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Thread: did you decide not to...

  1. #11
    Shannon - your confidence is remarkable and inspirational, especially to anyone who is on the fence with this issue. Yes, you should be proud of yourself and your daughter.

    Great responses everyone.

  2. #12
    I think that if I hadn't gotten pregnant accidently I might not have chosen to have kids because of fear. But now we are considering planning another! Sure its incredibly hard, a tremendous amount of work but the rewards are huge. My daughter has given my the reason to live my life to the best of my ability so I can be a great mom - disabled or not.

  3. #13
    Shorty, having a child has been the greatest blessing I have received in this life. I had almost given up that dream. My son has been there for me in every way possible just as I have tried to be there for him too. I believe that a parents' job is to mainly teach our children to love unconditionally, to be patient, caring and the best as a human being. From that point on, the other things will fall into place. You will not be robbing your child of anything if you can't do everything physically because of your sci or any type of disability. None of us can do everything even if AB.

    My son has learned to be a good father with Isis, my granddaughter. I see how patient he is and feel so proud of him. Patience is one of the things I have tried to teach him always. He has been a patient, loving, caring human being who cares about me and so many here. He has learned a lesson from having to deal with all the problems a person with SCI lives with and in turn it has made him a unique young man. (You can tell how much I love him, huh?) This is something you would also teach a child of your own. I believe it is even more important than if you can't teach him how to jump or any other physical action. Keep this thought in mind, children's hearts and spirits are the most important things in life. They need those lessons first. Love, charity and faith is needed more now in this world's people, particularly children.

    Don't rob yourself of the greatest priviledge you can have, being a father. In turn, you will also place a great human being in this earth. We need more of them.

    And never limit yourself as to what you can do. Try before you say, "I can't".

    Raven

  4. #14
    Senior Member Sh0rty's Avatar
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    For those who did have children, how much outside/extra help did you require to help care for the child?

  5. #15
    Originally posted by Sh0rty:

    For those who did have children, how much outside/extra help did you require to help care for the child?
    I have had my children in what do you call it, kindergarden, when they were small so they could do all the physical things with them there. Another friend of me did the same. She has gotten two children and is a complete t12. The rest of the time both of us have made it alone.

    TH 12 incomplete 12-12-69.

  6. #16
    When my daughter was young, I needed help bathing her. It was when she was old enough to be in the big tub, but she needed to sit in one of those rings (know what I mean?) She was just too slippery for me to be comfortable getting her out of the tub. Her dad and I were still married at the time, so it wasn't a big deal. That is the one and only thing I ever needed his help with. I'm a para though. I don't know about you Shorty? Obviously alot depends on your function.

    The only other thing that I can think of that made me think, "Gee, I'm glad there's an ab to help her with this", was when the training wheels came off her bike. Her dad and I were divorced by this time, but we all went to the park and he ran along beside her. I was definitley needed though - I was there to cheer her on, and take pictures! I thought I might have to kiss boo-boos as well, but she never crashed.

    I've taken her to Disneyland and Disney World. She and I went with an ab both times though. Although it wasn't necessary to have an ab with us, it made things much easier. There were plenty of things that I either couldn't or didn't want to go on because it was too much work getting me on and off the rides (or it was too scary for me!), and so it was nice for me to just watch while they did the rides. BTW, there was LOTS that I could do there.

    There are other things that come up that are frustrating, but you just figure out a way to deal with it. For example, she'll be in 3rd grade next year and the school she goes to was built in the 1920s. It's no surprise that this school doesn't have an elevator, and no surprise there is no money to install one. K-2nd grade classes are normally on the main level, and then 3rd-5th grade classes are upstairs. Since I want access to her classroom, they are going to move her classrooms to the main level for the next 3 years. It will be a bit of a pain for her teachers to move their classrooms for a year just for me, but, oh well! The dumbass principal has whined and complained about it, but again, oh well. He's an idiot in so many ways. I thought her classmates might be a little upset that they were on the main level with the little kids while the other classes their age were upstairs, but kids are so much better about stuff like that than adults. I think the majority of them are totally understanding of why it is going to be done. It's no big deal to the kids. The whining adults can bite me.

    That has been my experience so far. I'm not playing soccer with her or anything like that, but there's tons of friends, other parents, and relatives who can and do play physical stuff with her such as soccer and playing on the playground, etc. Having me there is what is important to her.

    Oh, I was just thinking about playgrounds. Obviously I can't climb the ladder and go down the slide with her. She doesn't need an adult anymore on the playground, but when whe was really young, I'd go with friends (mostly friends who also had young children), and it worked fine. And there was daddy and grandma and grandpa and Aunt Julie around too. If I did go with just her and she wanted to go down the slide with me, I'd just say, "Sorry honey, I can't do that with you. Would you like me to push you in the swing?" It was never a big deal to me, and I think that helped make it not a big deal for her either.

    Once in a while, and just in the last few years, she will say something like, "We can't do that because you are in a wheelchair." She never says it in a disappointed or angry way though. She's simply stating a fact.

    Alive for 35 years
    T4/5 complete for 26 years
    Mom for 7 years

    [This message was edited by Shannon on 05-11-05 at 03:37 PM.]

  7. #17
    Shorty, I also wanted to tell you that I've been a stay at home mom her entire life. When she was a baby, her dad worked full-time and so I was home alone with her all day. When she was 3 or so, her dad and I split and so I was home alone with her all day and most nights as well. I have good friends and neighbors if I ever needed something (which was pretty much never), and my parents live 1 1/2 away, and my sister lives 3 hours away. What I'm trying to say is, it really has been mostly just she and I and it's been fine.

    At my daughter's age now, I guess I would call it supervising playdates, but her friend's parents don't have a problem dropping off their kids at my house, or their kids coming home with us after school. And when she was younger, I babysat friend's kids all the time. My friends trusted me with their babies and young children, and I thought that was so cool.

    And finally (and then I think I really am done!), I never dropped her or anything. She was always on my lap, and she never fell. I remember once when she was an infant, her dad accidently dropped her on her head. He was sitting on the couch and she was lying with her head on his knees and her feet on his upper legs. I'm not even sure how it happened, but she fell between his legs or something and landed head first on the hard wood floor. Another time, he was carrying her down the stairs and he slipped or tripped or something, and fell down the stairs with her in his arms. She didn't get hurt time. I think it only scared her. I always thought it was funny though that her ab dad - who wasn't even with her as often as I was, dropped her twice, and I never did.

    Alive for 35 years
    T4/5 complete for 26 years
    Mom for 7 years

  8. #18
    Senior Member Sh0rty's Avatar
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    I am a t4, I think the thing I worry about the most is the child taking off running and I can't take off after it to stop it. Or having it crawling on the floor and how to pick it up. Not to compare kids to dogs but when my puppy got to a certain size I could no longer scoop him up onto my lap. From the sounds of things Shannon you have done and continue to do an awesome job and if the time comes that I do have children I hope I can do as well as you have.

  9. #19
    My daughter has always been pretty clingy and I didn't have to really worry about her running off. However, there was a short period when I just wasn't sure what she would do, and so when we went on walks, I put her on a kid leash. I was really reluctant to do this at first, but her safety was my number one concern, so I did it. It was only for a few months, and it was fine. I thought people would give me weird looks and I thought my daughter might not like it, but, she didn't mind, and everyone just smiled and said, "Oh, she's so cute". If the kid doesn't like it, you could try putting bells on the leash so that they can pretend they are Rudolf and you are Santa in your sleigh! There are lots of creative solutions.

    Regarding picking them up when they are crawling. Overalls are good to grab. Also, if they want to be picked up, they'll sort of climb up on your chair so that you can pick them up. I'm not real sure what you could do if they don't want to be picked up and they are crawling away from you. Maybe just sort of work them in to the corner and once they are cornered, get ahold of an arm or something. I don't know. I don't recall this ever being a issue. I think the best thing to do would be to let them crawl away. Wait (if it's possible) to pick them up until they are ready. You could also pretend you are leaving the room, in which case they will probably want to be picked up.

    I remember when I was pregnant, one of my biggest concerns was wondering how I was going to pick her up off the floor. I can't for the life of me remember how I got this lady's email address, but I wrote to a para in San Fran who had two little ones. I told her my concern, and she said that what she did was hook her arm around her push bar thing so that she didn't fall out of her chair, and lean over a little and get your hands under their arms and just lift them up. Do you know what I mean? I'm not sure I'm describing it well. If you don't understand, I'll take a picture of what I'm trying to describe.

    When they are infants, they'll want to be lying on the floor often. My daughter was not only too far away to get under her arms, but when she was really young, I had to make sure I was supporting her head. To get her on and off the floor, I put her in a blanket like you see pictures of how storks carry babies (I'm talking about the drawings of storks carrying human babies, not how real life storks carry their babies), and get them on and off the floor that way. It works well. Again, I can take a picture if I'm not describing it well enough.

    As a T4, I really don't think you would have problems. I think the only thing you would absolutely want help with would be bathing. I have a para friend who currently has a baby, and I'm pretty sure the only thing she needs help with is bathing her daughter. Actually, she might even be doing it by herself. I'm not sure. There is a solution to every problem!

    If you're not sure you want children, that's totally understandable. My sister chooses to not have kids and sometimes I envy her!!! Just don't let your injury make that decision.

    It sounds like maybe you are a worrywort like me. This will only get worse if you do have children. I worry about her so much already and I don't know how I'm going to survive once she gets her driver's license. I'm thinking age 7 is probably nothing compared to the teenage years!

    Alive for 35 years
    T4/5 complete for 26 years
    Mom for 7 years

  10. #20
    Shorty, don't let your injury dictate whether or not you decide to have children. My daughter was born two days before my accident and has never known me any other way and it doesn't matter to her at all. She was crawling in my lap shortly after learning to walk and at six years old still rides on my foot rest and the back of my chair. Of course there are some things you have to do differently, but I'm sure you'll be able to adapt.

    I think this little story sums up my daughter's attitude. When she was about three years old, she was hanging upside down on the swing set and I told her she better get down or she would end up like Daddy in a wheelchair. She replied, "can I get one with a horn?".

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