Life After Stroke: Mack, Perinatal Stroke
Mack was born 4/8/16 via C-section due to him being breech. Everything went smoothly, and he was resting in my arms before I knew it. He stayed overnight in the nursery since I wasn’t comfortable being on heavy drugs after surgery and being alone with him. My husband had left to be with our two older sons.
In the morning the nurse said “I made a call to the NICU, I want to make sure Mack is not throwing seizures. I notice his eyes rolling and his blood sugar levels are off.” My heart sank. I’m familiar with the NICU process as my oldest was born premature and spent 2 weeks there. They quickly whisked him away. Test after test was done and days passed.
His 24-hour EEG confirmed seizures and a follow up MRI confirmed a stroke on the right side of his brain. At the time, I didn’t know babies could even have strokes. The news took my breath away. I was told that he may never have use of his left side. I was told he could be non-verbal. I was told I may want to investigate getting a wheelchair ramp for the house because he could be wheelchair bound. It was all very overwhelming.
The “what if’s” slowly took a toll on me. I concentrated so much on the future that I was missing out on the infant stage. I had to learn to take it “day by day”. I’m so thankful for the online pediatric stroke awareness groups. They have truly helped me and my family through this hard time. Mack receives physical therapy weekly and will start speech therapy soon. He started to walk recently and is getting stronger every day!