Friday, July 29, 2011

100 Percent

It's hard to believe that only two months ago, Jack wasn't eating. We anxiously made our way to Seattle Children's Hospital for their hunger-based tube weaning program. We had no idea if it would work, only the positive stories from a few others. We knew that Jack wanted to eat, but his oral aversion was very, very bad. And truthfully, he had never really felt hunger.

I blogged through Jack's tube weaning journey. If you remember, we left the program still giving Jack about 5 ounces of formula through his g-tube before bed at night, to help him sleep and in case he didn't eat well during the day.  Just in case he needed that extra boost of calories. We were told that if Jack started to really eat well during the day, we could eventually cut that 5 ounces out.

I'm happy to say that a few weeks ago, we did!

Jack is now eating 100% of his calories orally, something that at times, we never thought was possible. I can't tell you how amazing it feels to be able to sit down and feed him. When he opens his mouth willingly for food. When he gets crabby because he is hungry. When he reaches without fear, picks up a cracker and takes a huge bite. This all is huge for us.

And he hasn't puked in two whole months! One of the nasty side effects of g-tube use is excessive puking. There were times when Jack puked at least once a day, whether it was from being over-fed or his gag reflex was in hyper drive. He puked a lot. It's pretty much the best thing in the world when your former puking child does not puke anymore!

I told you before about Jack's big hurdles now: texture and drinking. I'm happy to report that slowly, but surely, Jack is eating more and more foods with texture. It is a very slow process. The majority of the food he eats is still pureed, but he is handling texture with far less gagging. We will continue to take things slow on that front, offering him textured foods, letting him explore, and feeding him his beloved purees.

As for drinking, he is still not interested. He takes a few sips here and there, but pushes most drinks away from his mouth. We've had some success using straws, but he will not independently put a straw in his mouth to drink. He continues to get water through his g-tube, so the removal of his tube is contingent on when he starts drinking enough fluid.

I can't wait for the day when we can remove his tube. I feel like it's his last vestige to the NICU days. Oh what a day that will be.
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Mr and Mrs Hasler said...

What an amazing improvement Jack. Keep up the good work!

Lindsay said...

Yay Jack! I'm so happy to read this update, Jessi. Woohoo! :)

Julie said...

I have goosebumps! GO JACK GO!

Sarah Pope said...

I am so so so excited for you and your sweet family! Im sure its like a miracle to watch him devour those calories! So proud of Jack. Ill be praying about the liquid thing...and for his g-tube to be out before Christmas!

Rebekah said...

What amazing news! Keep defying odds Jack man!

Jacqueline said...

Awesome! What a trooper! Praying for that "tube free" day very soon!

Shannon said...

Truly amazing - what a rockstar!