Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Up and Down, Up and Down

The past few weeks have definitely been a "down" as far as Eli's eating habits go. He is dropping feedings and not liking the bottle much any more, which is normal for one-year-olds. But the problem is that he is getting almost no nutrition anywhere else, so we can't afford for him to drop the bottle yet! He just doesn't enjoy eating- period.

I talked for a long time with his therapist this week, and she encouraged us to just continue doing what we're doing, that the path we're taking is the path we need to be on. But on days when Eli is refusing both the bottle and table food, I am left completely frazzled.

We took him to his normal GI doctor check-up yesterday, and I think Eric and I were both convinced that she would say he needs a feeding tube. I thought that we had reached that point. Like we thought, he hadn't gained any weight in a month, which further confirmed to me that it was feeding tube time. We had prayed and prayed the night before for wisdom from the Lord, because, as much as we want what is best for our child, we have no idea what that is.

The Lord answered our prayers through Eli's GI doctor, Dr. Whitney. She was discouraged that he hadn't gained weight, but she was incredibly encouraging regarding his general health and development. He is exactly where he needs to be for a one-year-old, and he is so healthy- she said that if he weren't getting adequate nutrition, he'd be getting really sick all the time and wouldn't be meeting developmental milestones. We asked about a feeding tube, and she said, "I don't want to take that step yet. It's a big one, and I'm just not comfortable with that yet." We asked if we needed a more agressive feeding therapy (like the inpatient clinic at Baylor), and she said, "He's not ready yet. You need to keep doing exactly what you're doing." She encouraged us to continue on the path we're on, to squeeze as many calories as we can into every bite he eats, and to come back in a month to re-evaluate. She checked his blood levels, too, to make sure that he is good from a nutritional standpoint. And the final piece of advice from Dr. Whitney? "Mom, don't worry. Just relax about this. Take baby steps with him, and DON'T WORRY."

I'd call that an answer to prayer. :) Wisdom from the Lord, through the mouth of a doctor that we like and trust so much.

So, that's the path that we will continue down. I would so appreciate prayer for us during this time- first, that Eli would increase his intake and learn to love to eat all kinds of food from a spoon, and second, that I would not worry and just diligently walk down this many times discouraging path with him. Please also pray for continued wisdom, both for Eric and me and for Dr. Whitney. We have avoided a feeding tube thus far and would like to continue to do so, but we so desperately want to do what is best for Eli.

I feel like it is time for a miracle. Please, Lord, work mightily!

In all areas aside from eating, Eli is doing just great. He has completely caught up to his full-term peers developmentally, is saying words, taking steps, and bringing joy and laughter to our lives every single day. To look at him, you'd never know he had a feeding problem!

But we will continue on this up and down path of Eli's eating habits, praying all the way. And trying to keep thankful, cheerful hearts, because, truly, we have so much to be thankful for.

(The picture above is of Eli gnawing on beef jerky. This is one of his favorite things to chew on- what a man!)


The White House said...

Wow. Sounds like the doctor's words were really an answer to your prayers. I will continue to pray for that sweet boy and for y'all as parents. Really, be anxious in nothing...