Pediatric Stroke Awareness | Northern VA Photographer

One of my biggest dreams has come true.  Parents  & CafeMom have featured my work to help raise awareness about pediatric strokes. My dream has been to raise as much awareness as I can for not just my two beautiful stroke survivors, but for all pediatric stroke survivors, for all of the parents who are going through this, for all of the angel babies who didn’t survive this.  Perinatal strokes occur in roughly 1 in every 1,500 births.  A perinatal stroke is defined as a stroke occurring in the last 18 weeks of pregnancy to the first 30 days after birth.  Though strokes can happen at ANY age.  Pediatric strokes remain one of the top 10 causes of death in children, yet most have no idea what it is.  As you all know two of my three children, soon to be four, had strokes in utero.  Logan having severe long lasting effects, He has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, serious cognitive delays, etc. Alyssa, my middle daughter, had three small strokes that caused some eye damage, but other than that no residual side effects.  I knew something was wrong and I am forever grateful I trusted my gut.  I am grateful I pushed my doctor to listen to me with my first.  Though I should have been heard when I first said something.  With Logan, the first few days (when I first thought something was wrong) were truly just my intuition, there were no ‘signs’ yet.  A few days later the decreased fetal movement & ‘funny feelings’ (seizures in utero) started.  I am grateful that my doctor listened to me right away with Alyssa, minimizing the damage of her strokes.  As soon as I said I felt that mama intuition my doctor brought me to the hospital and delivered her.   Always teaching me to trust your gut.  I am forever grateful for the doctors who continue to help my children thrive.  Not just my children, but all pediatric stroke survivors.  I am grateful for my family who have continuously been there for them and me.  I am grateful for God, for giving me all of my children.  Please know the signs of a stroke!  Most importantly remember F.A.S.T.  ( “F” is for face, often times during a stroke one side will appear to ‘droop’. “A” stands for arms; one can also appear to slump down. “S” is for speech, which can become very slurred or inaudible, sometimes babbling is heard.   And “T” is for time, time is so important.  Always call 911 right away should you suspect a stroke in any child or adult.) I am asked often what would I say to other mama’s who are looking out for something like this or anything else and I literally can’t say it enough, First and foremost, TRUST YOUR GUT.  If something doesn’t seem right, press your doctor to take you seriously. Mama intuition is very, very real .  Be aware of fetal movement in utero as well.  A great site to check out for stroke warning signs, specifically pediatric, is http://chasa.org/medical/pediatric-stroke/
Today, we live very happy lives.  Logan does very well, he is greatly effected, however he is happy, loving and so fun & funny.  Above almost all other things, besides his sisters, he is obsessed with all things Disney.  He often memorizes all lines and we go to Disney World once a year.  Alyssa, well she is a joy.  She is the most giving person I know.  She is a nurturer and oh so sweet.  Alyssa loves all things art, Spider-Man, Harry Potter & Pikachu.  Everyone in our family also loves to be outside.  We will pick this pretty much any day over anything.
 Today I am grateful, thank you Parents & CafeMom for featuring my work, my family and our story, I am grateful to be a voice for my children, I am grateful to be able to use my work to raise awareness. .  Below is the article featured by Parents.com.  Please, please read it and share!  This is how we raise awareness!  We share things like this.  <3. 
{Below that are the photos shared in the articles and a few more, photos I’ve taken and of my family and my littles who had strokes.  <3. }
http://www.parents.com/health/parents-news-now/moms-beautiful-photos-aim-to-raise-awareness-about-pediatric-stroke/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=pmm_891730841_editorialcontent
http://thestir.cafemom.com/parenting_news/204490/photographer_mom_pediatric_stroke_awareness

 

LAM1AMM2LWm1ALYSSA MINELM2alyssa and iLOGAN AND IUS
ALYSSA SWIMALYSSAdisney2DSC_1815DSC_0392-2

 

 

 

 

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