Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Little Girl Hugs

I have never really had the strong urge to be a mother. Does that sound horrible? Maybe it is because my entire adult life I have been told it was not a smart idea for me to have children.

There is a laundry list of reasons why. For one, I am not 100% sure why I cannot walk. For years it was thought I could have Muscular Dystrophy. If I did, I would 100% pass it on to my child. I certainly wouldn't knowingly do that! Now if you know anything about MD, it is a degenerative disease. At 33-years-old I should have gotten worse; a lot worse. Thankfully I never have, so my guess is I do not have MD.

The other option is something happened during my birth. I was a breach inside the womb and because of my positioning I was scheduled to be a c-section. However, I was raring to go and was born naturally; bottom first. I always think . . . my poor mother!

My problem is an overall muscle weakness, and more so in my upper body than my lower body. I was told by my doctor there would be no way I would have the strength to have a child naturally. I was also told that because I am short in the torso, I probably wouldn't be able to carry a child to term. So even if I didn't have MD it still was very risky for me to get pregnant.

My hubby and I made the decision last year that we didn't want to take that risk of getting pregnant. I had surgery last year to ensure that didn't happen.

I didn't know at first how I would feel about the procedure and inevitably the end result. I was ending my chances of having a biological child. Had we exhausted all possible options? Was there another way for us to have a child together? Weirdly, I was pretty unaffected.

We have talked casually about adopting, but I never have thought either of us had the pressing desire to be parents. Don't get me wrong, we love kids! I just think with the differences my disability brings to our marriage, even though my hubby looks right past that, it still has an effect on our future.

Then I met Jessica and her wonderful family.

Jessica is a patient at the hospital I work at. She is also a part of the patient ambassador group I run and so I get to interact with her and her family for special events, photo shoots. . .the fun stuff.

Recently Jessica was part of a photo shoot at our hospital. When she wheeled up to my chair she had the biggest smile on her face as she said hello. We chatted about what she had been doing on her spring break, her new favorite movie. . .all the fun things going on in her five-yr-old life. Then she said, "I want to give you a hug."

The fact we are both in wheelchairs makes that rather difficult in a conventional hugging form. She pulled her chair up to the side of mine, but she was still not satisfied. 

Jessica is able to stand with the help of braces, so seeing the frustration on her daughters face, her mom asked her if she wanted to get out of her chair so she could hug me, and of course she said yes.

Even standing, Jessica was barely the height of my armrest. That wasn't going to stop her from giving me my hug. She stood on the left side of my chair with one arm behind my back, her head on my arm and her other arm around the front with her tiny hand resting on my stomach. She stood there patting my stomach with the most content look on her face.

My heart melted as I wrapped my arms around her. I think it is still in a puddle somewhere.

One of the adults who was also participating in our photo shoot said, "You really love Jamie, don't you?"

"Yes, I really do!" Jessica responded in the sweetest voice ever.

Throughout her time with me on the shoot, she would hold my hand between shots, ask me to play hide and seek with her and she would softly walk her little fingers up and down my arm as she tried to tickle me.

I loved every second of my interaction with this little angel. I could just see the love and pride radiating from her mother as she watched her pose for pictures and wrapped all of us around her finger.

At the end of the day, Jessica wanted another hug from me. She again was trying to figure out how to position her chair to give me a proper hug. I then asked her if she wanted to sit on my lap. Her eyes lit up and she beamed form ear to ear. 

Her mom gently lifted her from her chair and sat her on my lap. Immediately she threw her arms around me and squeezed with all her might. Her mom asked if she could take my picture with Jessica, and of course I said yes.

While posing for the picture, Jessica was sweetly stroking my hair and pressing her face into mine. I could not believe the extreme emotion I felt from being around her and her loving, playful spirit.

I came home that night filled with Jessica stories. I told my hubby, for the first time I really felt the desire to be a mother and how wonderful a feeling it was to get those little girl hugs!


  1. stephanie rollinsMay 3, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    hey girl--I know people in the foster care system....if you want to pursue it, let me know.

  2. That a lovely story. You and John would have made great parents

    Kristin Marie