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.


Popcorn House said...

Leah is doing so well, she is a beautiful are so right she will keep doing amazing things. I love reading your journey through all of this.

Erin said...

Amanda you brought tears to my eyes reading this. We found out near the end of Feb for Sean. I can not believe a year ago we were both going through the same thing.

I am so glad we found each other and are helping make a difference.

You are amazing and you are right Leah is beautiful and a true fighter and look how far she has come in such a short period of time.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I'm an emotional wreck after reading that too. It's so crazy how you, me and Erin all have about the same "anniversaries." I love how you said you still get sad sometimes, but that the happy times far outweigh the sad times. SO true. :)

Ellen said...

I'm also crying. I think we all relive our own experiences about the diagnosis every time we read another mom's. One of these days, I'm going to post about what happened to Max, I just know I'm going to bawl nonstop and so I haven't yet.

Leah IS a fighter. We were told the worst about Max, and he's doing well for himself because, like Leah, he has determination. That makes all the difference.

GO, Leah! And go, you. You are a wonderful mom.

Barbara said...

I have tears in my eyes too. Our "anniversaries" are close and I still remember so well the darkness of those early days. It was so hard and I couldn't believe that things would get better. But they did - for me and for you. Leah is a beautiful little girl and I have no doubt that she will continue to amaze you. She's doing really well and has made so much progress just since I've been reading your blog.