Who Is Suchikuchi?
I've been talking about starting a blog for a long time. I actually used to blog when my daughter was really young, sometime back in 2009-2014, I think. It helped me to release a lot of the mental hardships that I was facing. Back then, blogging really helped me get through what we were both going through. But what were we going through? My history of my journey with my daughter's medical issues is what has shaped me into who I am today. So who is Suchikuchi? Let's start from the beginning of my adult life.
I'm not afraid to admit that I got into some trouble as a teenager. I wasn't happy and I spent a lot of time in and out of the "holdover" aka teenager jail for running away from home. I just didn't want to be home and I wasn't respectful of authority. Now that I am a mother, I feel terrible for what I put my parents through and I just hope that I am spared the kind of pain that they had to endure with me. I wanted to be immancipated at 17, but I just moved out anyway. I met someone and fell in love at 18. After a very short time dating and a trip to the court house, we got married. I thought I found the man of my dreams! But, I was young, dumb and naive. He was much older than me and he played on the fact that I was a very attractive and naive young lady. When the honey moon phase ended, I was discarded like a piece of trash. I left him and moved home with my family, only to find out that I was pregnant with his child. I spent my pregnancy with my family and started straigtening up my act. I went to school and got my GED. I read all the parenting books I could get my hands on. I took all the parenting classes I could possibly take. I gave up any food that could harm my baby. I was one of "those" crazy pregnant ladies. I did it all by the book. I knew that I was going to be a single mother. And I was going to be the best damn single mother I could be. I was 19 years old throughout my whole pregnancy and at 20, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
For the first couple weeks of Quinn's life, she threw up constantly. Her cries were pitiful and weak and she was sickly. She wouldn't breastfeed and that really made me sad because I took so many breastfeeding classes and learned that it was the best milk for her. And then, when she was three weeks old, she turned blue and she was rushed to the ER. She was diagnosed with pneumonia. And then at the hospital they found out that she had severe reflux and holes in her heart. After turning blue at the hospital again, she was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She spent about two weeks in the hospital. We found out that she had sleep apnea and Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease, Tachycardia and some heart defects. She was sent home with some strict feeding guidelines and an alert monitor. This was the beginning of a long and tiring journey, trying to find health and happiness. Since this is a blog that I'd like to keep focused on leather and streaming, I will spare us all the super detailed versions, but if you have had a sick kid, you know what we have been through.
For the first two years of Quinn's life, I struggled to hold down a job and to go to college. Daycare was too expensive and so my sister agreed to watch Quinn for me while I did all this. But Quinn just kept getting sick. She kept going into the hospital and needing follow up visits with specialists. I kept having to take days off my job and missing classes. My bosses and professors understood, but I was suffering and so was Quinn. It became more and more difficult to pay rent and keep up on my studies. After three years, I finally heard of a program that would allow me to care for Quinn and get paid for doing it. California is the only place that I know of that has a program like this. I was finally able to go to school a little bit. I still wanted to work though and I was going to try and find a way to make it all work out. Quinn had surgeries and feeding tubes and a lot of hospital stays, but I still managed to graduate from EMT school and pass my state examination. I was a certified EMT! But I couldn't get a job. I just wasn't able to find day care for a child who had feeding tubes and was on oxygen. It was not only costly, but it was a liability. I finally hit a cross road when my daughter was stuck in the hospital for a whole month and I had to decide to be a mother or a student. I chose to be a mother. I quit school and focused on trying to get Quinn healthy. Living off the state aid was not horrible. Quinn was sick enough that it was like having a full time job. She had IV's and feeding tubes and oxygen, therapies. I decided to buy a house that we could live in and I found a GREAT fixer uper! We bought a house and lived off government aid. I was bored every night. Although, I had the freedom of being with Quinn during her times of illness, I still was chained to the house. I couldn't go out. "hey, can you watch my kid? She only has oxygen, feeding tubes and IVs... it's no big deal..." I found an outlet in gaming. I learned how to play an online game called World of Warcraft. I finally was talking to people again. I was able to build friendships and once again, I had meaning in my life. I set goals and I learned how to defeat internet bosses!!! It was so much fun! I really looked forward to bed time for Quinn! Because that meant that I got to raid with my friends and kill internet dragons again! This was great!
But as time went on, Quinn started getting a little better here and there and when Quinn went into the hospital, that meant that I didn't get paid at all. That meant that bills might not get paid and that was difficult! My best friend, who I met on World of Warcraft, told me that I should start streaming. "You can get paid for playing games!" he said. I decided to look into it. At first, I thought it was a little weird that people would want to watch me play. But as time went on and more and more people started coming into my chat, I was having fun with it.
I got to meet other people! It opened up my whole world to another way of being social. But it wasn't just that. These people cared about me and my life and all the things that were happening in it. They were generous and supportive! During Quinn's times of illness, they pulled together and helped me through it. I really enjoyed streaming. But streaming still wasn't a way to pay bills. And I was trying desperately to find something to supplement my income. I started sewing, thinking that maybe I could sew things or craft things and people would buy them! I sewed Quinn an Elsa dress. She loved it and she did look like a Queen! I realized that i really didn't enjoy sewing.
It was when I got my dog, Karma. My pit bull puppy. She was about 6 months old and i really wanted her to have a super nice collar. I figured, why not make one for her? So I did my best to use my Grandpa's old leather working tools and a thrift store belt to craft her a perfect collar! I made something that I was so proud of! But I wanted to keep making things! I started working in my garage for hours! I'd stand in there, working for 16+ hours with no eat or sleep! I was just so into what I was doing. I finally realized that I had a real passion for leather crafting. I LOVED it! And I realized that I could also make this my side hustle if I try hard enough. So that's what I set out to do! I went back to my stream and my guild on World of Warcraft and told them that I wanted to pour everything into leather working. I was so into this and that's what I wanted to do. If I could stream and leather work at the same time, I would! And my chat exploded! They said that I COULD do that! Twitch had just launched a creative section on the streaming website. I was actually able to stream my leather working LIVE! I could still hang out with all the friends I made, I could make new friends and I could learn new things from people!!! And I did!!! I was so happy! Shortly after I started streaming my leather work, I became partnered with Twitch and opened my leather working business. I was taking custom orders from stream and I was getting better at leather work. I met so many amazing people on my live stream. I go to TwitchCon every year, where the community of Twitch and their staff support my work and I get to meet all the cool people that I have met online over the years!
It's been 2 years since I was partnered with Twitch and I have learned a A LOT! I have had many ups and downs with my stream. I've moved three times. I've spent weeks not even streaming at all. I've had a lot of financial highs and super lows. But there has been one very consistent thing about streaming: The people who come into my stream. Who come in and say hi. The ones who have supported me throughout all the years. The ones who continue to come back, even after a year or two. The ones who have inspired me and the ones who I have inspired. Those are the people that matter. They are the reasons why I enjoy streaming. They are the reasons that I can continue to do what I love. I don't make very much money in streaming. But I know why I do it. It's because I truly enjoy touching the lives of those who come in to watch. I love the new people who I've just met as well. Our community continues to grow! For me, Twitch isn't about making money anymore. It's about connecting with the community that we've built together. The community of leather crafters, other creative artists and those who support us.
Quinn is 12 now and I am 32. I stream leather working on Twitch on a pretty regular basis. I moved to Washington, where I actually did meet the man of my dreams and he is supporting me and Quinn while I work to make my dreams come true. I love leather working and streaming and I really want to make a living doing that. I still have Karma and now we have a little chihuahua named Kato. Karma still has that first collar I ever made her. And you can often see her in my stream live too! Quinn is doing so much better now. She has had many surgeries on her belly, but I am so happy to say that she is no longer tube fed, though she still has her feeding tubes and colostomy. She had her IV taken out 2 years ago and she seems to be a thriving 12 year old of normal intelligence. You see, streaming and leather working have saved my life. I found a purpose in my life again. And maybe that purpose has helped us make Quinn better too. I hope you will continue to join me on my journey to health, love and happiness. Thanks for reading!