Last week I was reading over my facebook news feed and I noticed the blended diet for tube fed children group I subscribe to posted the following:
"...Let's share what we know now that we wish we had known then about blending food."
That is would work.
I will be the first to admit I jumped into the blended diet for Christian head first without knowing what I was doing. I told myself: What's the big deal? You feed your other kids! It's not rocket science! You know what you're doing, Woman!" And then I had to put it on repeat.
Finally we worked something out. But the vomiting didn't stop. We experimented with different foods, acid reflux medications, natural remedies...and still...vomiting.
It was so frustrating! It felt like a kick in the stomach every time it happened. And then my friend, Jen, also a blended-diet-tubie mommy, told me to stop the formula. She told me it would work. Just take it away.
But I only gave him a small amount. Surely that couldn't make that big of a difference. And she was basically asking me to jump in head first again. Formula was our anchor. If all else fails, use formula, right?
How could you even think that, Shauna?! You breastfed your children! Not a drop of formula! And now it's your best friend?! What is your deal?!
(I hope my talking to myself doesn't offend anyone who used formula for their kids, brian injured or otherwise. Obviously, it's not all bad, it's just not natural for me. Just me. Not speaking for anyone else, nor am I condemning anyone else. I'm really just speaking to the crutch I felt formula had become.)
Back to my friend, Jen. I trusted her. But I was wary of advice due to so much other advice working for other children. But not for Christian. A little jaded, I followed her advice anyway.
So we pulled all the formula. Even the little, tiny bit we were giving Christian over night. Another small leap, albeit head first, in the many leaps we've taken in this journey. But this leap was a good one.
A month later, Christian was just about vomit free. No acid reflux medication since about October. And hardly any vomiting. We've gotten a few episodes of spit up or coughing, but that really only happens when he is sick (hardly ever) and has too much phlegm going on in his upper airway or when he's pushing. You know, when he's going #2. Sometimes he pushes and things want to come out both ends!
It works. There is no secret. Wait, actually, the secret is food. If he is constipated, we use food as the remedy. His tummy is no longer upset. I don't have to cover him with two towels on our way to school so he doesn't throw up his breakfast all over his clothes.
And blendy blends? They're a piece of cake. Sometimes, literally. He has waffles, chicken soup, pumpkin, a variety of fruit, spinach, kale, macaroni and cheese, and even carne asada. It's fun! And it feels good to feed my son. Really good.
So I want to give a shout out to all of my friends and professionals who have supported the blended diet, offered advice, encouragement, suggestions, remedies, and recipes.
Jen Hodder (Avi's Mom)
Sarah Robinson (Mason's Mom)
Pam Rogers (Makenzie's Mom)
Kim Edwards (Fabulous OT)
Blenderized Food For Tubies (Check 'em out on facebook)
Dr. Delp (Christian's pediatrician who is in full support of the blendy blends)
....and anyone else who's given us advice or even spoken about what they use for blends!
Head first. Leap of faith. And it works.