Teal Sherer: My Gimpy Life + 2 , Husband and baby now starring!
First and foremost…How is the baby?!
River is great. I can’t believe he’s already 9 months old! He’s crawling, pulling up on everything (like my wheelchair), and is saying “mama” which melts my heart.
Natural or Cesarean? And Why?
I ended up being induced because my high risk obstetricians didn’t want me going too far past my due date. It was a great experience and I had River naturally. My docs and I really wanted to avoid a cesarean because the incision could have interfered with a previous surgery I had.
I heard you had a special crib made. Can you tell me how it was made and how can we find one like it?
We ended up getting a Baby’s Dream Safety Gate crib.It works well for me as I can open the gate to get closer to River to lift him in and out. My husband did build our changing table though. It’s at a perfect height so I can easily roll under it and has big drawers to hold diapers and such. Down the line, it can be a desk for River.
How is the body reacting now that the pregnancy is over?
Good. The sleep deprivation in the beginning was hard and I suffered from postpartum depression which I’ve thankfully been able to work through. It’s really quite amazing what the female body is capable of and being pregnant gave me so much respect for mine.
What type of exercise and fitness routine are you utilizing to get yourself back in pre-baby form?
I work-out twice a week with my personal trainer Les Whitley, and I also use my EasyStand Glider as much as possible. We have a steep driveway so sometimes I see how many times I can push up it. I really worked hard to take care of myself and River throughout the pregnancy, so getting back into “pre-baby form” wasn’t a big concern.
How did you meet the lucky man?
I met Ali surfing. There’s an organization called Life Rolls On that takes people with disabilities surfing. Ali was one of the big, strong volunteers and I was the surfer chick 😉
What do you feel is the secret to a strong marriage?
Intimacy, communication and lots of laughter.
How is this new chapter in your life going to affect My Gimpy Life? Well River is obviously my priority which means I’m pickier about how I spend my time. That said , I would love to make more episodes of My Gimpy Life. We’re releasing all of our episodes on Facebook right now to celebrate Disability Awareness Month. I hope millions of people watch it and we get the funding to make more.
A tough question I understand, but there are many who are in the same circumstances that could benefit from your advice/words/experience. How are you managing being a new mother without having your own mother there with you? What are you doing to prepare yourself for this and to manage the grief?
It’s tough. I hate the fact that my mom and River will never be a part of each other’s lives. Being a new mom is not easy and it’s been hard not having her support. Also, there are so many questions I wish I could ask her about her experiences having and raising my sister and I. My mom was an amazing mother and I just try to focus on being the same for River. Sometimes when I look at River, I see her, which is pretty special.
Name your best secret for adaptive parenting so far?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced being a mom with is disability is that I haven’t been able to leave the house with River by myself. It’s definitely left me feeling stuck and isolated at times.
Thankfully that recently changed as I became a brand ambassador for the MV-1.
The MV-1 is the first purpose-built wheelchair accessible vehicle. Because of it’s ramp, I can roll into the vehicle with River on my lap, get him safely secured in his car seat, and then transfer into the the driver’s seat – and off we go. What I love about the MV-1 is that it was built for “us” – I didn’t have to have it modified. Because of that it’s super safe and reliable which is of the upmost importance now that I have a little one.
In addition to the Baby’s Dream Safety Gate crib, here are some of my other baby gear favorites:
Boon Highchair – A friend of mine who’s in a wheelchair recommended this to me. It’s great because I can get my wheelchair super close to it to lift River in and out. The height is adjustable, it rolls and is very easy to keep clean.
Orbit Baby Car Seat – I love these car seats because they rotate around making it so much easier to get River in and out.
Baby Walker – I know walkers can be dangerous but ours has worked very well for us and River loves it. It helps that our house is wheelchair accessible and has no stairs. With a little practice, I’ve been able to get him in and out of it independently. It’s a lot of fun zooming around the house together. (There are lot walker options out there – ours is a Kolcraft and was a hand-me-down gift from my sister.)
Playpen – Now that River is on the move this has been wonderful because I can contain him if I need to. We have the North States Playard.
Featured Image from “Maternity Photoshoot” credit: Photography by Andrea Farmer.
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