I feel it’s only fair to provide full disclosure, to clarify where we’re at with feeding.
And because I know that feeling so well, I don’t want to mislead those of you who are somewhere on this feeding frustration journey.
Braska is progressing GREATLY, when we look at the big picture. If you saw this pic, you can see something huge even if you don’t see the following few seconds.
She has a cookie in her hands, and of her own free will, she has it in her mouth, between her teeth. That, by itself, is amazing. She has come a long way to get to that point.
But she didn’t eat the cookie. She probably closed her teeth on it just a bit. But she didn’t actually break the cookie off in her mouth. She then set it down and was finished.
So while we celebrate where she is, we know we still have a long way to go. And though most kiddos don’t have anywhere near the long learning-to-chew journey that Braska has (but a few do right, Jennie?) for those that know those months and years of work waiting for true eating to happen, it can be so difficult to watch.
The true picture of where she is in this process… At a couple weeks short of 5 years old…
~She is crunching on very small graham cracker sticks in feeding therapy. She will close her teeth and crunch a few times. Sometimes the crumbs will stay in and she’ll manage them and swallow, but many times the pieces come out.
~It has taken us over 18 months of feeding therapy to get to the point that she will even have food in her mouth that is crunchy, and then to close her teeth and make the crunch sound.
~She still has a very VERY long way to go before she just picks up a snack cracker and eats it like her sister does.
~She IS still taking all her necessary fluids orally, as well as all her calories and nutrition in her food. No tube use (except for eye surgery day when she slept all day) for over 2 months now. YAY!
~Her “eating” on a daily basis is still mashed or pureed foods, though not a super smooth texture. She is handling a thicker, more lumpy texture at times. She can now do instant oatmeal without it being blended.
So celebrate with us for what she has accomplished! But keep pulling and praying for our girl to keep progressing. I’m looking forward to the day I hand her a graham cracker and she just eats is like no big deal!