Saturday, May 9, 2009

She's EATING!!!!

I seriously just can't believe it. We went to Harlie's feeding therapy yesterday. I told the new therapist that she swallowed the day before. So, I fed her the first bite or two - and yep! She swallowed it! And the therapist took over and Harlie continued to EAT every bite. So, I think I can officially say that she's EATING some food by mouth!!! WAHOO!!! I just want to tell everyone I see and dance around all day thinking about it!!! It IS the start of something BIG!!!

She even took a few sips of thickened water and swallowed that, too! The therapist tried several different spoons (which places the food in different areas of her mouth to see where her strengths are) and she could pull the food off the spoon by closing her lips completely around it. All of this is HUGE!! Because she hasn't eaten by mouth - all of her mouth muscles are very weak. So, her being able to close her lips around the spoon is huge progress!

At the beginning of therapy she weighs all the food and drink and then after therapy, she weighs what's leftover. She even weighs her bib before and after as well so what comes out of her mouth and lands on her bib gets accounted for. Well, her bib had NO food on it! And all total she ATE half of an ounce!!! It was measurable!!! How in the world did we go from NOTHING to eating half of an ounce???

Was it watching Cooper eat? Did she just decide she wanted to? Was it a miracle? Maybe it was a combination. Regardless, we are so happy!!!

The only thing I wish is that Beth or Allison (her feeding therapists from before) could have been the ones feeding her and watching her eat. They worked so hard to get her to this point. Allison started coming to our house when Harlie was just a few months old until last August. And Beth has been with us since before last August. I know they would have been dancing around with me! But, I know we'll see them again and I can't wait to show them how all their hard work (with Harlie and with me) has paid off. I am so incredibly thankful to them for constantly giving me the support we needed to get to this point!!!

So, what happens now? Our new therapist said that we need to do three feeding sessions a day and spend eight minutes on each session. I let her hit the start button on the timer, and when it goes off, she knows that we're all done. I've been feeding her stage 2 baby foods (just since I have them here for Cooper). And they seem to be the right thickness already, so I don't have to mess with the thickener, which is great. I just have to thicken her water (with Simply Thick or Thick-it). Regular water is just too thin for her to control in her mouth. So far, things have been going great! And for once, I don't mind doing the sessions. In fact, I'm thrilled to do them!

Okay, well, I'll stop bragging - for now. We have Murphy's birthday party this afternoon at the bowling alley. He's never been bowling before, so I hope he likes it. Hopefully I'll have some good videos and pictures later! I can't believe he'll be turning FIVE on Monday!

More later!


Rene said...

Brag all you want! This is awesome news!!! I can't wait to see a video of her chowing down. Maybe this fall, you'll have video of her actually eating her birthday cake.

Have fun with Murphy's party!

Suzanne said...

Well. That is a swell Mother's Day gift. Way to go Harlie. This is absolutely HUGE! And I love it.

Sue Mitchell said...

What a terrific Mother's Day gift from Harlie! We are so proud of her! Hope you have a great Mother's Day - you certainly deserve it.

Kim said...

So happy to read this that I'm teary!!! Hooray for the ever odd-beating Harlie!!!! Happy birthday to Murphy too!

Ann said...

I'm a little late here, but BRAVO Harlie! Harlie is like the Energizer bunny ... nothing is stopping her now!