Kisha’s Blog

Empowering people with the knowledge to support their heart health and save lives.

Mommy and Newborn, Meet SCAD Heart Attack

by | Jun 27, 2023 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

At 31, I had a spontaneous coronary artery dissection which caused me to have a heart attack. A widowmaker heart attack to be precise. Surviving that was the easy part compared to what I was about to encounter. Exactly two weeks prior, I had just given birth to my second child. When I was discharged and given instructions on what activities I could and could not do, I never could have imagined that one of the “don’ts” would be to pick up my precious newborn baby. Out of everything I had just been through, that realization gave me more pain than the heart attack itself emotionally.

I was not a new mother so I knew the things that I would miss out on. You take the simple things, like picking up your baby out of their crib to soothe and comfort them, for granted. Yet, here I was, just wanting normalcy and to be alone with my child, but I could not have that. I couldn’t be alone because if my son needed to be fed, held, soothed, needed a diaper change, or just a change in position, I could not risk picking him up because it would mean possibly doing more damage to my already weak heart.

I was fortunate to have mine and my husband’s family to be there for me and with me. The nurses at the hospital in my cardiac ICU were wonderful, but how do you educate someone on how to handle something as rare as my case? They were used to telling older adults how to change their habits, not a young mother who had a five year old and a two week old at home how to “reduce stress” and “take it easy”. To say social support and direction was lacking would be an understatement. I had to solely rely on my own education and the availability, as well as the understanding and compassion of my family. It was so difficult at first. I felt hopeless and useless. I felt as though I was missing out on bonding properly with my newborn son. An overwhelming part of me was scared. My aunt eased my mind as well as my husband. “You survived and you are here. That’s enough.”

Initially,I did not believe it, but they were right. I may not have been able to pick my baby up, but they could place him in my arms whenever I wanted. I could just lay with him. I could be there to look after him while everyone else did the more physical things that I just could not do. Giving up the notion that I had to be the sole person to raise this beautiful being was hard. I truly learned the meaning of “it takes a village”. I had to stop feeling sorry for myself because my child needed me in any capacity I was able to be there. Music became our thing. I would spend time singing to him while he layed in the bassinet or the swing and my designated family member of the day would give me that space that I needed. They would sometimes just place him on my chest while I was sitting and I would just hold him for as long as he would let me. It was in those moments that I continued to find strength and drive to keep going and to truly appreciate the fact that I survived, and I was still here.


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