The past few days have been hard to get through. Not only is my husband away for work since Saturday morning, but I’ve been starting to feed Piper puree. Since Piper is 7 months old it’s about time I try. We’ve been going to the feeding clinic at Sick Kids to get some tips from the OT.
It takes a lot to get her ready to feed and most of the time she is just too tired once I get everything done! We went out and bought a special chair for her to sit in at an angle, then I need to stuff blankets around her body and head to keep her straight. Once I have this accomplished I go in for the feed! Basically I hold the spoon on her lower lip and wait for her to try to suck it or stick her tongue into it. Since she has such poor muscle tone it’s hard for her to open her mouth or even get the rhythm of opening and closing or using her tongue to move food to the back of her mouth. It takes so much patience and persistence that yesterday I broke down in tears!
Because I have a 4 year old I’ve been through this and know what the opposite is like. I started thinking of how many problems she's had through her short little life and eating, one of the most basic things a baby does, is so difficult for her! Even drinking a bottle of milk isn’t simple for Piper. I have to thicken her formula with cereal so that she doesn’t aspirate.
Life is so precious and so fragile that even the simplest things that Piper will try to do will be 10 times more difficult. We all, including myself with my son, take for granted what our babies can do naturally and even brag about these simple things to others. But what we really need to do is take a second to think about our children and how LUCKY we are to have a child that can eat. Even moms who cannot breast feed know how something that is supposed to be so “natural” cannot happen for some.
So to conclude I say this to those who have healthy babies...be happy with what you have and don’t flaunt or show off simple tasks. Instead look at your child and be happy that he/she is alive and healthy because there is not one day, one hour that goes by that I don’t wish my child was “perfect” like yours.
Maybe I’m just PMS’ing a little...sigh. Okay, I’ll wipe away the tears and head off to pursue yet another feeding...