I wish I could say that Hana was continuing to drink 14 ounces of milk a day, but she has begun to refuse her Milk Bear and the most we seem to get her to drink is, on average, about 7-8 ounces per day. Still, that means that we don’t have to use the feeding pump until almost 4pm each day and that is a HUGE quality of life improvement for everyone.
With more freedom from the feeding pump, Hana has been able to do more crawling and standing practice. I love watching her move! It is so much better than keeping her in the walker! She is so much happier too. She is sleeping much better at night, which means I sleep better too. It is harder in that I have to give her Priolosec and then and hour later start her last feed and an hour later turn off her last feed, so I often don’t get to really sleep until 2am. But I nap in between, or fall asleep pumping…
I have been doing a lot of research and reading about these kids with feeding tubes and how people have weaned them off of their tubes. What I’ve learned is that it is:
1. It’s often the hardest thing a parent has had to do (other than having to see their child in the ICU, I suppose).
2. It is often a very long and slow process requiring a lot of patience. It is best to let the child lead you, instead of the other way around. It’s on their terms, not yours.
4. It is counterproductive to try to “force feed”.
5. It works better when you completely let go of expectations and do not put any pressure whatsoever on the child.
6. It works better to have peers “show”/demonstrate eating.
7. It works better to have a family mealtime ritual.
So, I can set up the baby Play Picnics at my house and have babies come over to eat and make messy play. Paul and I can sit at the table regularly and “eat” meals. These things do work, although very, very slowly. BUT, the part that is killing me is the letting go of expectations and pressure. I’m used to living life where hard work and sacrifice will get you a lot of things. But now, that is just not the case. What I need to do is to completely let go and trust that Hana will eat when she is ready and that no amount of effort or hard work on my part is going to make a difference, well, if will, it will just make it worse!