May 5th, 2014 | Written by Jo
A lot has happened since my last update - Clara went on a swing. She started walking. She spent some time in the hospital for a cold, then did great through about 3 more colds, she started telling everything that moves “Hi!” (cars, people, animals). It’s been mostly a wonderful wonderful spring.
There is one HUGE milestone we want to tell you about… Hands down, the most frustrating experience I have had as a parent, was having a baby with an oral aversion. She would not eat, suck on a pacifier, take a bottle or do anything but gag, vomit, scream, flail and cry if you even offered her anything by mouth. I spent almost a year trying to teach Clara something that minute old infants can do. I had little to no hope our efforts would yield anything, I pictured her going to kindergarden with her liquid lunch, hooking herself up to the pump and coloring while she “ate”. The process was stressful and I hated hearing week after week by our feeding therapist that I was doing everything right… I just wanted her to say the problem was me, because it’s easier than having one more thing on the list of issues for Clara. There was one saving grace to all of this - the most wonderful invention, the G-Tube! Everything that came with having a g-tube is totally amazing. I almost wish our next baby came with one. You can feed, medicate and even BURP your baby with their g-tube. They don’t even need to wake up!
I’ve always thought of Clara’s G-tube as a part of her body, like her legs and arms. That lump poking through her shirts is all we know, I don’t remember what a smooth Clara tummy feels like in my arms. Clara’s g-tube brought her freedom from hospital living, strength through nourishment and her best chance at “normal” life with us. I am forever thankful for her g-tube, you could say I love it even. Clara was tube fed almost exclusively for 10+ months. At 11 months old, November 21, 2013, out of nowhere, she finished every bottle. I cried that day… I cried the whole day actually.
16 month old Clara is officially an eater. Let’s just throw a Praise Jesus up right now! This means she no longer needs this “body part” I have been so dependent on. It is now more of a risk to keep since she is starting to climb and explore and move everywhere. Can I get another Praise Jesus?! How amazing that the Lord has brought us to this point.
Last night, WE REMOVED HER G-Tube!!
The hole naturally closes on it’s own. This morning she just has a bandaid on it, it was covered in gauze last night and as you can see a lot of tape. Unfortunately the directions for tube removal, did not warn us against watching an episode of “Call the Midwife”. Doing that will get you weepy and emotional. I found myself thinking that I was going to miss it!
I couldn’t be a more confusing bundle of emotions - excited and thrilled mixed with anxiety and worry. It might take me a few months to stop wondering if we might need to use it if she gets sick again, but like everything having to do with Clara’s physical body, I am working daily on surrendering that fear and holding tight to my faith, after all, I’m not raising a daughter so that she can live forever, I’m raising a daughter so that she can come to know Jesus and have eternal life.