Vivian’s Story

This is Viv. She is 18 months/16.5 adjusted, a former tubie (weaned at 6/7 months with another team), and a graduate of GIE's new Happy Eater program!

Her transition to solids was HARD. She's not as medically complex as some kids, but she's been through a lot: improperly assessed as a 34-week preemie, denied NICU, sent home at 4lbs and unable to regulate her suck-swallow-breathe sequencing until 6 months old, severe GERD, multiple protein sensitivities, lactose intolerant, multiple tongue and lip tie procedures, breast and bottle aversion, FTT, oral defensiveness, and a hyperactive gag reflex -- all leading to her need for the tube and making solids very difficult for her later, too.

She's weathered 5 or 6 illnesses since weaning a year ago, including 9 days without eating due to rotavirus in August. BUT, she is EATING and loving it! We are so thankful for the 'Happy Eaters' program. It helped me trust her, helped me to create a more comfortable environment for her around eating, and gave her the space to explore on her own and develop her own comfort level. Tonight, for dinner she ate half of an entire cheddar bratwurst, pineapple, strawberries, crackers, some celery, and followed it up with 5oz of formula. Oh, and part of a push pop before dinner!

At 11 months old, when she just couldn't do solids, I was certain we were headed for another tube. She didn't gain any weight for almost 5 months. But here we are! Eating happily as a family, enjoying new foods, and 2.5lbs heavier! So very thankful to GIE for helping us post-wean. I feel like I can finally breathe after a year and a half of worry.