We were on the waiting list for IVF when Glenn was injured.  We'd always known we wanted children but the accident made us reconsider everything; could we really raise a child now and what could we actually offer as parents?

Talking to other people with similar experiences definitely helped.  Someone said to Glenn, 'Just because you've got a spinal cord injury, it doesn't mean you have to give up your dreams.'  And when Glenn went back to work and we dealt with the other challenges, it was something that we came back to.  I knew I still wanted children and I know that Glenn wanted to fulfil the promise he'd made to me that we'd be parents.

I knew I still wanted children

We'd waited so long to make the decision that we sort of just ploughed on with it as soon as we'd agreed.  When it didn't work, we did find ourselves questioning the decision again, wondering whether it was a wise move.  But we came back round to the same conclusion; the life we could offer a child would be a good life.  What gave us a real boost was when we also looked at fostering.  In the end, the timing was wrong as they didn't want foster parents who were also going through the stress of IVF but they told us that we had a lot to offer, that we were just what they were looking for and that we should get in touch again when we'd finished with IVF.  It was so lovely to have those professionals reassuring us that choosing to be parent was the right decision.

Rebekah, Glenn and baby son

In all, we had four cycles of IVF.  It's not just the physical impact of the injections and the operation, there's a huge emotional impact too when it doesn't work.  You ask yourselves whether you are just throwing money away.  Something always seemed to go wrong when the cycle started, particularly with Glenn's care, and the added stress can't have helped.  Before the fourth cycle we moved to a Personal Health Budget so we could take full control of the care.  We waited until we had a full team in place and, although that took longer than we'd hoped, it meant that we were in a better place.  Not that that stopped me going into that fourth attempt thinking, 'this is just another waste of time'.  But it wasn't.

When I was pregnant, I had to learn to adjust.  I've always been quite hands on when helping Glenn, training the staff or going off just the two of us; I hadn't realised how much manual handling I do.  Suddenly I needed to let other people do more, and Glenn was very good at taking control and making sure I backed off a bit.  We also had to start thinking about how we would be as parents in a truly practical sense - Glenn questions things a lot and we know that there are some things that he would have loved to have done with his son that he will never be able to do.  I think it's quite easy to focus on those things when actually you need to turn it around and look at those things that we can do, and there are so many of them.  I have no doubts that we have absolutely made the right choice.

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