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Thread: SCI and babies

  1. #1

    SCI and babies

    I recently received an email from someone asking me questions about being an SCI mom. I thought I'd answer her questions here because I thought it might benefit some other people as well. I believe Emi is pregnant now, and I've read some other women are thinking about having kids. I also thought other women who have experience with SCI and babies could add thoughts as well.

    I guess the main question she had was that she was worried she would drop her baby when she was wheeling around. I remember thinking the same thing, but it never happened. My AB husband dropped her once, but I never did! Sorry to go all over the place here, but I guess I should give just a little background. I'm 32, 24 years post injury, T4/5 para, and I have a 5 year old daughter.

    Okay, prior to my pregnancy and during my pregnancy I worried about a lot of things. One of them being dropping the baby. I got a bassinet on wheels, and when she was a newborne, I moved her around the house in the bassinet. When she was old enough to sit up without falling over, I kept her on my lap, but I tied a bathrobe tie around my chair back, me, and her, just in case she grabbed for something or leaned or something like that. Once she was mobile but not old enough that I could trust her to not run out in to the street, I got one of those child leashes. I was a little reluctant to use it at first because I thought people would give me the evil eye, but no one ever did. And she didn't mind.

    Before she could stand, to get her on and off the floor, I would put her in a blanket and raise and lower her that way. Picture a stork delivering a baby. When she was old enough to stand, I would hook my arm around my push handle on my chair and pick her up that way.

    I found that I couldn't reach over the side of a regular crib, even when the bars were lowered. My husband modified her crib so that half of the bars slid open on the other half of the bars. I wish I could draw it, because I can't explain it very well. The only thing is, you have to be really careful that there are no hands or feet between the bars as you are sliding it open. We latched the gate by screwing a total of 4 knobs on it, and then latching it with one of those child safety latches that people put on cupboards. I know I'm not explaining it well so if anyone wants to understand it better, I'd be happy to draw you an diagram.

    Regular changing tables are too high. I used a card table and I put a foam cushion thing on top of the table for her to lay on. It was the perfect height, and I could roll right under the table to get close enough. Again, if anyone wants more details about this, I can find the foam thing I used and send you a link to it. I got it at a place like 'Babies R Us' and it's specifically used for changing.

    That's all I can think of right now, but I might add more later. And again, if anyone has anything else to add, please do.

    Earlier today, my daughter and I were looking at a photo album of her first year and it brought back lots of wonderful memories. There were lots of things about the first year that I was concerned about, but it was much easier than I thought it would be. It was a blast and I never had any problems (except for the usual stuff that everyone deals with like not getting enough sleep). I wouldn't mind doing it again except I don't think I have the energy for it!

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU

    I'm definitely going to be picking your brain for advice and ideas! Picking the baby up with a blanket is a great suggestion, I can't believe I didn't think of it!

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

  4. #4
    I'm so glad it was helpful for you Emi. Pick my brain all you want! I don't think I'd be very helpful in the pregnancy area because I was so sick the whole time, but I can offer suggestions for after the baby arrives. A lot of things you may be worrying about will just come naturally to you once he/she is here. But, it doesn't hurt hearing from other people who have been through it already.

    The only thing I can think of that I really needed help with for her was the bathtub. I was so worried about that because she was so slippery when she was wet, so I always had my husband help with that until she was probably about a year old. Maybe someone else did something that worked for them?

    You are going to have so much fun!

  5. #5
    These are great ideas Shannon, thanks for sharing them.

  6. #6

    Additional suggestions

    Another couple of tips.

    Several of my clients swear by keeping the baby in baby overalls until it is walking. It is easy with an infant or crawler to lift the baby by the overall straps, even with a weaker grasp.

    I know several people who bathe the baby in either the kitchen or bathroom sink. Let the water out of the sink, dry the baby in the sink, and then lift them. Of course you have to have a sink that is wheelchair accessible to do this.

    Also, a "Snugli" or similar baby carrier works great for carrying the baby in your wheelchair. There are ones that you can position the baby either facing forward or facing your chest. Here are some examples:

    http://www.snugli.com/sp/index.phtml

    http://www.babybjorn.com/mainframeset.data,en

    http://www.hug-a-bub.com.au/newframe...ionsframes.asp

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    For quad moms who have compromised hand function, a cloth mitten can be used in lieu of a holding a washcloth to wash the baby. They slip over the hand and are made of soft terry cloth, they can be found at most bath and linen stores.

    Also, there's a catalogue company that sells infant and toddler clothes that use velcro closures instead of snaps or buttons. I'll post a link as soon as I remember the name.

  8. #8
    Senior Member dogger's Avatar
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    and when they get older ..

    a bit of time spent in training is well worth it , my kids work on the same whistle etc my sheepdogs do .[ well sometimes , when they feel like it .]

    just off to give the kids and dogs a roo leg each for tea.
    dogger

    every day i wake up is a good one .

  9. #9

    Oooohhh...I HEARD THE HEARTBEAT- better start figuring this out!

    It was so cool! Want to send me a sheep whistle dogger? LOL

    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow"
    ~ Anon

  10. #10
    Senior Member dogger's Avatar
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    Emi.

    most of my post was ''tongue in cheek '' , but my kids did learn to come back to where i was when i whistled . they thought it was fun copying a sheepdog .

    thank you
    dogger

    every day i wake up is a good one .

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