I`m not a great soap opera fan, never have been. My Mum though is a avid soap fan, has been all my life and I don`t think there`s many that she doesn`t watch. I can`t bare Eastenders, don`t mind Emmerdale but actually like Coronation street as it still has humour.
One of the recent storylines in Coronation Street is the story of Izzy Armstrong (Played by Cherylee Houston) who is a wheelchair user. She has been dating ex-soldier Gary Windass and recently became pregnant, but sadly miscarried the baby.
In the story, Izzy had put behind her any desires to have children, saying she had changed it from a `stabbing pain to a dull ache.` When she found herself pregnant she allowed herself to hope and let her dreams come true, despite fears of how it would affect her EDS disability.
On losing her baby, broken hearted, her dreams destroyed, afraid of her pain increasing during pregnancy, and fears of losing another baby, she ardently decides never to try again.
I can identify with this storyline, as a Disabled woman, as a Mother and as an Angels Mother.
I have many friends who are disabled mothers and each of their stories is different, as are all Mothers. One friend spent most of her pregnancy in hospital, but gave birth to a healthy daughter. Another friend had to abort her baby as they had inherited her disability to a point where they were very deformed and wouldn`t have survived; the same couple went on to have a Son. Others have children that have or haven`t inherited their disabilities and are proud Mothers with amazing children. Most single Mothers, I might add, as most of the Fathers didn`t stay around, maybe not so easy for them to see their child have a disability or maybe live with the extra responsability of a disabled child.
Some of you may consider us selfish to risk passing on a disability knowingly, but a lot of us consider the fact that we as people would understand our disability and could teach them how to live their lives to the full despite it and have lead happy, full lives as we have ourselves.
During my pregnancy I experienced a little hostility while I was out with the Father having lunch. A group of elderly woman where clearly watching me, hugely pregnant. One of the elderly woman speaking very loudly and clearly wanting to be heard said: “People like that shouldn`t be allowed to have children.” Naturally, I was very upset. On the whole though most people were very kind and supportive.
Again whilst my Son was a toddler, I was asked by a workman if he was adopted, I was speachless!
Whilst writing this I asked my eighteen year old Son whether he would have considered my decision selfish had he been born with my disability? After brief thought he said that in the eyes of society it may be considered selfish to let disability continue and not die out, but on a personal level He wouldn`t have known any different, and sharing my disability would mean he`d learn from me, plus it was my right to become a good and caring mother and experience this.
Like Izzy I have been through the trauma of miscarriage, and like Izzy I was scared, and didn`t just worry about being pregnant but also how my disability would affect them and myself; I have 50/50% chance of passing on my disability and am also short of stature.
Each time I fell pregnant I had a mix of terror and joy, I always wanted the baby and would make plans, but would never build up my hopes at the same time. After my first miscarriage happened, I was young, vulnerable and in an unstable relationship, but so wanted my baby, especially as I loved the Father. I lost the baby alone, and saw the foetus, which the Dr told me to `flush down the toilet,` it was one of my darkest, loneliest hours as the Father had not long gone too.
I have since had two more miscarriages, all three ranging from six to eleven weeks, and all leaving a void that will never be filled until we meet again one day, which I truly believe we will, despite not being a religious person. It is not something that ever really leaves, as there is always the wonder of what they would look like, what sort of person they would have been now, whether they would look like you or their Father and in early miscarriages whether they would have been a boy or girl.
I am the Mother of four, born between six, eleven and thirty six weeks, you will only be able to meet one in this life:
Linden Joel/Layla Michelle, would have been twenty five now.
Baby M, would have been Nineteen in September.
DSK is a strapping six foot three, eighteen year old, whom I am blessed to have carried full term and have the joy of being a Mother to.
Jack/Aurora Grace would have been Nine this week.
These are MY children.
The mother angel held you,
carried you above.
She took you to heaven,
I hope you felt my love.
I felt your life force,
as you grew within my womb.
I began to plan for you,
little things in my room.
I held you in my heart,
never in my arms.
I cared for you every minute,
wondering of your charms.
Now in heaven you sit,
with two other siblings.
I hope to hug you all,
I believe in these things.