My experience: Spinal Cord Injury and Pregnancy

spinal cord injury and pregnancy

Janie jones photography spinal cord injury pregnancy

My experience with spinal cord injury and Pregnancy.

The most pressing question I had for my doctors 15 years ago was about pregnancy. I was 18 and being a mom was incredibly important to me. I couldn’t imagine not experiencing pregnancy.

Let’s fast forward 5 years and I was pregnant for the first time. I didn’t know any other wheelchair mommies. I found an amazing doctor, but I was his first SCI pregnancy patient.

The entire pregnancy was amazing and uneventful. I felt the baby kick around 14-16 weeks. We didn’t take any special precautions. As I neared the end, we discussed delivery. I had titanium rods and couldn’t bare down while lying down. I had huge concerns that I would try pushing and not be able to deliver vaginally. We opted for a medically necessary cesarean. I would go in fresh and I would know exactly what was going to happen.

The only glitch we had was with my epidural. We suspected it wouldn’t work and it didn’t. I have just enough feeling in my lower abdomen that we would have to use general anesthesia. This meant my husband had to wait outside the door. They handed him the baby within minutes and I was nursing less than 30 minutes later.

My second pregnancy was identical to the first, except for a placental abruption that wasn’t related to the SCI.

I saw a high risk doctor for my 3rd pregnancy because of the prior abruption. He didn’t feel it was necessary but my regular OB/GYN wanted the extra set of eyes. The entire pregnancy was uneventful. My water broke at 37 weeks, just 2 hours before my scheduled c-section.

We were planning an early delivery after an amniocentesis showed fully matured lungs. If you aren’t familiar with what an “amnio”centesis is, the doctor injects a needle into your uterus and extracts amniotic fluid that is then sent off for whatever test is necessary.  I had the amnio because I started to feel “off” and we wanted to deliver as early as possible prevent a second abruption.

I would have to say all 3 pregnancies were incredibly normal. 

This post also appeared as part of a larger post on the Push Living blog in November 2014 when I was asked to share my “normal” experience with spinal cord injury and pregnancy.

Arbonne 28 Day clean eating challenge: Day 5-8

I really hate all the drastic weather changes we’ve had. It is really messing with my results, or at least with knowing what is causing my results.

Day 5:

8:30 – Hubby came in to tell me goodbye. I was still SOUNDS asleep. I have been sleeping SO well these last few days. WOW! I’m not waking up to drink water in the middle of the night like I usually do. I had another horrible headache. Mostly the sinuses (and probably lack of nightly water). I took claritin and closed my eyes a bit. Nathan brought me milk and the boys jabbered.

Day 6: OH, MY! I made the BEST EVER fajitas!!!! 

Day 7: We ran into a HUGE challenge. I went to my mom’s and thought we packed everything for my meal. We did NOT! WE had to eat out. I had romaine lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette, grilled shrimp and steamed broccoli. Everything was probably safe but if not “going off track” is better than starving my body.

Week 1 results: DOWN over 5 lbs and one inch. Hmmm. That seems like a lot but I assume it’s water weight.

Day 8: I feel SO much energy and focus today! Hmmm

Childhood innocence

I love finding hidden gems. I wrote and NEVER published this well over a year ago!

Oh, how I love the innocence of my children.

I’m sitting with Lucas while he takes a bath and he is talking about bad guys and asks if a bad guy would draw on the bathtub with a regular crayon.

I said no.

He goes on to tell me things a bad guy does:

He will steal things.

He will destroy your house.

He will leave the electricity on while you are gone.

I love it.

The things kids say and how they relate it to life is just priceless.

He then goes on to tell me that he, Will, and Daddy can do TaeKwonDo on the bad guy but Mommy and Nathan can’t.

Arbonne 28 day clean eating challenge: Day 4

Well, we are on to day 4. I think next week I will move to updating every 2-3 days. I’m sure you must be getting horribly bored.

Day 4

8:30- horrific sinus headache and extremely nauseous this morning. Waiting for my tizzy to cool down. Oh a Tizzy is a detox tea and fizz stick combo.

9:00- okay. I’m down. This might be one of my “headaches”. It’s actually more like a migraine but not really?! I don’t know. I feel like vomiting and can’t keep my eyes open when I have one of these.

11:30- I can finally get up and function. I’m starving. I finish my tizzy and I eat an apple.

12:00-I make a shake. I mostly skipped breakfast so it needs to have more goodness in it. I put a HUGE fist of spinach and tablespoon of almond butter with 9 oz of almond milk and 3 oz of water. It was SO good. Nathan stole about 1/3 of it. Ooops.

2:30-Quick stop home and I’m feeling a little hungry. I eat 4 white bean chips.

6:45- I am finally home and make dinner. It will just have to be a little late. Turkey burgers and spinach/strawberry/almond/red onion salad topped with EVOO and lemon. I wrapped the turkey burgers in romaine. Everything WAS so incredibly amazing.

8:06- I am CRAVING a tortilla of breads something fierce. I thought it would be the coffee/cheese and wine but man!!

Arbonne 28 day clean eating challenge: Day 3

7:30 – I wake up on my own (or maybe it’s little boy noise?, I’m not sure!) I’m feeling a headache. No bueno. I drink a little water to see if that helps.

8:00 – I drag myself out of bed and make sure the kids are fed and make my shake. I add a scoop of fiber (it finally came in!!) and a teaspoon of almond butter. I plan on being gone all morning and won’t be home until closer to 1, so I need a little more filling.

8:45- I make a tea/fizz stick/lemon juice combo drink. I make a tea with 6 oz. water and let it sit for about 20 minutes and added it to 30 oz of water. I added a fizz stick and 1/2 a lemon. Pretty yummy combo! Next time I may puree a strawberry or two and add it in.

9:30- I just finished my shake. It was delicious but I decided not to guzzle it so it would last longer. I think that worked.

9:45 – All the moms are drinking coffee and or eating breakfast tacos with Taco Cabana tortillas. mmmmmm Those are SOOO good. The aroma!!! I’m a good girl and live vicariously through them. There are a couple only eating the eggs and leaving the tortilla. I would not have that amount of self control.

1:00- The Nathan boys ate leftover breakfast tacos and when I get home I find lunch for Nathan. I prepare 1/3 of a red bell pepper sautéed with salt/pepper and coconut oil and top it with two eggs. Delish. Now Nathan wants MY food. I’m still drinking my drink, but I’ve since added ice. I need to finish it off and fill it with Plain water to get me through the remainder of the day. Honestly I’m not sure what My dinner will be.  Nathan has gymnastics from 4:45-5:45 and Will has a Cub Scout meeting at 7. That doesn’t leave much time to get home and eat. Maybe another shake?! I’m not sure I will come near my needed calories if I do that though.

Arbonne 28 day clean eating Challenge: day 2

8:00 – I hear Nathan Waking up and Charlie had to be at work early so this very spoiled Mommy has to get up. Nathan refuses to get out of his bed and come out of his room until Mommy or Daddy come in and tell him he can. I really need to STOP staying up late with books because I’m insanely sleepy.

8:15 – My eyes are barely staying open and I have this overwhelming groggy feeling. Let’s try a hot detox tea. Maybe it will trick me into thinking I’m drinking a cup of coffee.

9:30 – highly irritable today. I think it’s time for my shake. Plain chocolate with 8 oz coconut milk and 2-3 oz of chocolate. I decided to watch a training video on Youtube. I picked Debbie Neal’s keynote from NTC 2014. Lucas came to me when I left the room and said, “Mommy Arbonne gives you choices!!” Yes little man, Arbonne can, AND WILL!

10:30 – I am feeling fine now that the shake has had time to settle in. No need for a fizz, at least for now.

11:30 – We just finished Lucas’s school and I need to start on lunch. We have to leave in about 45 minutes for TaeKwonDo.

2:15 – Home from TKD and I need a boost. I’m feeling a little groggy and “off”. Just ask my friend Traci.  HA!! I didn’t eat all my soup. I made a fizz stick with 3 cups of water to sip on.

4:45 – I have to leave in about an hour for an Arbonne training. Time to start my dinner. I think I will have another chicken & spinach pizza.

5:20- Dinner finished. I had the pizza and 3 strawberries.

10:00 – I tried out a chocolate fit chew. REALLY good. I should order some!

10:56 – home and now time for bed. NO tea for me.

Arbonne 28 day clean eating challenge: day 1

First off I need to say that I am INSANELY picky. I don’t eat my veggies very often and I’m rather picky about the ones I do eat. I also like to drown them in dressing and never like them cooked.

I first discovered Arbonne 7 years ago. I feel in love with the skincare products but lacked the support needed to stay active and remain motivated so I quit. I continued to dream of one day driving a WHITE Mercedes.

This past fall I ran into a friend at the store and she had an Arbonne bag and we decided to meet and talk. She feel in love with ARbonne because of the amazing health and wellness products, so I thought I’d give them a try. 

I’ve been a HUGE fan of another health and wellness company but they don’t have the skincare to go with it so it didn’t have the same business potential. I signed up and I’m back on the products.

I am also participating in with a group and taking the Arbonne 28 day clean eating challenge. The goal is to get my body to an alkaline state. That means NO dairy  (I love my cheese), no wine (what the what??), and no coffee (oh boy). It’s only for 28 days, so I am sure I can do it and I am going to allow you all to follow my journey and hold me accountable so I don’t quit.

Jan. 5, 2014: Day 1

7:30- I woke up early, on my own, which is incredibly rare. I stated in bed for about 30 minutes, just trying to get back to sleep. I didn’t succeed but my body slowly woke up. Charlie popped up about about 30 minutes later & got himself a coffee. He’s clearly not doing the challenge with me. The two younger boys were awake and followed him back into the room. We did our regular morning chitchat routine and I finally got out of bed about 8:30.

I can’t put anything on my stomach this early so I did not have my protein shake. I really should have. I did have water.

9:30 – I’m started to get a headache so I made Rolled Oats with Coconut Milk. More than 1/2 of it boiled over in the microwave but the flavor was great. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of coconut Sugar. 

10:00 – I may have woke up feeling fine but the headache is not going away and I really needed caffeine. I had a fizz stick with 12 oz. water.

12:15 – I made a spinach and chicken pizza with an Udi plain tortilla, fire roasted tomatoes (I put them through the food processor), chicken breast from my rotisserie, and daiya “mozzarella”.  The flavor was incredibly close to real cheese. I’m not sure I will eat it all the time but I don’t think I will suffer during the next 28 days.



2:03 – Oops. I just checked the rules (again)and I am not supposed to really “snack” unless I REALLY need it. I never had my shake for breakfast so now I’m not sure what to do. I think I will go ahead and have it anyways. I’m feeling a little drowsy but not too bad. I barely had 1/2 my breakfast and I’m not quite used to this few calories this far into the day. I don’t have my fiber boost yet (it should be here any minute) so it will just be the protein and 8 oz coconut milk. I also took my digestion plus (not in the shake). Bottoms up.

2:35 – I really need to up my water intake. Only 3 cups so far today. I just refilled my 3 cup mason jar and added another fizz stick. I’m not really tired anymore but why not liven things up a bit? It makes my water easier to drink.

6:05 – I’m coming up on the 4 hour rule. Don’t go more than 4 hours between meals. (doesn’t that mean we should snack?! Hmmm….) My middle son asked for an (granny smith) apple so we split one. Yummy. I’m kind of full now. I’m not supposed to eat after 7 so I texted my husband. He’s on his way home. I forgot about my fizzy water that I made at 2:35. I got lost in a book and then a cub scout related phone call. I guess I should try and finish it.

6:40 – I ate my chicken and rice soup. Charlie said he was on his way home and I wanted to wait for him but time was ticking. It was rather bland so I added a little bit of pink salt/pepper. Is that allowed? I hope so. Otherwise it was decent. I pureed my carrots/onion/celery. I’ve always gagged on mushy veggies. I know it’s better if you chew your meals but I have to do what I have to do. It still goes in right? Oh, Charlie walked in at 6:55. 

7:30 – Trying to get the kids in bed. Now the question is whether or not to go to bed with a detox tea?!

8:30 – Kids are finally in bed. I need to color my hair and YES. I need that tea.

The Year in Review: 2014

It’s that time of year. I get to share a few of my favorite posts from the past year and you get to read all the great stuff you missed while you were busy with life. It’s a win-win, right?!

First up, check out all my Project 52 posts. I’m not quite finished but do plan to follow through. Somehow.

2014 review


ABCs of Priscilla

Yell LESS or never.


Laundry Soap Vlog


TKD Red Belts

Pacific War Museum

Irrational Obsessions



Tiger ROck Rocks

Camp Mabry

Hyper Pro


Lucas is 6

Questions from REaders

Nathan’s Obsessions

LTYM 2014


Captain Rex Kinder Diploma

Hawaiian Falls Review

TKD black Belt

Taking Stock

Nathan is 3 today


We are MOVING!

Tips for packing with a Toddler

When kids ask me questions – updated


We are finally settling in


My 15 year anniversary

Taken From My Journal

A Poem from 14 years ago

My visit

My 2nd Visit with Rilee

Blog Elevated, Speak to me


More Details from 9-12


Recue kitty and Baby kitty

What’s my story?

11 funny chair stories


William is a decade?

The Ride of a lifetime on a Bell Huey

Heather Von St. James

I was recently contacted by a woman in Minnesota and I felt a huge bond with her as soon as I watched her video.

I’ve never had cancer but I have had people very close to me that I have lost because of it and I face that possibility again going into the new year. 

Heather reached out at the best possible time.

Everyone that knows me knows I LOVE connecting with other POSITIVE people. Other people wearing “rose colored-glasses”! ;-) Check out Heather’s story.

Guest: Alicia

The most wonderful time of the year.

Christmas is such a special time! I love everything about it!! I get so excited thinking about what I can get my precious 6 children. I want just the perfect gift.

As I read Mommy blogs, I see such a contrast of thoughts. Some feel that children need spoiled like crazy at Christmas time. They buy for their kids all year, so at Christmas it has to be even more extravagant! They spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on their children.

Other mommies feel that Christmas has become extremely commercialized. They worry that their children will miss the true reason of the season and that is more blessed to give than to receive and so they set up plans to serve everyone else at Christmas and have their children out giving like crazy and then will barely buy their kids anything.

I see the point of both extremes, but I don’t like either one. I like balance. Christmas is the season of not thinking about ourselves and thinking of others, and because of that, my kids are “other” that I enjoy thinking about. I feel that I am a giving person and have been my whole life, but if my parents had not gotten me presents I would have been crushed!


Since I became paralyzed in 2009, my children show me daily that they are givers. They help me anytime I need them. Guess who decorated the tree and put up everything I could not reach? My kids. They love to surprise me and do the things they know make me happy. They are normal kids that argue and squabble and they have their own times of selfishness just like we all do, but they are always willing to help me out. I love bottling up my gratitude for that all year long and releasing it on them at Christmas. It is my gift to them.

This year, my kids have helped me plan church parties for other young people. They have went with me and sung at the nursing home and to our community and sung for the elderly. They were involved in our church Christmas programs. And, they will get gifts at Christmas. We don’t spend hundreds of dollars, but we do spend more on them at Christmas than any other time of the year.

I pray that this Christmas is a wonderful season for you and your family! I hope that in this crazy world, you find balance and peace and enjoy every day with those you love.

Merry Christmas!