joe meat, because again, too lumpy. Sweet potatoes work perfectly, as do carrots. I add lots of butter, salt, and garlic to almost everything. This week I made Chicken Tortilla Soup and threw it in a food processor. It was way too runny so I stirred in a couple scoops of sour cream. He gobbled it all up. It’s lots of trial and error. And lots of mess.
I’m learning about patience and perspective these days, and not just in my kitchen.
Early on, Nathan not being able to eat was devastating to me. I dug in my heels when he was in the NICU. I desperately tried to persuade the therapists to let me feed him. I resisted the doctor’s idea of a G-tube initially because I thought once it goes in, it will never come out. And it still may not.
The strange thing is that those things are no longer such a big deal to me anymore. I’m used to feeding him with the tube and way it’s easier than arguing with my five-year-old about how many more bites he needs to eat before he’s excused from the table. I know Nathan is getting his calories. Anything he eats by mouth is a bonus. And it’s fun for him.
Not only am I learning how anything can become normal to you if you do it long enough, but also how the fear of something is often greater than the thing itself. God keeps whispering to me, I am your ever present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) Not your help for the things in the future which you fear. Your help for now. In this moment. So as I begin to realize and live this truth, I begin to let go of the fear more.
I have no idea what challenges await us with this boy. I have an idea based off much research. I speculate based on anecdotal stories from other families. And Nathan’s kidney and heart issues do cause me to worry if I start to wander down that road.
Those things matter less to me now than they did 2 years ago. Living in now is much less overwhelming, because God is right here in the now.
Plus, little buddy is showing us he is strong and determined.
I’d like to show you two videos. One is the very first bath I ever gave Nathan in the hospital. He was almost a month old and so out of it. We wondered what in this world he would ever be able to participate in and comprehend. The other is him eating breakfast with us last week. Oh, he’s participating and he’s comprehending. We are grateful and enjoying the now, and the nearness of God, in these moments.
As you may wonder, his speech and language development is the next big area of focus in therapy. He’s able to do some signs and he makes noises, which sound like the word he’s trying to say. Did you hear the word “eat” in the video? Or, did you notice that smile he gave me a couple of times to try to get a bite? I’m his mother so I hear things and see things others don’t. Or, do I? That’s another post for another day.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
What meal ideas do you have for me? I need easy recipes that I can cook for all of us and then blend up to stage 2 consistency for Nathan.
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