My name is Brandis and I am the mom of a beautiful, bright-eyed, red-haired, happy-go-lucky 9 month old girl named Raya. She loves baby dolls, things that make crinkly noises, crawling, getting attention from her older siblings, hearing her own voice, and standing up next to things. In most respects, Raya is a healthy, normal 9 month old baby. Except that Raya has a feeding tube. She is afraid of food, hates having her face touched, and gags & vomits when we put food in her mouth. I believe the technical term is "feeding aversion". :)
For the past 9 months, I've been writing about our experiences with Raya on our family blog. Little did I know back then how much of my life and our blog would be consumed with the details of Raya's medical issues. Although we have always tried to stay positive during this journey, there are times when I feel overwhelmed by her challenges and I can either choose to sugar-coat the situation or tell it like it is. Because a lot of my friends and family read that blog and I don't want people to pity us or our situation, there are a lot of things that I've left off of it but they are a very real part of our lives. For that reason, I've decided that it's time to give Raya's story its own forum. This will be a place where I share the story in all it's forms; the good, the bad and the ugly. I've debated with myself about doing this because I feel like there are so many people out there with WAY more experience and knowledge than I have, but I also feel like each family's experiences are different, unique and significant in their own way. My hope is that other people who are faced with similar challenges will be able to benefit from what we have learned and share their experiences as well.
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