Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dear New Tubie Momma

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To the mom whose child just got a feeding tube,

Right now, you're probably pretty overwhelmed.  You've just been thrown into a world you never expected to be a part of, and it's scary.  There are tubes and syringes, feeding schedules and pumps, and possibly a stoma if a G, GJ, or J tube is involved. 

Dear New Tubie Momma

I'm not going to lie and tell you that this will be easy.  Having a child who needs a feeding tube is heartbreaking and hard in many ways, both emotional and practical.  But it does get easier.  The first month or so after your child gets their feeding tube is the hardest because you're still getting used to everything, but I promise you that it will soon become second nature.  You'll find yourself getting in such a rhythm that you will be able to hook your little one up for a feeding without having to mentally go through the steps in your head.  

Dear New Tubie Momma

The person who will be hardest on you throughout this journey is youGive yourself grace.  Grieve for what you and your child are going through when you need to, but then get back up and keep going.  Mom guilt can consume you if you don't stomp it back down every now and then.  When it starts to creep up on you, remember this: you are doing what is best for your child.

Don't worry about all the things that could happen like granulation tissue, accidental tube pull-outs, etc.  Take each day as it comes and deal with each issue as it pops up.  The thing you're worrying about may never happen at all and even if it does, it might not be as big of a deal as you thought it would.

Dear New Tubie Momma

Educate yourself.  Learn as much as you can about tube feeding and your child's condition, if you know what it is.  You're a medical mom now, and you'll manage your new normal much better if you're prepared and organized. 

Don't be embarrassed by the stares and questions you'll get from (hopefully) well-meaning friends, relatives, and even strangers.  Hold your head high and smile back or use the moment to educate someone who doesn't know about feeding tubes.  You're doing what needs to be done to keep your child alive and growing, even though it is hard, and that is something to be proud of.   

Yes, I Have a Feeding Tube onesie from Sunshine and Spoons

Find your tribe.  You are going to need support and understanding from people who are on a similar path as you.  You're going through a very unique experience that most people can't understand.

Dear New Tubie Momma

Talk to your friends and family about what you're going through.  Don't close yourself off from a potentially valuable support system.  They may not understand what it's like to have a child with a feeding tube, but there's a good chance that they want to support you any way they can.

You're strong.  You're brave.  You're the best mom for your child.  You're a tubie mama.

Tubie Mama shirt from Sunshine and Spoons
Dear new tubie momma:

Take a deep breath.  You've got this, momma.

Helpful resources for tubie families: 

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