Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bathtime Fun!

Please excuse my horrible singing!!! But enjoy her adorable singing! :)

Play-Doh Therapy!

Leah had a great time playing with Play-doh today! It was her first non-therapy time playing with it.

She brought some of her therapy into it, by making towers on her left hand! Too cute!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Both Hands!

Leah has really been using her left hand a lot more lately! It's amazing to watch her, it's almost as if something just clicked! She had literally ignored "lefty" for 16 months and then one day realized that she had 2 hands! She still does not have an active grasp, but I think in time that will come. She really tries so hard to put things in her hand or grab things with lefty. It's fantastic!!

Awhile back, I remember reading a blog post about someone giving their child a sippy cup without handles to promote two-handed use. I thought this was great, so back then I went out and bought a sippy cup without handles. I filled it just a little bit and gave it to Leah, she FREAKED out! She couldn't figure out how to pick it up and how it worked, she ended up getting so frustrated that I decided that it was not the time to for this kind of sippy cup. Last week, I decided we should try it again. This time was much better!! She immediately tried to pick it up with one hand, but realized that it would be too difficult, so she used 2 hands! I was so excited that she was able to do it!! She has been drinking from a sippy cup without handles so nicely ever since!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And so it begins!

Today Leah got casted for her braces. Like I mentioned in my previous post she will be getting an AFO on her left leg and a SMO on her right. I can't believe that I'm totally ok with all of this! The amount of time we've been waiting for them has given me a lot of time to accept it and understand it.

Leah was fantastic during the casting! She only fussed a few times! It was so nice to be able to do it out of our house. Leah was comfortable with Barney on TV, a snack and a drink! It took about a half hour from start to finish. Now we wait for the braces to get here, shouldn't take more then a couple weeks!

My favorite part--designing her braces! This will probably be the only brace I ever completely decide on my own! By the time she is ready for her next one, I'm certain she will want to choose!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We have FINALLY been approved for Leah's braces!!! Thankfully it didn't take too (only a month as opposed to 2 months)long! Tomorrow, Leah will be casted for the braces (AFO on her left and SMO on her right), let's hope she sits nicely for the lady. We are fortunate to be able to do it out of our house and have the PT come here to do it. So, I'll plop Leah in front of the TV and hope that Barney or Elmo takes her attention off of what the therapist is doing. I'm looking forward to picking out the patterns and colors, hey--if my baby has to wear braces you better believe they are going to be the cutest darn braces you've ever seen! After tomorrow, we wait another week or two and then the braces should be here!

I'm getting nervous about finding shoes for Leah. She has never had a pair of real shoes and my PT has warned us that finding shoes to fit over the braces could be difficult! I'm hoping that I can find some good (and cute!) shoes easily once we get the braces!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese

We went to Chuck E. Cheese today for Leah's first time! It was way crowded because of Presidents Day, but Leah had a blast! We went with my little sister, Shelby, who is Leah's most favorite person in the world!

Leah was fascinated with the dancing and singing Chuck E! She was so excited by it!!!
When she saw him start to dance and sing, she yelled: OH!!!!!!

Leah could not take her eyes off of him!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Baby...

(Disclaimer: I am not pregnant! Just wanted to make sure that is loud and clear! :))

I feel very lucky to have found an amazing group of friends in my community. They are all young couples, with one child. Avi and I pretty much fit right in when we first moved here. I love that we get together on the weekends as families,I have playdates with the stay at home mommies during the week, our husbands play softball and basketball together and our kids will grow up together. It has just worked out beautifully.

We all have children that are different ages, ranging from 3 to 3 months. Naturally, the progression would be to start adding on to our familles. So, that is what is happening now. I have quite a few of my friends who are now expecting their second child. (In the process of writing this blog, I got a phone call that another friend is expecting!) I'm thrilled for them, but I can't help but feel a bit jealous.

Leah is 16 months now, I don't think we are in the position for another baby right now (of course, if it happened we would be thrilled). Not only do I think that we are not in the position for another baby, but I don't think that I am emotionally ready for one.

Honestly, I am terrified. I am so afraid of carrying another baby and having something happen to that child. I am so jealous that my pregnant friends don't have these fears. While, I'm certain that they have some fears, they all have typical first children, so now they are pregnant and are blissfully taken to their happy place. I loved being pregnant with Leah (minus the morning, noon and night-sickness), I enjoyed it and was at that happy place. I just don't know if I'll be able to get there with my next pregnancy. I can only imagine that my fears would get the best of me. I find some comfort in knowing that I will be high-risk and monitored closely, but the what-if's are still VERY real.

I've done testing, it all came back perfect, minus the MTHFR which my doctor said presented itself in so many people (I think 60% of people) that it wasn't a cause for concern. The only conclusion anyone has had was that Leah's stroke was a fluke. But, how do I know it won't happen again?!

On a different note, I need to take into consideration, Leah, when thinking about adding to our family. How will it effect her to have a typical (god willing) sibling close in age? Will it push her to do more or have the opposite effect? Will she resent us because she has these special needs and her sibling doesn't?

Maybe it's just going to take me more time to get used to the idea of having another baby at some point. Which is exactly the reason for us not expanding at this time, well that and Leah is only 16 months old...I want to enjoy her as my little baby for bit longer!! I just can't shake the fears and the thoughts that I have all the time. Before I had Leah, I dreamt of having a large family and slowly that idea is fading into the background. I hate that I'm letting my fears get the best of me, but I just don't know what else to do.

I know a lot of you that read this blog have thought about expanding (or have expanded) your I'm curious of your thoughts? How have you gotten past the fears? What tests did you have? Before we even consider trying, I need to know that I've done everything I could to prevent this from happening again.

Thanks for letting me vent! With all the happiness that I feel for all of my dear friends, I can't help but feel that bit of sadness for us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


One year ago, I remember thinking that something was not right. I watched my little baby play on the floor and swat things with her right hand while her left hand just stayed still. At Leah's 4 month appointment with her pediatrician I decided to ask about it. He said that he didn't think it was anything but that we should get it looked at by an OT and a PT. I'm so grateful that he didn't brush us off and promptly got us a script for a therapy evaluation.

After that day, our lives changed. We were thrown into a world of doctors and therapies, of braces and splints, of CT scans and casting. It all happened so fast. After the evaluation, I jumped on the internet and saw things that I never thought I would see. I remember calling my husband crying and telling him I thought she had some kind of genetic disease and I remember calling my mom crying and telling her I found something else that it could be. I searched and cried and searched and cried, until I couldn't search and cry anymore. That week I cried more tears then I have ever cried in my life.

After we saw the OT and PT, we were refereed to a neurologist. I've never been as scared in my life as I was to go into that appointment. Before the appointment, I remember calling our pediatrician and asking him what he thought it could be. He said so matter-of-factly, oh it could be a brain bleed or a stroke. I remember thinking, A WHAT!?! My sweet baby, bleeding in her brain or having a stroke!

The neurologist was wonderful and very reassuring, she said that she wanted Leah to either have a CT scan or an MRI. We obviously opted for the CT scan, as with the MRI she would have to be put under. The neurologist said as long as they can read the results clearly on the CT scan we wouldn't have to do an MRI. After the CT scan, we left and a few days later we go a phone call that changed everything.

"Hello, can I speak to Amanda"

"Yes, this is"

"Hi, this is Dr. H, Leah's Neurologist"

"Yes..." The tears are running down my face.

"We got the results of Leah's CT scan, it turns out your daughter had a stroke, sometime in-utero."

...breath Amanda, breath... Stop crying and form words, you new this was a possiblity and no matter how hard you prayed that it wouldn't be reality, it is...get yourself together....

"Ok, Dr., what does this mean for her?"

"We'd like for you to come in again and we can't discuss, but definitely get her into therapy as soon as possible."
Within 10 minutes of that conversation my pediatrician called us as well and told us he was faxed over the results of the CT scan.

We started OT weekly and Leah has progressed from there.


When I think about those early days, I'm filled with those early emotions. The emotions ranging from pure and utter sadness to anger and heartbreak. I was down so far and I didn't know how I would get up. My daughter had a stroke, I thought the world was ending.

Little did I know, that Leah was a fighter. She won't let a stroke stop her. My emotions have drastically changed within this year. I'm not going to lie, sometimes I cry and sometimes I'm sad, but my smiles and happiness far out way the sad times. My daughter is strong. She will be able to do whatever she puts her mind too. I can't wait to look back on the anniversary of the day we got the news, in 5 years and see how amazing Leah is doing.