When Sheree Psaila was born, she had almost no body muscle. As a result, doctors believed that she’d never be able to get pregnant. However, in 2016 Psaila defied the medical experts’ predictions by carrying a baby to term.
And Psaila has constantly beaten the odds throughout her life. Indeed, before she even entered the world, doctors warned her mom that she wouldn’t survive birth. Then, after Psaila arrived successfully, experts said that she wouldn’t make it to one year old.
Still, even after Psaila celebrated her first birthday, her medical team warned that she would never walk. By the time that she was five, though, the determined youngster had proved the professionals wrong yet again. People still continued to doubt her capabilities, however.
Even though she had survived into childhood and mastered walking, for example, doctors claimed that Psaila wouldn’t be suited to mainstream schools. They also said that she would be reliant on her mom and dad forever.
And people having low expectations of her wasn’t Psaila’s only worry: as a child, she also found that she was constantly picked on. “I always got bullied, and no one understood what my capabilities were,” she told the Daily Mail in 2016.
The reason people doubted Psaila’s abilities was because she was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, also known as AMC. The condition typically decreases joint flexibility; however, symptoms vary widely in different people.
For Psaila, AMC meant that she had weak muscle tissue in her knees and elbows, which she could only bend slightly. Meanwhile, her shoulders barely moved, while her ankles and wrists were just about fused. She also had limited use of her toes and fingers.
And by the time she was 22 years old, Psaila had undergone over 20 operations, although the procedures hadn’t done a great deal to cure her symptoms. But, once again, Psaila’s fighting spirit prevailed.
In fact, Psaila was determined to live as ordinarily as possible. And she eventually found love with Chris Psaila, whom she married in 2015. Her husband also battles with health problems: in his case, a hereditary condition has led to a damaged lower spine.
But neither Psaila nor her partner were willing to let their health issues get in the way of life. So the couple settled down in Wodonga, Australia, and began trying for a baby. Then, after a heartbreaking miscarriage, they fell pregnant again a few months after their wedding.
Once more, Psaila had smashed all the expectations people had had for her. “The doctors told me I probably wouldn’t be able to have kids, although they didn’t give me a reason why not,” she revealed in her interview with the Daily Mail.
But even though Psaila had managed to fall pregnant, medical experts still had their concerns. Since Psaila’s petite frame stands at just four feet tall, they worried that her baby wouldn’t be able to grow as expected, for instance.
However, despite the doctors’ reservations, Psaila’s pregnancy progressed nicely. Then, when she reached 29 weeks, she relocated to Melbourne in order to be closer to the hospital – just to be on the safe side.
It was decided that Psaila should give birth via cesarean section rather than risk a natural birth. In addition, doctors would have to put her to sleep for the delivery. “At first, the doctors wanted to do an epidural so I could be awake. But because my spine isn’t completely straight, they put me under general anaesthetics,” Psaila explained to the Daily Mail.
Then, in February 2016 Psaila welcomed a little boy named Hayden. He weighed 5.5 pounds and measured 18.5 inches in length. Furthermore, he was perfectly healthy and showed no sign of any disability.
As the months passed, though, Psaila came to terms with the new challenges that motherhood had brought her. Because of the low muscle tissue in her arms and legs, the new mom was unable to reach out to her baby – which at times may have been heartbreaking for her.
Psaila revealed in her Daily Mail interview, “Sometimes he’ll cry, and I can’t reach him to pick him up. I have to wait for someone to pick him up for me.” She added, “I love being a mum, but it does get frustrating at times because there are a lot of things I can’t do.”
As a consequence, while Psaila can change Hayden’s diaper, she nevertheless needs help lifting his legs. Thankfully though, her husband is at hand to support her and Hayden. Psaila’s carer also visits her five times each week for three-hour periods.
Revealing some of the things she struggles with, Psaila said to the Daily Mail, “When he was smaller, our carer would hold Hayden in the bath so I could bathe him. But now that he’s big enough to sit in shallow water in a full-sized tub, I can’t bend my knees enough to get down and wash him myself.”
However, despite the challenges she faces, Psaila is keen to stress that she’s a perfectly capable mother. “People mistake my condition for a disease or intellectual disability, but that’s not the case,” she said. “I’m just a disabled mom who has to lower the handlebar on the pram. That’s it.”