The Last March of the Enteral Green Beans

From 2014 to 2016, our house was swimming in green beans.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing Stage 1 green bean puree, you will know that this wholesome, nutritious goop is one of the foulest of all the baby foods. However, it is also incredibly low in sugar and has the miraculous property of thickening loose poop — so we had the good fortune of getting intimately acquainted with the stinky green sludge far beyond L’s baby years. By the time he was 3, we were buying Stage 1 green beans by the case and putting nearly a whole jar through his g-tube every morning and every night. (See teeny tiny toddler L “I do it myself”-ing that syringe of green gunk down there?!)

37B8EB67-61CA-4376-BE8F-688608014194I will admit that I have never actually tasted them on their own (although I did once accidentally taste a green bean-avocado-vanilla pediasure g-tube smoothie — would not recommend). So please accept my apologies for railing on your product, Beechnut; I’m sure it is utterly ::gag:: delightful, and it was a key ingredient in our ongoing struggle to get L’s gut on track enough to keep us out of the hospital and slowly wean down his TPN. For that, I thank you profusely; without it, he would have dehydrated himself even more quickly.

We never had to resume our green bean regimen after L’s last big surgery, almost exactly a year and a half ago now. But we’ve had a couple of straggling jars of green beans hiding in the back of our pantry since then — and I found them this week, just ahead of their expiration date, and just after G started exploring solids.

When I popped open the jar, the smell instantly took me back to a much different time in our lives. This was the smell of a desperate attempt to manage a battle we couldn’t win. We’ll never completely be in the clear, and I still get anxious with every bellyache; but spooning the green goop onto G’s tray, watching L chomp his whole green beans and laugh while G finger painted in hers and smeared them across her face, was an incredible reminder of exactly how far we’ve come in the last 18 months.

I’m hoping to get back to blogging more regularly very soon. Until then, I leave you with the last march of the enteral green beans:

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