Living with a spinal cord injury — Yasaman’s journey to motherhood

May 17, 2018 11:48am
At first, the thought of pregnancy terrified Yasaman.

Yasaman experienced a serious accident when she was 21 years old and now lives with a spinal cord injury. Unable to walk and sensationless to fine hand functions, Yasaman had to adapt to a new way of life. But she did not let her injury get in the way of taking on new opportunities.

For women with an underlying condition, the excitement of pregnancy may also overlap with the anxiety of unforeseen obstacles. The lack of information available for women with spinal cord injuries who are considering having children, often leaves them feeling excluded.

Yasaman lived in worry throughout her pregnancy without any of the same resources and support able-bodied women would typically receive. “None of the books answered my questions; none of the examples and information included a mother with spinal cord injury.”  Yasaman was referred to the incredible Maternal Fetal Medicine team at BC Women’s Hospital where she finally felt comfort and reassurance.

“After my first meeting, I texted my husband and told him that for the first time I felt included.”

The Maternal Fetal Medicine Team specializes in complicated or high-risk pregnancies and is committed to every patient’s care. Yasaman was especially grateful for the team’s expertise in pregnancy and spinal cord injuries and the common risks and concerns. The team was always one step ahead.

Yasaman was hospitalized at 34 weeks for a septic UTI, a common side effect for women with a spinal cord injury. This was the most challenging and scariest trimester for Yasaman, “you not only feel heavy, but you cannot lean forward much, and you feel so helpless.” It was at this time that BC Women’s nurses saved Yasaman’s and her baby’s life, but it made Yasaman feel apprehensive about giving birth. “I didn’t want the birth of my son to be yet another surgery.”

Yasaman and the hospital team planned an epidural and C-section—a tricky procedure but one of the only options available with the risk of autonomic dysreflexia from her injury.

But no amount of calculation could fully prepare Yasaman when her baby surprised her three weeks early! “I went to the hospital thinking I had a UTI and it turned out my water had broken and that my baby was coming.”

An early birth on top of Yasaman’s complex procedure was no easy task. However, Yasaman’s anesthesiologist and obstetrician-gynecologist were determined. Following the third attempt with epidural, Yasaman naturally gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

“The moment my son was born, my life changed forever.”

Yasaman is forever grateful for the specialized care and support she received from the Maternal Medicine team at BC Women’s Hospital. “I feel so lucky to have access to such incredible resources.”

For Yasaman, being a mom is the most incredible experience of her life.

The extraordinary expertise of the Maternal Fetal Medicine team at BC Women’s save women’s lives – please make a donation today.