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Feeding Clinic: Day 2

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Our second day here (first full day) at the Baylor Feeding Clinic is done.  I am finally getting some quiet time to myself before I fall asleep. 

We had a very very successful day.  Success these days consists of a non-eating child eating, a potentially anxious child happy and two parents who feel connected with each other.  All four of these things are true at the end of Day 2.

Bennett had four "Feeds" today.  When I refer to "Feeds", I'm referring to "Feeding Therapies."  So, four times (9am, 11:30am, 2:30pm and 4:30pm), the Speech Therapist or "Feeder" (another highly trained professional on staff) came and picked up Bennett from his hospital room.  Each time, Bennett screamed down the hall until he was out of sight.  He was taken to a very small room on the first floor which is considered a "Feeding Room."  There are about 4 or 5 "Feeding Rooms" on this floor.  Bennett sat in a tiny high chair that seems just his size.  He was offered two prepared foods and asked to take bites in exchange for a toy or TV show of his choice.

Our Speech Therapist is very good and has been doing this for a long time.  She knows how much he ate down to the number of grams or milliliters.  At the end of the day, I was given a sheet that showed what he ate so that I can follow along with how things are going.  After his last feed, his Speech Therapist said, "today, Bennett did fabulous."

I asked her to clarify what that meant.  I said, "so when you said he did well, you mean he ate about average, below average or above average than what most kids eat at this point?"  She replied, "He ate above average."  Brian and I gave each other high fives.  This is exactly what we want to hear.  She continued, "As long as Bennett doesn't dig his heels in, I think he is going to do very well."  And then she said, as she left the room, "He is very smart."

We knew what she meant when she referred to his being smart.  She can tell he's getting the program.  He gets how the behavior modification program works and what the therapists want out of him.  This is what we have been confident about for a while now.  We thought he'd do well with the program as he does seem to have the ability to reason pretty well.  This is key for a program like this.

So, all of this is incredibly encouraging to us.  We will have an important staff conference meeting next Wednesday to discuss how he's doing and whether or not he's responding appropriately to the program.  But, from what we understand, he's doing great and seems to be on his way to successful eating!

My favorite thing (and therefore my #11 of things I'm thankful for) is seeing Bennett when he gets back from his "Feeds".  Since Bennett doesn't really talk, it thrills me to no end when he walks in the room or comes from down the hall holding his favorite stuffed dog screaming, "Ma!  Ma! Ma!"  It feels a bit like I'm the mother of Laura Ingalls Wilder when he toddles down the hallway calling out for me.  But I love every single syllable of my new name.  I love seeing his sweet smile and hearing his giggle when he sees me.  It's like he's coming home from school and is so proud of himself!  I love it.

Brian and I have dedicated this first week at the Feeding Clinic to being family time.  So, when we are not with Bennett, we are spending time with Oliver.   Oliver doesn't often get all of Momma and Daddy's attention.  So, he is loving it.  We continue to call our outings and experiences "our adventure" and he seems to be eating it up.  Bennett has Speech and Occupation Therapies as well as nap times and Feeds from about 11:30-3pm.  So, Brian, Oliver and I take that time to go explore Dallas and eat lunch.  Today, we took Oliver on his first train ride (the DART or Dallas Subway system).  We took the train to lunch and then took it back home.  He loved it and was completely fascinated.  Brian and I loved it too.

I'll write more about our schedule and what we do each day as I have time.  I feel like I could write 40 posts a day and post about that many pictures.  But the days are filled with children and activities, making posting on a blog a lesser priority.  I'll try to posts more pictures soon.  As I end my night, may I write a few more things about my time here for which I am thankful...

12.) I am thankful for the hospital bed I'm sleeping on (albeit stiff and uncomfortable) that raises up with a push of a button. Who doesn't love sitting up in bed or lying down without having to lift more than a finger?

13.) I am thankful for the opportunity to drink as much chocolate milk in half pint cartons as Brian, Oliver and I want for free through our open access of a fully stocked "family" refrigerator at the hospital. All family members of patients are allowed to get as much pudding, juices, cheese, milk and popscicles as we want from this fridge at any time.  (The downside is there is no cafeteria at the Baylor Feeding Clinic...so that's about the only thing the hospital can offer us to eat and drink.)

14.) I am thankful for getting to see my sister tonight.  The boys love her so much and it's wonderful to have her nearby should we need her.   We appreciated the dinner she brought us to enjoy together.

15.) I am thankful for the hospital ice machine.  It's that "Sonic" ice - the little ball pellet ice that you get at Sonic.  It's amazing and I get to have/chew it all day long.

16.) I am thankful that I don't have to refill Bennett's feeding tube in the middle of the night.  The fact is I never really have to do that anymore...Brian typically does it for me since I often cannot go back to sleep once I'm woken up at night.  But it's so wonderful not to have to wake up to hearing Bennett's pump beeping for more formula.  Since we can keep only 4 hours worth of formula in his bag at once (due to spoiling of milk), we typically have to refill his feeding bag twice at night (midnight and 3am).  But, with 24 hour nursing services, someone else gets to remember and come in to do it.  So, no more beeping and no interrupted sleep.  This is something certainly worth being thankful for!!

Pictures to come...

2 Responses to “Feeding Clinic: Day 2”

  1. SO happy for you that things are going well. Everything sounds like it couldn't be any better. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Hooray for success!! GO BENNETT! Great to hear everything is going so smoothly, Breck! Thanks for the updates! (I'm going to post L's shower today so check it out when you have a sec!)

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