Rosemarie Siggins (nee Homan) was born with ‘Sacral Agenesis’, a rare condition which left her with severely deformed legs and feet pointing in an outward direction. At the age of 2, with insight from doctors and other specialists, her parents decided to amputate the lower half of her body. By the time she was 3, Rose had learnt to walk on her hands and soon after started using a skateboard to get around.
Her passion for cars led her to be a mechanic and her dad went so far as to adapt the pedals of her car so she could drive and have the freedom to get around. She got her first car (a 1974 Chevy Camaro with a 350 engine) when she was only sixteen. In 1997 she met Dave Siggins who worked at an auto parts store and they got married in 1999.
Many born with this condition end up spending their lives in a wheelchair, going through a number of surgeries and never having kids. But this inspiring mama was different. She fell pregnant and going against most doctors advice, she had two beautiful children, Luke and Shelby.
NM: Rose, it’s an honour to feature you on the inspiring mama’s series. Life hasn’t always been easy but you have overcome pretty much every obstacle thrown at you. What motivates you?
RS: Thank you for the kind invitation. Life is hard for all sorts of people. I was just given this life so overcoming obstacles has become second nature. My upbringing has always been my motivation. My mom would never allow me to give up. She would always tell me find away.
NM: I am of the belief that a parent’s attitude plays a great role in the attitude of their child. How did your parent’s attitude when you were younger encourage you and make a difference to your life?
RS: As I mentioned in the question above, my parents especially my mom played a vital role in my positive outlook on life. My parents supported me in whatever I wanted to do. They gave my the confidence I needed. I raise both my children the same way. I encourage them not to give up when something is hard.
NM: Tell me about your experiences having Luke & Shelby.
RS: Having Luke was easy. Compared to Shelby. With Luke, the doctors were concerned about complications with the pregnancy. For instance, since I am small and don’t have a lot of room inside me as a ‘normal female’ for the baby to grow. The doctors worried as the baby grew it would compromise my lungs and make breathing a challenge for me. Also, doctors worried about the baby not growing to a full size and it having health issues when the baby was born. For example, lung issues and mental challenges due to its small size. I was very lucky with my first pregnancy. None of those issues happened. I had Luke via classical style C-section at 35 weeks. We delivered early in case I experienced preterm labour. He weighed 5lbs 8oz and 19 1/2 inches long. Normal size baby.
Seven years after having Luke I became pregnant with Shelby. Her birth was not as easy. Since my first pregnancy was without complications, the doctors kind of relaxed and so did I. About three months into my pregnancy, I started to experience vaginal bleeding more than usual. Doctors became worried that my uterus was tearing. After an ultrasound performed by the doctor, they could not figure out what was causing the bleeding. To be cautious, the doctor had me bedridden for the remainder of the pregnancy. A month later I experienced extreme pain in my abdomen. Once again I was rushed to the hospital, another ultra sound performed to see the baby was doing fine. Near the end of my second pregnancy, I started to have breathing issues. Doctors advised me to remain in the hospital for the next week as a precaution. I was glad that last week was the 35th week. Shelby weighed 4lbs 6oz and 17 inches long.
NM: I read about your dream of your mom when you were recovering after having Shelby. Even when she wasn’t physically there for you, she was there for you. Not many are lucky enough to experience that. Can you tell my readers about that experience.
RS: I was very scared with my second pregnancy. It seemed all the fears doctors had were coming true. My mom was with me for my first pregnancy. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years after Luke was born. So, I no longer had her here to help calm me during the second pregnancy. I had a dream that felt so real. She came to me in the middle of the night when I was bedridden. She told me everything would be fine. She was watching over the baby from above. She said she would be in the operating room to make sure everything went smoothly. I felt better about what she said. I found the courage and faith to believe everything would be alright.
NM: Let’s talk about Dave Siggins. The man who has loved you for 14 years and stood (tall!) by your side through your pregnancies, losing your parents and still continues to do so. How has he changed your view of life?
RS: He has been my rock. Him believing in me and standing ‘tall’ by my side makes me know I can conquer anything.
NM: Last but not least, your freedom board. My mission with this post is to help you raise money to design and build your freedom board. To date you have raised $5,530. Why is the freedom board so important to you (as opposed to a wheelchair) and what will it look like?
RS: I appreciate your generosity to help with raising funds for my Freedom Board. I am so thrilled you are creating a link allowing your readers to donate. The board is an invention of my husband. He felt since I have always rode a skateboard why stop now. So, the board will have an electric motor. The best way to kinda describe it would be the bottom of a Segway. I can sit on it and lean forward to go or lean to either side to turn. I have been raising funds for it since 2011. Every time I get so close, I do a price check on all the supplies and find out all the prices are higher. It seems like I can’t get ahead. But I am not giving up!
Having half a body hasn’t stopped Rose from doing anything, I’m certain nothing will. Please click the link below and make a donation to make a difference.