Stella has been free from the tube for two weeks as of today. Clearly, she’s made fantastic progress. Yesterday, she showed us that she can do it. We now believe that it’s just a matter of time before that level of intake becomes the norm for her.
HOWEVER. Today was a bit of a struggle. She resisted eating quite a bit. As of 10pm, she’s taken about 600 mls. Not bad. But I have been concerned about her resistance–her behavior around eating. So we are taking a step back to make sure we aren’t forcing the bottle, just offering it. She has come so far and we don’t want to do anything to set her back.
I completely freaked out today. I just about lost it. Frustration and impatience got the best of me. I threw another bottle. Something I said I’d never do again. And you’re probably wondering why, after Stella did so well yesterday, would I get so upset? Well, she took most of her bottles from Cody yesterday and I was beginning to wonder if she wasn’t eating as well with me. That, along with Friday’s appointment, brought my confidence level way down and I began to fear that I was somehow holding Stella back or messing everything up with my worry and with how I hold her when I feed her, whether I am reading her cues or offering the bottle at the right time. She only took small amounts at a time from me today, except for her first bottle, and it was not easy. I guess I began to overthink everything. I let worry take over. After yesterday, today felt like a letdown and I really blamed myself.
So, I am taking some deep breaths as I set my intentions for tomorrow, a day that will be full of history and hope due to the inauguration. There is a lot of good energy in the air and I want to be part of that. I want to celebrate with Stella. I want to calmly offer her the bottle when she seems hungry, or when it’s been a good while since she’s eaten, and if she says “no”, I will honor that and trust that she will eat when she is ready. She will tell me what she needs. She always does. I just need turn down the dial on the noisey distraction that is panic, and listen.