Caroline entered the world six weeks early and has been a fighter, ever since. Shortly, after Caroline was released home for the NICU, she started crying 16 to 18 hours a day and refused to eat. On its face this is concerning but given that Caroline was only 3 lbs, 9 oz at birth this was alarming. I dutifully took Caroline to the doctor twice a week for weight checks and did everything I could to convince her to eat. After, she started projectile vomiting, I became much more forceful with the doctors…something was not right.
Caroline was diagnosed with failure to thrive and severe GERD. So at the age of 6 months old, she underwent her first round of surgical procedures: Nissen Fundiplication, placement of a G-Tube, accessory spleen removal and umbilical hernia repair. After the surgeries, Caroline stopped crying. When I say stopped crying, I mean completely! At the time it was cause for celebration but now I realize it was sign of a deeper problem.
Even before the surgeries, we took Caroline to see genetics and developmental pediatricians trying to figure out what was going on. Instead of getting answers, we were just made aware of more problems like Caroline had a 70 to 80% global developmental delay.
After three years of therapy and over 70 doctor appointments, we learned that Caroline has autism.