I am absolutely thrilled to announce that about six weeks ago, my husband, Jacob, and I found out that we are expecting our first baby. At this point in the pregnancy, I am just over 12 weeks along, and feeling really good.
For those of you who don't know, Jacob and I have known each other since we were ten years old, have been best friends for well over ten years, and are getting ready to celebrate our third wedding anniversary. He is the best friend and partner that I could ever imagine. We have the kind of love and relationship that I used to dream about. I am so lucky to have him in my life and I couldn't imagine embarking on this journey with anyone else in the world.
I always knew I wanted to have kids and as far as I can remember, the doctors always seemed to be optimistic about the possibility. And even with the unknowns, I really believed I could. At least, I believed in the potential. I have to admit, though, now that it's real and I've heard the rapid little heartbeat and seen an amazing little baby dancing in my womb... It's pretty unbelievable and astonishing. But, maybe every woman feels like this.
I realize now that I did have tiny doubts hidden deep within me - also probably very common for many women. Over the past year and half, I started to even get a little anxious about it. Was something wrong with me that I couldn't feel? In fact, at the last visit before I found out that I was pregnant, the doctor suggested I begin getting some tests done to make sure everything was okay. I remember coming home and deciding to let go. It would happen if and when it was supposed to happen. I was not going to count days anymore. I was not going to do those tests. At least, not now. Not saying that I never would... just that things never work very well when you force them. Especially for me. I'm a go with the flow kind of girl and I knew I needed to reconnect with that. It was about six weeks later I took a positive pregnancy test.
I don't think I've ever been so shocked in my life. I couldn't stop looking at the test. I happened to be home alone, so I had to call Jacob (I couldn't bare to wait a single moment). And I'm pretty sure I scared him half to death with my sobbing until I could manage to get the words out. Watching his joy, pride and excitement in this has been one of the most magical parts.
While there are women out there with spinal cord injuries that have had babies, it sure isn't common. My specific injury makes the situation a little more unique. I am paralyzed completely below T-5 - or a little bit below my sternum, down. This means that I can not voluntarily move, control or feel anything below that point.
I'm very excited to share this journey. While my doctors have little concerns and I'm in really good health, there will be unknowns. From unexpected surprises in the pregnancy, to learning how to live in a wheelchair with a pregnant belly, to figuring out when I'm in labor... this is going to be the most amazing and exciting experience of our lives. The most important thing is that we're surrounded by good doctors, wonderful alternative health practitioners, and the best family, friends and colleagues we could ask for.
Please stay tuned to follow our story of bringing Baby Rhoades into this world.