Since Zadie is getting close to turning 1 (crazy!), I've been thinking about what she'll be "eating" when breastmilk alone is no longer enough for her. Most people who are tube fed are fed formula, and I'm really not crazy about the idea of switching Zadie to formula after all my hard work pumping for the last 10 1/2 months. I thought I could just puree up real food and put it through her tube (while still working to get her to eat orally). Apparently, there is something called the blenderized diet, which is pretty much what I was imagining. And apparently, it's sort of crazy talk in the medical world. I brought up the idea to the nurse practitioner at Zadie's feeding clinic, and she was very discouraging. The biggest thing she kept mentioning was how time consuming it would be. That seems like a silly reason not to do something, if it's something that's good for her.
So I started looking into it more and I found out that it not a common practice, but every parent who uses it swears by it. A lot of moms whose children were previously formula fed and then moved to the blenderized diet said it was the best thing to happen to their children. A lot also said that their children were more interested in EATING real food once they had real food through the tube.
One thing I learned was that I needed a good blender. It's doable with a standard household blender, but a professional grade blender makes things easier and faster. I emailed the two big blender makers, Blendtec and Vitamix. I had heard that they both offered a medical discount (their blenders run about $500-$600!) and also donated blenders regularly to tube fed people. Within a day of emailing Blendtec's customer service, and telling them Zadie's story, I was informed that Blendtec was donating a blender to us!
I've been very excited about this blender's arrival, and BJ's been making fun of me (will he be making fun of me when I am able to make smoothies and shakes and daiquiris? I don't think so). Well, it arrived today and without even reading the book, I pureed up some avocados for Zadie. I fed some to her by spoon, and she did ok with it. A bunch came out her nose, which is something I won't miss after she has her palate repaired! Whatever she didn't eat, I blended up some more and put it in with her milk through her feeding tube. This is very exciting, and while we have a ways to go, I am less anxious about her moving away from breastmilk. And I'm getting excited to quit pumping soon!