Sunday, 20 May 2012

Eating is meant to be fun!

We met with our local speech therapist this week and she thinks that it would be a good time to start offering food again. We have had a break from offering food and have been sharing whatever food we are eating with Faith. We have been allowing her to play with it, poke it, push it, whatever she likes to try and get her used to food and learn that food is a friend not a foe. She hasn't grasped any food yet but she has had chocolate, Vegemite and yogurt on her fingers and some of it has made it to her mouth to taste. She has been taking little sips of water on occasions but not much as she just shakes her head. Faith needs to learn to hold onto a little bit of food and put it to her mouth but she first needs to learn how to grasp better. Faith can grasp her stacker cups, she pulls them out and if we hold a cup she can put the smaller cup back in the bigger cup. She is much better than she used to be, but it is a very slow process. Faith has definitely improved since we got the Stingray R82 pram, the tray on the pram gives her more opportunity to explore what is in front of her. Before Faith would spend so much time lying on the floor or sitting on the lounge and now she sits up her pram surveying the world and taking it all in.

Since we have been a little stuck for a food routine and with Faith's eating the speech therapist thought maybe starting a more definite food routine might help. Some ideas were

  • cereal 
  • strip of toast
  • a small chunk of banana
  • Strips of avocado
  • cruskit biscuits
  • pieces of soft cheese
  • well steamed vegetables
  • scrambled egg
Other ideas were 
  • continue to offer water from the sippy cup (we have always been doing this) but we could try using a different colour sippy cup with either juice or flavored milk.
  • continue with oral play to encourage Faith to put toys to her mouth
  • keeping the same food for a few days so she has a chance to become familiar with them.  

We are happy to try anything and give all ideas a go. One of the ideas to offer a bowl of cereal when we have our cereal is worth a go, it would be good to try and break the current morning routine. It is so tricky in the morning as Faith usually vomits first thing or if not then shortly after we give her her zymil milk, we have tried different combinations and nothing seems to stop the vomiting. The last few mornings I have tried offering the rice cereal (as she is still on pureed food) and she either shakes her head, buries her head in her shoulder and starts moaning. On Thursday I tried all day offering food and playing with food but with no luck. In the afternoon Faith had a huge vomit and I was so discouraged. After an hour or so, I thought she must be so hungry so I offered her some pureed food and not only did she gag, she had another big vomit. I felt like such a failure, we just don't seem to be getting anyway.

On Friday it was pretty much the same, then came Saturday and no progress again. I have only just recently came across the babycenter forum for spina bifida and it is amazing, at last I have found a group of people who are experiencing the similar changes and have such encouragement and advice. It means so much and even reading the other posts are helpful. It is good to have a forum that I can go to for help but in some circumstances relay my experiences in the hope our experience might help or encourage someone else. Now, it is Sunday and early this morning we did have a tiny break through. I gave Faith her bowl of rice cereal, I tasted some and I ate my toast while playing with her food. I chose a rice cereal with no taste I thought why not try going right back to basics. I didn't offer her any with her spoon, as spoons don't seem to help right now, so I rubbed some rice cereal on her lips, I didn't make a fuss just kept eating my toast and she started making chewing sounds. She didn't gag, didn't vomit. Faith ate the tiniest bit of cereal. Wow! I hope this is the beginning of eating even if slow. I wanted to try more but thought better not and instead gave her little sips of water. Success! 


  1. You are so very patient. Little by little....

    1. Nice to hear from you. I don't feel very patient sometimes, I would like things to move quicker but we are getting there and I am grateful for every step forward. :)