“I’m so proud of Matthew! Mom, let’s have a party for Matthew.”
“Okay. What do you want at the party?”
“Streamers and balloons and cookies!”
And so we did. We threw a party for Matthew. Why? Because he is cute. Because Erynn wanted to. Because Matthew did something the other day that has us still picking our jaws up off of the ground.
You know that we have been told that we may never be able to rely on Matthew to intake his needed calories on his own. You know that I have refused to believe it. And, you know that he has been making a lot of progress with his oral feeds. But, he seemed to have reached a plateau. 4 ounces was his limit. The Monday before Thanksgiving, I had a conversation with his speech therapist in which we discussed all of the things that Matthew ‘needs’ to be successful at the bottle: a quiet room, but not too quiet. Something playing on the tv, but nothing too exciting. To be held just so. To have his mouth ‘warmed up’ with therapy tricks. And even then, if he’s too tired or just doesn’t want to, it isn’t going to happen. I left there feeling pretty darn proud of my Matthew for being able to drink 4 ounces of a bottle, but also beginning to resign myself to the fact that his feeding pump would forever be a part of our lives.
But then on Tuesday, he decided to take a five ounce bottle. And then another one. And before we knew it, we hadn’t used his tube in 2 days, with the exception of giving meds and his over night feeding.
And then, on Wednesday, he took a bottle in a restaurant. And Thursday he started taking 6 ounce bottles. By Saturday, I had reworked his food, so that his Pediasure was no longer diluted and he was getting all of his calories during the day. For the first time in Matthew’s life, he slept without food being pumped into him while he slept. That night, Rusty and I watched him sleep with goofy smiles on our faces and tears in our eyes.
Which brings us to Sunday night. We were getting the kids ready for bed and discussing with them that Matthew was going to go to sleep without his pump. Erynn was just so proud of him; so stinking happy for him! She gave him a giant hug ,exclaiming “I’m so proud of you buddy!” Which later turned into the idea of throwing him a party, which changed from cookies to cake, minus the balloons and streamers… because it was a therapy day for Matthew and a grocery shopping day for us and I just didn’t get to it (And I feel terrible about it!)
BUT, Matthew hasn’t used a pump in 3 days. He waited for me to start to give up on him and then he did what he always does: Something incredible. Something that he isn’t supposed to be able to do.
So, yeah. We threw a party for him. And yes, he enjoyed a little bit of cake. And yes, those are tears in our eyes and goofy smiles on our face every time he takes a bottle… because we are just that overjoyed by him and his perseverance. We are that blown away by the miracles that God continues to perform in Matthew.
[[1Ch 16:8 NIV] Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
Psa 100:4-5 NIV] Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.