None of the stories or pictures on these pages may be used without the express written permission of the Pediatric Stroke Network and/or the parents of these children. These stories are copyrighted by the intellectual property law. All stories are original submissions written by parents.

Halla's Story

    In the 14th week of my third pregnancy I began to bleed. A ultrasound revealed a subchorionic hematoma, a blood clot in my placenta. Subsequent ultrasounds showed the clot shrinking and the ultrasound in my 21st week could not locate the clot. I only mention this because I wonder if it had something to do with Hallas stroke. . .


    The rest of my pregnancy was wonderful. I was due on February 1st, and Halla Grace arrived at 9:29 pm February 8, 2000. I had pitocin with my other 2 deliveries and was not anxious to do that again so at 5pm after a day of early labor at home, my doctor stripped my membranes and I went out to eat with my husband. Then we went to a bookstore to buy a book for the labor room. Roger asked if I wanted to go to a movie and I said I wanted to go to the hospital we arrived at the hospital and waited for the triage nurse. At 8:55pm Roger told the receptionist that we needed a room if they didnt want me delivering in the lobby. At 9:01pm my IV antibiotics were started(Im strep B+), at 9:15pm my doctor arrived, at 9:16pm she broke my water. The amniotic fluid was mecomium stained so they sent for a NICU nurse. When Halla was born they suctioned her real well and her apgar scores were 8 and 9 at 1 and 5 minutes respectively. I held and nursed her in the delivery room and then she went to the nursery for a bath and I went to our room. After a while we went to the nursery to see what was taking so long. Halla was having trouble regulating her temperature so they kept her in the nursery for a while. By midnight we were all settled in our room and went to sleep. Halla awoke with a vengance at 2am, 4am, and 6:45am to nurse. In the morning my parents arrived with Hallas older brothers. I remember when they were visiting that Hallas arm was twitching- I dont know what I thought but I remember tucking her arm into her blanket and playing with the boys.


    After lunch we all took a nap. A nurse came in to check my vitals and bumped into the bassinette, Halla cried, and Roger and I awoke. Halla was blue, I picked her up and ran across the hall to the nursery. The nurse told us she had probably stopped breathing, She showed us how to stimulate her if it happened again. It did and we tickled her feet, and took her back to the nursery. They hooked her up to monitors and she began twitching again, first her hand,then her foot and then her face. I pointed the twitches out to the nurse who told us they were seizures and she called the doctor. They transferred Halla to the intermediate nursery and told us they would call us when she was settled. They didnt call and I wanted to know what was going on so we went to the nursery. When we arrived she had stopped breathing again and was being bagged. They sent her to the NICU. After she was stable and medicated the neonatologist arrived to fill us in. He told us she was having seizures.He explained that she had been given a loading dose of phenobarbitol to stop the seizures and she would have tests to determine why she was seizing. It was 3:30pm February 9th. Our baby was 18 hours old. She had a spinal tap to rule out infection, a chest xray and an EKG to rule out heart disease numerous blood tests to rule out blood and metobolic disorders.

    By Friday she was still having seizures and they did a CAT scan and a MRI which showed a small ishemic infarct in her anterior cerebral artery, left side. Our baby had a stroke. We were in shock we didnt know babies could have strokes. Her EEG showed seizures originating from that area of her brain. Friday at noon her doctor determined that I could nurse her! But, I had just pumped and rather than frustrate her I fed her a bottle, this was the first time I had been allowed to hold her since Wednesday afternoon. I was a mommy again, not just an observer. Friday night some time after midnight she had her last seizure. Saturday afternoon she was moved to the pediatric floor into what they call a nesting room, I stayed with her and took care of her! She had no more seizure and no more apnea episodes. On Tuesday, February 15th we took her home one week after she was born. She was a miracle! Halla nursed and slept and pooped! She learned to smile then coo then laugh(especially at her brothers). When she was 3 months old we took her for a follow up visit with a neurologist at Chapel Hill. He spent alot of time evaluating her and talking to us. She has slight delays in her tongue, right hand and right foot and leg. He thinks her prognosis is very good. We are going to wean her from her phenobarbitol after her 4 month checkup.


    The boys are at t-ball with Daddy and I am writing this and listening to Halla blow raspberries and laugh at the bubbles. We do infant massage daily and mouth exercises, the boys think it is great fun to be allowed to stick their tongues out at Halla! She is starting to reach for toys in front of her and she can roll over. Halla is truly a gift from God and we are so thankful for her.

-Roger & Amy

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This page last updated 12/31/2001