Five days before Christmas, Shea C. received a present she never expected: a new baby. She was already a foster mother to three children, ages 8, 9 and 10, and was excited to welcome a baby to the mix. When the baby, who we’ll call Baby K, was in his mother’s womb, she had so many drugs in her system that the doctors had to force an emergency C-section to better the baby’s chances of survival.
Just five days after his birth, Shea brought Baby K into her home and had to help him withdraw from drug addiction. She wrote Otteroo to tell us that our neck floatie has been a blessing in their lives.
What kind of symptoms does Baby K experience?
He is very shaky, and he isn’t very in control of his body. As he develops, we’ll see what kind of damage his mom put on him. Working with him has been difficult. Doctors think he might be deaf, and he has quite a bit of bonding issues. Some babies have these symptoms forever, and some babies, if you can stimulate them in the right way, you can help reverse a lot of the effects within their first couple of months.
You bought the Otteroo to see if it could help him. What happened the first time you used it?
Immediately, immediately, when he hit the water, all shakes went away. He completely just sat there, and he was able to kick. He hasn’t explored his arms and his hands because they’re so used to being out of control. He doesn’t have control over his nervous system. So, being able to kick was the cutest thing ever. I put him close to me, and he’d kick off my stomach, and you could see him, like, “Oh my gosh, my legs work!” Being able to just explore the water, and his nervous system not being over reactive, it completely put a calming blanket over him, and then he was able to regain complete control over his arms and his legs, and there was not a single bit of shakiness, at all. It was crazy. I almost cried.
How often do you use the Otteroo?
I try to use it every day. I sit in there with him. We get to bond. He gets to feel me and touch me. We get to spend that time together where he is able to sit in front of me and smile back to me. He just started smiling the day before we got the Otteroo, and so seeing how joyous he gets is just the best. It’s perfect timing. He just sits there and smiles and smiles.
You’ve only been using the Otteroo for two weeks. Have other people noticed his changes?
We have a nurse that comes to the house to check on him because he is a foster child. They’re really on top of him medically. She does this thing called the NAS test; it’s for neonatal abstinence syndrome. It’s a worksheet that they use to grade the kids. We do it every day to keep an eye on him and where he’s at, not just for the shakiness, but there are many types of symptoms he could show with withdrawal. Ever since we started using the Otteroo, other things have been subsiding. It could just be coincidental, but I don’t think so because he’s almost 12 weeks now, and there was no significant decrease or change. Then, finally, you can just see him being stimulated in the right way and his other symptoms have started to subside. He had excessive sucking and he made smacking noises, and he’s almost completely stopped that. Other things: you can see him being a little bit calmer. I know it’s neurological, but it’s also his nervous system is just so out of whack, and now that he’s been in tune with that, being able to submerge into the water, he is more aware. He’s not been symptom-free, absolutely not, but much, much better than he normally is, all around. It’s crazy.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us!
Just to be able to see him feel better, and to have him smile and be calm, I needed to tell you guys, because it’s been the best experience ever!