What’s Been Eating At Me…

Experts say “breast is best…” but I’m beginning to think Willow has an addiction. Don’t get me wrong… I’m all for nursing… but at some point… I’d like Willow to eat mostly table food. Right now… she seems more interested in mommy than meals.

Willow will be 17 months old tomorrow. My other two children were fully weaned by 14 months. Willow still nurses roughly 6 times a day! Then there’s night time. Since Willow STILL doesn’t sleep through the night… she nurses on average between 2-3 times a night. Feel free to let your jaw drop.

Willow just recently started feeding therapy twice a week. Apparently… she needs help chewing and manipulating food in her mouth. She willingly puts most foods in her mouth… she just doesn’t understand how to get it to a point where she can swallow it. That is unless it’s slimy or pureed. So… most textured foods end up pocketed away in her cheeks. Some of it gets washed down with milk or pureed baby food… but a lot of it gets spit out… on me. It’s getting old…

It’s also getting horribly challenging. I’m running out of things to feed Willow. The few things she can chew and swallow are getting old to her… and me. The only food she hasn’t grown tired of is yogurt. Greek… whipped… chunky or smooth. Willow likes her yogurt. Thank God it comes in a gazillion flavors and varieties.

Obviously… most meals end in frustration. I think that’s why Willow still enjoys nursing so much. It’s the only meal she can bank on. In fact… she gets so excited to nurse… you could call her “giddy” when she realizes she’s going to get some milk. Her smile warms my heart in a way nothing else can… but ultimately… I want her to wean… I want her to progress…

Today at lunch I found myself covered in half eaten scrambled eggs and Gerber… frustrated… no… angry at why everything has to be so dang hard. Why can’t Willow just eat??? Every little thing needs to be taught… built up to… thought out. For my other kids… it all came so easily. I took it for granted.

6 out of 7 days I’m content with life… happy to be nursing… fine with the half eaten food in my hair… unbothered by Willow’s inability to crawl yet. But days like today… I feel restless and tired all at the same time. I suppose that’s how Willow feels. Taunted by food… or a toy… but unable to fullfill her desire to get it… eat it… or play with it. It’s on these days… where I feel defeated… I ask God to give me a change of attitude… because I realize I can’t expect Willow to move up… if I’m stuck looking down.

And now for some cuteness…

If you're gonna force me to eat... I'm gonna eat in comfort!
If you’re gonna force me to eat… I’m gonna eat in comfort!
Best Friends
Best Friends
Love... it's what's for dinner.
Love… it’s what’s for dinner.

6 thoughts on “What’s Been Eating At Me…

  1. I enjoy the blog. Most days I feel in a never-ending battle too. Tired, always feeling like I’m coming down with something, & my favorite past-time is worrying. I wouldn’t want to nurse that much either, but you are awesome as I think longer is recommended now, & you probably help her defy all those health odds.

  2. YOU are an awesome mom…I can’t know what you feel like but can imagine…wearing food would NOT be my favorite. Have the food therapy ‘experts’ given ideas to try? Do the Up
    With Downs people have ideas? I wish I could NOT always WANT to eat…Love you Jen and love your family….xxoo

  3. Even on your “down” days, you cry out to God for a change of attitude. What great faith and a wonderful attribute of a loving mother! It must be challenging for both you and Willow when meal times come, but you both will persevere!

  4. I hear you. Boy do I hear you! Due to food allergies, Lexie couldn’t nurse. She was on the bottle until she was 2 1/2, in spite of my best efforts to the contrary. Unlike Willow, she could eat. What she couldn’t do was fluids. We tried everything. . . straws, sippy cups, cups like mommy used, and even thickeners we bought at the pharmacy to make it easier for her to manage. No joy. Don’t even get me started on potty training. Suffice it to say, I will never own a puppy. It all just takes as long as it takes.

    Like you, I find great strength in the Lord and usually enjoy the gift he has placed in my life through Down Syndrome. There are days, though. The good news is, she will eventually learn to eat. It may take her longer at the dinner table, but she will get the hang of eating all the yummies you make. Another bit of good news is that God is using this time to help you learn how to focus on what’s really important. . . like developing her character. Once she learns how to eat, there will be frustrating times with walking, talking, potty training, and learning at school. We do need to work on those things. If our focus is on our girls getting it, we are going to have a lot of frustration for a long time. On the other hand, when we shift back to focusing on growing them into the people God created them to be, the pressure is relieved.

    Do I have days when I sigh big sighs and grumble about yet another stumbling block? You bet! It’s for those days, I am glad His mercies are new each day. Tomorrow He will give you a new perspective and another chance. That is one of the best things about our kids with DS. If we blow it today, we’ll get another shot at it tomorrow!

    I know following each other’s blogs does not a friendship make, but we are sisters in Christ and I think us mothers of special needs children should encourage one another. I know you do me with your honesty and focus on the Lord. Thank you for that! Alicia

  5. It’s okay to feel defeated some days I think…. I’ve been there more than once. It gets hard sometimes, but know you’re not alone:) oh willow! You’re the sweetest❤️ absolutely beautiful!

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