Rachelle Chapman became a quadriplegic after an accident at her bachelorette party. She always knew she wanted to be a mother and she recently celebrated her daughter Kaylee’s first birthday.
Rachelle has faced criticism from others who question her ability to care for a child because of her paralysis. Despite their doubts, Rachelle and her husband Chris “have a system that works for [them].” For instance, although Rachelle is unable to use her fingers, she has found alternative ways of using her hands to do things such as holding and feeding Kaylee. The support of their family plays an equally important role.
“Chris and I together as a team are more than capable of taking care of a baby, especially with the help of my mother, who was all in from the beginning."
Rachelle also works on being able to support Kaylee independently outside of the house. She has learned to drive her wheelchair-adapted van this past year, in hopes of being able to “take Kaylee to dance class or tennis lessons and not have to rely on somebody else to do that” when Kaylee grows older.
Besides that, Rachelle’s wheelchair has been useful for teaching Kaylee certain skills and tricks. Kaylee has learned to walk by pushing Rachelle’s wheelchair. She has also learned how to crawl up onto her mother’s lap using the wheelchair. These significant milestones for both Rachelle and Kaylee have helped to quell the criticism Rachelle has received. Their family is happy, and Rachelle hopes for more children if their financial situation allows them to have another surrogate.
"Beyond love, Kaylee has a house over her head and food in her tummy. She’s a happy, happy baby who doesn’t realize that I’m different. This is normal for her."
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