Self Portrait

In 2010 I was pregnant with my 3rd child. I had over 10 years of experience being paralyzed and had heard a variety of reactions to each pregnancy. The response from others ranged from the overjoyed lady thanking God that I could still be blessed with the miracle of motherhood to the suspicious untrusting eyes of the man who questions whether I can take care of a baby at all. 

I realized that pregnancy and disability together caused intense feelings in others. Shortly after my injury and years before marriage, it was often one of the first questions to come out of people's mouths - Can you still have kids? 

In this painting I wanted to focus on the scar, the evidence of the damage done to my body. While at the same time, including the pregnant belly hinted that there was more here than just a broken body. 

The painting was purchased by the Mary Free Bed Hospital in Grand Rapids Michigan in their permanent collection. It now hangs on the wall of a hospital with a large rehabilitation unit that serves those with spinal cord injuries. My hope was that I could offer representation to the individuals and their families who may wonder about the possibility of parenthood.