Do you know that about 1 in every 1,000 pregnancies is affected by a spine or brain defect? I was born with spina bifida. I enjoyed my growth into a mature woman in my wheelchair. Having been a wheelchair user from birth, I have learned to live independently with mobility products and devices.
Two years ago, I met the love of my life, Mike Austin. Mike was a gentle and kind individual, we enjoyed our married life, we enjoyed sex and every bit of our relationship, and 6 months into our marriage I got pregnant with a baby girl. When my pregnancy began to shoot out I saw people get amused, some were very happy while some are cautious. I met a woman while rolling down my neighborhood on my wheelchair when I was 3 months pregnant, she looked at me and said, 'How did you get pregnant?'" Well, I remember screaming at her in the street: 'I had sex'. How do you think I got pregnant?
It feels like there is no room for inclusion when it comes to pregnancy for people with disabilities, even in hospitals. The first thing I was offered at my first pregnancy scan was a termination because people were like: 'You should not have children."
I had a discussion with the medical staff in charge of the scan about if my womb also has a disability, or if the developing fetus will automatically have a disability because I have a disability. The medical staff said I have no problem and shouldn't be worried. He said anyone can get pregnant and give birth but the important thing is to go for scan regularly to ensure the baby is developing well. I gave birth to my baby at 9 months and she has no disability.
One in every 1,000 pregnancies is affected by a spine or brain defect. Only a few disabilities are hereditary, so it is important to know that people with spina bifida can get pregnant and give birth safely too. I will advise that pregnant women with disabilities must go for regular medical checkups.