Becoming a Mother with Cerebral Palsy

Becoming a Mother with Cerebral Palsy

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Ten years ago, I became a mother for the first time. Being a mother had always been my dream and goal ever since I was five years old. To me, cerebral palsy wasn’t a factor in my decision. I knew I had love and knowledge so everything else would fall into place.

Before my husband and I decided to have a baby, I did do my research. Unfortunately, ten years ago, pregnancy with a disability wasn’t known to happen. I asked my doctor and she told me that she knew my body could handle it, but she didn’t tell me anything else because she simply didn’t know.

My husband and I decided we both wanted a child so we put the ultimate decision in God’s hands and took whatever challenges as they came.

Little did we realize that the challenges would begin during the first month of pregnancy. It was the first Saturday in February when my husband talked me into taking a pregnancy test. I felt reluctance because we’d been trying for a while and I was so sick of seeing negative tests. But I finally agreed. And, to my surprise, the test was positive!!! The next step was to find an OB to eventually deliver the baby. That’s when the fun began.

For my very first appointment, the staff treated me as if I was a mentally challenged victim. No one seemed happy for me even though I felt over the moon when I saw her tiny self on the ultrasound for the first time. Most of the appointment was doom and gloom. I had a difficult time imagining what they (the clinicians) would be like when it came time to deliver the baby!

A few days after the appointment, I received a jolting telephone call. It was from Children and Youth Services saying that they heard that I was pregnant and if they could visit me! My pulse raced with fear and anger. No one had the right to come to judge my ability to be a good mother based on having cerebral palsy. I found out that the OB’s office are the ones that gave them permission without my knowledge or consent. When I asked them about it, they responded that they do that to all of the new mothers. I knew that wasn’t true.

My search for a new doctor was emotionally draining. No one seemed to want me due to a potential malpractice case. Finally, I went with a recommended OB and made an appointment. He was very open and honest with us. He said that even though he never had a woman with cerebral palsy give birth before, he was willing to have me as a patient. I felt at ease.

Along with my OB, I also had a high risk pregnancy doctor on my side. The good part about that was being able to see my baby on ultrasound more often. I never knew such love until I saw her moving all around inside me. She was amazing to watch, and it is amazing knowing that she’s mine.

It is difficult to tell people if cerebral palsy affected my pregnancy or vice versa. Since I’ve had cerebral palsy all of my life, comparing is impossible. I can say that I was nauseous and had difficulty gaining weight. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I experienced horrible pain in my right arm that immediately went away when I delivered.

On September 20, I thought my water was breaking and all day I felt twinges of pain. My due date was a few weeks off but she was ready! When at the hospital, the nurses said my contractions were very close together. But they didn’t really bother me. I planned on not having a C-section, but we all decided that due to my spasticity, a C-section would be a better option. The doctor also said that I would see my daughter a lot quicker!

So, at 2:58am on September 21, I met my daughter face to face for the first time. She was absolutely perfect at 5 pounds, 8 ounces and 19-inches long. I can’t believe it has been ten years since, and she still amazes me.

Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy. 

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Jessica Grono is an educator, speaker and writer. Jessica has a degree in Education. She is a wife and mother of two children. Jessica has several blogs because she enjoys educating people on breast cancer, cerebral palsy, parenting and general knowledge. Jessica is former Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania. Check out her web site at http://jessgrono.com

3 comments

    • Nichole says:

      Hi my name is Nichole. I’m 39 years old with a mild to moderate case of spastic Cerebral Palsy. I can walk without assistance or devices I have two daughters. My first daughter Zoe is 12 years old with an IQ of 132 and is in the gifted program at her school. I gave birth to her by C-section in 2005. She was 9 pounds 1 3/4 ounces. I was in labor with her for 26 hours and wouldn’t dilate past 8 centimeters so I had a c-section. I developed tachycardia when I was 5 months pregnant with Zoe. After I gave birth to Zoe my tachycardia never went away so I had to go on heart medication. I got pregnant with my second daughter Alexis at 36 years old with high blood pressure,tachycardia and Cerebral Palsy. So I was a high risk pregnancy right at the very beginning. I had to go for genetic testing because I was over the age of 35 and all my genetic testing came back normal. I had to take a baby aspirin everyday to prevent blood clotting because of me having high blood pressure and I had to take a blood pressure medication called labetalol for my high blood pressure. By the end of the pregnancy I had to get a ultrasound twice a week because of the high blood pressure. I was supposed to get a scheduled C-Section, but it turned out to be a natural birth without an epidural or any drugs. It turned out that she came two weeks early and by the time I got to the hospital she was born within an hour vaginally. She was a bit smaller than my first daughter and I think it was because I had high blood pressure before I even got pregnant with her. She was 6 pounds 5 ounces when she was born. None of my daughters have Cerebral Palsy.

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