Marie and her son Mark smile at camera with some rabbits at a petting zoo

“I want him to have the childhood that I never had”

In November 2013, Marie and her husband Dan became the proud parents of Mark via a surrogate. Marie has brittle bone disease and uses a wheelchair, so aspects of being a mum can be challenging. As Mother’s Day approaches, Marie tells us how Mark is growing up. 

Well, what can I say? Mark is now two years and three months old and we simply do not know where that time has gone.Mark plays with a sponge football

It’s a cliché to say ‘They grow up so fast’, but they really do! We are having so much fun and Mark has an amazing social life. He attends ‘Stay and Play’, ‘Mini Strikers’ and ‘Rugby Tots’ twice a week. ‘Rugby Tots’ has a Saturday session so daddy can come along too.

We have been out and about so much that I have recently had to have new tyres and motors on my powerchair. 1200 miles of mostly outdoor wheeling in a year will do that!

I’m enjoying everything about being a mum and I especially love being able to drive Mark to all his children centre activities in my adapted van. People stare and seem amazed when they see you are a disabled mum but when they see you driving your son around in a VW Caravelle with controls that look like they came from a games console, there are even more amazed looks!

I’m so grateful for the Motability scheme. The independence it gives me to enable me to take my son places like any other parent is what the scheme is all about.

He doesn’t see me any differently

Mark is getting even bigger and stronger and the challenges of being a small brittle mum are constantly changing. Mark (like any other adventurous toddler) likes to climb and jump so we need to be careful as there is a risk of him hurting me. Mark is now getting to the age where he understands that mummy could get hurt and so knows that daddy is who you go to for rough and tumble!

Mark running and smiling on the beach

I do really miss being able to physically pick him up but we still sit next to each other and cuddle on the sofa for story time before bed. We also love to hold hands and watch Peppa Pig together (Mark’s favourite!)

Now that Mark is walking and running independently, some things are a lot easier. He can walk over to me and climb up to my wheelchair when he wants a kiss or wants to see me. He’s even started passing me a cushion before I am about to climb onto the sofa as he knows I use one to transfer.

He doesn’t see me any differently. I’m just mum and he likes being helpful. He has an obsession at the moment with making sure daddy wears his slippers around the house!

Remembering my mum

Mother’s day is fast approaching and some days I still have to pinch myself to realise this is still real, that I’m a mum and we have a beautiful son. My only wish is that my own mother could have lived to see him. She sadly passed away a year before he was born but I’m proud to say she knew our plans and was as excited as we were. I know that she is looking down on us and I would like to use this blog to honour her and thank her for everything she did for me. Without her I wouldn’t be where I am now or have the knowledge I have to be a mum myself.

Marie with her mum

Hopes and fears for the future

Like any mum I have my fears and hopes for my child’s future. I think because of my own brittle bones I am always afraid of Mark getting hurt.

My biggest fear is him falling off a bike or out of a tree when he is older and him getting a fracture himself (even though he doesn’t share my condition). I fear this for him because I know how much it hurts and never want him to experience it! At the same time, I know I would be the best person to help him through it.

My hopes for his future are that he will always be happy. I want him to have the childhood that I never had. Already he does so much for a two year old I know that we will succeed in making his childhood the best it possibly can be. Every day he’s doing something from football to visiting the zoo. My other hope for him is that one day we will be blessed again with a second child so he can be a big brother.

Marie, Dan and Mark enjoy lunch at a restaurant by the sea

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