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Troubles begin

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

We were able to bring the babies home on the 4th day! The surrogate was gracious enough to pump some breast milk for us to supplement the formula. Thalia drank both the formula and breast milk beautifully, but Tula had troubles. She would kick and arch her back in an attempt to move away from the bottle, and so I always had to distract her by massaging her or singing during every feeding. Tula was extremely colicky. Her pediatrician diagnosed acid reflux and prescribed a heartburn drug. We switched to every type of formula and ended up using a popular hypoallergenic one which helped with her colic, but only a bit. Only years later when we actually looked at the ingredients of this formula that the first ingredient, which is used in the greatest amount, was sugar. She had diarrhea frequently. Even when she started solid foods she pushed everything away and kicked and cried in her highchair. I continued massaging and singing just so I could get something in her stomach. She had hives at times but we never found the culprit.

Tula had ear infections in her first year and was prescribed antibiotics each time. Thalia would come down with a cold, whereas Tula got pneumonia, which equaled more antibiotics. Her poop was still very runny but it never concerned me much. A friend of mine, who was an educational evaluator, visited us and noticed how desperately Tula was seeking sensory input by how hard she was jumping in her jumper. When I brought up some concerns with the pediatrician, she said that everything was fine and not to be concerned with the feedings.

Developmental milestones were on time but when she started walking, she would march around the house in the same patterns with no purpose or reason or she would explore on tiptoes. She repeated words over and over, sometimes 20 times, usually about something that scared her. “Poppy’s coat, Poppy’s coat” she repeated when my father, who she called Poppy, came in with an unfamiliar black coat. I became increasingly worried, searching the internet constantly and coming up with autism. Everyone told me I was being paranoid, or that I compared my twins too much. I felt that some of my friends knew but didn’t want to tell me, since we all knew there was nothing you could do for autism. I definitely believed that.

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