Kai has just turned 6. I know, I can hardly believe myself. Where has my tiny baby gone?
As Ive posted before, Kai has feeding issues. He has only progressed to purees and that is where we stopped. We've tried different therapists, OTs and SLPs, and no progress was ever made. Some said it was Behavioral, some said it was Sensory. We were finally recommended to an inpatient feeding clinic. The nearest one is 4 hours away. I have 4 kids, one of them is an infant. Not happening.
We switched from clinical therapy to in home therapy. It is easier on all of us and more beneficial to the boys, in my opinion. We landed a phenomenal occupational therapist from River Kids. Originally just for Peter and I started telling her about Kai and his feeding problems. She said she had feeding experience and would like to try, if I didnt mind. Uh, no I didnt mind!
She worked tirelessly and patiently for him for about 6 months. We talked off and on about his tongue tie. Yes, he has a tongue tie. Ive asked doctors since he was in the NICU if it needed to be clipped. Ive been told No by probably 6 different physicians, but it has always been a niggling in the back of my mind. After watching and looking and inspecting, the therapist said she thought his tongue was so tight that he could not move his tongue enough to safely manipulate food, and that he knew that and that is why he wont eat table foods. I scheduled an ENT appointment to see if we could get a frenulectomy.
So we saw the ENT. She said it was a severe tie and should be clipped, but that she didnt feel it would help with his feeding or speech...that was all neurological. Thank you doctor who has never laid eyes on my son prior to this. I didnt ask for your opinion on his neurological status, but thanks. I put aside my ill feelings towards her and scheduled the surgery. It was only a 5 minute surgery but would require anesthesia. No big news there; everything Kai has done require anesthesia these days. The surgery was scheduled. All we had to do is wait.
Kai had his frenulectomy in early July of this year. He wasnt in any pain after and it was completely healed in 3 days. Two weeks later, he was eating table foods. Yep.
Five years of frustration, tantrums, throwing food, purees...gone. I was overjoyed and a bit pissed as well. I shouldve followed my gut and had it done a long time ago. I am slowly learning that my instinct in regards to my kids is pretty dead on. But I try not to linger on that, it will only make me bitter.
Instead, we ate! And ate. Everything! We are still progressing through foods, but he has yet turned away anything we have given him or not been able to eat it.
Kai's birthday was this month. I was so excited. Ive waited for this momentous occasion for five years. This moment we all take for granted. That first birthday cake. Oh, how Ive waited! Every year. And then it doesnt happen. I just tell him, Maybe next year. This year was that year! We practiced a couple weeks before, just to make sure. He did great!
We sang Happy Birthday. Blew out candles. Touched hot wax after blowing out candle(learning moment). And then we cut the cake and passed it out.
And HE ATE CAKE :) on his maroon spoon, but he ate it! It was a cherished moment and he was so proud as we all yelled and clapped!
This was one of those milestones I thought might never happen. Each year passing, I became more and more sure that he would never progress to table foods. I was told, he will eat one day. But it gets hard to believe. And you meet kids older than him that do not eat solids; that are on a liquid diet or have a tube. So you begin to wonder. Will he eat food? And now that it is here, it is like he has been doing it all along. All the memories of frustration and sadness flee out the window and are replaced with the joy of reaching that milestone. As it always does. No matter how simple or how difficult.
Im proud of my boy. He is growing up so fast. Doing new things every day. His speech is actually starting to come along now, as well. I cant wait!