And so the journey begins …

So, a little bit of back story from me and what led me to sitting down to write the first blog of our journey. I’m Tuesday and I’m from a little town in the South of Hampshire. I married young (19) and had my two eldest children, Jack (now 17) and Jamie (now 15) After my then youngest began attending pre school, I started studying in childcare and have been in the profession ever since. I absolutely adore my work. Aside from my children, my career is my biggest achievement in life. So many struggle to find a job that they love – I am definitely one of the lucky ones.

9 years into my marriage, my husband and I separated. It was the best decision for everyone.

5 and a half years ago, career taken off, specialising in challenging behaviour, I started a new job in a new school. It was here that I met Matt. 4 months after we first met, we were dating and the rest, as they say, is history.

2.5 years later, the day before we moved into our first home together, we found out we were expecting. It. Was. Tough!! I was diagnosed with severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum at 9 weeks pregnant after being hospitalised for severe dehydration. I was signed off work, completely housebound, and then to top it all off, at our 12 week scan, we were informed that up until 3 weeks prior, we had been carrying twins, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t meant to be.

Finally, 10 days overdue, on Star Wars day (May 4th), our little HG hero was born. I felt like my life could finally begin again … I clearly didn’t realise how tough things would become.

At 4 and a half months old, Sawyer was diagnosed with severe Cows Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) He was prescribed a special formula and the never ending screaming and tummy cramps finally started to ease. But, then weaning came around, and with that, came a whole load of new allergies; soy, coconut, strawberries, orange, sorbitol (to name a few!) It was exhausting. Every label checked, all food prepped from scratch and a crippling anxiety that centered around Sawyer being near food. It was tough!! But, we did it. We managed to battle through and even managed to reintroduce some of the milder allergens. It felt like we were really moving forward with Sawyer …

Over the next few months however, it was becoming obvious that certain ‘milestones’ weren’t being hit by our beautiful little boy. Having worked within the education system for a significant number of years between us, we know that he’d probably ‘get there’ in his own time. But, by the time Sawyer reached 18 months, there were a few things that myself and Matt were beginning to question. We had both worked with a variety of children which included those that were on the autistic spectrum. There were certain ‘traits’ that both of us spotted relatively early on with Sawyer. And, with every passing week, we were becoming more convinced that we would need to speak to a Health Care Professional about our concerns.

We decided to take this step on April 23rd 2020 … Just at the beginning of lockdown. It was a tough decision for me. Not only because of suffering severe anxiety (especially with phonecalls and appointments), but we’d also had a couple of negative experiences with HV’s while dealing with Sawyer’s allergies, plus, I’m just not very good at asking for help.

But … We did it. I bit the bullet and called up my new Health Visitor and we started the ball rolling. We can now officially say that we are on our journey to an inevitable autism diagnosis for Sawyer. It’s been a tough couple of years for sure … But I really do feel that we are finally where we need to be 💜

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