Aideen Blackborough says that she has not let having a disability (cerebral palsy) stop her from having the same dreams and aspirations as other people. She married her husband Dean in September 2011. Soon after getting married, Aideen’s dream of becoming a mother became a reality.
“I knew the road ahead of me wouldn’t be straight; I knew I’d face more challenges than most and also worried a lot about what others would think. But my desire for motherhood was all-consuming and I knew that whatever issues I faced, I’d overcome them, somehow. I had a loving and supportive husband, and a family who had always encouraged me to believe that nothing was beyond my capabilities.”
Disability And Parenting Advice
Aideen began looking for different resources for advice on parenting with a disability, but she was a little discouraged when she could not find much information. “It felt like society simply didn’t expect disabled people to have children,” she says.
Aideen was thankful for her doctor who was very supportive of her pregnancy. When she had doubts of how she was going to care for her baby, her doctor encouraged her by saying, “We’ll find the right way for you to do things, even if it’s not the conventional way.” Aideen states his belief in her abilities to be a mother slowly squashed her self-doubt.
Aideen says she found it difficult to maintain her mobility and independence as her due date came and went. Aideen was finally induced and she was anxious thinking about the complications from her own birth. “I’d been under the care of a consultant midwife (a specialist and more senior midwife) throughout my pregnancy. Given that the events of my own birth were weighing heavy on my mind – doctors had failed in their duty to monitor me and I’d been starved of oxygen for 25 minutes – she had reassured me I’d be looked after,” she says.
Aideen was surprised when the midwife had not kept her promise and Aideen was left alone for the majority of the time while in labor. However, the hospital staff did notice when the fetal monitor kept raising alarm. Aideen says she was taken to theatre and her baby boy was born.
Becoming A Mom With A Disability
Aideen states she became more determined than ever to do as much as she possibly could to care for her son, Jack James. She could not wait to get home with him where she had everything set up to help her care for him. “I knew looking after Jack would be much easier in my own environment, where I had everything set up to cater to my needs,” says Aideen.
Aideen found difficulty in accomplishing the little tasks for her son. For instance, transferring him into his crib, snapping his outfits, and feeding him solids.
“It was extremely frustrating when I couldn’t do things and sometimes, for a moment, I’d cry and get cross with myself. But I had a baby and so knew I just had to carry on.”
Aideen came up with different ways to care for her baby, and she had a support system of her husband, family, and friends. She states solving little problems gave her confidence in herself.
Aideen says that one of her biggest fears was other people’s attitudes to her motherhood. However, Aideen says that as a whole people seem to be very supportive of her and her family.
She states she is just like any other mom doing the best she can!
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