a breakfast incident

something happened at breakfast this morning that hasn’t happened in a long time.  Zander threw up.

this used to be a regular occurrence.  so regular, that it was daily for a while.  just the hint of texture in his food would send him gagging, and he would eventually throw up his entire meal.   Zander would be crying from fright, i would be crying from sheer frustration, sadness, and fear that my little boy would never grow because he couldn’t/wouldn’t eat.

this morning was a bit different.  sure, he gagged at some texture and ended up losing his breakfast.  but it was because we have finally been able to move him off of the pureed-to-nothingness jarred baby food fruit to normal pureed fruit cups.  you know…the kind that you and i might eat as a snack.  not only are they so much cheaper, they also offer the same (if not better) nutritional value of the baby food with a bit more texture.  and he’s been really good at eating it, as long as we are spoon-feeding him.  i think there’s a comfort thing there, and we (as well as his Psychologist) are okay with the spoon feeding thing…’cause he’s eating!  i guess the texture was just a bit much for him this morning.
so when he started gagging, i calmly told him it was okay.  when he threw up, i still kept my calm (i’m amazed at myself for that!) and told him it was alright.  he didn’t cry, probably because i didn’t cry.  the only thing he was worried about was getting the puke off him, and i don’t blame him.

whether because of my meds for my ppd, the twice-a-month meetings with Zander’s Psychologist (who has been amazingly supportive and reassuring), or because of the progress he’s made, i was able to handle this morning’s breakfast incident with out trauma to myself or my son.  looking back, i realize how much progress we have made in these past few months.

this time last year, Zander would only drink milk…no solid food whatsoever.  the simple action of bringing a spoonful of pureed fruit or veggies would send him gagging and throwing up what little bit of milk was in his tiny tummy.  he was almost 2 years old and a mere 20 pounds…the same weight he was just after he turned a year old.

when his iron deficiency was diagnosed, we had to resort to force feeding.  i would sit on the couch with Zander on my lap and pry his mouth open while hubby would spoonfeed him a concoction of pureed fruits or veggies spiked with iron-fortified cereals.  he would sputter and gag.  we had to hold his mouth closed so he didn’t spit it out, and i would rock him and sing to him to keep him calm until he swallowed each spoonful.  i cried with almost every meal.  i felt nauseous before every meal, not knowing what horror lay ahead of us this time.

looking back, it is easy to see how far he’s come. instead of force feeding, screaming, gagging and vomiting, our meals have become much more relaxed.  sure, it’s still difficult to get him to eat.  he’s not eating much whole food…most of it’s still pureed.  but i honestly can’t remember when the last time he gagged and threw up was.  he has more energy.  he’s happier and less cranky.  he’s gained weight (he’s up to 29 pounds y’all!).  we can count on him eating something at each meal, which used to seem like an unattainable goal.

i’m so proud of my boy, and what he’s struggle through to get where he is now.  after dealing with this eating disorder for over 2 years, i still can’t imagine what it’s like for him.  can you imagine being scared of food, one of the very things you need to survive? i can’t fathom what that must be like, and that’s probably a good thing.

but he’s slowly but steadily overcome his fear more and more.  on top of his purees, he can now eat small chunks of cheese and toast.  he’ll eat pizza, french fries and potato chips…not super nutritious, but it’s the texture that counts right now.  he’s even started to eat pieces of whole banana!  i never thought i would see the day….

i’m beaming with pride for my 2.5 year old little boy…one of the bravest and strongest little men i know!

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12 Responses to a breakfast incident

  1. Mommy Daisy says:

    Wow, this is great. You AND Zander have come a long way. You’re a strong mother for dealing with all of this. It’s great to hear about the progress that he has made. Next year this time, you’ll look back with even more confidence and pride.

  2. M says:

    That rocks. That really freak rocks! Go you! Go meds! Go Zander!!!! I mean, the barf, not exciting. But how you both handled it? Rockstarariffic!

  3. janet says:

    oh, cate! that is awesome awesome awesome!

    i’m so proud of zander … and of YOU too! do not minimize the strength it takes for you to deal with this every day.


  4. anglophilefootballfanatic says:

    Don’t wonder about the weight. Mine’s 2.5 & weighs the exact same. Way to rock the adversity, Cate. And, I’m so glad you guys are on the road to recovery.

  5. Jennifer says:

    That is great news! What a big boy!

  6. kymburlee says:

    Oh Cate, I’m so happy for you guys, but mostly, beaming with pride for YOU! I know what a huge deal it is to keep your calm amidst the struggle of PPD. Not to let the frustration wash over you and carry you away with it. Aren’t the meds wonderful? They don’t do the coping for you, but they take away that haziness enough that you can function somewhat normally. Today? Above normal…even a mum without your struggles would’ve had a hard time taking that calmly. Way to go!

  7. ~JJ! says:

    And I am so proud of YOU!

    That’s so great that you were handling the situation in a calm and relaxed manner…it helped him too.

    After all, we love our kids with everything we own, but if we don’t take care of ourselves…what help would we be????

    Hugs to you!

  8. wineymomma says:

    Sometimes all it takes is a little perspective! Moving in the right direction only ever takes baby steps! Sorry he got sick but since you both reacted in such a calm way maybe it is only a matter of time before anxiety at meals passes!


  9. Mrs. Mustard says:

    I honestly cannot fathom how you go through with his disorder. It drives me insane on days when Sacha just doesn’t feel like eating (like today). To imagine it is a habitual thing is beyond my scope of understanding.
    Kudos to you!

  10. manda says:

    Congratulations on the progress! :)

  11. Smiling Mom says:

    Wow!! Good for you. What a huge accomplishment. :-)

  12. Cathy says:

    Sounds like you’re doing great. I had just convinced myself that it was okay that my 8 month old gagged and threw up whenever he tried a piece of food (those little puffs from gerber is what we’re starting with). Now I’m not so sure.