There aren't many things I really, truly regret.
But if I could rewind to two months ago, I would have made some much different choices regarding the direction that Brenna's eating habits were heading. And I'm really struggling with this right now.
The hardest thing for me to accept is that I don't feel these issues simply manifested. I believe they were created by some of the decisions that we and her medical staff made for her.
When Brenna was two months old, she was eating between 120-150 mL (4-5 oz.) of milk consistently.
Now - after various attempts to fortify her milk to higher calories, trying new formulas, tubes down her nose and finally a g-tube - she is eating 15 mL by mouth and we are tube-feeding about 45-50 more in about 45 minutes' time because any more than that or any faster than that, and she throws it all up.
I love our specialists; I really do. And I don't blame anyone for anything. But the irony is not lost on me that Brenna was eating FAR better months ago before everyone started trying to help her eat better.
At 2-3 months, she was growing, thriving, changing, albeit slowly. So everyone wanted her to eat more, to grow more.
And now at 8 months, she's eating practically nothing on her own, and she's still at a growth plateau. She's not yet gotten to try table food aside from a couple of brief tastes of rice cereal, and I'm afraid we've caused a lot of long-term damage....I think it will take a long time now to get these skills back.
The only solace I have now is that we are able to feed her through the entire night - slowly but surely. But our days are currently revolving completely around feedings. We are having to feed her as much and often as we can without making her sick...so a lot of small, long feedings. Which means she is hooked up to her pump about 3/4 of the day at this point.
I feel so stupid. I actually thought when the g-tube was placed that Brenna would eat around what she had previously been consuming by mouth (around 2 ounces) and then we'd feed her the rest through the tube, and we'd all go on our merry way.
This? Being hooked up to a machine the majority of the day? This is not the relief I was expecting and anticipating, the relief that practically everyone assured us we would get from having a g-tube.
I am trying to let these regrets go. I can't change anything. And now I can only look forward and deal with what is going on now.
Today was the first day in three weeks that I haven't had knots in my stomach most of the day. I'm getting the hang of the pump, I'm trying to get our new feeding system/schedule under control, and I'm really trying not to hold on to my guilt and regret about letting her eating issues spiral so far down.