I just can't explain what a breath of fresh air spring/summer has been to us! With all the physical milestones, and getting to be with friends more, having his party...it's been so sweet, and healing.
AND, over a month ago I started letting the amount of puree he was eating "count" towards his calories/volume for the day. At first it was just about 2oz here and there. We started adding oil to beef up the calories in what he ate. Then after seeing what he ate, we then took off some of the volume of the tube feed of formula that always follows what he does orally. He slowly started eating more. In a few days, he was eating 4 oz of puree 3x a day! That's was a HUGE improvement. We then decided to see if he would be consistent with that. He did it consistently for another week. And then another. He's now eating about 15-17oz day of puree! Before we started "counting" it, he would eat about 3-6oz per day total. So, now he's getting a lot less formula through the tube. He's also drinking some whole milk from his sippy cup with a straw! Some days he drinks about 3oz of milk which is BIG for him. We are going to keep working on that! We are working on changing the texture/consistency of the puree's and challenging him with that. We are also trying to give him opportunities to practice his chewing skills with soft crackers, cookies, puffs, cheerios, dried fruit, etc. He's done pretty well with those things also! The challenge with those, is sometimes he struggles to swallow them without triggering his gag reflex, so he then throws up whatever is in his stomach. So, we have to be strategic with when we try that so he doesn't loose the calories he just ate. The more practice he has with different textures, the easier it should get for him to swallow them without gagging.
It has been incredibly encouraging to see him eat so well. His eating has been the most emotional, taxing thing we've had to deal with post-nicu. It's been a roller coaster ride. And it's been hard to remember not to put all my joy in how he does with it, or in anything he does or doesn't do. That's a lesson I keep learning over and over again! It's tough! Especially when one of the biggest dreams I have for him is for him to ENJOY eating like we do....for him to not throw up frequently (this has been a lot better too actually), and just for him to understand how much he needs. I can't wait for meals/eating to be just a normal part of our day, like it is for anyone else. It will be very refreshing when his feeding schedule and calorie intake doesn't consume so much of my brain, and there isn't so much focus/emphasis on it. But for now, we are thankful for all he's eating. We will see if he keeps it up!
So, we've pretty much just been busy breathing in all the blessings God has graciously given us in Asher. It's been....very nice. He amazes me all the time. I tear up all the time thinking of how I wondered about these moments a year ago. I tear up when I pray with him and thank God for all he's allowing him to do and learn. Thank you for your continued prayers for his eating, development, and protection from respiratory illness.
Climbing, push toy, and drinking from a straw.
LOVE this smile! Yes, he has a lot of teeth! I can see/count 12!
Using his new snack cup
Found him IN the fireplace- TWICE
Swimming for the first time!
Taking a bath like a big boy!
One Year Home From the Nicu Party
Fountains at his party- loved them!
Former Nicu buddy, loved seeing them together like this.
On the go...
He's getting very hard to hold these days!
Asher got to meet many of his prayer warriors.
It was a great day!
***I can't get the walking video to upload but it is on Facebook! I will keep trying :)