What Is Wrong With My Baby?

In Hunter's first few months of life there were a few things that raised a concern for us and left us with many unanswered questions about his development. He is our first child which made pinpointing if something was "off" a little harder. I would ask questions like, "Why does he cry every time I put him in the car seat?, Why does he only want to be held laying on his belly in my arms facing down? Why is head so floppy? Why is his eye going in?"  These are questions I would ask the doctors and over and over I was told I was reacting. He would cry in gyms while we tried to watch a basketball game, he would cry if you took him to a mall, to a restaurant the crying never ended. The only safe and comfortable place for Hunter and I was at home or on a neighborhood walk.  Jody would often take him for a walk (held upright and close to his body) in the Bjorn.  As months went by, Hunter was not excelling or meeting the milestones that "Babycenter" would advertise. Other kids around him at the park and daycare were blowing him out of the water. No one listened to me as I vented about the things I would notice and was often told I was over reacting!  Everyone kept saying “he’s fine, he’s fine” But I knew there was something a bit off. It was hard to trust what my gut was telling me when I was surrounded by a constant chorus of "he's fine." 

As Hunter’s doctor kept telling me that he was fine, I begged for referrals but encountered  so much resistance. I asked for appointments with a physical therapist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, neurologist, ophthalmologist, dermatologist, genetics counselor and eventually needed to switch doctors. I was told he was fine. I mean, he was fine and healthy, but there was something off.  At 17 months, he was not walking or talking. As I looked around at the playground I could tell the gap was getting further and further apart. As a new parent I had to navigate through many different emotions wondering why my child wasn't hitting the same milestones as the kids around him.

After a rough first year of questions with no answers we finally found out that Hunter needed tubes for his ears, eye surgery (alternating estrotopia / strabismus)  and many different therapies (speech, occupational and physical). He had and still has sensory overload and cannot physically or emotionally handle transitions. Therefore he acts out behaviorally. He is at his best when he is being played with, touched in a calm way, and is prepped for a transition - this is hard to do when running daily errands. He finds safety with a selected few that all have the same demeanor in temperament and is the most happy and engaging when he is home, in a familiar environment or outdoors with trees, the playground and surrounded by fresh air. He does not have a diagnosis, but we’ve  been told by his neurologist that he has Hypotonia. I cried for many nights when they told me this information only because I was uncertain how this could affect his development and quality of life in general. I was caught off guard and immediately overwhelmed when a medical name was given to us.  At that point I did everything I could to get Hunter the therapy he needed. I'm still new to this world and have a lot more to learn. 

Through this journey, through self-assessment, I have found a need for both a new outlet as well as new passions that have surfaced while being a mom to Hunter.

Thankfully through all of this Hunter has been such a joy and is the most loving and entertaining soul. Throughout my journey with Hunter  I often found myself being completely drained by the end of the day. I asked his doctor several times for resources but she insisted he was fine. She then referred me to a state funded program, nonchalantly, when he was 17 months old - I was persistent and aggressive to get Hunter into the program requesting double/triple therapy a week to make up for the lost time. This means he didn't receive therapy until he was over 2 years old and the program was an "early intervention" program that only went to 3 years old (when the brain develops the most between 1-3 years old). This meant they were doing all they could to get him the therapy he needed in a short amount of time.

I sat in assessments, appointments and therapy often in tears but was hopeful because I finally felt like the therapists understood Hunter and our situation.  Getting to that point was a different story. I finally had the resources and the support to get Hunter on the right track, to find the therapies and instruction that he needed but I would often sit there and think about the other moms who didn't have access to these resources or might've given up along the way because of the complexity of attaining services. By this thought alone I would be brought to tears.

Jody and I are doing this as a way to give back to kids who need the help but cannot afford it, parents who don't have the flexibility in their schedule or access to being mobile or or impaired themselves! My goal is to find the love and support and connection with other parents. Which I have not received. I want Hunter's Threads to shed light on the world of therapy and help all the other little Hunter's out there that need advocates and people to fight for them! 

Inception of Hunter's Threads May 21, 2016

Hunter's Threads began as a passion project on May 21, 2016. There were a series of events that led to starting this company. My son Hunter was born in 2013 and I had a very normal pregnancy and delivery. Throughout my journey of being a new mom, I started realizing that Hunter wasn't hitting the same milestones as other kids. As I looked for direction and support from family, friends and doctors, they would say what most people would say, "he's fine". I quickly realized, that it was up to me to do something about it. Throughout all the politics and bureaucracy of medical insurance and withholding resources, being referred out, and Hunter falling through the cracks on every end, Jody and I knew this journey wasn't going to be easy. Getting therapy is not an easy process.

Once Hunter turned 3 years old, his services ended and private speech, occupational and physical therapy cost from $90-$150 an hour per service. Each assessment was costing $375. A 6 month membership to clinics were averaging $10,000. There was no way that I would be able to afford 3 therapies a week, taking him to the appointments and still finding time to work full time, be available to my daughter Isla and conquer normal life stresses.

I quickly realized that there is a need here and I want to be the one to make it easier for families to get help. The goal of Hunter’s Threads is to form a community that is excited about therapy. A community of people to advocate for the brand, assist with procurement of kids clothing, volunteerism, community and having fun while doing it.

Hunter’s Threads is an online and brick and mortar store that sells used and new clothing. Hunter’s Threads is seeking partnerships, therapists, learning specialists, clinics, schools, day cares, businesses and anyone who is interested in making Hunter's Threads succeed. This is a new world for me.

Thank you for supporting Hunter's Threads.

 

Pivoting = Self Reflection & Positivity!

I can't believe I'm opening a store!

Within a month of putting together Hunter's Threads, we found a place! With limited resources, funding and time - we found the perfect location. I keep thinking, how did I get here? The support from the people that were there for me for the last few years with Hunter being sick, noticing developmental delays all while balancing family/work stress has forced me self reflect the last few months. With many sleepless nights filled with tears, heartache, confusion and self doubt, I went through a phase of feeling so drained from the day that I would just sleep off the stress. Having to balance kids, schedules, personal obligations and trying to spend the necessary amount of time with both Hunter and Isla - it finally caught up to me.

 
Hunter's Thread's is officially a store!

Hunter's Thread's is officially a store!

 

For many years I've carried the burden of being a problem solver and not ever really feeling free in my spirit, but found validation in making sure that people were taken care of. It is actually a huge part of what I do for work especially growing up in a small family non -profit. In the middle of transition and added stresses my husband and I decided to take a much needed break. We finally redeemed our two-time canceled trip, Jody and I canceled our vacation 2 years in a row because our kids were very very sick and life didn't really allow for us to take time off. Finally, we are here in Hawaii enjoying time to think and regroup and plan HT. As I sit here I'm reminiscing about the last few months and how far we've come as a family. I know that it's only by God's grace we are in a much healthier situation. It's crazy to think that my whole perception of happiness has shifted. I know that pivoting in life is a positive thing, but also risky.  My dad has been a prime example of achieving things that seem impossible and in his innocence of making a difference he has been able to teach me that there are no limits. There are few people that have shown much support, love and encouragement to get me through some pretty tough times. Recently we had friends come over for hours encouraging me to make a change and ultimately challenged me to pursue change. I literally couldn't even wrap my brain around that simple concept. Here we are, ready to launch an actual store! 

The amount of feedback and positivity from people i know and don't know is making me feel like this is taking a life of it's own. This project will be a work in progress and I will be updating as we make strides! The story of how I got this place is truly a miracle in itself. Confirmation that I have to be doing the right move for not only my family but the families and kids that will benefit from these resources! I'm excited to learn, meet new people and explore the world of retail, kids and therapy!

Email me if you would like to be part of the Hunter's Threads Family. We are just starting, so volunteers with skill sets are always welcomed!!

Chat soon!

 
Outer Sunset Location

Outer Sunset Location

Thank you to Peter and Clinton for believing in Hunter's Threads. Beautiful people.

Thank you to Peter and Clinton for believing in Hunter's Threads. Beautiful people.