Monday, January 9, 2012

Slowley but surely

Its Monday evening 9th Jan, Day 8 of Max's wean. We started the day at hospital with Speech Therapy/Logo. The therapists name is Andrea and she is just lovely, I find myself looking forward to her sessions as we learn something so interesting and important each time. You would think 'why does he need speech therapy?' but its not really to do with speech, its more to do with his mouth and senses. Andrea has been focusing on getting Max to smell things. She explained that the sense of smell stimulates a part of the brain that kicks in the instinct to want to eat. Like when when we can smell good food cooking or bread baking it makes us hungry.
Speech session- cutting fruit 

Daddy helping Max cut fruit
Today she had a plate of different fruits; apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi fruit and so on. She asked Max to smell each piece of fruit then us. Then she got Max to cut the fruit up to make a fruit salad for the dolls. She and Steve helped him with the knife (of course) but he was so proud that he was cutting! We could all smell the different flavours of each fruit. She explained it was also a way to introduce flavours as he would be unaware of this from not experiencing food. While he was busy cutting the fruit he was again making noises and moving his mouth as if he was eating...'nom nom nom'. Max fed some fruit to us then the dolls. Andrea explained that she did not expect Max to eat any fruit, but just the activity helps him overcome his fear of it.

Next was the play picnic. Max was happy to see the other kids and be there and was again saying 'nom nom nom' looking at all the food. He took some bread and a small piece of ham and sucked on it a bit. Steve then was told to offer him a cup of juice, Max has never drank or sipped anything but water, we have even tried to just add a few drops of juice to his water cup but he knows and refuses. He took it and sipped it! He didn't go back for any more but its a start. They then told us no more water for Max. He can only now be offered drinks with taste/flavour. They suggested we only put soup broth in his drink bottle or cup. This is worrying us as we are so pleased Max has been drinking water we don't want to now deny him of it. They said we have to push him and if he is thirsty enough he will drink it. We also got told to reduce his tube feed again, now to only 300ml over night! They also told Steve and I to start putting yoghurt in his mouth with our finger. We did this a few times each and Max cried and was saying no and turning his head away, but each time his mouth was slightly open we had to quickly get some in. Once the yoghurt was in Max's mouth he seemed to be OK and even like it! Its just a matter of getting it in. They explained that even though he was saying no and turning his head away we need to persist. They said if he really didn't like it he'd get up and walk away. They suggested we do it again at home.
After hospital finished for the day we went to the supermarket and stocked up on soup stock and yoghurt's and got some ice cream. We set up a 'play picnic' in our apartment and Max ate a little ice cream! Not much, just a teaspoon at the most, but he spooned it in himself! Steve sat him on his knee and again put the yoghurt in his mouth with his finger and again he grizzled but he took it and swallowed.
Max and Daddy having a picnic in our apartment.
Here you can also see the temporary tubing they had to put in Max's tummy a few days ago.
We're really happy with today, but we do need to learn to be patient. Its a waiting game now. Waiting for him to click and make that connection between hunger and food. That its safe to drink other things but water. Waiting for him to be so hungry that he eats an entire meal. Waiting for him to trust food and to trust us. He hasn't drank anything much at all today. Since we were told no more water, hes asking for a drink and we give him broth or juice and he wont take them. He's lost almost 1kg since we arrived which the doctors assure us is fine and expected. They compared it to a how a newborn looses 10% of its birth weight as it learns to feed. So tonight we start only giving him 300ml, so it will be interesting to see how this will affect him tomorrow. At the moment he is still happy, but definitely quieter and less energetic than normal. Poor baby boy, it feels awful seeing him so small and hungry, but its the only way, and we believe he'll get there.

1 comment:

  1. What amazing people you are! Much love to you all and hope as well