I’ve been burned before. So naturally, I’m leery the first meeting with a new health professional. In my mind, a best case scenario for our appointment with the dietitian would result in me learning a little useful information. Where as, the meeting would be a waste of time in the worst case scenario. The whole endeavor greatly exceeded my expectations. I walked away feeling more confident, better informed, and even a little enthusiastic about feeding Charlie.
At the outset, the dietitian asked what I wished to get out of the appointment. I expressed that feeding is stressful. I explained to her how I am clueless as how to adequately meet Charlie’s nutritional needs. I continued on to say that she can not eat enough solids to sustain herself but refuses formula. More importantly, I hoped for her calorie intake to become well balanced.
I expected her to not understand Charlie’s feeding issues because very few people do. Before I had Charlie, I had no idea that feeding issues existed. She understood our struggles and offered realistic suggestions. She met us at the point we were in Charlie’s feeding progress and worked within her limitations.
She discussed which foods would be beneficial for Charlie, how to prepare them, and portion size. We talked about daily servings. She answered all of my questions fully, provided many options, and suggested useful ideas. I no longer had to wonder about things such as: Is she getting enough protein? Is she eating enough? How many calories does she need daily? How much milk is too much? Should she be eating more vegetables? If so, how?
I left with handouts and notes full of the information we discussed. With my questions answered, my doubts about feeding Charlie were erased. I dare say that I was empowered. Rarely, does an appointment turn out so well.
A day has passed since meeting with the dietitian. I no longer dread feedings. Nor, am I guessing at her intake. Actually, I am beginning to enjoy feedings and I think Charlie may be starting to as well.
Photo credit: Monica DeMariano