It is important to find a physician who understands your unique situation. Many women with SCI report this being the hardest part.
Planning to have children is an important decision that most women will make at some point in their lives. The decision is not always easy and it becomes increasingly difficult for a woman living with a disability. Fortunately, with increased awareness and support, all women can have the family they desire. Women living with spinal cord injuries (SCI) may have some unique challenges, but that does not mean that they cannot become pregnant and deliver naturally.
Jen Goodwin did everything she was supposed to do — she graduated from college, bought her first house and accepted her dream job in Little Rock. Then in 2008 she decided to spend a June day on Lake Hamilton with her neighbor.
The two were boating around the lake, looking at the lights bouncing off the surface when he, standing on the edge of the boat, fell.
His head slammed onto the back of her neck, and she immediately knew that something was off.
BABY Reagan stretches his hands as he lies on a pillow on his mother’s lap.
Nicole Crawford gently kisses his fingers, wondrous at the miracle that is his birth. She can only feel and touch him with her kisses.
She wishes she could hold her newborn baby in her arms, but as a quadriplegic she cannot.
Ever since she was a little girl, Ms Crawford dreamt of being a mum one day, but at age 18, a car accident robbed her of any chance of a normal life.
As each of her children grew inside her womb, Joni Vanderwoude felt nothing — not the fluttering first kicks in the beginning, not the bulging of her belly as it stretched to the size of a basketball, not the piercing contractions of labor that usually signal it’s time.
A car accident 16 years ago left Vanderwoude paralyzed from the neck down, unable to walk, cough or even scratch her own nose without someone to do what her own body could not. But Vanderwoude, of DeMotte, Ind., has never dwelled on the limitations of being a person with quadriplegia. Two years after the accident, she married her high school sweetheart. Four years after that they began trying to have children — a medical possibility for most women who suffer from spinal cord injury, despite what people might assume.
There are 27 million women with disabilities in the United States according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many of these women will have babies independently and the old fashioned way, via cesarean or natural birth. The number of woman on social media who are pregnant on wheels is like a positive epidemic. These ladies are making love and making babies! Of course, these days, we can share the news, progress, and images every step of the way. This gives hope, inspiration, and courage to those who are following.
BENTON (KATV) – Finishing your second year of law school while single and pregnant certainly can’t be easy. Add on the fact you’re a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair and it may seem impossible – but that’s exactly what Jen Goodwin is doing.
Seven years ago, Jen Goodwin was in a boat on Lake Hamilton when an accident on board resulted in C5 & C6 spinal cord injury, leaving her paralyzed from the neck down.
Three years ago, she gave birth to twin girls at Hamilton’s McMaster University Medical Centre, an event so rare that her care team did not know of another similar case.
Emma Whelan wants a cuddle.
There are strangers in her house and the three-year-old needs the protection of her mother’s lap.
She scrambles up her mother’s legs, grabbing the wheelchair for support, and settles into the crook of her mom’s shoulder.
“The accident made me want kids even more.” -Rachelle Friedman
Knightdale, NC — Rachelle Friedman loves to shop. The problem is she doesn’t know if she should buy baby clothes for a boy or a girl.
“Who knows what it’s going to be? I don’t know what I’m leaning toward. There’s good in both. I’d be happy either way,” says Friedman.
Rachelle is expecting her first child with the help of a surrogate.
Missy Jenkins was paralyzed from the chest down in the 1997 Heath High School shooting. Her faith, courage and determination enabled her to forgive the shooter and move forward with her life. Today she is an inspiration to people worldwide, and shares her positive message in I Choose to be Happy: A School Shooting Survivor’s Triumph Over Tragedy.
HOUSTON (KTRK) — Every parent feels their infant is a miracle, but a three-week-old baby named TJ may be even more deserving of the label. His mother was pregnant with him when she was in a car crash that killed two people and left her paralyzed.