Raising an Unwell Child From a Father's Perspective

Raising an Unwell Child From a Father's Perspective

Join Sarah and Ty on an emotional journey as they share the story of the birth of their son and the challenges they faced with his gut imbalance.  From eczema and colic to behavioral troubles, this journey to find healing led them to turning inward and focusing on the gut. Hear firsthand accounts of the painful symptoms their son experienced, such as constant crying and discomfort from eczema rashes, and how it inspired them to delve deeper into the world of gut health. From their struggles to find answers, to the steps they took to improve their son's gut health, and ultimately finding a path to healing. This episode is a must-listen for anyone facing similar challenges or looking to improve their own gut health and understand more about the link between gut health and skin conditions or behavioral troubles.

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Welcome to episode 39; Raising an Unwell Child From a Fathers Perspective. I have shared my story many times throughout the life of this podcast and on social media and today I want you to hear the same story but through the perspective of my husband, Ty. I understand the challenges of taking the lead in your family's wellness, especially when your partner maybe doesn’t understand the connection between gut health and your child's symptoms. We want to make it easier for you by sharing our personal journey and the lessons we've learned along the way.

Our journey has been a long one, spanning over 9 years, and I want to take you behind the scenes to show you the evolution of our journey and how it has helped us understand the importance of nurturing balance in our gut health.

Ty will be sharing his own journey from growing up in a traditional household in Utah, where processed foods and Western medicine were the norm, to understanding the importance of gut health and how it has transformed our family. This is the first in a multiple-part series where we sit down side-by-side and have a conversation about the different stages of our gut health and provide valuable insights for those also looking to take the leadership of their family’s wellness. So, sit back, relax and join us on our journey to better health and wellness.

We will also be sharing this series in video format on YouTube, where we invite you to join us in our cozy little cabin for a more personal and intimate conversation. I will link the YouTube link in the show notes if you prefer to consume the conversation through video. Regardless, we hope that this series will inspire you to take control of your gut health and to know that your journey will evolve over time. So, let's jump right in and unravel this journey together.

Welcome to the podcast. Hi. Thanks. We are, we're very excited to be here. So happy to have you here, and this is gonna be really a really valuable conversation for the Mamas who listen to hear. Okay, so I have shared my story a lot, our gut health journey, a lot on this podcast, on my Instagram, all of only, and I wanted to bring Ty on for him to share his perspective with you because.

A lot of times mamas come and they say, how do I get my partner on board? How do I, how do I get my partner to see the value in nurturing our family's gut health? He just loves his junk food or whatever it is, and he doesn't want to change. How do I do this? So, ties here to share his perspective on our journey with you.

Where, where we all, where we started. And so I'm just gonna kind of give it to you. Okay. Well, Let me just start with like, what makes me part, part of me. I'm, I'm essentially a skeptic and a pessimist. I think a lot of times that's why Sarah and I work well together cuz she's an optimist. She is always searching and hoping and I'm just like, I don't know.

That seems kind of woo woo. , the thing that always works is that she has intuition that drives her in a certain direction. And whether I am a hundred percent on board at the beginning what happens is things change, results occur, and when that happens, it creates the ability for me to just say it. Well.

I, I think she is right. You know, I grew up in a traditional house in Utah. I had three sisters. Have three sisters. We went to Western doctors. We ate processed foods. We I was not a vegetarian vegan. I had no dietary restrictions whatsoever. We had soda in the house all the time. . It was just a regular upbringing in Utah at the time.

And and so when our son was born and he, it was clear that he wasn't well, but let's backtrack just a little bit. Okay. Fill in that gap of like, when we met Okay. And how you slowly evolved. Sure. And we had our daughter okay. We can keep that really brief because the story really. Our gut health journey really does begin with our son being born.

But you also had this transformation getting there, right. That I feel like is important to the story. Okay. So you were vegan when we met? Yes. We were, we met in a, a triathlon class, so we were both active. , but I also was just outta rehab. I was still smoking cigarettes  and, and, but trying to change my life, right?

And so when we started dating, there were a lot of things that I needed to change in my life if I wanted to be a part of Sarah's life. And slowly, and to like really paint the picture of how this works, of what Ty's saying is he's like the. He, I wouldn't say you're a pessimist. PEs PEs, pessimist.

Pessimist. I would say he is like the very practical one in our relationship and I am the dreamer and the optimist. Well, when I met Ty, I saw like an AA book on his bookshelf and I thought, oh my gosh, this guy, his pa, his dad must be an alcoholic. And he has that book so that he can support his.  You know, before he told me that he had gone to treatment and I didn't know he smoked

He didn't drive because he had had too many DUIs that his driver's license had been taken away. And I thought he didn't drive because he was so eco-friendly that he didn't wanna have a car. So he rode his bike everywhere. And this is the nature of how our relationship began.

I think what makes it really powerful. Yeah. So, so this, that's kind of like the, the strong emphasis of the dynamics of our relationship of him being I don't even know how you describe that in terms of tho like with addiction and recovery and smoking and like, cuz the, that's not like the practical, but that's just like we are as far away lifestyle wise as two people could be.

Except we had this, this one thing in common where that we. Did triathlons and I said, I know it sounds silly that I smoked and did triathlons, but anyways, I, I was wor I was, I was doing better. I was doing better. And so when we started dating and we'd go out to dinner or whatever, I would get the, what I would always get, chicken or steak or whatever.

And she always got vegan. My plant, my plant-based cuz she was a vegan when we met. She was plant-based when we met and. Okay. Fast forward to we're married and she's still cooking me chicken. At night you would make a salad for yourself and and I assumed that, that all my evolution had ended. I was married, I didn't have to grow anymore as a human

We would be fairly depressed and. Unhappy for the rest of our lives until some magical thing happened. We became rich or you know, our par, our kids grew up, whatever it was. I don't know. I assume that you just go through this general phase of malaise until you retire and then happiness occurs.

And, but Sarah wasn't ever on that track. She was always striving for. Better. And and so we got pregnant unexpectedly. And it was a life changer for both of us. I think it really cemented our commitment to each other. I think that it made us realize that it was time to kind of change some things in our life and that we needed to grow together.

Now growth.  time, and we are still growing together. But that was like the first like, okay, we have more responsibility than just Sarah and I and we need to, we have to start creating the family that we want. And so at that point, Sarah was very adamant that she wanted to raise her, our family plant-based, our kids plant-based.

And I was not fully on board, but I said, okay, listen, I will become vegetarian. Let's at least take. So he read, he read a couple of books because we both agreed that it was important for us to passionately raise our children in alignment. So one way or the other, whether that's consuming animal products or not, we wanted to make that decision intentionally.

And and so Ty read a couple of books and it became clear. He did not want our children consuming animal products. And that's really a whole different story that maybe we can make a whole episode on the why behind plant-based, because I've, I've not really included that much in our gut health journey.

It's not really a, it's, it's not the key factor. Yeah. It's a big part of our lifestyle, but it, I've never really talked about it on the podcast even because it's not, I'm not here to promote veganism or any type of diet. I am simply here to educate on the significance of our gut health and what we can do to strengthen and heal our guts.

And being plant-based is definitely a big part of our lifestyle, but it's. I That's good to be clear about. Yeah. What you're talking about. It's not, it's not the driver behind Yeah. Anything with only organics or this podcast. Yeah. But it is a big part of our lifestyle, and so let's do an episode on that sometime of Okay.

Of the why we choose to be plant-based. So anyways, so I, I jumped on the bandwagon of plant-based for the Bennett family and.  and I, I wasn't always happy about it, but I didn't really miss meat when I became vegetarian and eventually I didn't really think about dairy either. It just kind of went away.

And so while this isn't like what this episode particularly is about, I think that it really speaks to the evolution of, of change over time. Yeah. And you weren't. Me every day. You have to do this, you have to do this. Mm-hmm. , it was, we created a life. So whether you're we're speaking to being plant-based or to what we're gonna get into in just a minute of being gut health focused actually we're not even gonna get there today.

Today this episode is about our son being born and the first two and a half years of his life until we.  that all of his symptoms were connected to his gut. This is gonna be a multiple part series because I really wanna walk you through this journey, through Ty's perspective and the two of us together.

And so all of this is part of the story though, and this evolution that you had, that we had as a family from the time of becoming pregnant with our first Luna to our second child being born.  really matters. Yeah. Because had our second child been born and we had not gone through all of that, I think that our, our journey would've been very different.

And we had had this opportunity to align on many levels before his birth. And so when Luna, our first was three and a half, our second was born right.  by this point. Our family was, we were eating really clean. We were, you know, we didn't have processed foods in our home. I've always been really conscientious about GMOs and really mindful about only bringing in plant-based detergents in no chemicals into our home.

We were really mindful. We felt like we were doing everything right. And I get this message a lot from moms on Instagram saying, I'm already doing everything right. What else can I do? And we can relate to that for sure. So much we were doing everything that we knew possibly, right? And, and we were, we, we weren't doing anything wrong.

And if your child's struggling with symptoms, you're not doing anything wrong. Okay.  ak. Our second is born in January of 2014, and pretty soon it's clear that he is really uncomfortable. He, the, I had just never seen rashes or somebody willing to scratch themselves so much that they would bleed before in my life.

I'd never experienced it. I'd never experienced.  A child who was so uncomfortable that they couldn't sleep that they had a nurse, it felt like 24 7. And a level of fear and exhaustion that was just overwhelming. It was overwhelming. Sarah and I didn't know what to do and we had no concept of how to get any help.

And up to this point, we had never needed any medical.  help. We had our daughter at a birth center. We had our son at a birth center. Both pregnancies were really strong and beautiful, and same with the birth and our children had never needed to go to the, to the doctor for a medical need. Yeah. And, but when he was born it, it was tearing our marriage.

It was tearing Sarah apart. She was obsessed with trying to find him help, and I was obsessed with trying to help her, and it was. And this awful, it was awful. And, and we clashed really hard at this point. Yeah. Because Ty's upbringing is telling him, go to the doctor. Go to the doctor. We need to go to a GI doctor.

They say to get him a colonoscopy, we gotta just do what the doctor say. Yeah. They're the experts. And inside of me, I just like, I was willing to do anything. Of course, because our son was so unwell. I mean, over our two and a half years of struggling, we did take.  every kind of doctor. Yeah. But you know, doctors would, you know, the first pediatrician is like, oh, eczema, this is really normal.

A lot of babies have eczema. It's not a big deal. Here's this prescription for a steroid cream and ties like, Why aren't you filling that scare, that prescription? He's so mad. Just help. You've gotta help him. You can't not give, put that on him. And inside of me, I have this polar message just screaming at me that, that is not, it's not right.

That's not okay. That's not gonna help our child. It might mask this symptom, but it's not the answer and I'm not, I'm not putting that on his body. We were, we were constantly clashing. Yeah. Because I felt like we need to listen to the people who've told us what to do and cuz what else do we do? And over a period of time it became clear that we, that Sarah was searching and continuing to search for better answers.

And so we went and saw an argue.  and eventually I came on board and said, we can, we just need to find somebody that will, you will listen to what they will tell you. Yes. And so, and in the meantime too, I had hit this level of burnout and our whole marriage thus far. I, I wanted a different life for our family.

I just, I was searching for something different. I wanted something more fulfilling. That was our life. That wasn't the American dream. We had a beautiful new home in a brand new neighborhood with kids all around, and I should have been happy, but I was so unhappy, and our sons struggling. Really put this extra layer of, I don't belong in this lifestyle.

I don't fit in here neighbors. Telling me, Sarah, this is just how boys are boys, just behave this way. Just get used to this. And I just, I felt so isolated and so alone and outside of our lifestyle. Like our family didn't get it. They didn't understand, they, you can't understand the severity of struggle our son was experiencing unless if you are in it,

We were so isolated and alone. And on top of that, Ty was a traveling salesman at the time, and he would leave every other week to travel for four or five days. And I was at home mothering our two children by myself in the dead of Montana winter. It's so cold that the frost is growing onto the inside of our door, and I hit this utter burnout.

I remember sending Ty a message saying, I can't do this anymore. I'm buying a motor home and we're gonna travel with you for work, . And he, well, it was one of those things where I couldn't, I wasn't gonna argue. It was just like, all right, well if you do that, go ahead. Whatever. We were already on the rocks , like our marriage was already struggling so badly, so I was like, whatever. Go ahead. Fine. We're, we're a year and a half into our son's journey at this point, and I'm so sorry.

So I'm recording this. I don't know, I, I mentioned it in the intro too, but I'm also sharing this on YouTube in case if you want to like, come into our little cabin with us and feel like you're sitting here and being part of this conversation. So I'm recording it on video and this notification keeps going off, so I just need to silence it.

Okay. So I assume that she'll. This'll be an idea. We'll argue about it for a little while and it'll peter out. I, there was absolutely no way in my mind that we had, I had worked so hard for us to buy a home and that then we were gonna go move into a trailer. It was the craziest thing I had ever heard. It, it made zero sense to me.

And, but Sarah has a way of just. Consistent. When I have an idea, I am determined, and I have this like really deep, all moms have this really deep wisdom of what's best for your family. And I knew that if I didn't leave, I didn't catch a breath from our life that I felt so trapped in. I was.  lose myself.

I was gonna lose my marriage and I was never gonna be able to heal our child. And so I wasn't backing down . This was like the only answer that I, that made any sense to me. And so Ty agreed. So in the midst of trying to find health for our son, we minimized our life a lot. We moved into an old motor.  and we traveled for four months.

And in that four month period, our life changed for sure. It was probably one of the worst phases that we ever experienced. I was recalcitrant and stubborn. I did not wanna be in a shitty motor home. I wanted to be in our nice, beautiful home in Montana. , I wanted to be around my friends and riding bikes and I was really resentful and Sarah was working emotionally overdrive, an emotional overdrive to try and make me happy.

And we all know that you can't make your partner happy no matter what you do. They need to be happy, they need to find happiness, but I, I was just so grateful that he begrudgingly agreed to do this.  and I made her, I made her pay , but I was, I was gonna do anything to, to make it work. Yeah. And we finally, after three and a half months, we were finally in a area where we'd slowed down.

We were in Yellowstone we were no internet back home. Yeah. There was no internet. There was. Interruptions and it seemed like the first time that Sarah and I were able to sit down and communicate, and I had the capacity to finally listen to what she was seeing. And it was as if a switch flipped because I finally understood what she was trying to explain to me, not just about our marriage, but about.

Work life balance about the health of our child. And it finally clicked for me that I was willing to follow her and do whatever was required so that we could, all of these things could heal cuz they were all connected. They all needed to heal because they were all absolutely. And and something you need to understand is before we moved into the motor home, we had settled into habits that weren't conducive to a healthy marriage.

I was, I would snuggle, we co-sleep with our children and I would go, I would lay down with them and I would not get up at night. Ty would watch Netflix from the time we got our kids to sleep at seven until he came to bed at 10. , I would be endlessly Googling my child's symptoms. Yeah. And what's causing his symptoms and sobbing with fear.

Because I knew that his symptoms were getting worse and he was, there were more symptoms stacking on, and I just knew deep inside of me that if we didn't figure out how to heal our child from the inside, all of his symptoms were leading him to disease. So leading up to the motor home.  were coexisting.

Yeah. And when we moved into the motor home, we suddenly found ourselves, and I didn't know this was gonna happen going into it, but we were in this small space where there wasn't room to hide from each other. We didn't have service a lot of times, and so Netflix wasn't an option. Googling symptoms wasn't an option, and we were forced to communicate.

That's why the first three and a half months were really hard because for the first time in our marriage we had to communicate. There was nowhere to hide. There was nowhere to hide our emotions or our bodies, and we had a lot of stuff to work through. And so we hit this three and a half month point where we're on our way back home, and everything just suddenly became very clear to both of us.

This period of time gave me a break from social pressures and all of the noise around us to really tune into myself. And I've always had a very strong intuition, but when there's a lot of noise around you, it's really hard to listen. And in this break of time, I had space to get.  with myself and how to heal our child from inside of me.

Not all these external voices. So we went back home and dedicated, committed to changing our lives. We're gonna take, so we're gonna, everything that we just learned and we're gonna implement it back into our old life, which within five days where we. , it was the same thing. Netflix was on, I was working on my computer or I had a project outside that I needed to get done.

Sarah was upstairs with the children or sitting next to me, and we hadn't had a, you know, spoken a word to each other in an hour. It was immediately back to it, and we looked at each other and said, okay, this is clear. It's not. Our, the, our new understanding of life doesn't fit into our old lifestyle.

So we quickly , we sold the motor home, we sold all of our cars. We pretty much got rid of everything we owned. We found long-term renters for our house, and we bought an Airstream.  Because we, we were dedicated now to traveling full-time and figuring our family out, figuring out our dreams that align with one another.

And this really granted us, you know, Ty was a traveling salesman, so that's how we made it work. We simply followed his sales calls and where he needed to be, and it worked. It was amazing. For the first time we owned our life, we were not settling for a life that you just fall into. And it also gave us space and exposure to new ideas of healing.

And one of these was we met someone while traveling and she's like, oh, my, one of my best friends is a are veic functional medicine practitioner. . She's amazing. So I was like, okay, perfect. So I call this woman and I s and . I just, at this point, I think you were just like, yes. Like, let, we'll try anything.

We'll do anything. And because we're still so we're, we've changed our life and, and we're experiencing this level of happiness that we've never experienced, but we're also still very broken. Our son is not sleeping. He is breastfeeding. Upwards of 20 times a night, I mean, or just not ever detaching. We're sleeping in separate beds because our son's sleep is so restless.

He's kicking and thrashing all night long, and he's still covered in an itchy rash. As he got older, he was having these behavioral outbursts.  rattled the walls of our home. Yeah. And our hearts, and I mean, it chokes me up thinking about them, but like he would purposefully hurt our daughter and you could just see like the pain in his eyes.

I remember driving one day, do you remember? We were like passing Las Vegas, I think, and he, and we were stuck in traffic and he's in. Yeah, drove the truck and I couldn't get to him. I couldn't help him, and we were stuck and he's like pulling out his hair and screaming and I mean, his behavior was. Soul rattling.

Oh man. Anyways, we were willing to try anything. I signed up for this to work with this functional medicine AUR Veic woman, and it was thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars and nothing was making any difference. Like we tried every elimination diet. We were plant-based by choice, but we are also soy-free, nut-free, corn free, wheat-free, gluten-free, everything free for these long periods of time, and with the guidance of different healthcare specialists and nothing was working and okay.

I want you to take over a little bit here. Well, I mean, the emotion that I'm feeling right now.  what the fear that I had. So, you know, as a parent, all of your worst tendencies. So

I've dealt with severe depression. I've dealt with drug and alcohol addiction. I've, I've dealt with a lot of.  and I couldn't, as I saw my son hurting himself, it scared me so much that,

that he would, that would be part of what his life was, of pain and hurting himself and depression and, and, and it was.

it was really awful. And I'm gonna insert right here in this episode. I have this recording that I share in the course, and it's a story of a time where you broke down. Oh, mama, going back is so hard, but, so worth it. But I do wanna let you know it's likely you're gonna hear a few tears escape me as I remember these stories with.

I just felt so. It feels like it was yesterday. My baby was laying on the bed. My husband's standing at my side. It was one of the few times I can remember seeing my husband cry this way through shaking lips and streaming tears. He said, I just feel so scared. It gives me shivers remembering the sadness and the fear in his voice.

Our baby lay there on the bed scratching layer after layer off of his skin. He aggressively tried to rip his penis off and began hitting himself in the head while uncontrollably screaming. He was intentionally inflicting pain upon himself and we couldn't stop him. After hours and hours of swaddling his arms down and him screaming whales of pain, he passed out in the baby carrier.

I took him to the pediatrician the next morning and was told he's perfectly healthy, but has eczema, which is totally normal for babies. I was sent away with a prescription for a steroid cream. I stood there at the pharmacy feeling so lost and confused. I asked probably 100 questions. I was shaking. My inner voice was screaming at me to listen and to not fill that pres.

The pharmacist was telling me it would really help my baby, and it wasn't a big deal. My husband, although forever supportive, thought I was losing my mind. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to help my child, but this didn't seem like long-term help. I walked out of there empty handed, feeling more confused than I went in.

And so as we're, we're still searching. , you know, we're traveling, so we're also seeing doctors on the road. So we're in Phoenix and we go see get his blood drawn, , get his blood drawn. We're doing allergy testing, we're doing, you know, and he is allergic to everything. And and you know, we're, we're taking him to the blood bank to get his blood tests done.

And I mean, it was un. . And then finally I had been on a wait list for a naturopath ironically in our hometown. Yeah. For many, many, many months. And I got a call saying that they had a cancellation for like the day after . Do you wanna take it? And we were. Over a thousand miles away. And we came, we booked it, we came back and we walked into this naturopath, and I just had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to let everything from the past go.

I needed to go. I was dedicated to following this naturopaths lead. I was gonna let every piece of advice before this time go and I was gonna go all in and.  and I was at the same stage. I was so broken by not knowing what to do. That there was absolutely no part of me that was like, well, this is a bunch of Huey.

It was like, I will take anything, I will do anything at this point so that we can change this with the it within the container though that.  it was gonna heal his body. Yeah. We were not, I, I refused any treatment that was going to focus on any specific symptom. I wasn't interested in alleviating symptoms individually.

I was on a mission to find true healing.  for his whole body. Yeah. Because we, it was so obvious that all of it was connected. He would have these bursts of time where his skin would flare up and his sleep would be worse, and his poop smelled really sour. And he'd, it seemed like he's pooping all day long.

Yeah. And like his symptoms would flare all together and up to this point. . There wasn't a single healthcare professional that would listen to me when I'd say, I just know all of his symptoms are connected. His sleep, his behavior, all of it is connected. Nobody was listening and this natural path did. Yeah, he listened and said, you are right.

All of his symptoms are connected. They are all connected to.  an imbalance in his gut. Back to, yeah, and I think this is the perfect place to wrap this episode up. Yeah. Because I want you to hear it with me and Ty what happened from this point in time where we are sitting in this Natural Path's office to, I've really broken this down into four episodes because there's so much.

Healing the gut. Isn't this over and done thing? I want you to hear about our journey starting to heal our child and what that looked like. And then I wanna take you on the evolution of that journey to where we are today and what it looks like and how we now are partners in this, in a business of sharing the awareness of how significant gut health is. So Ty, thank you for Thank you sharing, and you are always so humble and you're a real gift.

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