part 3 of 4
i will never ever ever forget the moment i put it on him. this moment changed my life.
i wrapped him in my creation and for the first time ever, i saw his body settle.
it was like his entire body exhaled.
i started swaddling him during feeds to help calm his body, which allowed him to be able to focus on his feeding. as he learned how to feed, he began to gain weight and slowly moved out of the failure-to-thrive range.
feeding is actually a really complex and difficult skill. it takes a great deal of mouth organization for little ones to do.
(for ex. we’ve all heard “my baby doesn’t like the pacifier” because they keep spitting it out or it’s constantly needing to be put back in. while some babies legitimately do not prefer a pacifier, other times it can be more about mouth organization. to be able to coordinate the tongue, mouth, lips, and breathing all at the same time takes a tremendous amount of skill, as well as muscle strength.).
once he was able to feed and his body began to feel satiated, it allowed us to then be able to focus on his sleep. we all know the importance of sleep and, for infants, it’s one of their primary occupations.
sleep provides restoration, it allows the body to replenish itself, and it helps with consolidating memory so that everything they learn throughout the day gets consolidated.
previously, Oliver slept only when his body was utterly exhausted from his constant movements or from withdrawing/disassociation. with food in his body plus the swaddle being able to provide the proper containment to settle his body, he was finally able to sleep. this sleep was so important because it allowed him to achieve deep restorative sleep.
there were times when it was definitely one step forward, three steps backwards, but slowly, he started to gain weight, regulate sleep patterns, and reduce the distress that occurred in his body.
it was this moment that he let me into his world, allowing us to bond. when he held my gaze for the first time and didn’t withdraw, i never wanted that moment to end. even today, i have no words to describe how i felt.
there were so many moments when Oliver altered my universe … the first time i called his name and he turned toward me, when i held him in my arms and he cooed and i got to hear his powerful little voice, and the first time he looked at me and smiled.
also, we got to start working on developmental milestones, as he had missed most of them. from not being able to lift his head to doing tummy-time on the floor was miraculous.
he just continued to keep fighting and surpassing everyone’s expectations.
it felt like the true Oliver was immersing.
more than anything, i loved to watch him be active and present in his own world.
he went from an infant who couldn’t make eye contact and any touch was too stimulating to becoming the most loving, affectionate, and resilient being i have ever met.
he is a miracle and i was just lucky enough to be there for a small part of his life.
seeing the impact “the ollie” had on Oliver literally transformed the trajectory of my entire life.
i had no doubt that i wanted to share this swaddle with all little ones around the world and have an opportunity to impact their lives in a way i witnessed with Oliver.
i spent six years going to school and working as a therapist with a specialty in infant mental health. while doing that, i was also working on figuring out how to turn my greatest hopes into something real.
i had no idea how to make a product, protect that product, or even start a business. the years were filled with lots of wrong paths, wrong people, and closed doors. what kept me going on the hardest of days was Oliver and my belief in “the ollie”.
here we ALL are, nine years later.
there have been many days where i wanted to give up. i used to have one single driving force that kept me pushing… Oliver.