This is amazing… like I’m giddy amazing… like Shawn & I were both dumbfounded amazing… 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
I know, there’s someone out there reading this who is wondering what the big deal is… but for everyone else…
HE DID IT!
Yesterday Henry bit off a piece of hotdog bun – about the size of a crouton – chewed it, and swallowed it!!
AND HE SAID IT FELT GOOD!
Before I go any farther… for our close friends and family – those people who will have the opportunity to see Henry… please read to the very end.
There has been a lot of lead up to this… not just general progress over the past 3.5 years, but specifically in the past few months.
- First he learned how to drink through a straw, which told us he could swallow larger volumes of liquid.
- Then he “decided” he wanted to eat only through his mouth. A great sentiment, but also a struggle as he didn’t want to eat through his tube.
- Then he started talking more about foods that “melt in my mouth”, and began asking if the foods on his plate would melt. Shawn or I would take a very small bite of said food and count how many times we chewed it before it would “melt” enough to swallow.
- Over the past month he has been tasting, licking, biting and exploring lots of different foods. He has done this consistently for quite some time, but this time it was different. Typically he would try something for a day or so, and then stop and not try anything for a few weeks. This time, he has been continuing for a longer period of time.
- And like most kids… he discovered ketchup! And began dipping anything and everything he could find in it, just to lick the ketchup off :).
And then it happened. We were having hotdogs last night. He asked if the bun would melt in his mouth. Shawn took a bite and said it was about 10 chews for it to melt. So Henry took a bite – and teeny, weeny bite… and we counted together.
Then with some coaching he used his tongue to move the bread around and chewed again
And then it was gone…. 🙂
“It’s in my tummy” he exclaimed!!!!!!
“And… how did it feel?”
“it felt good!… I’m going to do it again!”
And the process was repeated with a slightly larger piece…
Once again he bit, chewed, moved it with his tongue, chewed more and it was swallowed!
And then he did it again… but this time he took a MUCH LARGER BITE.
I have to admit, I was worried. I didn’t think he could swallow it. I didn’t want this experience to end with coughing or panic. I wanted it to end on a happy note. So we counted and chewed… moved it around… counted and chewed some more… moved it around. I think he chewed it about 60 times. His chew is quite ineffective, so it took a lot to get it to “melt”. You could see the saliva just about ready to drip from his lips. This was pushing his comfort level. But he was smiling – there were no signs of panic. And then we say it… a swallow.
Suddenly he opened his mouth and it was gone. SWALLOWED!
“And… how did it feel?” I asked anxiously…
“it felt good!”
OMG… HE DID IT!!!!!
And now I have a request… for those people who know us well and will see Henry… please say nothing. That’s right…. absolutely nothing! It’s not that I’m trying to be rude, but we have found in the past that when people comment on what Henry has eaten… he stops completely. I know that comments are meant to be encouraging, supportive, and friendly… but Henry appears to feel pressured by them and backs off completely. So please… don’t even bring it up when he is around… not with him or with us. We know that you are as thrilled as we are… 🙂