Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Feeding Update

If you followed my adoption blog, you know one of my biggest concerns about getting Audrey home was how to manage her feeding problems - or the huge mess created by them - on the plane. I don't think I have any videos of those first few day as she and I learned how to work with one another. Mostly it was me learning how she did/did not use her tongue to manage the food in her mouth.

After about the first week, we had our first breakthrough. Audrey was able to keep her tongue in while taking a bite. Within another day or so she was able to keep her tongue in while she chewed.
This video was around March 9th. Its also the first time she signed "more" independently and without prompting.

This video was taken on March 15th while we were still in Serbia.

Audrey has now been in my care for one month. She is closing her lips on the spoon, keeping her tongue in her mouth while she eats, and now is working on using utensils herself.

We have a long way to go, and the work is frustrating for both of us, but we're getting there. Whenever we bring a new child home, even when they're physically really small like Audrey now or Asher when he came home, we want them sitting at the table with the rest of us so they can see what eating at a table is supposed to look like. In the institution the children never have an opportunity to see how people eat, so how are they supposed to develop decent feeding skills? But it is clear to me that Audrey is noticing how everyone at our table eats and she is really trying hard.

The one area we continue to have major problems is drinking. Audrey is not drinking anywhere near enough fluids during the day. For awhile I was really pushing her limits, trying to get her tongue in when she drinks, but this just caused her to dig her heels in more and refuse to drink at all. I decided to let that go for now and just let her drink how she is comfortable and we'd work on it later. That has helped some but still she is only taking in about 1/4 of what she should be drinking on a daily basis. The problem with not drinking is most body systems don't work without fluids. I was starting to get really concerned and was going to take her into the doctor on Friday if she still wasn't drinking. Yesterday I decided thats it, she's not leaving the table after meals until she drinks her full serving of liquids at the meal. Yesterday was a day of struggle as she threw down the gauntlet, testing to see if I really meant business. Yes, dear child, I really do! (and that snow in the background? All gone today!!)

Yesterday was the first day since I got custody of Audrey that she's had an adequate amount of fluids. Today I had no problems getting her to drink while at the table, and low and behold, all systems are working again tonight. ;-)

She is one smart cookie, this one! I'm so very proud of her. Its stressful to move to the other side of the world, with people you can't understand, then have demands put upon you that you don't completely understand. But Audrey is persistent, and she enjoys feeling success. She's an amazing kid. 


Imogen said...

Well done, Audrey! How wonderful to see her videos. She's such a gorgeous girl. Thanks for sharing her progress with us; it is amazing to see her opening up to all these new opportunities and abilities.

Hevel Cohen said...

I absolutely love that last photo of her! :D

Cindy said...

She is so incredibly beautiful. And coming along so great.

Alicia Llanas said...

yay for progress!!!

Betsy said...

Way to go Leah and way to go Audrey!

Stephanie said...

Awesome job, Audrey!!

Karien Prinlsoo said...

That's it!! Packing our bags and Kallen and I are coming over. ............oh, I don't have money for the tickets so can I send an email? I would love for all his systems to be working proparly!!!!