Friday, April 11, 2008

Fear Not, It's Her.

Perhaps one day this subject will stop feeling blog-worthy.

But in light of the fact that I'm nowhere near that point yet (and because I'm creating reasons to avoid cleaning the bathrooms), I wanted to take a moment to declare:

Sophie ate like a champion today. She ate. And ate. And ate and ate.

She ate pancakes for breakfast, a plate of macaroni and an orange for lunch (followed by a second plate of macaroni about an hour later), a half of a sandwich at lunch, plus a huge dinner. She drank her milk and juice. Happy as a little peach.

And before bed, she asked for a snack.

Yoo hoo, everybody listening? This is SOPHIE I'm talking about.


I wonder when something stops feeling like a miracle, and starts feeling normal.

Days like today make me start to envision other normal things. Like going to the doctor's office and not pausing when he inquires about her eating habits or asks appetite related questions. Just answering, without thinking about her nutty history and stutter-stumbling over how the heck to explain it.

I can hear it in my head: "Aw, (pshaw) doc, it's good. Normal."

Normal. Sophie??

Surely not.

I swear every time we have a day like this, I wonder where I was when the alien swooped down and beamed my child up to the Mother Ship - leaving only her curly-headed shell behind.

I watch her. Chewing and swallowing. Saying she's hungry. Asking for more. And I just stare - in total disbelief. Thinking, "Who is this child?"

Then she runs into the office, announcing she has "something neat!" to show me. Which turns out to be this:

And she effectively clears up any confusion about who she's become.

Yep. That's a crayon. Crammed as high as it will go up her nose.

I breathe a huge sigh of relief and know instantly, without question. Of course, it's my Sophie.


Lindsey said...

I am so happy for you and all of Sophie's NORMALNESS! I am sure someday it will feel normal... Someday. Congratulations to you both!

Val said...

Seriously, that's wonderful! She has come so far just in the time that you've started blogging. I still love the post about when you were out of her cocktail ingredient, so you improvised and it didn't fly with Sophie.

I love the crayon up the nose!

Josh & Margo said...

One of the best things about this post is the shirt she has on. :)

sarah p said...

Praise the Lord! What a miracle! I kept waiting to read the words "She barfed it all up" and you never typed them.


Anonymous said...

Hey Cheech,
At least she is eating food and stuffing crayons up her nose. It could be the other way around. See, now don't you feel a lot better. Give my little crayon stuffer a big kiss from her Fafa.

SuperSarahAnn said...

Hello! Guess what? You have no idea who I am, but this post was GREAT and I am happy for your Sophie (And Mom and Dad of course).
I just had to tell you that your remedy for the "pukes" also works for the "pees". Ahem..let me clarify: My son, while potty training, would get really mad if I told him to go to his room to cool off, so he if he had to go pee while he was in there, he'd drop his chonies and GO! IN HIS ROOM! On the CARPET! It took two days to realize what he was doing, and I remembered your post about the boiling water and soaking it up with a towel. It worked sooo well, and there's no more smell! Thanks for passing it on, it was a lifesaver (or at least a carpet saver)! From one mom to another - thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

I know the road you have travelled and I am so happy to read this post!
I love children who EAT!!!

Amelia said...

Hello, it's me again, your co-Reflux mommy stalker. I am SO So SO happy for you and for Sophie. How about this for normalcy: you can go to a restaurant! And order HER something!

Can you please tell me what you did to finally get Sophie to eat? Or at least send the Mothership to my house? Cause try as I might we're just not getting anywhere with Oliver. He's fallen well off the bottom of the weight chart again, just as I though we were finally getting somewhere. And now he's teething (the last 2 of his 20year molars) and won't eat ANYTHING. He doesn't even want his normal stand-by foods, or his "shakes". And because of the teething he's back to his barfy self of last year. He chucked up chocolate milk all over the place at church yesterday. Neat.

Kritter Krit said...

Hey Amelia,

So good to hear from you!!

Remind me how old Oliver is - is he three? Because with Sophie, this eating thing is a VERY recent phenomenon (like around Christmas). And it was just like all of a sudden, she got it.

As for what I "did", I don't think I really did anything. Really, more than anything, I think it was just a matter of time and waiting for her to gain confidence in chewing and swallowing.

We kept syringing her milk to her (we still do when she has days that she doesn't act hungry or thristy). We knew that would at least give her calories and nutrition. Everything else, we just took a really laid-back approach on. If she asked for something to eat (anything...literally anything), we gave it to her. If she didn't think she could swallow it, we allowed her to spit it into a napkin. It was such a slow process. I seriously thought she would NEVER swallow anything.

Then one day she just started eating. I kept looking all around the house for bits of chewed up food, and never found them. They really had gone "down her chute"!

As she has started eating more and more, the reflux has REALLY calmed down. She still has days where she burps and hiccups a lot. She still takes her Prevacid daily. And when she laughs too hard, or cries too hard, or a drink goes down wrong, or she coughs, or is sick (you know the drill), she still barfs.

But for a child who used to barf (VOMIT her toenails up) around ten times a day, this progress is just amazing. Incredible.

As for what you're going through right now, I'm all too familiar with it. Sophie used to have "strikes" all the time - where I couldn't get ANYTHING down her, not even her shakes. And often the strikes would come on after a good few days (where I thought maybe we were making a tiny bit of prpgress.) I would get so depressed. It was like - one step forward, three steps back. The good news is, I would just keep trying to get in what I could, and usually she would snap out of it after a few weeks or so (and at least take a little bit of her milk again).

It's awful. And I know SO WELL how frustrated you are. But I also know from everything I've read on Baby Center from you, you are an awesome mom. I know you're doing absolutely everything for Oliver that you can.

The fact that he's oral (at all) is a good sign. Just keep on doing what you're doing. (I used to hate it when the doctors would tell me that. But it's true.) You know him so much better than ANYBODY.

The best advice I can give is: Make some things optional (like real food). Give him an out for when he starts to gag. Let him gain confidence in chewing and swallowing. Let him acquire a taste for the things he likes. (Even if it's something not nutritional. You can worry about that part of things later.) And make some things absolutely NOT optional (like his milk). Let that be the thing that sustains him. With Sophie, she knew even if she threw-up, she had to have her milk. She just had to start over. We just made it a very firm rule. It was the only way we avoided the g-tube.

Other than that, give him time. Seriously, the time between where he is now and where Sophie is now could just be a few months. It could just start happening before your eyes. As you stand there stunned, staring like an idiot. You never know when they're just going to "get it". It's like something clicks.

When it happens it's a miracle. I know you know what I mean.

Know you can write me ANY TIME. I might not be able to help. But I definitely know what you're going through.

Hang in there. You're his lifeline. Nobody has a more important job than you. And one day, when you get to go to a restaurant and order FROM THE MENU for him (we just did that a week ago), and you see the grins and hear the "yum, Mama", you'll know it was all worth it.

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