Paralyzed and Pregnant!
by Jamie Goodwin
Holy Rollin' - Jamie's Blog
I have so many people (mainly women) that want to know the skinny on what it is like to be paralyzed and pregnant. Well, here ya go – I’m not beating around the bush here because I want you to know what it is really like. Who knows, there might be a reader out there who is in my same situation and has lots of questions. When I was pregnant with my oldest (7 years ago) I certainly had lots of questions, however there wasn’t much info out there with answers. I did a lot of research on doctors in my area, but it wasn’t until I lived through my first pregnancy, did I know what it was truly about. So, here is the low-down. Please don’t hesitate to ask me questions. I know God has allowed me to go through this to not only have amazing children and a great story, but to educate as well.
- It’s tough. Now, I have NO CLUE what it is like to be able bodied and pregnant, but I do know that it is difficult for me. I also know that each woman is different and goes through their pregnancy differently. Some have more problems than others. So, when you read this, please know I am ONLY speaking from what I have been through.
- Getting pregnant. I’m sure my mom or mother-in-law will not want to read this part, however I know you all have questions. Thank the Lord I am married to an AMAZING man who loves me no matter what. He really, really is a gift to me. This is what I often tell people who ask me about getting pregnant – It’s great because I can’t feel having the baby (side note: and neither can most of you because you get an epidural), but I can’t feel making the baby either! Yep ladies, I’m paralyzed and it’s not selective on what I can and cannot feel. However, I can still feel kisses and they are better than sex any day! Can I get an amen!!
- Not much physical rest. Like I said before, I KNOW all pregnant women have issues, however I feel very limited as far as resting my body goes. See, when an able bodied woman needs to rest, or just get off her feet, she can sit down, and if she needs more rest she can even lie down. I, however, can only lie down. I only have one other way to rest my body. I stay in the SAME position from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. all day. I don’t get any rest from this position. So, when I lay down at night, it is like heaven…of course, until Will starts to snore
- Can I feel the baby move? Yes! I actually love being able to feel him move and am very grateful for those big kicks and stretches. Now, I can’t feel every movement, just the really big ones or ones where I put my hand on my belly. My paralysis affects my whole stomach area, so I have no feeling, however if the movement is big enough, I can feel a little sensation in that area. From what I hear from most moms you pretty much feel every movement the baby make and it keeps you up at night. I can’t feel that much movement…just every now and then.
- Things that make me nervous. Putting my wheelchair together. I have to bend way over to put my wheels on my chair and it makes me nervous that I am somehow smashing the baby. So, I always try to have help when I am going places. Ean has even learned how to put the wheels on so I don’t have to do it. He is such a helper! I also get nervous about doing transfers in and out of the car or onto the bed. I’m sure this baby feels like he is on a roller coaster half of the time because I have to do so many big movements to get in and out of my chair. I know he is ok, but I still get a little worried thinking about possibly hurting him.
- One thing that really bothers me. When people tell me I don’t look pregnant. People say that is a compliment, but to a mom who wishes she could stand up and look like a normal pregnant mom, it is NOT a compliment. I know my belly is a lot bigger than usual so it makes me think that people think I look like this all the time! I realize that sitting down makes it look more decieving, but please don’t tell me I don’t look pregnant. I am very much so and getting bigger and bigger every day!
- Dr. visits. My doctor is great. He has delivered both of my boys and will most likely be there for my last baby. However, as cool and amazing as my doctor’s office is (one of the doctors is an avid collector of many sought after and rare objects and they are displayed throughout the office), it is not very accessible. So, Will has to go with me to EVERY Dr. visit. He has to pick me up and put me on the table. He is my hero and I love that he comes with me to every visit. It means so much to me.
- Labor and delivery. The one question I am asked the most is about delivering the baby. Most people assume that I have to have a C-section, but that is not the case. With my first baby, the Dr. wanted to use suction, but I asked the nurse to ask Dr. Windom if I could try pushing, and he said YES! I have been induced a week early with both boys and will be with this one. My Dr. does not want to chance me going into labor and possibly not feel it. However, I think I would definetely know if something was going on! Also, I am even given an epidural to control my blood pressure and muscle spasms. I can’t feel them giving me the epidural so that is a positive! I’m hooked up to all the monitors and can even tell when I am having a contraction. It is amazing that I am paralyzed and get an epidural and can STILL tell you when I’m having a contraction! That’s double the dose of non-feeling and still being able to tell. That just goes to say God was not kidding around when he said women would have pains in childbirth! With Ean I got to push for 45 minutes before he was born and Spencer dediced to make his debut in the normal Spencer way and so I didn’t have to push any with him. The nurse was frantic that she would have to deliver him if my Dr. didn’t get there in time! So, needless to say, I have had two very wonderful experiences in the delivery room and I can’t wait to do it again! Seriously, it is one of the most amazing moments of my and Will’s life and we love that God has blessed us with our children. I think it is absolutely incredible that a paralyzed woman can have children! I can’t thank God enough for allowing me to do this 3 times!!!