Hi, my name is Colleen. I am a T7 paraplegic since March 10, 2010. This is a picture of my daughter, Savannah, who was born on November 9, 2011. When my injury was new to me, I struggled emotionally. I felt like giving up. I cried often and lost hope. It was hard adjusting to being paralyzed. I was 25 years old at the time.
One year after my injury I found out I was pregnant. I dried my eyes and began to smile. It was no longer about me. It was about my child now. Depression was no longer an option. It was time to fight and prepare to be a mother. Most people were happy for me. A few said that I couldn’t do it. I became strong and ready to be a mother.
Since the day Savannah came into this world, my entire life changed. She gives me reason to fight, reason to live. I proved all the people that said I couldn’t do it wrong. Not only am I a mother, I am a great mother! I do everything with my daughter, from feeding to dressing to teaching and playing. I have no nanny and feel no need for one. You never know what you are able to do unless you try. I can’t take all the credit. It does help that Savannah has a great father. Her father is very involved, but it’s mommy who cooks, cleans, and of course, shops 🙂
While I was pregnant, I was always afraid that my child might be embarrassed of my disability, or it might slow her down. I am happy to say that is not the case. Savannah is very understanding and compassionate. She also loves the free ride on mommy’s lap. I take her grocery shopping with me, and she understands that she has to stay on mommy’s lap. I take her to school and to the park. She enjoys seeing new things.
I am writing to let you know anything is possible. I never thought it would be able to take care of anyone, since in the beginning, I couldn’t take care of myself. But I did it! I am woman, hear me roar! I look forward to having one more peanut one day. A child is such a beautiful blessing.
Guest author: Colleen Gallagher, Magee Peer Mentor and former patient