10.11.12

EATING ISSUES

Over the last 3 weeks Lauren hasn't gained any weight. She has been refusing most solid food and breastfeeding through the night...a lot. In the past I have found it easy to get up knowing that I was helping Lauren get nice and fat, but now it is much harder because each time I get up I get slapped with worry.

It looks like she has developed some food aversion. That means that she is happy to put anything in her mouth except food and bottles. Apparently this happens sometimes after babies have been intubated or have other medical procedures done in their mouths or throats. Lauren was intubated twice during her time in the hospital for quite a while. While she was intubated, and after, she had fluid start to collect in her lungs and the only way to get it out was to put a small tube down her throat to force her to gag and cough. It was horrible to watch but it was the best way to clear her little lungs. All of these things might have made her mouth and gag reflex more sensitive to triggers.



Last night I had some friends over in the evening to play Settlers of Catan. While we played Lauren sat in her high chair plugging away at some baby finger cereal and some oatmeal. Previously, the most that I've been able to get into her is one tablespoon of oatmeal or other baby food. When I get the full tablespoon in I feel like we have just scored a touchdown and we do a victory dance in the end zone / kitchen. Last night, Lauren doubled her regular oatmeal intake with very little gagging! I told the girls that they were more than welcome to come over four times a day so that Lauren was distracted from her regular gagging routine. She has also started drinking water from a cup while she is eating and that seems to help her clear her mouth.

Today Lauren kept her intake higher than any other day previously. It is such an answer to prayer because it will help her gain weight but it also helps to take away my worry. Now we just have to work on eating without any vagal episodes. Those definitely take time off my life every time she does that. Today she had one and she seemed to recover relatively quickly but I had a hard time feeding her with my hand shaking so much. I think half of it ended up going up her nose. 


Oh, and since Lauren has been rolling after him, Austin tries to steer clear of her but when she is eating he is her new best friend. I'm just glad that she hasn't started feeding him on purpose yet. He gets enough by accident!

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