Spinal Cord Injury Community

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Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
01/13/21  1:45 PM PST
father with a spinal cord injury

My Spinal Cord Injury Takes A Back Seat

Happy New Year!

While 2020 was an unprecedented paradigm shift for me and most of the globe, I must say, my wife Katie and I made the best of it by ending the year with a glorious crescendo! I would like to introduce our baby girl – Cayla Mae Baker, born December 26th, 2020.

My fear of becoming a father with a spinal cord injury vanished the moment Cayla was placed in my arms. For the past two decades I’ve felt an overall sense of weakness because of my muscular impairments, a burden to family and friends because of my physical needs, and genuinely disempowered by daily limitations. I was scared I would not have the energy or strength to spare to rear another life. I was wrong.

The instant I looked into the starlight in her eyes something primal arose within me, it felt as though every cell of my body flicked on and became activated. A paternal instinct over powered any fearful doubts, and my only thoughts became omnipotent love, protection and a desire to provide for this beautiful new life.

As though by divine design, I was made for this.

This was more than a mindset shift; my injury and all my perceived baggage I held onto was set aside and replaced by a very real sense of strength and purpose. My injury immediately took a back seat and no longer monopolized me quite like it has. The wheelchair didn’t matter, my personal issues didn’t matter, the only thing that does now is her and my wife Katie. I am emboldened.

I sat across the room and gazed at the glow of Katie cradling Cayla. Their aura warmed my heart and solidified my feeling of eternal commitment to them. I am so proud of Katie and all she endured during her pregnancy and the birth. It may sound sappy, but Cayla has brought us closer. Through our shared adversity we have come to a deeper understanding and empathy for each other. We have become more than a team, we are now a family.

We’re home, and the cliches are true: we are sleep deprived and slightly malnourished but completely enamored by this little angel. I do my best to help Katie with cuddles, bottles, sponge baths, and diaper changes, and cuddles… Did I already say that? Yes well, I can’t stop sniffing, kissing and cuddling our precious girl. Geeesh, she’s delicious!

So despite the fact that I still live with a laborious condition that I must manage daily, I feel as though I’ve been supercharged and blessed with an opportunity to up-level my life, elevate my game and build a bright future for my family.

I welcome the new year with more hope and optimism than ever before. May we all see 2021 through the eyes of a newborn… Pure and infinite.

Cheers to fatherhood!



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