monday, august 17

for those that have followed our journey from the beginning, you know that feeding adali has been one of the biggest struggles we have had to deal with.  many times the process has pushed me over the edge, leading me to tears and often times begging anyone who will listen to fix the situation.  looking back, the only time it was easy to feed adali was when she was being fed through her ng tube.  dr. sadiq would comment nearly every day how well she tolerated large amounts of breast milk (at the time large = just a few cc's).  the difficulty began nearly a month after she was born when she needed to learn how to breast feed or bottle feed. we took her home promising that we would make sure we were doing everything in our power to continue the amazing work the doctor's and nurses had done in the nicu.  we fed her like a bird for months.  squirting the milk in her mouth for her so she wouldn't have to tire from sucking.  feedings lasted hours and more times than not, it all came back up (reflux is a word i have grown to despise).  it was a struggle that lead us to specialists and hospital stays.  the helplessness you feel knowing that your child isn't getting the nutrition they need for proper development is enough to send any parent into a tailspin.  just as i assumed that all pregnancies had a happy ending, i also assumed that all children loved to eat.  another lesson learned the hard way.    

from the emails i have received, i know that this is very common with children that are a product of prematurity.  i also know that it is not exclusive to premature children.  even though i was one of those mothers that lived and died by every ounce adali gained and where she fell on the growth chart, for me it was more than that.  it was knowing that i was not compromising her development by not doing more to make sure she was healthy.  

i recount all of this, so that one day i can look back and be proud of how hard so many of us worked to get her to the point she is at today.

Adali eating1    

no, she is still not on the growth chart..and really she isn't even close (she currently weighs about 18.5 pounds).  but, she is healthy and her development astounds me every day.

just look at her nosh on her french fries and chicken nuggets!  this picture sums up perfectly just how far we have come.  until recently, you still had to feed adali almost every bite at every meal.  now, she loves to eat on her own.  i cannot even begin to put into words how much stress is taken out of my day by not having to chase her around for hours to put food in her mouth.  we still try and give her high calorie foods (i have become damn good at getting the most calories possible into what she eats) whenever we can, but this is mostly to make sure that she doesn't go backwards.

Adali eating2   

we manage to get her to sit still in her high chair long enough so that we can eat dinner together but she makes it very clear when she is done.  she insists on having one leg out and will push away from the table using her free leg which lets you know she has had enough and is ready to play again.  she has even started to learn how to feed herself with a fork.  sometimes the fork means that lexi gets more dinner than adali does.  but who cares, she will get the hang of it soon enough.

Adali eating4

we've come a long way, baby!

Adali eating3

(please note that i don't usually part adali's hair down the middle…daddy was trying to be funny the other night.  she reminds me of alfalfa from the little rascals in this last picture.

much love,

mama a

3 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Sara T says:

    She cracks me up Jamie – love all the facial expressions – you are so good at capturing them with your camera!
    So happy to hear that eating is becoming less of a struggle for your home… ours too….. Katie also loves using the fork and what’s even better – half way through the meal she likes to trade forks with her dad or mom…. getting a fork covered in food is oh so pleasant! :-)

  2. sweeney says:

    you’re right, eating is not exclusive to premies. feeding addi (getting her to EAT) has been a battle as well. addison is 2 years older than adali and she only weighs 10lbs more. addi has ALWAYS been low on the weight chart, 20% or lower. however, my beast of boy is probably now around 16lbs…2lbs less than adali and he’s a year younger than her. i say, don’t worry about her weight. the way i see it, as long as she’s growing healthy and smart, weight is a just a number!

    xoxo
    us

  3. Vicky says:

    I have problems making sure my 3 year old eats because he is that freaking stubborn!
    Adali is adorable and I’m so glad that she is eating for you!

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