Laura, the Cardiac Nurse Practitioner for Bear ward is lovely, she called Ysbyty Gwynedd on my behalf when I was stressed out last Monday night and called me at home three times since Martha was discharged to check that she's ok. I happened to mention to Laura on Friday morning that I was anxious to try Martha on solids soon; she's 8 months old now and I can't expect her to put much weight on if she is exclusively bottle fed. As Martha hasn't had any problems with her swallowing reflex and the reflux seems to have calmed down, we agreed we could try her.
I'd started Osh on Baby Rice when he was a little over 14 weeks old, he was hopeless with his bottle so I needed to make sure he was getting something down him. Isabella was 17 weeks old when we first tried her.But Martha Grace is over 8 months old. I wasn't worried whether or not she would tolerate the food that worried me - it was whether or not she would even know what to do when I put the spoon to her mouth. She is quite old to be learning a new habit like taking food off a spoon.
Feeling brave I bought her a packet of baby feeding spoons and a few squeezy pouches of food, even though she is 8 months old I had to buy her food from the 4 month old section. She got Banana & Baby Rice and Pear & Apple with Baby Rice. Saturday lunchtime we took the plunge, Mark and me sat down in front of her chair and I offered her some of the Banana flavoured stuff on a spoon. She didn't bat an eyelid - just looked me dead in the eye.
As she wasn't opening her mouth I tried to touch her lips so that she'd get a taste for the food. Her face was a picture - you'd have thought I had made her suck on a lemon. She's only ever tasted her Milk so I knew she wasn't going to appreciate strange tastes straight away. I needed to be realistic, I should have started her off on the baby rice that you mix in with her Milk. Cue a phonecall to Nainy who very kindly picked up a box on her travels.
Martha was a bit dubious at first, I don't think she had quite forgiven me for the Banana the day before. However, when she saw the spoon coming towards her she did open her mouth for it, I was impressed that she'd remembered what it was for. Plain baby rice went down well, more importantly - it's stayed down. She has a little bit for her breakfast and supper every day now just so that she gets used to feeding, but she drinks her bottle first so it's not her main source of food.
Everything else with Martha has been a slow and steady process so I'm not going to rush her with her feeding. She's my final baby and before I know it she'll be scoffing down a roast dinner with the other two.
Our Health Visitor came over for Martha's weekly weigh in today. As Martha was sick last week and was off her bottle for a few days, she has lost 60g since she was last weighed two weeks ago. This is disappointing, but it's only just over a couple of ounces. It is time for Martha's 8 month check-up as well, I put Martha to sit up on the sofa and let the Health Visitor watch as Martha reached out to grab the TV remote that I put in front of her...but we're not looking to get the 8 month checks done anytime soon. Martha really shouldn't be measured against Heart Healthy babies her age, she's at such a disadvantage and it would devastate me to learn exactly how far behind in her development she really is.
We had Mark's family visit at the weekend, it was Mother's day when they last saw Martha and they could see a massive change in her. I don't notice it as much because I see her everyday but deep down I know, she is coming along now - just slowly.
Here are just a few pics of Martha today, she'll sit like this and entertain herself with toys for ages - just so contented.