Our first official day of feeding therapy went really well! I got some great ideas and the therapist established a feeding protocol. Abby will attempt five bites or tastes of something solid, like a puff or a cracker. Then she'll open her mouth and put an empty spoon all the way in her mouth (this is something she NEVER does with food!) five times. Finally, we will give her purees, with some sips of a thick liquid every now and then.
This sounds really complicated and tedious, but it's not. She does the tastes of the puffs and the empty spoon pretty quickly, so the vast majority of the time is still spent feeding. But the hope is that practicing putting the whole spoon in her mouth with an empty spoon will transfer to opening her mouth for food. I'm already seeing improvements on the first day!
We go to GI on Friday with the hope that she will agree to write the order that Abby will only get gtube feeds to fill in the caloric gaps. Ie: if Abby eats 150 calories in one sitting, then she only gets 30 calories of formula to make the total 180 calories she is supposed to get. Our therapist thinks this is a great way to get Abby hungry while making sure she maintains her weight. She commented on how closely I'll have to follow calories if we do that, but I don't mind. I'm already doing that anyway, so it's really not any harder.
We will go to feeding therapy biweekly, where the therapists will make changes to the protocol as Abby "masters" certain skills. I really, really like the therapist, and she does really well with Abby. She is very positive and encouraging, which Abby just eats right up!
It was a good appointment, and I'm excited to have a plan. (I like plans, remember?!)