Thursday, December 13, 2007

paralyzed and pregnant

I've already become slightly obsessed with all things pregnancy related. However, I am going to make an effort to keep my blog somewhat varied over the next 8 months, so that it doesn't turn into "musings of a pregnancy". But today's post is pregnancy related.

The other night I watched a documentary on Discovery Health Channel called "Paralyzed and Pregnant". It is about a woman named Michelle Carston, who at 23 years old dove into shallow water off the coast of Mexico and injured her spinal cord. She is now a quadriplegic.

This story hit close to home because my brother-in-law is also a quadriplegic caused by a diving accident when he was a teenager. Something I didn't know until I met Mike is that there are varying degrees of paralysis in quadriplegics. It all depends on where your spine is injured. So many quadriplegics have some use of their arms. Such is the case with Mike. And also with Michelle, who has quite a bit of upper body movement.

When Michelle was in her mid-thirties she met and married her husband and 11 months later she got pregnant. She endured an incredibly difficult pregnancy and was then able to deliver her baby boy vaginally. I was so inspired by her. She has immense challenges, but her dream was to be a mother. The pregnancy took a huge toll on her body. And the birth was amazing! She didn't want a cesarean. She had an epidural and actually pushed the baby out. The doctor also used the vacuum to help.

Michelle then had a very long recovery, and her husband is truly a saint! He has had to take on the bulk of the responsibility because obviously Michelle can't do a lot, especially right after the birth. I got emotional watching him do so much. You can see the love he has for his wife and son in his service to them.

Watching this documentary made me so grateful for all that I have. I'm so grateful for my healthy body! I'm grateful for my loving husband. And I'm extremely grateful for the little baby that is growing inside me. I pray that he/she will be healthy too.

The film was made in 2005. Unfortunately I couldn't find much updated information on Michelle and her family. If you are interested in watching it, Discovery Health Channel is showing it again Saturday, Dec 15, at 11:00 am.


  1. What? Was this an announcement! You are pregnant! Congratulations! I am very excited for you! Call me!

  2. WOW!! That is inspiring. It really is amazing how much of a blessing good health is. Since you can't help but think of all things pregnancy, take note of her diaper pail in the background. Its an older one, but we have the same brand-Diaper Depot. Diaper genie requires special bags. This doesn't. We couldn't smell ANY scent of diaper up until a year, then it required a good wash. I think that's pretty good.

  3. Wow. How neat. I'm impressed with this thoughtful subject matter you've written about -- my post today was, well...not so thoughtful ;)

    Good health is such a tremendous blessing, something I'm really trying not to take for granted.

  4. That is probably the number one thing I thank Him for when I pray, and the thing I continue to ask for. Anything is possible when your body and mind are healthy - and it shouldn't be taken for granted! Great post, and I'm sure I don't need to tell you not to go cliffdiving.

  5. Um...I think my blog has become musings of a pregnancy;). It's hard because it seems like that is the only thing going on in my life. Anyway, I saw that special too. Amazing!

  6. This fits my definition of beautiful.