I am an amputee mama and, if you read my bio, I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to do things “normally” since my accident. Little did I know when I became pregnant with my son, a whole new set of struggles was about to arise. Before my son was born, I asked my husband if he thought I was going to be able to breastfeed because I only have one hand. To be honest, we weren’t quite sure if I’d be able to or not. We started looking up breastfeeding positions and tried to make them work for me. After a few of my OB appointments, I asked my doctor what he thought. He recommended me to their lactation consultant, who had no idea what she was about to get herself into.
I showed up at her office and she apparently had no idea I was an amputee. She was talking to me like she would a normal consult until I brought up being an amputee. She had never had an amputee as a consult in the 6 years she’d been a lactation consultant. This was completely odd to me because I have friends who were born missing a limb. So essentially it should be the same right? I guess none of them were her patients, though, unless amputees/people born that way are too scared to ask for help.
She was very willing to contact anyone she could to try and help me out. She sent emails all over Idaho, and to my surprise, none of them had any patients like me. It started becoming very frustrating, and I started wondering if this was the best choice for me. I never gave up though, and boy am I glad I didn’t. After my son was born, it came so naturally to us (minus his tongue tie issues).
I found different ways that worked for my son and me, and if one didn’t seem to work, I moved on to the next.
That was only the beginning of my battles as an amputee mama. Next came tackling diapers with a very wiggly baby. I mean don’t get me wrong, I had changed my nieces before. Having a son was a whole new ball game. I remember asking my husband if wiping him after a poopy diaper would hurt him, because of how I had to adapt to do it. He of course giggled and assured me that it wouldn’t hurt him one bit. That definitely was what I needed.
Getting him dressed was my next big battle. I never realized how many snaps and zippers baby clothes had. I’ll admit getting him dressed as a baby was a whole lot easier than it is now as a toddler.
Now I’m battling him moving like a darn tornado during diaper changes and getting dressed.
Let’s not even talk about how frustrating the shoe situation was for me. I can’t count how many people told me I needed to get him shoes that tied. No one thought of the fact that maybe I hadn’t figured out how to tie my own shoes yet, let alone a wiggly toddler’s. Once he started walking, I finally started buying him so many shoes. To be honest, 90% of them are zippered up the sides, velcro, or slip-on. Shoelaces were not a battle I was about to try to face, along with all the other new battles that him being a toddler has brought on.
Doing household chores with a toddler and being an amputee is a whole other struggle. Doing dishes is my absolute least favorite thing to do. I can’t hold the dishes with my left hand because, well, it’s just not there. So as I’m scrubbing and trying to stabilize them with my nub, I splash water EVERYWHERE! My son loves trying to climb into the dishwasher while this is all going on, or pushes the stool over and tries climbing into the sink. As cute/funny it is, it’s also extremely frustrating because I don’t want him to get hurt.
When I vacuum, he likes taking his toy lawnmower and pretends that he’s helping mama. Now that is adorable, especially when he puts it up on the couch like I do with our vacuum. That’s one thing I can do without struggling too much.
I’m a pretty independent person, so asking for help is something I really struggle with.
I put off folding clean laundry for weeks on end because that’s another huge struggle for me. You’d think I’d just put it away as soon as it’s dry, but no, I dread it so much that it just builds up in baskets.