Tonight I did what we often do, I tucked Mr O into bed and said goodnight and then hastened to clean him up after he threw up all of his dinner all through his bed. I changed his sheets and his pajamas, and then I basically force fed him, so that he would have something in his tummy again, and would be able to sleep without waking hungry. He cried a little after he threw up, then he sat on my lap and took all the food I gave him, without a sound, just swallowed it all and then got into bed again. I sat beside him until he fell asleep and then I rinsed all the linen and clothes and put the washing on. Then I stood in the kitchen and cried for a while. Because cleaning up vomit is misery, and force feeding your kid is awful and because its exhausting when it’s your normal.
But then I thought about the fact that it’s November and in a couple of weeks it will have been one full entire YEAR since we took out his nasogastric tube. We used to change his linen 4-6x and put through 3 loads of washing every single day. Taking out that tube reduced his vomit significantly the minute we took it out. Things are so, so, so very much better than they were.
He used to refuse anything and everything orally, he wouldn’t drink milk or water, and we would celebrate the tiniest mouthful. He started with yoghurt, custard and chocolate milk, and we counted the mls and the grams and we eased him slowly onto food he had to chew. He choked and gagged, threw up, refused, and then he chewed and swallowed and asked for food. I vividly remember the day he yelled for water and gulped from a sippy cup (yes, I probably cried). Tonight (pre vomit that is) he ate rice, smoked salmon, cucumber, and tortilla. He sits at the table with us for dinner and he scoops up curry with a spoon, stabs at pasta with a fork and he loves trying to eat corn. True, the majority of his ‘filling’ intake still comes from yoghurt, and true, he’s only just got over 10kg, but he eats on his own and he loves it. That is phenomenal progress.
I haven’t written anything for a long time because the days this year are just flying by, but I’ve done a lot of reflecting this last week and as we come around to another Christmas (how, how is it November???) I want to tell anyone who is in the middle of misery that there will be improvement. It may not be until next November that you’ll be able to see it. But it will come.
There will still be more spew in our house and I know we will still worry about food and growth and development.
It’s just life now.
But life now is also Mr O yelling “we love it” as he fills his mouth with Greek yoghurt, and me warning him it’ll be quite spicy if he decides to bite into the entire spring onion, and sitting next to him in the sun with a plate full of strawberries knowing he won’t choke on them anymore.
I want to make him a Tube Wean anniversary cake, any ideas?