Reflux Chronicle: Trialing No G-tube

Charlotte: Remember when Charlotte ate tomato soup and had a tomato beard?

Mommy: Yes, I do. I even took a picture.
Charlotte: Can I see it?

Charlotte: Ooooooooooo…..Charlotte had a beard just like Daddy.
(This conversation is repeated about four times a day)

People always ask me how Charlotte is eating. Simple answer: Very, very well. For Charlotte, that is.

For more detail I could tell you about the volumes she’s eating, how she chews so slowly it makes us crazy, or I could list the g’zillion foods she’ll eat these days. But I’d rather just share some recent food stories that will become family legend:

Philippe and I took Charlotte to S’bucks last week. At first she didn’t want anything. When she saw my hot chocolate, she asked for her own. Of course, we got her one. About 3 minutes after I handed it to her, she asked me to take it and give her a glass of water. Much to my surprise, the hot chocolate cup was empty!! In case you’re wondering, that was 8 ounces and approximately 200 calories in 3 minutes. Seriously.

Goldfish crackers: Charlotte asks for them as a snack before breakfast! Yesterday, she had some in the car, accompanied by a cup of water. She then told us that there were fishies swimming in her tummy. Usually, she said, fishies swim in water, but now they’re swimming in Charlotte’s tummy!

My friend Esther recently told me a very sweet story about her daughter Sarah sharing a chocolate-covered strawberry that she had made in pre-school. As Charlotte and I re-told the story, Charlotte decided to make chocolate-covered strawberries. How? She dumped her strawberries into her chocolate pudding and then scooped it all up together, creating a complex texture that she handled beautifully. In this way she ate about 1/8th of a cup of fresh fruit (grapes, berries, mangoes).

Yogurt-covered fruit: The next morning Charlotte did the same thing with her yogurt, this time finishing nearly a quarter of a cup of fruit by plopping it in her yogurt, bite-by-bite.

And, the pièce de résistance of all this dunking? Last night she had chocolate-covered peas!
Many thanks to Sarah and Esther for all that inspiration!

Tonight while reading Iggy Peck, Architect (no, I will never skip an opportunity to plug the book!), Charlotte pretended to eat the pancakes on the page where Iggy builds “the St. Louis arch out of pancakes and coconut pie.” True story.

Cardiac Update

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a real medical or heart update here at Charlotte’s Journey Home. That, of course, is a very good thing.

Charlotte and I visited Dr. Young, Charlotte’s cardiologist, today. It has been 6 months since our last check up. I’m thrilled that Charlotte is doing so well, but we do miss seeing our friend Dr. Young more often. She’s been a constant since our pregnancy and is very much a leader of Team Charlotte.

Charlotte flew through her exam with flying colors. She had an EKG and an echocardiogram. She started crying when I pulled the 10 EKG stickers off of her and cried on and off through the entire 45 minutes of the echo. It was very stressful.
The bottom line is this: despite being hysterical during much of the tests, her heart looked just fine. Dr. Young gave me all of the technical information about blood flow velocity and distribution–I used to understand it, write it down, and note progress. Today I nodded, noted that it was all good, and moved on. You see, while it all started with her heart, the reflux and eating issues have become so much more a part of our daily existence.

Anyway, Dr. Young originally said she didn’t have to see Charlotte for a year, then nine months, then finally we decided six months. You see, we decided we couldn’t wait nine months to see each other!

Then we came home and “got fancy.” One of Charlotte’s new best books is Fancy Nancy!

Reflux Chronicle: Another Hurdle Cleared

Charlotte had a terrible stomach bug this weekend. I’ll spare you the details and say only that it came on quite suddenly and only lasted for 12 hours. By Sunday morning she was feeling well enough to grab a banana out of my friend Jackie’s hand and eat about 2 inches of it. Today she ate nearly 600 calories of solid food and drank all of her Pediasure.

We had our follow up appointment with Dr. Newport today, checking in on weight to make sure that Charlotte had bounced back from last month’s atypical pneumonia.

Charlotte weighed in at 31.5 lbs or 14.2 kilos. She’s down only about .25 lbs. Since we weighed her today in only a diaper and we then realized that last time we weighed her fully clothed, and since she just had a tummy bug, Dr. Newport was not worried at all.

There is nothing worse than seeing your normally happy, bouncy toddler simply sit on the floor and stare into space like Charlotte did on Saturday afternoon. But, if she had to be sick, I’m grateful that we could learn from it how well she’s doing without her tube!