Most people don't rejoice when summer comes to an end, but this year I am so glad fall is around the corner. Being pregnant and not allowed to exercise or pick up my children has been tough. Baylor Feeding therapy was hard on the whole family. Add the West Nile scare here in Dallas- whew! it was just too much!
But I rejoice most of all that I made it physically through this summer with little complications. I'm 23 weeks and feeling great (minus the creeping anxiety I'm always trying to bat away!) .
Mary Lawrence starts kindergarten this week- she is thrilled! Maggie is doing awesome with her feeding. The big news out of feeding "camp" was that she can, in fact, eat! Maybe not Bubba's fried chicken, but she can most definitely eat soups, purées, and drink her nutrient-formula. Although we also learned that while she can eat, she doesn't always oblige. So we are dealing with "behavioral" issues, according to the psychologist on staff.
So what's Baylor's magic solution for getting children to eat? Well we put her in the high chair 3-5 times a day and turn the timer on for 30 minutes. She cannot get down until the timer goes off, even if she refuses to eat anything the whole time. We feed her a combination of soups and , all while she plays with toys and watches tv. If she refuses to eat or spits out her food, we turn the tv off and take the toys away until she cooperates.
Yes, it's very manipulative and, yes, we have dealt with a lot of fits and toy throwing and head banging. But we've tried two years of different kinds of feeding therapy and this is the only one that has gotten her to swallow food.
The biggest revelation out of all of this is that this feeding stuff is not for wimps. I can't give in, I can't raise my voice or get frustrated. I have to stay even keeled the entire 30 minutes so she won't get "attention" from her fits. And we have to be diligent about doing it everyday. Frankly, it's much easier to feed her through the tube! It takes a lot of time, a lot of blending and preparation and a lot of cleanup. Plus we have to plan it between all her other therapy sessions and school and activities.
But as much as I vent about how hard it is, it's totally worth it if it means we can get her off tube feedings dependency. I keep thinking how nice it will be when I have a new baby when I can sit both girls at their table and feed them both the same ( and simple) foods for lunch. Sounds so silly, but it will make such a difference in my life:)