I wish that I could share the truly, overwhelming joy that I am feeling this evening. Clara is eating. In fact, she is eating so much, that I am no longer charting estimates of how much she ate of what foods. Instead, I have adapted the chart to simply remind me of what a normal toddler is supposed to eat in a day. How may servings of dairy, protein, grains, fruits, veggies, milk, other fluids, etc. And since we have had no experience with this thing called solid foods, I have little reminders next to each category detailing what a serving size is of each. It is incredible that the 13th day of Clara's "wean" from NG feeds, I can officially say she knows how to eat until full.
Yesterday she ate an entire banana as part of her breakfast and an entire banana as part of lunch. PART. This morning's breakfast was a banana, a quarter of a jumbo egg, 2 oz of 2% milk (she no longer requires that it be coffee flavored so we will be moving her to whole milk tomorrow), an oz of yogurt and a quarter of a strip of bacon. Also remarkable today was her dinner: an entire carton of yogurt, two servings of lasagna, and a quarter of a banana for dessert. She's never had tomato/meat sauce presented to her before and she usually is handed a chunk of food that she bites off her preferred bite size. When I dolloped some of my meat sauce on her tray, she simply went to town. Didn't make a peep and absolutely knew how to get that food in her mouth with her little fine motor skill fingers. Honestly, the picture of her orange mouth stained in tomato sauce was just the most incredible sight....again no actual pictures to show the proof. This pregnant mama was hungry and didn't have the camera nearby. Plus, I might have ruined her progress!
Alan and I are both so, so very happy tonight. I feel great knowing this baby in my belly is not coming early and that there are no other signs of complications. Alan felt great knowing he fed her that carton of yogurt and then only had to watch as she devoured that lasagna and banana. We both felt great as we watched her play so happily and completely independently while we started the pre-bedtime routine of turning on the evening news. After she eats, there is such a difference in her demeanor. She has always had the most incredible disposition, but since she has started eating on her own, you can tell she is proud. She has this new found sense of independence and ability and she is so ready to tackle the world with her big smile across her face and her head thrown back in laughter.
I will admit, I'm ready to pull this tube out. But, I am cautiously optimistic at this point. We will wait to see what her weight is on Monday. Hopefully about where she was last Monday and not lower. We hear it can take about 2-3 months for kids to start gaining weight after being weaned from tube feeding. I don't think it will take her that long. But until we talk to the doctors and until we figure out some sort way of getting her meds down consistently and without too much trauma, we will leave it in as a fluid/nutrients back up and a meds administration aid.