I Won't Let My Disability Stop Me From Becoming a Mother
Society starts to put dreams of motherhood into a girl’s head at a tender age. Like most little girls, I had a baby doll that I rocked, feed, sang to and put to bed in a crib. That little dream seed grew bigger as I grew older, and began flourishing when I was 7 and my little sister was born. I could see myself as being a mother, little snapshots of an older me holding a blue or pink wrapped bundle. Gradually this dream changed as I came to understand the progressiveness of my disability.
At first the snapshots of my dream changed from me standing to sitting in a wheelchair. Simple little changes turned into bigger ones. I remember my parents telling me when I was about 12 that for me to physically have a child could be dangerous to my health due to my positioning. It would make my health more complicated than it already is. To put it simply, my body is stuck in a position where my stomach completely touches the tops of my thighs and cannot straighten out. Due to this, I have limited breathing space and no room to carry a growing baby. So I will have to have a surrogate when it’s the right time — no problem right? Wrong.
The older I got, the more research I did on my disability. I found it was hereditary and while my parents don’t have the genetic markers, I do. This disability does not run in my family, it was a fluke that my DNA didn’t form correctly. My child would have a 50/50 chance of receiving what I have because my DNA carries it. Questions swam through my teenage head. Could I take the chance of passing down what I felt at the time was a curse to my child? Would I have feelings of guilt knowing it was my genes that caused them pain, exclusion from activities at school and nights of crying because they weren’t “normal?” I was angry that my body wanted to take my biggest dream away from me. I would curse it and wonder why I was made this way.
The knowledge of knowing I could conceive a child but not carry it to full term because of the shape of my body tore me up and still does to this day, but the pain is getting easier to accept. I will always have pain knowing I won’t get to experience what it’s like to be pregnant — to pee on a stick and see the little positive sign, to have the cold jelly on my belly and see the abstract little picture no one can make out except me, to feel that first kick or wake up to go to the bathroom 10 times at night.
Now coming up on age 23, I’m coming to accept my body as beautiful and unique. I still want to be a mother whether it’s through adoption or surrogacy, and if my baby has what I have, so be it. It will get the care it needs by me — an expert in this situation — and all the best doctors. I and others still have questions, like how would I raise a child when I need physical assistance myself? The answer is: I will figure it out then. Life is life. It throws you curve balls and I won’t be society’s typical mother, but I will be a mother. My dream will not be derailed because of my disability!
Getty image by Nadezhda1906.