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    A CHD Warrior

    Motherhood in general is scary. It can be even scarier when you have a sick baby. My daughter was born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. Her heart defect required open heart surgery for her survival. Imagine that! I was a first time mom with all these new emotions. I had no idea what I was doing and on top of that I had a sick baby. I did not sleep, I did not take my eyes off her and I was scared every single day. She saw a cardiologist every week for months. She did not eat much because it required a lot of energy. We were not allowed to let her cry because it could strain her heart. You try not letting your BABY cry! It was hard and she required a lot of attention! My husband and I were the craziest new parents around. We did not let anyone touch her because if she got sick it could of been deadly.

    On May 11, 2016 my daughter experienced a TET spell. Her heart stopped beating for 10-15 seconds while I was driving, causing her to lose consciousness. She regained consciousness shortly after. Her little heart was telling us it was time and it could not wait much longer. Aliza received open heart surgery May 16, 2016! She was only 5 months old. They repaired all four areas in her heart. That 4 hour surgery was the worst 4 hours of my life! The days following were even worse. She was in a lot of pain and there was nothing I could do about it. She spent 5 days in the CICU and 2 in a regular room before we could take her home!

    Aliza is now 2 and a half and is doing better than ever! She is so beautiful, intelligent, bright and loving. I thank the lord every day for her life and for the technology, medicine and doctors that saved her life! The scar on her chest reminds me of her strength. She is a true CHD warrior ! Her battle with CHD will never be over but she kicks its ASS everyday !! To any mamas with sick babies, STAY STRONG. They need YOU more than anything!

    -Kiara

    Check out her blog for the full story and photos www.cotamom.com

    "Young" Mom

    So I guess I would be considered a “young mom” to most, I got pregnant at 20 years old after only knowing my child’s father for a short amount of time; and while she wasn’t planned I know that there was a plan for me and that’s why she is here.

    Emma is 10 months old now and these past 10 months have been some of the most difficult I’ve ever experienced, yes motherhood is hard but I believe I’ve had such a hard time because being so young everyone has wrote me off. While pregnant I got comments left and right on “are you sure you’re ready for this?”, “you’re so young maybe you should just take care of this and do it later”. I knew in my heart I was ready to be a mom, and then once she was born everything got so much worse.

    While nursing we were having issues left and right and I saw so many lactation consultants for them all to tell me “it’s just not working maybe you’re just not ready for it” so instead I did research and I figured it out myself.

    These past 10 months have been filled with rude comments, unsolicited parenting advice, bashing, and the list goes on and on. But they have also been filled with, belly laughs, baby snuggles, smiles, and so much joy. The comments don’t get to me as much as they used to, I’m at peace now knowing that I’m the best mom I could possibly be.

    -Brittany, @thewonderfulworldofemmagrace