Thursday, June 12, 2008

The beginning

Things i didn't know when Henry ate only 6 things: a thick gooey chocolate sludge that could plaster a wall is left at the bottom of a bowl of Chocolate Rice Crispies by the time a kid finishes eating.

Things i swore i would never let my kids eat: Chocolate Rice Crispies.

Things change when you have a 'non-eater'.

So to begin at the beginning... Nursing was a real trial. Okay, that is putting it mildly. it was F-ing HARD. i cried for about the first 6 months of his life. He nursed just fine in the hospital, I had the lactation consultant in with us every day we were there - all four: c-section - and she gave us her stamp of approval. great latch! great eater!! it never occured to me we could have a problem. Once we got home, it took both my husband and i to feed henry every single time. i would hold his head and one hand, and my husband would hold the other hand to stop him from pushing off of me. i asked the one breastfeeding friend i knew, who in my eyes was the CHAMP of breastfeeding, if this was normal and she said, "oh YES, it is sort of like a love-hate relationship. they LOVE the boob, they HATE the boob." She even said she was worried about how she would feed her daughter once her husband went back to work. so everything was normal, right? WRONG. i sobbed when my husband had to go back to work - no way could i feed this kid by myself. we did sort of get into a groove, though, he would eat what i thought was a normal amount, and then stop and grin at me. he was HAPPY. then the whole arm fiasco happened, we had to start supplementing, and i had to start pumping.

Now i know that the breast pump is an amazing invention that allows fathers to bond with their children over a bottle (like they don't BOND in a million other ways), and it allows working mothers to get back to work and still feed their babies. For me, it allowed me to plug myself into an outlet up to 10 times a day to start, and have the life sucked out of me like a dairy cow. i would nurse henry, then pump, then feed him what i had pumped, then wash every F-ing little peice of plastic, only to start all over again a few minutes later. just the smell of that F-ing machine makes my stomach hurt and makes me want to cry even today. After months of thinking we were going to get this nursing down, i was still pumping - even after henry refused to nurse at all. I pumped until he was about 8 1/2 months old.

Once we started solids, i thought i could leave behind the eating problems, and feed my kid like everyone else!! Henry ate every baby food Gerber or anyone else made, including all of the market finds i pureed myself: Spinach, peas, sweet potatoes, every fruit i could get my hands on .... He would even gulp down avacado i mashed up for him. As soon as those glass jars got a little bigger, and had some chunks in them, though, he spit them out. PTHPTHHTP. PTHPTHP. PPPTHTHTHPTHPTH. When the few friends i knew with kids were giving their kids over-cooked pasta and other finger foods, Henry was refusing all but a few things. little did i know that this was the beginning of what would turn into his "normal foods". he ate green beans from a can, cheddar cheese, fruit, crackers, and dry toast. i made that plate of food every day, twice a day for over FOUR. MORE. YEARS.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marne. I read your blog about Henry's eating issues. I so sympathize. Ours was a different story. My son (now 6 1/2) did not have the "eating just enough to take the edge off", and he used to eat spaghetti, rice, hamburger, chicken, pork, and some soups, but he had gotten himself to where, over the last three years, he has only eaten: pretzels, Oro-Wheat whole wheat bread with peanut butter and honey, if the honey is not spread in, so he can see it sitting on top of the bread, strawberries, grapes, Granny Smith apples, frozen blueberries, watermelon, frozen peas, raw carrots, corn on the cob, popcorn, blueberry Yoplait yogurt, and, sometimes, if he can't, after MUCH inspection, figure out a reason not to, cheese pizza. In addition, he eats most sweets without complaint. I can completely sympathize with carrying around the food to restaurants, and I am SO sick of it! He will eat the breadsticks at Olive Garden and pick the cheese off of their pizza, and he will eat the bread and pizza at Macaroni Grill. He will, most recently, eat a bagel and cream cheese at Panera, but won't eat the same bagel and cream cheese, if I buy the bagels and cream cheese there and make them at home - ARGH! Those are the only restaurants where he will eat anything! Plus, I am just sick to death of making breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, and then also making his food. It is exhausting. So, I tried your tactic. We changed it a little, because I didn't trust him to ever eat anything again if he only ate it once, because liking it when he takes a bite just doesn't seem to be enough for him. So, he has to eat the same thing more than one day in a row. He has since eaten tomatoes, lettuce, raw cabbage, raw broccoli, cooked carrots, a piece of pizza that he swore he couldn't possibly eat at a different restaurant, and tomorrow he said he wants to try bamboo shoots (not sure why, although I do put them in one stir-fry dish I make, and his sister loves them). I'm slowly moving up to meat, or eggs, or some protein besides milk and peanut butter, and I'm determined that he will try pasta! Honestly, I think he is kind of relieved to have a reason to try new foods. I think he was bored to death and yet honestly afraid to try them. He gets tired of peanut butter and honey because it's messy, and every once in awhile he says he wants something hot, but can never seem to figure out what that might be. He gets like that with new activites, like bike riding and doing the monkey bars. Even though he easily could have done them earlier than he did, he just couldn't make himself do it. I think it is the same with foods. I think he's convinced himself it is too hard and scary. Anyway, I wanted to thank you so much for letting me know what you had done. So far, it's been a big relief to all of us, I think. I just hope it keeps working!