HI! My name is Kiara! I am here to share a piece of my story with you!
When I graduated high school I went straight to college. I was accepted into a pre-nursing program on track for nursing school. I did not do so great the first year and ended up changing my major 3 times before leaving school all together. I was wasting a lot of time and money. I ended up hearing about a school that had a sonography program. This was it, a school that eliminated dumb elective classes and focused on teaching you only about the topic you were studying. The school required you to pass a tease test upon entering any program. The program I wanted to enter required a score of 20. I some how managed to score a 19 three freaking times… The administrator helping me took it upon herself to show me a couple more programs the school offered, one being occupational therapy. What’s that? Yea I said the same thing! She described it in one sentence. She said “it’s a form of therapy to help individuals who are recuperating from physical or mental illness restore the independence in their daily activities of living.” She then proceeded to show me the OT gym at the school and without hesitation, I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do. I remember leaving that day thanking God for not letting me pass that test and for guiding me in the direction he did, because I knew he had a reason. Two years later I walked out of there an occupational therapy assistant and was hired at my first job!
When I became pregnant with my first daughter at 24 I was full of emotions. Ever since I was little I knew I wanted to be a mommy. Now my dreams were coming true. I had an amazing boyfriend in my life that quickly became my husband, and a little girl on the way. We moved into our first place and we couldn’t wait for her arrival. Our lives quickly jolted when we found out our baby girl was going to be born with a heart defect that would require open heart surgery shortly after she was born for her survival. The rest of my first pregnancy was tough, but we got through it and welcomed our sweet baby girl Aliza Rae into the world! 5 months later Aliza scared us half to death and lost consciousness in my car while I was driving after suffering a TET spell. Basically, her heart stopped for 10-15 seconds. They performed her open heart surgery shortly after this. At the hospital they ran many tests on Aliza to figure out what caused her heart defect. After a couple weeks, Aliza was diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, which caused the poor development in her heart! What the DiGeorge? Yea, after school and learning about numerous diagnoses, I had NO idea what this was!! They told us not to google it and to just see a geneticist. So I googled it and quickly wish I never did.
What is DiGeorge Syndrome?
In PLAIN English DiGeorge syndrome is caused when a small part of chromosome 22 is missing. The severity of symptoms associated with DiGeorge vary. The geneticist was impressed with how minimal Aliza was affected but did tell us she may need physical and occupational therapy throughout her life. Everything clicked right then and there!! This is why God guided me to be a COTA! He knew he was going to bless me with a child who needed me more than I could ever imagine. I was always a little embarrassed to tell anyone my baby had a syndrome. We never speak of it in our household because to us, our baby is PERFECT. She did require physical therapy to learn how to walk and little does she know, but I’m constantly throwing a little OT into her life. As you follow me along my blogging journey you will see tons of Aliza and see how amazing, funny, intelligent and lovely she is today!
When Aliza was 1 we found out we would be welcoming another baby girl into our world! We were ecstatic! 9 months later we welcomed a beautiful healthy angel, Gianna Skye into the world! I am now a stay at home mom with a two year old and a 3 month old. My life is NON STOP. We all know, MOMMIN AINT EASY, Amen! It took a month for me to figure out life and a new routine with two kids. Now that things have calmed down I find myself going a little coocoo in this house all day with my girls. Although I am not ready to leave my girls and go back to work, I do miss practicing in the filed that I love. After working with many kids like Aliza I know how important it is to focus on your kids development. That’s why I’m going to start blogging about all the crafts and activities i do to help my girls development, utilizing my knowledge and background in occupational therapy. This will benefits moms who have kids with special needs, moms with healthy kids, moms with 1, 2, 3 kids, girls and boys…. EVERYONE is welcome!!
Welcome to my blog, COTA MOM!