Rally for River & Riley

Hi guys.... I’m so sorry I haven’t written sooner, we have been going through a lot this second half of the year. I will fill you in...



River and Riley had challenges from the start. Even before they were conceived, we were told we had a “one-in-ten-million” chance of ever getting pregnant and IVF wouldn’t work. But we had so much love to give we couldn’t take no for an answer. After doing myriads of countless alternative therapies, herbal remedies and Eastern Medicine for several months, in an unexpected turn of events we found out I was pregnant... with twins! We beat the overwhelming odds and were given the gift of our dream family, a boy and a girl.

The pregnancy went well but there was yet another hurdle. At 27 weeks I went into pre-term labor. And after 8 days and 40 hours of three different times going into labor at the hospital and Doctors doing all they could to keep the babies in utero, River & Riley made their way into our world three months early at only 2lbs each. We spent the next two months in the NICU with them every day, holding them close, helping them survive and thrive until we got to take our little miracles home on Christmas Day, still coming in at only 3.14 and 5lbs. They were so tiny, but stole our hearts in a big way.

Here we are four years later and we are faced with another immense challenge. After many months of struggling with long days of declining behaviors, extreme sensitivities and heart-breaking moments we got some answers. The twins were diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). And though it’s not something any parent wants to hear, in a way it gave us relief because it meant there was a reason for all we were experiencing and in a way relieving, as we now had a direction to go in. It opened the door to all kinds of help and at the right time in their life- preschool age. The younger kids are when they get services, the better chance they have changing some of the behaviors that come with Autism. The number one most-effective treatment is said to be ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis). ABA is the process of systematically applying techniques and interventions to bring about meaningful, positive change and improve socially significant behaviors. So we immediately set out to find an ABA therapist. The question was, how were we going to pay for it all, as even with insurance paying for a percentage, it’s still extremely expensive. That’s when we discovered the Gardiner Scholarship, a local grant through the Department of Education for Special Needs children. I applied right away and within a week I received the amazing news that both River & Riley were awarded the scholarship. We were instantly filled with so much joy and hope. 

Since then, we found a fantastic ABA company. It was a month-long process to get them screened, evaluated and authorized through insurance before they finally started therapy. They each have their own therapist who works with them three-hours a day, five days a week, and the Director oversees them and works with the twins a few hours a week. The reason they have their own individual therapists is because they have different issues to work on. While they both struggle with emotional regulation and communicating their needs, Riley needs help with her persistent perseveration (repeating phrases over and over), and anxiety. River is a bit more challenging. His biggest problem is noncompliance, but he also has issues with aggression, attention, comprehension and repetitive behaviors. The Director actually said he’s the most challenging child they’ve had, if that tells you anything. This is all in addition to their sensory-processing issues.So there is a lot of work to be done, which is why they need so much therapy. It is necessary to have the most hours at the beginning because we are changing behaviors. Reprogramming in a way. They are not only working with the kids, but also giving me and Garrett the skills needed to handle challenging behaviors in the most effective way. It’s a bit overwhelming at times, but we can already see the difference that it’s making and it’s only been a few weeks and we are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure River & Riley have the best chance at a healthy, successful future. We were finally feeling a sense of relief about everything...and then....

As some of you know, we found out recently that the scholarship ran out of funds and we will not be receiving it after all. This was devastating news for us, as that was the only way we were going to be able to afford ABA for the twins. I’ve searched far and wide for other resources, but everything I’ve found is for those living at or below poverty level. And while we may not be there, regardless we have no way to pay for their services. Our parents are helping us and we have been cutting everything we can- from cable to Riley’s dance classes, canceling our annual Christmas party and even stopping the twins’ occupational therapy for their sensory issues, because ABA is the most critical piece to solving this puzzle. But even with all that we don’t even come close. And I can’t bear to think we will have to take away their best chance of overcoming their obstacles. So we are reaching out as a last resort in hopes to be able to continue providing the services needed for our miracle twins, as we have a long road ahead for treatment. All funds will be used to pay for their therapy, as it will be ongoing indefinitely. 

Thank you in advance for all your love and support. It truly means the world to us.

It would be awesome if you could share this campaign via email, by word of mouth, or on your social media and include the hashtag: #RallyForRiverAndRiley. 


Every little bit will make a difference!

https://www.gofundme.com/RiverRiley



So there you have it. This has pretty much been consuming our lives the last several months. It’s been a rollercoaster and I know it’s onky the beginning but I am trying to stay positive and do whatever it takes to help these two angels get the help they need.

I’ll update as time goes on about them and myself. You’re always in my thoughts and still here for anyone who needs support with POF, as it’s somsthing I’m still battling as well.

Big hugs to you all...

POF Update 2017

Hi beautiful ladies… It's been way too long! I am so sorry that I haven't kept up with the blog, things are just always nonstop with the twins that I barely have a second to think. I wanted you to know that I'm always thinking of you all and appreciate how many people reach out to me on a weekly basis. I understand what you're going through and anyway I can help I will gladly do so.

In the meantime, I'm going to backtrack a bit to fill you in on some POF related stuff that's been going on in my world. I had been searching for an OB/GYN to deal with my condition as to help me with some of my symptoms. I had stopped taking the Chinese herbs a few months prior, since my hot flashes had subsided. The problem I was having, however, was that aside from having zero sex drive, when I did do the deed it hurt like a mofo. There was sometimes even a little bit of blood involved. 😦 I knew there had to be someone out there who could help.

After a ton of time searching I found a specialized gynecology center and made an appointment. I explained my situation and she did my annual check up. The doctor informed me that she could definitely tell I am post menopausal, as I basically had the vajayjay of someone in their 60s. Definitely not something you want to hear in your 30s. She said my walls were super thin, which is what was causing the bleeding during sex. That it's "like having lots of tiny paper cuts inside." Now it makes sense why it hurt so much! She prescribed me Estrace- an estrogen cream- to use a pea size amount in my nether region, at first every day for two weeks, followed by every other day and then finally a few days a week. 

I could tell a difference almost immediately. By the end of the first week I actually started getting some semblance  of a sex drive again. And after a month it was no longer the Sahara down there and sex no longer hurt! Hooray!

I will say that months down the road the whole sex drive thing tapered off again (it was much more prevalent when I used it every day but I know that's not how you're supposed to continue using it). I was also just having a tough time in general... brain fog, a bit of depression...


BUT.. I did finally find a Dr to help me with some of that in the way of bioidentical hormones... stay tuned for next post about that!


As always, sending positive vibes your way...

Cole