This morning Brien, Cecily and I hopped into the truck and headed up to see our friends from the Intensive Feeding Program at CHOC. It was our follow-up appointment from the program we attended in December. The follow-up was supposed to be in March but since that brought a bought of pneumonia for sweet Cecily we had to postpone it until later. I think postponing until May gave us the time we needed to really get our ducks in a row and build on the skills we learned over the holidays.
Cecily did great at her follow-up/evaluation. Cecily has been doing great at home so this is not a big surprise... but I really wanted the team to see the progress first-hand! It is nothing short of miraculous to see a child that wouldn't even sit at a table before without screaming and throwing a tantrum willingly grab her lunchbox and ask for it to be opened. She asked for juice but was still OK when that was not offered. She happily chose foods and ate everything that was offered. She did some self-feeding and even asked for more and requested preferred foods with her words and gestures. In fact, Cecily showed all of her new skills from drinking independently to stirring her foods to eating and biting and chewing! We were so proud of her and so happy that the team could witness the progress first-hand.
The team celebrated Cecily's success and it forced us to also take a step back and celebrate, too. It has not been easy. It has been anything BUT easy. But we stuck to the program. We worked the program. (The program worked us...) We had food fights and some family disagreements over whether this was "right" for everyone. We battled the spirited Cecily but when we look at where we are today we realize that every decision, every choice, every meal that took blood, sweat and tears to muddle through was worth it!
We have A LOT more work to do! (Oh the list... the long list). But today, we celebrate! She is eating 1100-1400 calories by mouth. She is trying new foods. But perhaps more importantly - she is enjoying food and she is engaged in her world in a totally new way! She is emerging from this very challenging time a more determined, more inquisitive, more open-minded, more verbal, more engaged, and best of all - HAPPIER - child!
Thank you to the Feeding Team at CHOC! Thank you Dr. Katz, Robin, Amber, Jen, Erin, Sarah, Jessica, Audry, Gin, Cindy, Tess and everyone at CHOC for making us feel part of the family.
It was a wonderful day to see everyone again and to celebrate the AMAZING Cecily! Believe in the impossible.
Onwards & upwards!