Drum roll please.....We took out Elizabeth's G-tube tonight! I can't explain all the conflicting feelings in my heart. I'm SO thankful that we had the g-tube to help keep Elizabeth alive so many times when she was so sick, to help her grow when she didn't know how to drink or eat. While at first I definitely had a love/hate relationship with the "button", and all I could think of was trying to wean her so we could take it out, in the past year and a half I'd made peace with it, and was in fact, thankful for the flexibility it provided us as we tried to teach Elizabug to eat.
After talking it over with her GI, we agreed that now that she's solidly eating by mouth (still learning to chew but making steady progress), she's proven that she can eat enough to keep from loosing weight and she's stayed out of the hospital and eating by mouth despite some gnarly colds this winter. Suddenly, removing the tube became realistic. So we did it! Ironically, I shed a few tears...it's been quite a run for the little button, but otherwise it was pretty anticlimactic in light of how much her eating and tube feeding has dominated our lives for the last 3 1/3 years.
We're praising God that tonight, Elizabeth is tube free, eating and drinking by mouth and sleeping soundly at home. The next step is finding homes for all the tubing and syringes we've got in our basement...It feels good to finally be able to say, "we don't need it!" Here are some before and after pictures.