Tag Archives: parenting with a disability

The Strongest Moms Around – SCI Moms

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In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, we’ve compiled three videos highlighting moms with spinal cord injuries – moms who seriously can’t be beat in the strength department. As you can imagine, there are certain difficulties that come into the picture when you are a mom with paralysis.

From a busy stay-at-home paraplegic mom in Canada who shares all kinds of tips like how to best use changing tables to a quadriplegic single mom who had her babies naturally, the videos we’ve compiled below are awesome, and would surprise most average people out there who know nothing of paralysis and parenting.

To see how dedicated mothers with spinal cord injuries are, watch our videos below!

Video #1: Canadian paraplegic shows her tricks

Meet Brittney! She is a paraplegic mom of two. In her video, she takes us through her journey of having two beautiful children and raising them from her wheelchair. She also  shares techniques and helpful tips for other mothers who are also in wheelchairs and face the same difficulties, but are able to make adjustments.

And she shares special techniques like buying a crib that opens on the side, so she can put her baby in the crib without any help from her husband. Brittney also made sure to buy a changing table that was lower than her chair so she could still change her babies (and not miss out on those experiences).

And when placing her babies in jolly jumpers, she is able to put her brakes on and carefully put them in the jumpers by her own. Some impressive? It is!

Watch: Raising children from a wheelchair

Video #2: Single mom paralyzed young has babies naturally

Nikki Stamps, a C7 quadriplegic, is the single mom of Cameron and Jordan. Her injury dates back to when she was 16 years old when she had little to no concerns about having children. As she got older, she realized having children was something she really wanted. Her doctors told her that she should have no problems and to not worry.

Nikki birthed two children the natural way and used a monitoring system during both pregnancies to help with the contractions. She could not always feel the contractions because of her injury so the monitoring system hooked up to have stomach and assisted her with that.

And she used a basinet when her children were younger and pushed it as close to the bed as possible so she could pick them up. She would also lean the baby to her body; both babies seemed to have a natural instinct to curl up to make it easier for her.

Watch: Parenting with a Disability – Nikki Stamps

Video #3: Paraplegic mom loves her pool noodles

Meet Jennifer Sexton of Dalzell, South Carolina. She sustained a T-12 spinal cord injury in an ATV accident back in January 2013. After going through the rehabilitation process, Jennifer gave birth to her son Thomas on September 10, 2013.

Jennifer loves using a pool noodle, which aids in picking up Thomas and avoiding bruising on her arm. The noodle allows her to pick him up with a supportive object under her arm. Her husband is also planning to take out the cabinets under the sink so she can get under them easily and take care of Thomas more independently.

She spends her leisure time gardening out back where she has a raised garden making it easier to water the flowers. Jennifer stays positive every day, knowing you don’t have to stop life plans when a spinal cord injury occurs.

Watch: Jennifer Sexton Learns to Parent from a Wheelchair

Are you a mom with a spinal cord injury?  What tips have saved you?

Watch the Videos

Raising children from a wheelchair

Parenting with a Disability – Nikki Stamps

Jennifer Sexton Learns to Parent from a Wheelchair

SCI Superstar: Bethany Hoppe

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Bethany Hoppe of Nashville, aka the “Rolling Diva,” wears so many hats she could open her own hat shop. A dancer, voice-over artist, college instructor, author, advocate, wheelchair athlete, public speaker, wife and mother, in spite of her disability Bethany has been unstoppable in the game called life.

Her journey however into becoming the fierce woman she is today began in an unassuming place – a simple dairy farm. Once old enough, Bethany left home, setting forth on a path that even most able-bodied people wouldn’t be able to keep up with.

One of the most vocal advocates out there for women with disabilities, and an artist at the very core of who she is, this is the amazing Bethany Hoppe.

Why she’s fearless

Since the very moment she was born with spinal bifida, learning how to be fearless was instilled in Bethany. Active in high school in both music and sports, she never let her wheelchair prevent her from fully participating in life. Wheelchair basketball, weightlifting, wheelchair dance – she did it all.

Bethany knew however she would need a solid education if she ever wanted to be independent. She went on to study communications at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she received her master’s in communication studies. And a few years after graduating, she was hired by Middle Tennessee State University to be an instructor of public speaking and voice and diction. Bethany has been teaching students at this prestigious college for the last 14 years.

Teaching however isn’t the only thing she does at the Middle Tennessee State University. Also passionate about wheelchair dance since being introduced to the sport in college, Bethany was part of an integrated dance piece in 2013 called “Uncommon Rituals” that included another SPINALpedia SCI Superstar, wheelchair actress and new mommy, Teal Sherer. Check it out

Teaching college students is just one slice of who Bethany is. Since its inception, she’s also been involved with mobileWOMEN, a fabulous nonprofit dedicated to helping women with disabilities. Writing about self-esteem, body image and making videos about everything she loves (from accessible gardening to baking), Bethany has become an endearing and wholly dedicated women’s advocate.

What’s next?

Her blogging (Raspberry Vogue; a blog following her adventures) and her writing have also garnered her a little slice of the fame cake. And in early 2013, she had her first book published, Molly B. Golly’s Wonderful Dancing Debut, a sweet story that follows a 9 year old girl in a wheelchair who loves to dance.

What we love about Bethany is that no matter what she does, it’s all comes back to promoting the rights of women with disabilities and her book, among everything else she’s done, is one step towards that. She even gave a TEDx speech in 2014 on this topic titled, “Promoting the status of women with disabilities.” It’s a 20 minute speech that goes by in seconds. Watch her speak

And when she’s not busy saving the world, Bethany and her longtime husband, Tyson, are busy parenting their two children – a 17 year old and a 2 year old, both of whom are adopted. The latest addition to Bethany’s family and they have been loving their new boy-parenting adventures in a big way.

A home life full of joy, a life full of purpose and a career she rocks at, Bethany proves to the world that women with disabilities not only deserve complete happiness in life, they can achieve it. And we love her for it.

– Visit her site: Bethany-Hoppe.com

Has your disability influenced your career too?

Watch the videos!

Promoting the status of women with disabilities: Bethany Hoppe at TEDxNashville

Mobile Women Channel: Accessible Box Gardening with Bethany

Bethany demoing an accessible Chevy truck