I have been waiting to write this post for over a year now. I thought the day may never come in which I would be able to say what I am about to say. I am overly-joyed, ecstatic, jubilant to report that we no longer have to force feed our children. In fact, they eat willingly, with pleasure, through their mouths like the rest of us. They LIKE to eat !!!
I wrote this 6 months ago in my "A Trip to the Mall" post:
"Now we were ready for lunch. We got our Chick-fil-a nuggets and had a seat. Just a few tables down, I couldn't help but notice, a lady with a double stroller parked next to her table. Her twins looked to be about 9 months old (actual - not the 9 month olds who were really like 5 month olds like ours). She was feeding them from a little jar of baby food. I watched in amazement at how their little mouths just flew open like the beaks of baby birds at the first sight of food, their mouths popping open at every spoonful so obligingly. Their perfectly synchronized tango of eating continued, this one takes a bite, that one takes a bite, this one takes a bite, that one takes a bite, and so on and son on, until the food in the little jar vanished as if by magic. Oh, so that is how it is supposed to work! I held back the urge to yell across the food court, "Lady, you don't know how easy you have it."'
Our world has completely changed in the last 6 months (Thank God!). When I wrote this, Cade had just gotten his g-tube surgery. He was not eating ANYTHING by mouth. The babies were still in "isolation" at home. I had taken Brenna to the mall with me for a little "normal" time. Camdyn was still fighting every bottle and was not eating any baby food. Now, we are just like that lady I saw in the mall feeding her twins. When I feed them now, their little mouths fly open, and I can't feed them fast enough. They protest if I am not doing it quickly enough. It makes me so happy.
A couple of nights ago, I cried over the craziest thing. I usually give the babies each an 8 ounce bottle of Pediasure before bed. That night I had a little extra left over from earlier so I added it to their 8 oz bottles making two 10 oz bottles. I felt sure that they would not finish the bottle, but I tried anyway. Camdyn was full after her regular 8 ounces, but Cade finished his 10 ounce bottle in no time at all. I couldn't believe it. This is from a kid who had to have a g-tube placed just 6 months ago because he would not eat or drink ANYTHING. (I'm crying again just typing this.) I couldn't help but think back to all those horrible times we had to shove that horrendous ng-tube down his nose so he could be nourished, all the times we had to hold him down to be scoped by the ENT (causing more oral aversion), all the therapy sessions we have attended, the time I had to hand him over to the nurse to take him back to the operating room before his g-tube surgery, the time I saw him in the recovery room with bandages and tubing taped all over his stomach, all the appointments with the GI doctor, all the times I tried to get him to take just 10 mL from a squeeze bottle (that's less than 1/2 of an ounce), and here he was gulping down a 10 ounce bottle like he had never had a problem in the world! Being a micro-preemie mom is both incredibly challenging but at the same time, it is so magnificently rewarding. What other mom has ever cried over her baby drinking a bottle?
Cade still has the g-tube, but I plan on talking to his doctor about the possibility of removing it. He hasn't used it in over 3 months now. I know the doctor is going to be on the more cautious side not wanting to remove it too soon. Cade loves eating so much now that I really don't think we will be needing it anymore. I believe it will be another surgery to remove it, but I don't think it is a complicated one. I can't wait to be able to write the post about it being removed. Although I hardly even notice it anymore, I am eagerly awaiting the day when I am able to see my son with nothing extra. He has always had something on him - a breathing tube, IVs, an ng feeding tube, a CPAP mask, a cannula, and then a g-tube. I am so thankful for all of those extras that kept him alive, breathing, and fed, but now I want to see my son with just the parts he was born with.