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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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the gimp

i need some advise

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i know there are fellow amputees who have children and some that dont. here is my problem

im 25 and i have a rough time with getting in serious relationships especially when children come into the picture. its not that i dont want kids its just i want to do everything my dad did with me and i want to be there and be just as active as i was but i know honestly i cant and i dont want my kids to think im not a good dad. expecially when there younger my fear is there taking off and i cant get to them fast enough and they run infront of a car. i couldnt live with that. i feel like im being jealous when i think of having kids

this is the one thing that gets me depressed and worries me.

am i wrong, am i paranoid or what? my ex girlfriend wouldnt marry me because i told here i refused to have kids and when i told her why she said i was pathetic and was just making a excuse. i told her it was no excuse but it just made things worst

my mom says i have nothing to fear but i tell her how would she know....i know this must sound juvenile but i need some advise

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Well, I'm childless myself, but that's not related to my amp status. Many of our members are parents, though, and do just fine at the "parenting" thing. I hope some of them will join in here and give you some reassurance and practical tips.

I've noticed that guys seem to be more concerned about the fact that they may not be able to be fully "active" with their kids. To that, I can only say that my own dad was perfectly healthy...but generally physically stiff and slow-moving. Didn't make a single bit of difference to me...he was my dad and I loved spending time with him. Heck...I probably got my own clumsiness from him!

I do have some young grandnieces and nephews, and they seem to "get" that I'm not going to go racing around the yard with them...but that I'm perfectly happy to join in with their games and "let's pretend" times. So that's what we do!

Just be yourself...don't worry about your perceived "difference"...to the kids, you'll just be "dad."

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Hi Gimp

Can appreciate why you are worrying, but really lots of amputees do have children. You adapt, and just find your own ways of doing things.

I am a bilateral b/k and have had three children, and don't think there were any real major problems. You just have to try to be 'one step ahead' of them, mentally, and maybe organize things a bit differently to suit you.

Things like crossing roads etc. were an issue for me also, that was how I lost my own legs in the first place so I kind of drummed road safety into them from before they probably realized and I tried to teach them how to cross roads properly.

When they were young, and I took them out they would either be in a pushchair or walking on reins/strap, and later holding my hand. They didn't always like it, and often complained but I didn't give them any choice. If I was out on my own with them to the park or wherever, I would choose where I went and, if I wasn't having a good day myself, often go to a more enclosed area so they could run around but where I could place myself strategically near the exit in case they decided to wander off. Not saying they were always perfectly behaved, because they weren't, they had occassions where they would run off or get too far ahead, I got very good at shouting quite loudly though.

When you have your own children, you just get to know how they are probably going to react in situations and automatically adjust... sometimes things do go wrong and am not saying they didn't have minor mishaps, but thats the same for any parent. When I got to the second & third one, I had a playpen and gates across some of the doors at home. As they got older and would ride little bikes/skates etc. along the pavement, there would be boundaries, they would have to stop and wait at a certain point etc. etc., by and large they did and if they didn't they would know they wouldn't get to take it out the next time.

There were some things I wasn't able to do with them, but luckily my husband and sometimes friends would step in, so I really don't think they missed out on too much. Most of the time when they were young I was wearing prosthetics which made things much easier, the times I couldn't wear them were definitely more difficult. But the legs weren't really an issue with them, don't think they took too much notice really, but all three of them were regular visitors to the limb fitting centre with me, and I think saw it as pretty normal.

My three are all more or less grown up now, not saying it wasn't hard work, but worth the effort as they are all very independent adults now.

Ann

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Hi Gimp,

I became an amputee in the 80s and had kids in the 90s, it never crossed my mind not to have kids. You need to get it out of your head that you are any different from anyone else. So you've got a dodgy leg.... so what... that's it!

Any concerns you have will melt away as soon as you realise you are the same as everyone else in terms of your ability to bring up kids.

Having kids is the most natural thing in the world, just get on with it when the time comes, you'll wonder what all the fuss was about when it happens.

Your kids will love you regardless, you'll be their Dad... and you'd be surprised at how much you can do with them... they will be proud of how you overcome the odds and succeed.

Good luck at getting the worries out of your head, because that's what you need to do.

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Hello Gimp,

My kids where all grown up when I lost my leg, however in our circle of friends there are lots of kids from babies to teenagers , and guess what…….. Not having a leg mean nothing to them or how I interact with them.

You are worried about them dashing off in front off a car or something ………………ALL good parents worry about that. In fact I think all good parents worry all the time about there kids until they are tucked up in bed at night sound asleep.

AS an amputee you simply adapt, do things slightly differently, I still play games with kids, perhaps not so fast as before but we still have fun ,

Being a good dad or bad dad has nothing to do with an amputee.

And you know the old saying:-

Without a good woman there is no today

Without any kids there is no tomorrow

One last thing your mum is right. Trust her

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I had an AKA 2 months after my son was born. First thing I need to say is THANK GOODNESS for a great spouse!! :) He helped so much especially in the beginning. Because I was learning to be a mom and an amp all at the same time it was tough having to ask others for help and I hated it soooo I decided to do for myself and for my boy. I learned VERY quickly how to hold him and manuever the wheelchair because obviously you can't be on crutches and carry your kid. When I felt unsteady or for fear of becoming unsteady and falling with the baby I used a ottoman as his changing table so I didn't have to stand and try to change him. Like Ann said its amazing how you adapt things to work for you and its amazing how you just automatically do it!! My son is a 1 1/2 years old now and now that he is walking and running around it makes it a little harder. I am still able to use the stroller with him which works PERFECTLY! When we are out where cars are involved I ALWAYS use a stroller or MAKE him hold my hand--there is NO choice because like you I am very scared of him getting to far away from me and me not being able to get to him in time. We play a lot in our back yard for outside time--because it is fenced in and no fear of cars.. and when we do play in the front we wait for Daddy to get home so he can be the wrangler :). Many parks are inclosed so we find those instead of ones that are right next to a street and in CA we have tons of indoor bounce and play programs that we go to.

I get down when I think about things that I may not do with my son like running into waves at the beach (well not now anyway because I don't have a water leg) but I can still GO TO the beach with my boy so its not like he is missing out. I think it is amazing how we learn how to adapt things that we need to. I stay home all day with my son and do everything that needs done for him including when he was 2 months old and I had just had my amp..so it can be done...and I am so thankful that I have him so even though things can be difficult and there may be times when I have to explain that I can't do something but we will get through it just like we always have. I think Ann said as well--your kid will love you UNCONDITIONALLY because you are his dad--kids are just great that way! :)

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Mr. Gimp, you have received some very good advice from the previous posters. The key is that you take it!

And your mum/mom is correct!

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thanks everyone i really appreciate more than you can realize. i have never thought the way you all described it has helped out alot.

i not saying i ready to go out procreate lol but i have a new look on having kids when the time comes.

again thank you so much this has been almost a plague to me, and up till now its seemed almost a impossibility.

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Hi Gimp,

Before having two children I had the same fear. Will my children love their dad, won't they be ashamed of etc... But as soon as I became a dad all that fear disapeared. My two boys consider me as the best dad in the world (much better than superman+batman they say), and they tell me everyday how they love me. It's the best thing that happened in my life. (it's better to be a loving dad than just a fast running dad!)

Fred

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