Living with spina bifida meant that Michelle faced a high-risk pregnancy. Today, she is caring for her growing family.
Starting a family was a big decision for Michelle and her husband Carl. Michelle lives with spina bifida, a nerve defect that affects the bones of the spine. She was told by doctors that if she ever chose to have a baby, the likelihood was high that her baby would be born with a disability.
“I have been living with spina bifida, and to me it isn’t a big deal: nothing is impossible, I just need to figure out how to do it. My husband and I had lots of open discussions about starting a family.”
They decided to go for it.
Having a little partner in crime for Adrian would be nice. When that time comes, I would love to go right back to my doctors and nurses at Sunnybrook.
A high-risk pregnancy
Michelle received prenatal care at Sunnybrook’s Accessible Care Pregnancy Clinic, North America’s first clinic for pregnant women with disabilities. Her disability meant she had a high-risk pregnancy, and was monitored very closely.
The anatomy scan was a big moment for Michelle and her husband. It would tell them whether or not their baby would have any physical limitations. The results looked good: “I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a sense of relief. It’s great news for anyone to hear.”
Michelle’s doctor reviewed her case with a panel of specialists, and together with Michelle they made a plan: a scheduled C-section. Every possible complication and situation was planned for by the Sunnybrook team.
Meeting their baby
Michelle and Carl’s son Adrian was born on September 7, according to plan.
Post delivery, Michelle and Adrian stayed at Sunnybrook for four days. “I wanted to be sure that I could take care of myself and Adrian when I was discharged.”
When she was able to get up, perform daily activities, and pick up Adrian, Michelle and Carl went home with their new baby as a family.
At home, Michelle, Carl and Adrian enjoy the little things like spending time together. They’re thinking about growing their family too:
“Having a little partner in crime for Adrian would be nice. When that time comes, I would love to go right back to my doctors and nurses at Sunnybrook.”
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