In this short blog, Mum Emily looks back at her tube feeding journey with her daughter Amelia, how she overcame her fears, and her advice to other families starting a tube feeding journey.
I remember when Amelia was around 3 months old, she had been home from hospital for one week before she was admitted again with her first chest infection. When she came home two weeks later I remember thinking, how on earth can I tube feed? I will never be able to go anywhere or do anything. I felt our whole life had changed and felt I was stuck.
I thought I would never be able to leave the house again. I would never have the confidence to tube feed in public. I couldn’t even remember all the steps at home. I struggled badly. It wasn’t until my friend, who is also a medical mum, visited and calmed me down. She gave me a calming sense that told me she had been there before and it gets better. I’ll never forget her telling me: “Before you know it you will be feeding Amelia in the car and off you’ll go”. I could never see that happening.
We had a hospital appointment for Amelia’s feet a few weeks later. My husband got called into work and couldn’t make it, so it was all down to me. I was always really nervous to be alone with Amelia in case I got something wrong. This time it felt different, I packed everything up, drove to the hospital, and felt like I could do it. I know my way around the hospital, so we went straight to the clinic.
There was an hour to fill in between appointments so I sat in the cafe and started her feed. I had some looks but I just got on with it. I felt so, so proud of myself. I had a coffee and Amelia had her milk and we just got on with it. This was our little moment.
From then on I knew I would be able to be the Mother that Amelia wanted. I had a few stares, but that didn’t get to me. I also had some lovely women ask me how she was.
I remember coming home that night and feeling so different. Paul knew I would do it, I just needed the encouragement.
Tube feeding doesn’t phase me at all now but those first few months were scary. For anyone who is starting their tube feeding journey. It will be ok.