Eliza Grace was born on March 15, 2006, at 26 weeks, 4 days, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces and measuring just 11.5 inches long. She is the light of my soul and this is the story of our life in the big city.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Mysteries of Feeding Therapy

I am often asked "what the heck is feeding therapy?" The photo in this post is of feeding therapy in action. Note that virtually none of this food was eaten. But the food was touched, which is quite an achievement. Eliza has been touching the food for about three weeks now which is excellent progress.

Feeding therapy requires hardwood or tile floors that can be easily cleaned, walls with washable paint, a dozen spoons for Eliza to play with, a z-vibe (vibrating thingie that you massage her mouth with), a nylon brush (to brush her skin to desensitize it), four to five different textured foods, a working knowledge of at least a half dozen children's songs and the patience of, well maybe not quite a saint, but at least someone who has been beatified, since feeding therapy requires endless repetition.

One of the greatest beneficiaries of feeding therapy is the Gerber company. Since three times a day I open about four jars of baby food to see if any will "work," I figure the Gerber people must think I gave birth to one of their best customers. To me, pureed squash tastes pretty much the same as pureed sweet potatoes, yet Eliza can figure out in no more than two spoons that I have snuck in the squash. Pureed bananas pretty much have the texture of yogurt, Eliza's main "food group." Yet Eliza can figure out before you can say Zwieback that I have traded her beloved yogurt for the evil banana puree.

There is an upside to the all yogurt diet. According to some old Dannon commercials Russian villagers who ate tons of yogurt lived to be 100 years old. I have the utmost confidence in the research performed by Dannon and can rest in the knowledge that Eliza has at least another 98 years to try squash.

Photo: Eliza Grace 18 Months Old


23wktwins'mommy said...

I just found your blog. If you don't mind I'll add it to my blog roll. Eliza is a beauty!

abby said...

Will Eliza try different yogurts, or just eat one brand? Because if she WILL try a new brand, do I have a brand for you. It's called Liberte by Mediterranee and is Canadian, I think. Anyway, the amazing thing about this particular yogurt (available at Wholefoods here in Philly) is its calorie/fat content. As far as I can tell, the only thing it liberates you from is the possibility of ever wearing a bikini. A six ounce cup is 260 glorious, micropreemie-targeted calories. It's 99 cents a cup over here and hence no more wasteful than opening two banana-mixed-berry containers from Gerbers. And if Eliza won't eat it, it'll make a sinful adult treat.

Anne, Eliza Grace's mom said...


Thanks for the yogurt tip! I did try Fage yogurt and it was too "pasty" for Eliza ... but I thoroughly enjoyed it and am now addicted. I have a Whole Foods near here and will see if they have it ... it's worth buying for the name alone!

The Walsh's said...

GREAT progress with the feeding therapy. Even though I have NO problem eating and never have, I still think it'd be fun to play with food. I wonder if it could benefit those of us without oral aversions in some way. Eliza is adorable.

Leanne said...

Hi, I've made it to your blog (finally) - I've seen it on other people's blog roll's and decided that today was the day. Looks like we began the preemie journey at the same time...Lucas was born on March 13, 2006. So some of your milestone dates from a few posts back match ours - Lucas just started to walk last week (he likes to take his time with his gross motor skills...) He also wears 6 month pants that fall off of him.

Eliza Grace is really beautiful. It's hard work being a mom of a preemie, but so worth it knowing that we are making all the difference in these precious children's lives. Great job.

(Sorry for the random long comment...I guess it's getting kinda late.)

Rebecca said...

Yay! for making (messy) progress. She looks happy in that photo.

Anne, Eliza Grace's mom said...

Eliza's vomiting and gagging has continued with a vengence unabated now for several days ... but what does she do tonight? Licks duck sauce off my finger ... repeatedly. I don't suppose the nutritional value of duck sauce would bring her caloric intake to the recommended 1200 calories a day?

John said...

Seriously. Have you tried butterscotch puddin'?