Thursday, May 27, 2010

Blended Diet

A few weeks ago I started reading up on ways to give Ethan better nutrition through his G-tube. At that point, he was getting Pediasure 5 times a day (including an overnight feed), and something about that just felt so wrong to me. I read many websites, mommy chat boards, articles, and blogs, then Jeramie and I eventually decided that we would start to create a blended diet for Ethan. Two sources, in particular, helped us reach this decision. The first was a story from a gentleman who has a g-tube himself. He talked very honestly about how differently formula/Pediasure feels on his stomach than real food. He challenged the reader (me) to think about drinking a sugary milkshake every day, for every meal and every snack. How would that feel? Probably not so great.

Then, I came across one blog in particular that was just FULL of information on blended diets. This lady is a heart mama, as well, and has seen great progress in her son ever since she stopped the sugary milkshakes and began giving him real food though his tube. Reading her experience was the final deciding factor for us.

When I first started out, I had no idea what I was doing (I still don't, really...). I just started throwing stuff in our Magic Bullet that I thought Ethan would eat, if he were able to. We've definitely been learning as we go, and we've managed to give Ethan more calories per ounce than the Pediasure could even think about giving him. And, they're GOOD calories: flax seed oil, whole milk, tons of fruits and veggies, peanut butter, you get the idea. So far, he has tolerated everything really well!

We've seen his interest in food pick up a little, too. Because we're able to get so many calories in him during the day, we rarely have to do an overnight feed now. This means he actually wakes up hungry, eats some breakfast, gets a blended breakfast on top of that, snacks a little, gets a blended lunch (if we're home), snacks a little more, and then it's dinnertime! Then he goes to bed, without a tube attached to him, and this awesome little cycle repeats itself the following day. I'm stoked!!

Plus, due to the fact that Pediasure isn't making up 100% of Ethan's nutritional intake, I feel a little less guilty about letting him indulge in a chocolate pudding pack here and there. This kid loves him some chocolate pudding!

"Pucker up, Mama!"

I feel really good about what we're doing for Ethan right now. I've often times regretted not being able to breast-feed him, or not keeping up with pumping for as long as I wanted to, and now I feel like I can give a little more of that care back to him. However, I have been convicted recently that Ethan's feeding issue is the one area that I haven't completely given over to God. Because there is so much I can do to control it, I miss out on asking for His help. (I'm starting to see a trend here with this whole "asking God for help" thing.) I want Ethan to eat. I don't want him to be attached to a feeding tube for the rest of his life. I want him to enjoy the pleasures that good food can bring him and to grow up appreciating his Granny's cooking, or the sweet taste of a fresh strawberry. This is one of my many prayers right now. That Ethan would eat. While I will do everything in my power to encourage that down here, I'll also be sure to seek guidance from the One who knows way better than I do!


Jenn said...

Wow! What a great thing you are doing for Ethan. I hate that there is anyone on a feeding tube, but how great is it that there is a grown-up who can shed some light on what it feels like for Ethan?

And you are so right about giving the things we CAN control over to God. I've had a couple of those "aha" moments lately, too.

Faith M. said...

Good for you! I'm so glad you were able to find some other sources on this. It sounds like you are doing the best for him. It is so hard to give things over to Him. I will be praying that you are able to hand over control... so hard!

Anonymous said...

Joye...I think you totally have it. Dagen didn't start eating until I became a stay at home mama and could begin to control and respond to her needs. She just began to eat and rely on food (real food...not formula) in February of this year! (Remember..she will turn 3 on steps) Anyway, I found the trick was to feed her ever 2 hours and begin to make her hungry. When she found out what hungry was, I gave her an option of food vs. formula. It was tough but it worked. Be patient with yourself through all of this, and you will find that he will just begin to eat. ;)

Jonathan and Meredith Ellis said...

That's awesome Joye! I have read her blog before too (linked from your cite, or from someone else's you linked to). Very impressive. I'm sure it makes him feel better. Praying for you and precious Ethan!

Dana Enzor said...

This is awesome girl!! I think you'll have him eating strawberries and more yummy/good foods soon (by mouth), and this is definitely a great step forward! If you think about all the great nutrients that you can put in his G-tube that he can't really "refuse" to eat, it's kinda easier to give it to him than it would be for the picky kids.

Glad you've done your research! I can feel the proud momma in you bursting from this post. You are an awesome Mother! Love you girl!!

The Smith's said...

Ethan is a lucky boy to have such a caring, God-seeking mama. If those pictures are any indication, Ethan is well on his way to enjoying delicious food by mouth. And while he still needs a little help with volume, you can support him and know he is getting everything he needs to grow, grow, grow.

Thank you, also, for the good reminder to leave things to the One who has it all under control. I still catch myself trying to control, or thinking to heavily about what Luke is or isn't eating, whether he's gaining or not ... Our dietician has been instrumental in helping me learn how to trust Luke first, then myself in the arena of nutrition. I hope you have a good one as well, and keep looking if you don't!

I love that sweet boy!


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