Update on 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. 

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 are seeing progress and finally feeling a sense of relief about everything. We still have a long road ahead, but with love and dedication I think they will have a bright future. 

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 only 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 something I’m still battling as well.

Big hugs to you all...