Sam had a life plan of graduating high school, going to law school, getting married, and having two children all before the age of 25. But as she states now that she is older and wiser she realizes that everything does not go as planned. At the time of her blog post, she was 30, a nurse, married and pregnant with her first baby.
Sam’s husband Shawn has a spinal cord injury. The couple’s pregnancy journey may not have been a typical one, but Sam always wanted to start a family. She says Shawn’s injury did not change that at all.
“Even though we are running a few years late on the baby front, starting a family has always been one of my top goals and Shawn’s spinal cord injury didn’t change that at all.”
Sam states, “we didn’t want all this baby making to be all sterile and medical and unsexy.” So, the couple tried the natural way of getting pregnant. After some trial and error, Sam and Shawn realized that the natural method was not going to work for them. After doing some research, the couple came across at home insemination techniques. Intra-vaginal insemination involves collecting semen in a cup and using a syringe to place it into the vagina. The husband and wife tried this method for a few months and while the process seemed to work, they still were not getting pregnant.
“I know a lot of people say that trying to have a baby becomes like a chore… with tracking ovulation and basal body temperature and time of day and making sure the stars all align and the moon is in the right place in its orbit and what not,” says Sam. However, she continues by saying that for people with spinal cord injuries there is, even more, to prepare for before becoming intimate. Sam gives examples of prep work like Shawn being able to transfer out of his chair and making sure he caths before being intimate.
Sam says she became frustrated when people would tell her and Shawn to just stop trying to have a baby, it would happen when it happens. What these people did not understand is that if she and Shawn stopped trying, pregnancy would not happen at all.
“You can’t just give up and stop trying because it’s all you think about, every minute of every day.”
After trying to get pregnant for a year with no success, Sam and Shawn decided to contact a fertility clinic that specializes in spinal cord injuries. The clinic reassured the couple that they were doing everything correctly and to keep trying. They made an appointment with the clinic and in the meantime kept trying to have a baby.
Almost a year after they started trying to conceive, the couple finally found out they were expecting. Sam took five pregnancy tests to confirm the news. “I guess, in a way, the whole ‘it’ll happen as soon as you stop trying’ thing was kind of true. Either that or all we had to do was just talk to a fertility specialist to get pregnant,” she says.
Sam ends her post with these motivating words, “For now, let me just leave this here: your journey to conceive, whether it was a quick one or has been long and full of hurdles, is unique and it is special. It shapes you and it changes you and it makes you who you are. Stay strong, keep fighting and when that little one finally comes, embrace your miracle, love them and one day tell them the story of just how badly you wanted them.”
Congratulations to Sam and Shawn!
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