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Dear Mom of a New Tubie,
I feel how scared you are. So many questions running through your mind. Take a deep breath. Just breathe.
I know there have been a lot of new words and abbreviations thrown out there lately… NG, NJ, G-tube, GJ, peg tube, and more. It all seems so overwhelming. There are new things to worry about: granulation tissue, cellulitis, blockages, and more, but that’s not for you to worry about too much right now. Take it one day at a time.
You wonder how you will learn this new way of feeding your child. It seems so cold and unattached. You wonder how you will learn the pump with all the buttons, and how you will be able to clean around the hole in your child’s stomach or put the tube back through the nose if it gets pulled it out. It all seems so foreign and scary.
I promise you, it gets better. Soon feeding your child this way will seem like second nature. You will be able to figure out the pump in your sleep, get to know that feeding tube site better than your child’s doctor and know how to put a tube back through the nose faster than anyone else.
As a mom to a new tubie, you will get lots of questions and perhaps lots of looks when you are out and about. People will have no idea that it’s a feeding tube or they will mistake it for some other type of medical equipment. Use this time to educate others. Educate them on your child’s diagnosis if you have one, or on life with a feeding tube. Use it to your advantage. Walk proudly mama, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You are doing the best for your child and that makes you a great mom!
I know you wonder how long your child will have this tube. Will it be for years? Will it be forever? You will not know how long most likely, but that’s okay. You and your child will work hard to get through this together and someday you will look back and be glad. Glad for what it taught you, and glad for how it helped your child grow and succeed.
As a mom all you want is for your child to grow and thrive, and they will. This tube does not mean the end of life as you know it, it means a better quality of life for your child. Because now they can start to grow and thrive even if it is a different way than most.
Your child will be fine. They will learn to live with that tube and learn to get around with it. They will learn what it means faster than you expect and also realize that they don’t have to let it stop them from being who they are and doing what they want to do.
Dear Mom to a new tubie: you’re doing a fine job. Keep up the good work, and take it one day at a time.