something happened at breakfast this morning that hasn’t happened in a long time. Zander threw up.
this used to be a regular occurrence. so regular, that it was daily for a while. just the hint of texture in his food would send him gagging, and he would eventually throw up his entire meal. Zander would be crying from fright, i would be crying from sheer frustration, sadness, and fear that my little boy would never grow because he couldn’t/wouldn’t eat.
this morning was a bit different. sure, he gagged at some texture and ended up losing his breakfast. but it was because we have finally been able to move him off of the pureed-to-nothingness jarred baby food fruit to normal pureed fruit cups. you know…the kind that you and i might eat as a snack. not only are they so much cheaper, they also offer the same (if not better) nutritional value of the baby food with a bit more texture. and he’s been really good at eating it, as long as we are spoon-feeding him. i think there’s a comfort thing there, and we (as well as his Psychologist) are okay with the spoon feeding thing…’cause he’s eating! i guess the texture was just a bit much for him this morning.
so when he started gagging, i calmly told him it was okay. when he threw up, i still kept my calm (i’m amazed at myself for that!) and told him it was alright. he didn’t cry, probably because i didn’t cry. the only thing he was worried about was getting the puke off him, and i don’t blame him.
whether because of my meds for my ppd, the twice-a-month meetings with Zander’s Psychologist (who has been amazingly supportive and reassuring), or because of the progress he’s made, i was able to handle this morning’s breakfast incident with out trauma to myself or my son. looking back, i realize how much progress we have made in these past few months.
this time last year, Zander would only drink milk…no solid food whatsoever. the simple action of bringing a spoonful of pureed fruit or veggies would send him gagging and throwing up what little bit of milk was in his tiny tummy. he was almost 2 years old and a mere 20 pounds…the same weight he was just after he turned a year old.
when his iron deficiency was diagnosed, we had to resort to force feeding. i would sit on the couch with Zander on my lap and pry his mouth open while hubby would spoonfeed him a concoction of pureed fruits or veggies spiked with iron-fortified cereals. he would sputter and gag. we had to hold his mouth closed so he didn’t spit it out, and i would rock him and sing to him to keep him calm until he swallowed each spoonful. i cried with almost every meal. i felt nauseous before every meal, not knowing what horror lay ahead of us this time.
looking back, it is easy to see how far he’s come. instead of force feeding, screaming, gagging and vomiting, our meals have become much more relaxed. sure, it’s still difficult to get him to eat. he’s not eating much whole food…most of it’s still pureed. but i honestly can’t remember when the last time he gagged and threw up was. he has more energy. he’s happier and less cranky. he’s gained weight (he’s up to 29 pounds y’all!). we can count on him eating something at each meal, which used to seem like an unattainable goal.
i’m so proud of my boy, and what he’s struggle through to get where he is now. after dealing with this eating disorder for over 2 years, i still can’t imagine what it’s like for him. can you imagine being scared of food, one of the very things you need to survive? i can’t fathom what that must be like, and that’s probably a good thing.
but he’s slowly but steadily overcome his fear more and more. on top of his purees, he can now eat small chunks of cheese and toast. he’ll eat pizza, french fries and potato chips…not super nutritious, but it’s the texture that counts right now. he’s even started to eat pieces of whole banana! i never thought i would see the day….
i’m beaming with pride for my 2.5 year old little boy…one of the bravest and strongest little men i know!