Marie has her arm around Mark

“I love exploring the world with my son”

Last November, Marie and her husband Dan became proud parents of baby Mark. Marie has brittle bone disease and uses a wheelchair, so aspects of being a mum can be challenging. But the new family are finding inventive ways to enjoy time together.

Mark is now seven months and is developing fast. It has been amazing seeing him flourish and the satisfaction of knowing Dan and I are doing a great job is incredible. He is now onto three solid meals a day, plus his milk of course. He seems to enjoy everything that is put in front of him, but banana and broccoli are definitely his two favourites!

Marie feeding seven-month-old Mark in a park
Marie and Mark enjoying their local park

It is still very difficult that I can no longer physically lift Mark. He is now a third of my body weight and sitting down we are the same height! Even though we always knew this day would come, I sometimes wish he was a tiny baby again so I could relive being able to carry him.

We are, however, getting inventive and starting to see our local area in a whole new light. Our local play park has baby swings, which the designers have accidently put at the perfect height for me to push and play with Mark! He giggles and grins his head off the whole time. It is also really nice to be at eye level with him in such a care free ‘natural’ environment. Needless to say, this is now on our regular walking route!

Milton Keynes was clearly designed with all young families in mind, including ours. We have a comprehensive cycle network, separate from the roads, and you can guess what this means: complete safe level access, city wide.

To make the most of this, I have just got hold of a frankly awesome, new power chair. Provided by the local Wheelchair Service, it took a considerable amount of fighting and battling to get but it was worth it in the end. The new wheelchair can go up to eight miles an hour, which means once Mark is on his feet, and especially on his bike, we can have a brilliant time exploring the area as a family.

My new chair also allows me greater freedom around the home and is enabling me to do things faster, which comes in handy when Mark wants his breakfast! Mark loves the new wheelchair too, using the lights as a homing beacon if I am in it while he’s in his walker.

Dan and I are finding different and amazing ways to play with Mark together as a family. Mark’s favourite game at the moment is for us to sit at opposite ends of our 15 metre laminate hallway, while he runs between us in his walker, laughing his head off. Just that simple act of him running towards me on the floor, mouth agape, giggling like mad is enough to melt anyone’s heart!

We are now planning more adventures, trips away and places to visit, while life goes on in general. We are still completely overwhelmed by the positive attitudes we see and even complete strangers simply adore our little family.

Marie is blogging about being a disabled mum for Scope, and has been raising awareness by talking to Sunday People, That’s Life! magazine and Disability Horizons