Ripley was born weighing 2.4kg or 5lb 4oz. He was 48 cms long, his head circumference was 38 cms. He was alive, breathing, and screaming. His could not breathe properly for long and required resuscitation, intubation, CPAP and then he acquired meningitis, was on antibiotics for 4 weeks. He had severe jaundice. He has severe reflux, food allergies, sleep apnea, he has had his adenoids out, grommets in. He has had two iron infusions for anaemia. He possibly has eosinophilic esophagitis, he has sensory processing issues.

It’s been traumatic, it’s really beyond words. How can you describe it, in just a few words. I can’t.

But I can share how far he has come. Despite all of the above, he is loving, kind, he is sweet, he falls asleep in trolleys (only once but still!), he loves his mama and dada, he loves Daniel Tiger, he walks, runs, jumps and skips. He says a bit, not as much as some, but we can communicate.

Speaking with a friend yesterday, I realised that I can see our journey two ways; negatively or positively. A lot of people say, think of the positives. It’s a good idea, but it’s not as easy as just changing your thoughts. Overcoming anxiety, negativity, automatic thoughts, belief systems, is hard, hard work.

However, I’m going to try to focus on the accomplishments we can be excited about.

Ripley often sleeps 6-8 hours in one stretch now, without feeding, thrashing about or waking. He is still sleeping beside me, and that’s the way I like it.

Ripley eats more food, and more often will try new things, which makes life less stressful. When you have a child or toddler that just eats, you really have no idea how hard it is for parents of children with feeding aversions or difficulties. We have been lucky that Ripley’s are not horrible, but’s it’s been hard enough.

He is communicating so much more, and in ways that make it easier to give him what he wants and avoid tantrums and frustration. Such a relief when it works well.

Sharing accomplishments is going to become one of my methods in overcoming the trauma.

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