Friday, April 5, 2013

Elias Eats

1 month ago, Elias wasn't eating...  at all.

He would choke whenever we put (or forced) food into his mouth.  At almost 10 months old, we feared Elias had a serious problem.  So, he had a swallow study done at Vanderbilt per the request of his pulmonologist.  In the study, we saw that Elias aspirated when he drinks, eats, and even with his saliva.

Three days later, we were at our first feeding therapy appointment, where Elias was allowed to play with food, experience it while making messes and touching it with his hands.  The therapist's thoughts were that Elias has a hypersensitivity to taste and food texture.  He does aspirate and has created an aversion to foods and utensils due to his constant sicknesses and need for medications.  She recommended that we see two other specialists, buy all new utensils and foods, and start anew with Elias.

However, that afternoon on March 7th, Elias started eating...  a lot.

Whatever I put on his tray, he ate on his own.  Progress was made, and I couldn't be happier.

Since then, Elias has been on a feeding frenzy.  We've thrown out all ideas and plans we used with our other two, and let Elias take the lead.  We have no clue if he has allergies to foods, but we're certain this is what we have to do.  The plan for Elias is this:  there is no plan.  He eats what he seems interested in.  We give him things he can hold and feed himself.  We don't put a handful on his tray though; he gets one small thing at a time due to his aspiration issues.

He ate baby food last night for the first time in 5 months!  It was huge.  He ate yogurt AND sweet potato baby food.  Elias hasn't eaten baby food ever.  It's one of those texture sensitivities he has, and randomly, we tried it last night and he ate it...  Almost half a jar of it.  I'm still amazed.

Here is a random list of foods Elias has eaten:

  • Gerber puffs
  • Oatmeal from a spoon
  • Diced pears
  • Graham crackers
  • Chick fil A nuggets!
  • Saltine crackers
  • Vegetable straws
  • Corn flakes
  • Yogurt bites
  • Banana Bread
  • Cantalope
  • Strawberries
  • Popsicles (he dislikes these and all things cold)
  • Yogurt
  • Enchilada casserole
  • Ice cream
  • Anything found on the floor (paper, markers, bandaids, shoes, etc.)
I write all of this to praise God and show that prayer works.  It does.  We weren't sure when or if Elias would eat without assistance from therapy.  However, he eats now, and he eats all of the time.  I'm so thankful today!

Elias' Eating Experiences in Pictures:

October 2012
His first time eating or actually NOT eating.
This is the face he'd make anytime he saw a spoon.

November 2012
He just became defiant.
Elias would hit the spoon when we'd put it
near his mouth.  He would NOT let food 
get in his mouth, and if by chance we could 
"force" it past his lips, he'd get choked immediately.

At this point, the doctors told us to NOT
worry about feeding him anymore.

February 2013
Holding his own watermelon.
Not liking it, but atleast trying it.

First Week of March 2013
Interested in Eating Graham Crackers
like his Big Brothers

End of First Week of March 2013
The afternoon following feeding therapy,
Elias went to TOWN on eating.

April 1, 2013
Elias takes his first steps...
not to Mommy or Daddy, 
but to a TEDDY GRAHAM!  

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