'Capable of anything': woman with spinal cord injury defies odds and falls pregnant

Alyssa Higgins and her husband Jimmy.
Alyssa Higgins and her husband Jimmy. Photo: Instagram

A woman with a spinal cord injury and one ovary has beaten the odds and fallen pregnant – admitting she never thought it was possible.

"NEVER. SAY. NEVER," 30-year-old Alyssa Higgins captioned her announcement post on Instagram.

"From being delivered by forceps causing my spinal cord injury to becoming an expecting mother!"

Ms Higgins suffered an injury to her cervical spine during her birth, damaging the C1-C2 vertebrae at the top of her back.

The left side of her body was severely weakened preventing her from being able to move on her own and leaving her permanently in a wheelchair.

Her injury, combined with the fact she only has one ovary, meant Ms Higgins didn't think it would be possible to conceive.

"The ovary thing made it get into my head more when I thought I couldn't get pregnant," she told Good Morning America

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Ms Higgins is sharing her joy on social media - including the photo shoot when she revealed the huge news to her husband, Jimmy, with a sign that read, 'Surprise! You're going to be a dad in 2021.'

The disability advocate decided to document her pregnancy journey at 'Wheel Life in the Wheel World', hoping to inspire women in a similar position and answer any questions her followers may have about spinal injuries.

"We want abled body people to open their eyes. We want everyone to see we're capable of anything we set our mind to," she wrote in one post. "Point is, we're not brave. We're fun, crazy, loving, obnoxious people just like you."

We got a “perfect!”! Baby Higgins is looking great!

Posted by Wheel Life in the Wheel World on  Friday, 6 November 2020

She has also decided to have the baby via caeseran. 

"Being born by a doctor with forceps that caused my spinal cord injury I knew no matter what (if I could get pregnant or not) my choice would always be a c-section," she explained.

"The way I am is because of an ignorant doctor who made a very poor decision and caring about himself and what was happening in a Notre Dame college football game," she continued. "He was all about getting me out and getting out of that room very quickly."

She also assured followers that she's not completely against vaginal births.

"So yes for me, I'm always for c-sections!" she said. "I'm not saying that don't do a vaginal birth! Do it! I wish I could but if your doctor sees complications I'd be the one to say you know what let's do a c-section instead."

The mum-to-be added that she doesn't want people to think she's 'brave' because she's pregnant with a disability, arguing that being pregnant is daunting experience for all women.

"Being pregnant while having a disability is very scary and you have to take a lot of precautions but that doesn't mean ANY women doesn't go through the same thing!" she wrote in an Instagram post. "We're ALL worried!

Mr Higgins is proud of the positive impact she is having on other people - and hopes to continue providing inspiration. 

"The girl who was somewhat quiet in school. Who didn’t have a voice for herself. Who relied on her parents or nurse. Finally decided to spread her wings!," she wrote in a recent post.

"Learned to love herself and opened up which led me to speaking up and being an advocate for myself and for so many others!"