Elodie woke up at 7.23 by herself. I was a bit worried that it would be too early, and that she would be tired during the lunch play picnic. She didn’t really want to eat something this morning, but she drank some juice.
I had quite some dreams about being honest to the paediatrician, doctor Peter Scheer. What would his reaction be? Most likely this stressed me out, because of our experiences with the judgemental paediatricians who treated Elodie in the Netherlands.
As we started walking outside the apartment building there were road works, this was great because she almost finished her Nutrini Creamy while she was looking at everything happening. Elodie was finishing the last bits when someone greeted us. It was our paediatrician on his bike, and we got busted. Oh my!! Didn’t even have the time to be honest and come clean today. Not how I expected our coming out was going to go.
So while my husband looked the other way, I started explaining this is what we meant when we talked about distraction, and we want to reduce that gradually. Also, that I found it hard to fully let go of this because of the extreme weight loss Elodie experienced after the hospitalization.
My husband was on his phone to send me the phone number of the paediatrician we met yesterday, and he felt bad for being seen just in that one minute he was not paying attention to Elodie. Can you imagine the look on our faces when we got busted!
We received a copy of our family photo. It was a good way to get familiar with the other families, and their names. Our picture was the worst of all. Elodie didn’t want to sit still. All the others had cute family photos, and we got this. Luckily it’s just a photo.
Elodie was drinking relatively well but didn’t eat much during the play picnics. Under these circumstances the feeding while waking sessions are giving us some piece of mind. At home, she has a much better mood and more interest in food. But we also know that these sessions are not sustainable.
Due to the daily schedule here I wasn’t able to do the same amount of ‘feeding while walking sessions’. I didn’t want to increase the sessions like we did on Monday because she got annoyed by it. I could already tell by looking at her that she lost some weight. Naturally this pains me because we have worked so hard to make her gain weight. But I hope that by feeding her less while walking outside, she will eat more on her own.
During the medical round we had a heart-to-heart with doctor Scheer. I spoke about my post-partum depression, and our traumatizing experience during and after the hospitalization in the Netherlands. Elodie had a 9 day hunger and drinking strike, and the hospital pediatricians did a extreme hunger provocation afterwards resulting in Elodie’s body going into starvation mode. She would only eat 3 peas in an entire day, and eventually lost about 20% of body weight in a little over a month. Not to mention all the parent blaming we had to endure. It was all our fault and we were just being hysterical. This was one of the darkest periods in my life.
I couldn’t fully trust she would manage to stay healthy on her own. Doctor Scheer wasn’t judgemental at all and understood where we came from. He was shocked about the hospital’s approach to ‘help’ Elodie, that they would starve her to such an extend. This is not in line with the NoTube approach, they provoke hunger in a controlled way, but they don’t starve a child. It doesn’t work for children who don’t have any interest in food anyhow and does more damage than good.
We told him we wanted to take little steps towards our goal. He fully understood and pointed out that this entire situation was not our fault, we were not to blame. It happened to us. It was a relief to hear this, and it really felt like a weight fell off my shoulders.
In the evening we got caught again in the supermarket by Caroline, the psychotherapist, while doing our feeding while walking session. Elodie had her face full of chocolate dessert. Oops. Small world. Caroline later told me that she thought: wow other children outside of Notube are fed like that too. Then she saw it was us. Hahaha.
Back at the apartment we did notice that Elodie was a bit more interested in snacks, she even ate a slice of chicken. We were happy to see this.
It’s also such a relief to not have to think about preparing, cooking, and providing food during the day, as NoTube makes sure there is plenty of food during the mealtimes for everyone (even for the parents) who attends the eating school. There are no additional costs for meals, snacks or drinks for parents it’s all included. We clean up after ourselves, but we don’t need to do the dishes. These simple things actually take away a lot of stress already. It gives more headroom to focus on Elodie and her development at the eating school.