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My Pregnancy and labour – Joy Addo

By | Disability, Lifestyle, My story

I found I was pregnant at work one afternoon and to say I was shocked would be an understatement. I remember it like it was yesterday, the fear and shock that I felt was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I asked my  friend Lauren to take a walk to the pharmacy with me that day, I told her my period was late and just wanted to rule out pregnancy, so being the friend she is she said sure of course. When we got back to the office I remember telling her to go and continue working and I did the test on my own I’m the toilet. 

When I looked at the test I saw 2 lines, so I panicked and honestly thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. In fact I genuinely hoped that they were. I honestly cleaned my glasses a few times a kept looking back at the test but it wasn’t changing. I called Lauren and asked her come have a look as her vision is better than mine. She looked at the test and started nervous laughing, she confirmed it was 2 lines and I was like “Lauren this is not funny” 

When my manager got back from I went into her office and broke down in tears. I showed her the test and she let me go home. 

It was about week later when I starting feeling really sick and of course I assumed it was morning sickness, but for some reason I felt absolutely awful. I had seen programmes on pregnant woman before but I never saw or heard of anyone feeling as bad as I did with morning sickness. 

I finally got diagnosed with Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) which is extreme vomiting and sickness during pregnancy. I felt so weak while I was pregnant and I had to be admitted to hospital about 4-5 times because I was dehydrated.

To be honest I did not enjoy pregnancy at all I had never felt so weak on all my life. 

Having my 20 week scan and finding out I was expecting a girl really made a difference to me. I finally was able to get excited and imagine a mini me! (Which she definitely is) 

My labour was very quick, I wasn’t sure if I was having contractions at first and the hospital said to stay at home for as long as possible, so did. 

As they started to progress I was on my bedroom floor grunting and panting for my life. Not to mention I was actually doing several squats, which my body was not made to do at all! 

My mum called a cab and we made our way to the hospital. However as we turned into  the road of  the hospital my waters broke in the back of the mini cab. 

When my mum got out and went into reception to get help, the cab driver came to open the door for me and as I stood up I could feel my baby was literally coming so I laid back in cab and pushed. By the time my mum came back out she saw her grand daughter being held up by my knickers and the cab driver was lost for words. 

Everyone around me was panicking but I had heard my baby make a little cry and her hand grabbed my finger so I knew she was fine. 

They rushed us into to labour ward and apologised for making me stay at home for so long. But everything was fine, my daughter was born I didn’t need any form of after care not even a stitch so I was happy and we went home the very next day. 

About 2 weeks after Janelle was born I had a knock on the door from Tarick the cab driver. He came to her and asked me if she wanted to buy his car when she’s older as it was her birth place! 

 

A new born baby in a hospital crib

Janelle, just after being born

Love Lounge Top Tips – Feeling Broody?

By | Disability, Emily Yates, Lifestyle, The Love Lounge

For many people, becoming a parent and having children someday is absolute #lifegoals, but it would be difficult for anyone to dispute that it is a BIG decision, not least for those of us who are disabled.  If you’re feeling broody, that’s not to say that it’s not possible to be a brilliant disabled mum or dad, but there might possibly be a few extra things to consider on your journey to becoming one.  If you see kids in your future, but don’t quite know where to start, this one is for you.

Tip 1: Have the conversation

First things first, if you are currently with a partner, do they feel the same way about having children? As scary as it may seem, having the conversation and knowing that you are both on the same wavelength, or have similar timelines in mind when it comes to parenting, can be really helpful and productive for both of you.  And it’s totally fine if you’re not ready, or the person you’re with isn’t, as long as you are both honest with each other and never make promises that you don’t have an intention of keeping.

Tip 2: Plan as well as you can

Let’s face it, parenting takes a lot of planning, and this is most definitely the case for us disabled people.  If you are a wheelchair user, you might want to think about how you are going to get your baby, a pram and your chair in the car, if your energy levels can get considerably low, it might be worth considering whether or not you will express milk and bottle feed your baby at night time, so your partner and you can share feeding responsibilities.  Find certain positions difficult and painful? You might want to make sure this information goes into your birth plan.  These are just a few examples, and there are plenty of things to think about, but just remember, whatever works for you is the best and correct decision, regardless of what anyone else around you is doing or suggesting.  There is never a perfect time to have a baby, but it is possible to plan and make it the best time for you.

Tip 3:  Hack your way through parenting life

When the baby does arrive, enjoy parenthood! It might be worth becoming a bit of a parenting engineer, too, and hacking your way through the first few months.  Perhaps picking your son or daughter out of their cot becomes tiring and tough, and you might find a way that’s much easier on your body by creating a side door on the cot, for example.  Maybe body slings will work much better for you than a bulky pram, or perhaps you’ll come up with an innovative way to be alerted to your baby’s cries at night if you are hard of hearing.  Whatever ends up working for you and your child, please share the information with the communities around you, on or offline.  There is sadly still a taboo and fear around disabled parenting, with many people being desperate to be a mum or dad, but worrying quite how they will manage or whether they will be good enough.  Knowledge is power, as they say, and let’s remember that sharing a hacking success might empower someone else to take the beautiful leap to becoming a disabled parent.

 

Myth Busters – disabled people don’t, won’t and can’t have sex

By | Disability, Emily Yates, Lifestyle, Sex & disability, The Love Lounge, Undressing Disability

Disabled people don’t, won’t and can’t have sex

How often do you see disabled people ‘getting it on’ on tv, in films or even in porn? No, we don’t see it often either.  Society seems to think that disabled people don’t, won’t and can’t have sex, and that’s a myth that we are here to dispel.  Want to join us, whilst raising a bit of awareness and education along the way? Keep reading!

Myth 1: Penetration

Sadly, we appear to have the (very incorrect) opinion as a society that sex isn’t ‘real’ if it doesn’t involve penetration, and therefore disabled people that can’t have intercourse aren’t sexual people.  This is wrong on every level, and whilst penetration isn’t possible for everyone, it really isn’t all that sex is about.  The possibility to be sensual and sexual exists for absolutely everyone, and many people that struggle with penetration put other skills they might have to very good use…! Perhaps, if we changed our view of penetration, we would also be able to educate ourselves on the complexities and intricacies of pleasure, in all its forms.

Myth 2: A lack of desire

Another common myth when it comes to disability and sex is that disabled people don’t have the same sexual desires as non-disabled people – something else that is desperately untrue! Whilst it is correct that sex can be a little more difficult for some of us (and take a little more time, effort and planning, sadly meaning that one night stands aren’t always on the table for all of us) the desire to have sex and be considered sexy still exists for lots of disabled people.  So, the next time you see an attractive, single disabled person giving you smouldering eye contact, don’t talk yourself out of it by thinking they won’t be interested!

Myth 3: Attraction

This third and final myth is arguably the biggest one, and the toughest to dispel.  It is so unfortunate that disabled people are portrayed so negatively by the media in many ways, and we are almost told not to find disabled people attractive.  Many of our colleagues, friends and partners are disabled and, let us tell you, they are all smart, funny, sexy and drop dead gorgeous in their own ways.  Don’t ever allow the world we live in to prescribe what is attractive and what isn’t.  Sure, a night with a disabled lover may require a little more thought, but it will most certainly be memorable.

So, to set the record straight.  When it comes to disability and sex…

We do, we will, and we can!

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