"My husband Kiel sustained a C5 spinal cord injury when he was 14 years old playing football. Plain and simple he was a child with his entire life changed in a blink of an eye. I didn’t know him then but hearing stories of the early days of his injury, I know he decided then he was going to fight. He fought and worked day after day to gain the independence he has today.
We got married in 2019 and knew we wanted a baby. We were blessed with the gift of a child in 2022. We both knew parenting would look different for us. From the day our daughter was born Kiel became the best Dad and partner I could have hoped for. Even right in the hospital he changed diapers, fed and burped her and held her so I could rest. While it may look “different” I felt like it came so naturally to him.
Coming home he adapted and found ways to make parenting work for him. We had a roll under bassinet, lowered changing table, boppy pillow (or really any couch pillow) waist carrier and a device to help get her unbuckled out of the car seat. .. (continued below)
Some days aren’t easy (I’m sure every parent could say that) but he always finds a way. I’ve learned no parent will ever parent the exact same way as someone else and we’ve found peace in that and our ways of adapting.
Our daughter is now 1 year old and he still is feeding her, changing her, plays with her, takes her on walks and watches her solely and independently.
As our daughter grows I feel as our attention is moved in the direction of parks and other child activities being more accessible to all. How awesome would it be for parks to be more inclusive in the sense of not only for parents but children in wheelchairs? Some food for thought!
When it comes to parenting this last year and a half with SCI we’ve found several tools to be helpful. As our daughter grows we continue to search for more ways to adapt. WAGS has connected me with many other parents and we have learned what works for us from watching others and learning to adapt in our own ways. I looked to the discussion page for WAGS for questions I’ve had leading to so much support.
There’s so much that SCI brings aside from what everyone “sees” and yet he still works so hard to be the best Dad to our sweet girl." - Ashley Eigen of Philly