Author's Query - I need inspiration for my book

Sarah - posted on 04/24/2010 ( 112 moms have responded )

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I am a mom who has a disability and am writing my autobiography to document what it's like caring for a child using my feet. I was recently featured on CNN. So you can see what I'm dealing with, watch the video. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/04/21/par...

What questions would you like to have someone like me answer? I appreciate your feedback!

I document daily activities in my blog... it might help you think of some questions. http://sarahkovac.blogspot.com

112 Comments

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Sandra - posted on 05/11/2010

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I don't know how to even begin to tell you what an inspiration you are...I have no disabilities, however, I will tell you that I'm hugely motivated by your plight, and appreciate your dedication. Through depression, I have (on and off) lost heart with parenting battles, and your dedication to your child makes me feel like nothing should let children lack. I know this isn't what you asked for, but thank you so much.

Crissy - posted on 05/10/2010

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What has been the most rewarding experience out of learning to use your feet to the extent that you do?

What were the hardest obstacles to overcome and what negative thoughts went through your head? What positive things did you have to tell yourself, etc to get through it all and what keeps you going today?

Gillian - posted on 05/08/2010

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Hi Sarah,good on you for writing your autobiography. I cant wait to read it. I am a Mam with a disability. I have a beautiful little girl.She is 21 months now. She is doing really well and I feel I am doing a good job as a Mam too. We dont always do things the conventional way but we get there successfully none the less. I would like to hear how you have seen the good in people as a result of being a parent with a difference. I know I see kindness and a spirit of well wishing that always amazes me,Best of luck, you are an inspiration!

Mapet - posted on 05/07/2010

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Amazing... You mentioned earlier that AMC for you was not hereditary, but rather from a virus your mother got. Can you expound on this on your book, to help the new, moms-to-be and want-to-be moms? All the best to you and your family. God bless.

Serena - posted on 05/07/2010

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My question would be how do you feel about your mum/ the fact (I think you said) a virus was the cause of your disabilities whilst in the womb - the comparison of you in her womb and your child in your womb. I love the abbreviated "Footnotes" title. I'd also be interested in comparison with your experiences with that of Alison Lapper (who had her pregnant statue by artist Marc Quinn in Trafalgar Square). Good luck with your book.

Kristine - posted on 05/07/2010

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If I had to put it into the form of a question.... I would ask...."What is a typical day of motherhood like for you, can you run us through the process?

Trudy - posted on 05/07/2010

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my mother was also handicapped. she was a paraplegic. raised 7 kids from a chair! she did everything. i wish she could see what assistance there is for people with needs there is now. she died in 1974. she wouldn't even let me push her in her chair to go for a walk down the sidewalk. she did this mostly alone. my father divorced her after her accident. she was an amazing women. did all the housework from the chair. i have no memories of her standing. i don't believe in self pity. and i guess she's the reason why. you do what whatever you have to do to make things work. my hat's off to you.

Ann - posted on 05/07/2010

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hi i have just read your story and dont no how anyone would not watch the video before accusing you of making it up i think you are a very special lady and you have given so many people inspiration to achieve things that they think is impossible i wish you all the look in the world with your book and hope to be able to read it when your finished you should be very proud of yourself and so will your child be i do have a question and it may of been asked before and hope that it is not out of order to ask it and im sorry if it is offensive if it is please tell me but i would like to no if your child was planned and if so how long did it take you to make this choice and if not how did you react when you found out you was pregnant ann

Angela - posted on 05/07/2010

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firstly all my respect to you i'm sure you do a great job raising your children my fiance has disabilities due to a brain injury from being born prem and while his is not a physical disability it still holds it's fair share of problems as he has short term memory problems and trouble with co ordination to list just a couple of the struggles he has i would think the biggest question from me would be how do you pick your confidence up when it's down and how do you keep it up when it's up

Dora - posted on 05/06/2010

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Anyone who can function as well as you do with your feet will find all the creative answers you will need. I have no suggestions - only admiration!!!

Rita - posted on 05/06/2010

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Has faith made a difference in how you view your disability and ability to parent? I have opinions on this, but would enjoy hearing yours.

Lisa - posted on 05/06/2010

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You should feel Proud. It just goes to show mothers will do anything for their child. I think in your book you show and explain how you have overcome some disiabilities and to show others who may need you advice on how you have overcome and learned to do what you can do. Thank You for being such a great Mother and Happy Mother's Day!!

Great Aunt Ardith Ann - posted on 05/06/2010

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Hi what are you writing, I do short stories, working on a couple of childrens stories that will reflect 1850's GreatAunt ArdithAnn Richter

Jill - posted on 05/05/2010

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Hi, Sarah! I know everyone has already said this a million times, but you are just amazing. Your baby is beautiful and happy and it's so obvious in the video what a wonderful, loving mother you are. I can't imagine using my feet for everything, but I guess since you couldn't use your arms early in life that you just learned it all naturally, the way others learn to use their hands. "Foot Notes" is an awesome title for your book, especially if you have a picture of your feet on the cover. One question I had was about your driving. You said you drove a regular car without adaptions, do you steer with both feet? And how do you use the gas and brake pedals? Do you use one foot on the wheel and the other down on the gas? And what about shifting to reverse, turn signals, windshield wipers, etc? I think if I were to drive with my feet it would be hard to see where I'm going in that position. Very curious to find out how you manage this. Good luck with your book, and let us know when and where we can get a copy:)

Katherina - posted on 05/05/2010

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WOW! What a great job you've done as a mother! Keep do the great job! Write the book, cause it would encourage moms! You have such a cute baby and he is very happy and proud of his mom!

Kerry - posted on 05/05/2010

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All I can say is WOW. You are an amazing mother who clearly cares dearly for your child. I have no question for you but wanted to say good luck with your family's future x

Leanna - posted on 05/05/2010

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I just wanted to know if you had planned the pregnancy or was it a surprise? and if it was planned did you have people thinking you were crazy and thinking you couldnt do it? you are such a strong and amazing woman and i think it is awesome that you dont allow your disability hold you back from having a wonderful life! i just cant imagine some of the comments that may have been made when prople found out you were pregnant, i had people tell me that i was stupid for having a baby because i am bi-polar and it could be passed down to my daughter! so stay strong and thank-you for proving that a disability does not make you a bad parent you are truely an amazing woman

Pamela - posted on 05/04/2010

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I feel it most important for you to look for your inspiration inside of yourself by meditating and asking the Source/Deity/or whomever you may see as your Creator to give you the information that is necessary for others to know.

Though you may receive questions that deal with curiosities that may range from "How do you....?" to " What does it feel like.....", etc. perhaps the best thing to share is where your inspiration comes from to tackle the tasks at hand.

You did not share details of how the baby gets to the floor, or high chair as I would imagine is done with the arms and hands of others...and the4se would be the kinds of questions asked by most.

As you are a unique person with a unique situation, what may best be shared is the attitudes and energies within yourself that you have mustered to be where you are. Your son seems to be very much aware of who he chose to be his Mom, just by his expression of looking at you in this video you have shared. I believe he is a very wise child who has chosen you specifically.

So perhaps you might want to focus on the INTANGIBLE ride that you are on, rather than the "details" of "how to do this and that with one's feet"!

I feel that most of us would benefit from learning about the Spiritual side of your journey. That, I feel would be most beneficial to all!

Good luck. And remember that LUCK is:
L aboring
U nder
C orrect
K nowledge!

May your Good Luck always serve you well! Pamela

Tonja - posted on 05/04/2010

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I think there are a lot of moms who have disabilities that your autobiography would help and inspire. I would think the biggest factor you probably deal with almost daily is the opinions of others. I would want to read what you have had to deal with and how you conquer or deal with issues of public opinion. I think that is probably the largest factor that EVERYONE deals with. Also, do you ever wonder if your son will attempt to use his feet for things because children learn initially from their parents. Do you notice him trying to do things like that? So many things you can cover. Look forward to reading your book.

Brandy - posted on 05/04/2010

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As I always say, we are not survivors we are warriors! Im happy that you want your story to be heard because Im a brain disease survivor and I too are a parent. I would love for my story to be heard. maybe someday. Keep up what your doing because its obvious your doing it good!
god bless,
Brandy! : )

Grandma - posted on 05/04/2010

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I am a disabled mom as well, though not dealing with a disability such as yours. My disabilities are mostly invisible, so no one would know unless I told them or if they see me try to get out of a chair after sitting for a long time. I became disabled after a spinal cord injury when my children were 2 and 6 years old. They are now 22 and 18. What I would want to know is, how do you deal with people who, even in a loving way, try to tell you what you can't do for your children, but you think/know you can, or at least want to try? How do you explain your disability to your children, or plan to explain it to them? What will you say to them if other children comment/tease them about it? Do you ever feel guilty/sad/depressed/upset about your limitations as a mom? I'm sure there are more questions; I'm a writer as well, and will be using forums like this one to complete the two books I'm currently writing. I hope I helped. Didn't have time to read everyone's comments.

Rachel - posted on 05/04/2010

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You rock mama! Inspiring, no nonsense grit- we could all take a page from your handbook!

As my oldest son is physically challenged by CP (Cerebral Palsy) I'd love to hear more about your parents, and their approaches. Especially relative to your reactions (How did they /didn't they push you? Did that frustrate you? Are there moments you can look back on that have shaped who you are today?)

Onward and upward mama, keeping inspiring us to be better moms, sisters and daughters!

Karen - posted on 05/04/2010

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What an inspirational story, you look so happy and full of love. You also have the most beautiful legs and feet I have ever seen! I think Footnotes is a great name for the book & will watch out for it. I'd be interested in whether you're tried teaching or coaching, I think you'd be fabulous. Good luck with the book xx

Mimi - posted on 05/04/2010

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Sarah you are an inspiration. I would love to read your book. My question, which I am having difficulty phrasing is: What are the expectations, if any, on your son that would be different from a toddler of a mom without your disability? If so, how do you plan for that, and how do you feel about that? It would seem to me, having a toddler myself, who for example, is always running from me to do mischief, that you would need to run after and scoop your child up at any given moment - in the grocery store, or god forbid, on the street. What kind of special understanding needs to exist between a mother and child, and cooperation expected from your child, given your situation? Does your bond need to be even closer? How do you prepare for this, train your child etc. that might be different than I do? Or is this question irrelevant - and there are no additional expectations on your son? I hope this makes sense. Good luck with the book, I look forward to reading it.

Lorraine - posted on 05/04/2010

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Hi Sarah. How do you bath you very beautiful son, and how do you get him in and out of a car, do you get help. What do you find most difficult? ....Much love to you and your family. XXX

Lorraine - posted on 05/04/2010

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What a great mom. I would just LOVE to read your book.I know how hard it is with two hands, OMG how do you do it....Lots of love and admiration to you a truley Top Mommy....XXXXXX

Chantel - posted on 05/03/2010

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I think that what you are doing is absolutely amazing! I think to myself every single day, I don't have enough arms and hands to keep up with my daughter... And I think that you are just amazing. What was your largest obstacle to over come?

Cheryl - posted on 05/03/2010

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HI Sarah,

1st let me start by saying you are simply amazing and the decision to go forward with the steps is amazing. I am simply intrigued by your story. It's a story of strength and perserverance. my response to your request is basically the struggle of normalcy, that fact that so manyo f us gripe for the simple fact that we are trying to obtain a sense of normalcy like what used to seem old hat to our mothers and how easy it appear when we were growing up and now that we have such a hard time trying to stay on task. Normalcy and what you have learn from your observations in viewing other mothers not in your particular situation, but that "seem" be be the way it should be versus your life's normalcy. Hopefully you can get something out of what I am asking and hopefully you can glean from it and it gives you some type of inspiration or jump. Either way your response will be greatly appreciated. Ps I do understand condecending conversations it's the worst ever.

Simply Chocolate
destinynview@gmail.com

Lori - posted on 05/03/2010

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Sarah, let me start by saying that I don't know how any of us "normal" moms could inspire you. If anything, you can inspire all of us each and every day. I have days with my 5 year old and 19 month old that I find incredibly challenging, however my challenges pale in comparison to what you face on a daily basis. And you handle it well. I am so impressed with your abilities to do everything with your feet that others do with their hands. I have 2 questions for you.

1. I know you have limited use of your arms, but do you have ample feeling in them? When you pick up your son, can you feel him in your arms?

2. When you have those trying days, where do you draw your inner strength from?

Many blessings to you and your family. Your son is beautiful!
Sincerely,
Lori

Lyndal - posted on 05/02/2010

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Your video makes me cry wow you have a beautiful bond with your gorgous baby. I have a minor problem that i control with medicine and a balanced life, Bipolar doesn't stop me caring for my children though. Breanna has Cerebral Palsy mildly and she copes well with school and everything. Hope you have lots of inspiration for your book. Prayer and love helped us. I pray you and your family experience many joys. Love Lyndal xx

Alicia - posted on 05/02/2010

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Wow! You're an amazing woman!!

A question... hmmm...

What is a day in the life like?

[deleted account]

My sister was born without her left arm. She, like I would guess you, do not have a disability. Our mom constantly told us to be looking out for curious people, go up to them and ask them if they had questions about my sister's little arm. As a result of this I am still very open to asking people questions about their differences. Is this something that you appreciate or not?

As far as children's potential for hurting your son with their unkindness: I would LOVE for my son's school to have assemblies to show and explain the different strengths people have due to their situations. That way questions can be asked and answered in a positive learning environment.

As a mom, my sister is of course teaching by example. My niece is using her feet and "little arm" (she has both hands) to imitate her mom. It's wonderful to see!

Congrats on your opportunity to write a book and for your spot on CNN! And THANK YOU SO MUCH for being a wonderful example of how adaptable we humans can be. I hope this all works out well for you, and I am looking forward to hearing more about you and to read your book.

[deleted account]

I watched your video and was very encouraged. I have Cerebral Palsy and have limited use of my left side. I found I had some unique challenges after the birth of my daughter as I had to learn how to take care of her my own way. Have you found any groups or sites that support moms with physical challenges? Would love to get involved with something like that.

Rebecca - posted on 05/02/2010

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Great courage, Sarah! I have an "invisible" disability, which makes it hard for people, including my own child, to understand what I can and can't do. One advantage of a brain injury, however, is that it keeps improving over time (especially with good self-care). After 13 years, I'm finally seeing the positive things about the injury, instead of just wanting my old brain back. I've learned to slow down and appreciate what really matters. Also, I hope my son learns to empathize with people with physical and/or mental limitations and also not see them as "weak" or "stupid." I'm sure yours will, Sarah!

Shannon - posted on 05/02/2010

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I showed my son (6) your video clip. He has a question for you. How do get the baby and yourself dressed? Do you drive? I am wondering how people react to your ABILITIES.

Kristine - posted on 05/02/2010

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Hi Sarah, I'm not going to swell your head with compliments for something that you now find so ordinary. I will simply commend you for a strong, courageous woman with a beautiful family. A question that might help ...who do have around you to help you teach your child what you unfortunately cannot? Just a few examples would be how to throw a ball, bump a volleyball, properly handle a knife or drive a car? You have had to modify everything in your life to suit your needs but when it is time for your child learn about the mechanics of his "normal" body, how will this be accomplished? How does it make you feel? It would be great to see how you overcome these problems because I can see the care and love you have for your child has no bounds.

Alison - posted on 05/02/2010

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I am also a mom with a disability. I guess my questions would be was there a chance that you could pass on your disablitlity to your children, and if so, how did you decide to have kids and take that chance? Also, how do you explain to other people your everyday struggles raising kids and having to do things a little differently than others? How do you deal with people who are not the nicest and say very hurtful things?

[deleted account]

Good luck with your book. I'm a mom who is disabled and runs a bike recycling project for needy kids to receive free bikes. We have saved the landfill about 1160 bikes and given free to kids 670+ bikes to needy kids all over the hudson valley. HTTP://BIKEDRIVE.TOPCITIES.COM

Lyndal - posted on 05/02/2010

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I didn't read through all of this, nor look at the video due to slow connection but my question would be has your son taken on any of your movement strategies and ways that you've adapted by the limited use of your arms. Does he use his feet for things? How does this fit in with the nature/nurture debate?

Margaret - posted on 05/02/2010

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My question: do you have any support group or friends/acquaintances that can share some of what you go through?

Parenting can sometimes be a socially isolating experience, and though millions of people go through it, when you are home alone with your kids one often feels all alone. It is always great to meet others who face the same challenges. For example, groups for parents with multiples, groups for parents with children with autism, or down syndrome, etc. These are great forums for parents who face similar challenges to join together and share and relate. Do you get that at all? Are there other people who face similar challenges to you with whom you connect with?

Sonia - posted on 05/01/2010

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Sarah, when I first started running the video I felt bad for you and thought about how challenging having a baby can be under normal circumstances, let alone not having the use of your arms. Then I saw you change your baby's diaper and feed him and I saw no difference between how you did it and how I did it. It was amazing!
Thank you for giving us this different perspective. Moms do what moms do, don't they? No matter what, those little people need us to be there for them and we find a way to do that!
I have no doubt you'll be the best mom for your beautiful boy.

Jennifer - posted on 05/01/2010

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I didn't watch the video (just not enough time with two little ones running around here and caring for my father who has had his neck fuzed, muscular distrophy, rhumatoid arthritis, C.O.P.D., and had a triple bi-pass). anyway although my brother in law never had any children of his own he has raised his niece and now his great nephew (with some help). he was born with no arms and no legs. he walks on his rear end and has 1 partial arm that stops just above where an elbow would go. he struggles with the children that have been in his care so I know the troubles you have to go through. I wish you luck with your book and have full confidence that your children are in fine care.

Marissa - posted on 05/01/2010

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there are times when you get fed up with the whining and crying of the small one. You may or may not have a nanny to care for the baby, how did you overcome that feeling of tiredness of a baby crying or whining?

Barbara - posted on 05/01/2010

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Sarah, you are an amazing person! I can tell by your son's smile he adores you . I admire you and what you do. Your son is very lucky to have a mom like you and you are very fortunate to have a beautiful son to love and care for. I have a granddaughter who has autism and she is blind. I take care of her and love her with all my heart. God has blessed me with Katie. And God has blessed you and your husband with your son.

Shelli - posted on 05/01/2010

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You are an amazing mother who has not let fear or anything else keep you from taking on this challenge. I believe it has made you a stronger woman for this. Applause!

Have you ever thought of a time when you will be able to use your arms like everyone else? If someone could show you how that;s possible, would that make a difference for you? I can help. cantact me @ FresaRosas12@yahoo.com. My name is Shelli

Amanda - posted on 05/01/2010

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congrats on writing a book about ur disablity. i think that u are a very brave women and a wonderful mother to ur son. my daughter was born with sleep apnea and when she was out in public wearing her monitor the looks people would give me like its my fault she has a disablity pissed me off.
my question is how do u handle the people who stare at u when u have to change ur son in public and even when ur driving and people are staring?
i would tell people is there a problem shes a sick baby dont stare ask questions.
im looking forward to reading ur book.

Josie - posted on 05/01/2010

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U are truly inspirational, I to am dealing with disability, but in another way, I have MS, and have 3 kids.

I guess we are the 1st to know that disability is not inability as you have clearly shown :-)

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