Paraplegic Pregnancy

‘Early last week I had the wonderful experience of seeing the baby move-not actually feeling it move yet-but if I would lie down and watch, I could see my belly move. Watching it jump slightly from a kick or punch was the most wonderful experience to witness. It was the first time I actually knew for certain that a baby was growing inside my ever-expanding belly… I had so much fun watching the jumps and bumps of my belly that I began talking to the baby while I could see it thrashing around… Transfers are definitely more difficult with an extra 15+ pounds…Sitting up in bed has proven to be a new sport for me as well. Between my growing belly and my violent spasms, some mornings it takes me several tries to successfully sit up. So far I haven’t outgrown my wheelchair, but I must admit, sometimes I take off my side guards to let my hips breathe, it’s getting that tight. … We saw the doctor last week, and he was really happy with how everything is progressing. The baby was head down, which the doctor said is great – not that it won’t move again, but it’s good to know that the baby can get in the head down position. The doctor. said that will really increase our chances of having a vaginal delivery, which would be terrific. I do know that anything can happen and I am working on trying to accept that I might need a C-section, but it would be wonderful to have a traditional vaginal delivery. My husband herniated a disk a few weeks ago… It’s sad when I, a paraplegic who is 8 months pregnant, am the mobile and functional one in our house.’

Muffy Davis, paraplegic External Website that opens in a new window

Filling The Water

‘When I had conceived, my husband and his mother would always say, “Don’t worry, god has blessed you with this child, he will bless you with ways to raise him. Don’t be tense, all will be well…” I had to face a few problems during pregnancy. I had got high blood pressure which had resulted in bleeding. My husband used to support me a lot. And after I was seven months pregnant, I went to my mother’s house to stay. Then mom would take care of me. During my pregnancy I had stopped wearing the caliper. It wouldn’t have fit me anyways. Hence I faced a lot of problem in walking and all. My legs and back would pain. I could sit and stand only. During my fourth month, I remember when I was filling the water, and I got imbalanced and fell. Another time I had lifted the bucket by mistake and we had to go to the doctor. At the clinic I said that I fell because I was trying to fill water. So my husband was furious. He was upset and kept telling me that he would have filled the water after returning from the shop (his work). You know everyday he would fill the water and all and only then go to work. During that time, I would do all the work that I could while sitting. Other work like washing utensils, my husband would do. We would give the clothes in the laundry. I would only sit and cook.’

Jairrunisha Razar Shaikh, 34, polio-affected