Since Will was hospitalized in early January, he has been an absolute eating machine. The two days worth of jet fuel laxative really must have kick started his appetite. Around the same time that Will got home from the hospital in January, Oma came to stay with us while Luke and Will tracked out. We sent her to one of Will's feeding therapy appointments, and it became her personal mission for the duration of her 3 week stay to push Will as far as the feeding therapist advised. Perhaps more.
This was probably good for Nate and me. Sometimes as a parent of a special needs child, you feel like you're constantly pushing. Pushing them to do more, reach more, eat more, stretch more, sleep more. It can be exhausting, and can really wear on you sometimes because it is hard to just step back, have fun, and just parent. I am not sure how physical therapists and drill sergeants do it, because constantly cracking the whip and being the bad guy isn't my forte!
So the timing couldn't have worked out more perfectly. Will was more hungry than ever, and he had a motivated drill sergeant... um... I mean major. Sorry Mom.
All of a sudden, Will was drinking 20 ounces of Pediasure during the day without really pushing him. We used to struggle to get him to take 10 ounces, and at that point, we were really needing the g-tube to make sure he got enough nutrition. It was amazing!
In addition to that, Will started trying all sorts of new solid foods. Because we were a little concerned previously to push him too hard with solid food, we were stuck with Stage 3 baby food for like 2 years. Believe me, Gerber doesn't make enough variety of baby foods. Even so, Will liked it, and it wasn't difficult for him to eat. I am sure he liked not being pushed. Though he was eating basically the same 4 foods all the time.
Well now, his diet reads like a strange menu at a leftovers smorgasbord:
- Bananas (cut to the size of a dime)
- Canteloupe (did not like AT ALL)
- Homemade applesauce (very chunky, skin removed)
- Sweet potato (baked and mashed, sometimes with marshmallow)
- Regular potato (baked and mashed)
- Many varieties of yogurt
- Ice cream (liked it once he got over the cold)
- Spinach omelette
- Goldfish crackers
- Mozzarella cheese (cubed small)
And the true kicker,
- Meatball (his Italian father couldn't be more proud)
So because of all this increased calorie intake, Will is really growing! He isn't BIG by any stretch, nor do we want him to be. But for a long time, he was stuck in the 10th percentile for weight for his age (31 lb). In the past two months, he has jumped to 34 lb... almost 25th percentile.
It is crazy to think about, but depending on the next round of regular doctors appointments around his birthday in March, we might be instructed to limit the amount of Pediasure he gets at night in the g-tube. He already doesn't use the g-tube for feeding during the day. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself with that thought, because no one has indicated that would be our next step yet. But you can't blame a mom for hoping.
Oh! And the photo at the beginning is the one I snapped of Will outside of the ER earlier this week, right after his release. He was happy to be going home.