Jacob also had his third swallow study (at 7 months old). The bad news is he is still allowing deep penetrations of milk into his airway. We didn't see any micro-aspirations, so that is an improvement. We still need to use thickener in his formula. The good news is he did okay when we tried solids and the doctors gave the go ahead to start adding solids to Jacob's diet. Jacob had a very rocky start with any type of baby food. He puts things of all shapes, sizes, and textures in his mouth, but the minute any type of food (even rice cereal made with formula) touched his tongue, he would gag and throw up. Aaaaah! Not the throwing up again, we just got over that! With lots of attempts, Jacob finally got over that but he always gets really raspy sounding like he isn't completely swallowing. He coughs and during his swallow study showed that he protects his airway (even during throwing up which they caught with fluoroscopy). No one can really understand or explain the raspy part away. We know from him being scoped and the swallow studies that he swallows well so it just doesn't make a lot of sense. The theory is he just produces a lot of saliva secretions and can't keep up with them. Hmmm......Well, he is getting better over time but has yet to even eat one whole jar of baby food. For now he still is taking seven 4 oz bottles a day fortified to 30 calories/oz. Another strange thing, you would think that if he had trouble with choking on baby food that he would have trouble with larger, more solid types of food. It's just the opposite. He does really well with small bits of soft food and Mum-Mum crackers. He has the chewing/mashing thing down pat! He just started eating broken up Cheerios. Every once in a while a piece will get into his gag spot, and he will throw up. When he does throw up it usually is his entire stomach contents. So that makes us apprehensive to feed him often. We don't want him to continually be losing nutrition by throwing up everything. We attempt feeding solids about once, maybe twice, a day.
|Look at me sitting so big!|
|He worked really hard to pick that flower!|
Jacob also started seeing a feeding therapist every two weeks. (We have only had one visit.) That therapist said as we see Jacob improve in his gross motor skills and strength, we can expect his eating skills to improve as well. Well, she was quite right! We have gone from a smear of a taste on a spoon to sometimes half a jar of baby food. He is now opening his mouth for the spoon and not gagging (and throwing up) with each flavor. He is also having less raspy sounds in his throat and is coughing less and less. It used to be every feeding ended in a clothing change and lots of laundry. In fact, we didn't even bother with bibs because they were never enough to protect his clothes from the inevitable!
|Lots of baths!|
|Jacob is an expert splasher!|
|You can catch a glimpse of the bottom teeth!|
Jacob has really developed a little personality. He is curious, yet cautious. He has a very strong will and knows what he wants. He is quite a bit anxious and absolutely HATES to be alone, even if it is only an arms reach away from one of his family members. He is very friendly and loves people. His smile can light up the room. It seems like he makes a special connection with each person he meets. He has a special relationship with each sibling. Jacob and Landon have always been buddies. Hazel often drives him a little batty, but they have really begun to communicate in their own special way and play together too. Lately, he's been acting a little lonely when his siblings, especially Hazel, aren't around to interact with. That warms my heart! Jacob is babbling a ton. He says "nuh, nuh" when he wants to eat and has even signed a couple of times for milk. He has yet to really say dada or mama. He has quite a mouthful of teeth now. He has two on bottom, and at the end of June (8 months) he got FOUR teeth within just one week on the top! You can imagine he was one unhappy little boy! I don't have a good pic of those teeth yet.
Our future consists of therapies, feeding progress, and one more visit with the cardiologist for another echocardiogram in August. Then we are just taking it day by day until Jacob's next visit at Seattle Children's around his birthday at the end of October. It boggles our minds that we are just three months away from the one year anniversary of this mighty journey! Time sure flies when you don't have a moment to watch it!
|Our precious kids|
|The Rondeau Family on the 4th of July|