I can’t believe it. The day has finally come. Ever since Lily was three days old, she has had a feeding tube. During one doctor’s visit, we were told not to be surprised if she needed it until she was two or three. He added that some kids have feeding tubes until they are five or six. “But they all grow out of them eventually,” he reassured us after noticing what I’m sure were looks of dismay on our faces.
Over time, my wife and I grew to accept Lily’s feeding tube as a part of who she was… kind of like a birthmark. When we’d go on play dates, our baby was the one with the tube in her nose. It wasn’t a good thing or a bad thing. It’s just the way it was. Emphasis on “was”.
That’s because, on Monday, the tube is coming out! The GI doctor gave us the go ahead after he was convinced Lily was on target developmentally. I have purposefully not written about how well she’s been feeding for the past month, because I didn’t want to jinx it. During February and March, Lily had more good days than bad, but she was still lacking consistency. We would go three days without using her tube, but then we’d need it again for the next two. We’d never use it for a full feed, mind you. Rather, we needed it to supplement whatever she took by mouth to ensure she was getting the requisite calories. And then April rolled around…
I don’t know if it was the weather or if she hit a developmental milestone, regardless, it was as if someone had flicked a switch inside her. OK, maybe that’s a bit strong. It’s not like she did a 180. She had gone consecutive days without needing the tube, but two days became three, and three days became five. When she hit the ten-day mark, I really started to believe that it was the beginning of the end. Breakfast, lunch, dinner… it was as if she never had a problem. Or maybe she came to the realization that if the tube was going to come out eventually, why delay the inevitable?
We have very few pictures of Lily without her tube. All were taken after she had accidentally pulled the tube out. On Monday, it will be a much happier occasion.