A Sydney woman has overcome huge odds to fulfill her dream of motherhood, undergoing five rounds of IVF despite her quadriplegia.
Nicole Crawford broke her neck in a car accident and she now has no movement in her body below the neck.
"I had always dreamed of being a mum but after the accident I never thought it would become a reality," Nicole explained.
"I saw a specialist at IVF Australia, they support single women or same sex couples who want children and my case was reviewed before they agreed to the treatment.
"But it was clear that despite being immobile, I had a strong family support network around me who wanted to help."
After undergoing five rounds of IVF at a cost of $17,500, Nicole finally fell pregnant and in November 2016, baby Reagan arrived via C-section.
"The doctors said that my body was healthy enough to carry my own baby and so I began IVF in 2014.
"As I don't have a partner I needed a sperm donor and each round of IVF cost $3,500 but I knew it would be worth it. "
Nicole was a passenger in the back seat of a soft top car when she was involved in a horror smash.
She broke her neck and was given the devastating news that she would never walk again.
"From that moment my life completely changed, I spent nine months in hospital but I always tried to stay positive, I was thankful to be alive," Nicole said.
"I am able to move my arms slightly but I have no control over my wrists and no other movement from my neck down.
"In 2014 I moved into a purpose built house with my mum, brother and two aunties.
"Everything had been specially adapted to accommodate my wheelchair and it made life so much easier."
It was at that time that Nicole became increasingly aware she wanted to pursue motherhood.
"It was at that point when I decided I wanted to have a baby," Nicole said. "Ever since I was little I had always wanted to be a mum and so I didn't understand why this had to be taken away from me as well.
"I approached my mum with the idea and she said that she would fully support my decision."
Nicole, who is currently single, underwent five rounds of assisted conception using donor sperm and intra-uterine insemination.
Unfortunately the first four attempts were unsuccessful, but on the fifth try, in April 2016, Nicole received the news she could only dream of.
"It was completely surreal, I had been trying for 13 months and finally it was really happening," Nicole said.
"The pregnancy was classed as high risk, but overall everything went smoothly and it was nothing compared to what I had previously been through.
"I was booked in for a C-section but I had to go in six weeks earlier than planned and on November 9 Reagan was born.
"There were no complications and I was able to take Reagan home two weeks later which was amazing.
"I don't plan on having any more children, I know how lucky I am to have Reagan."
Nicole's mum, Sandra, 53, has now taken a year off work to help care for Nicole and Reagan, and the family couldn't be happier.
"My mum is now a full-time grandmother and I wouldn't be here without her, she does all of the feeding and washing, and the rest of the family help out when they can too," Nicole explained.
"When Reagan cries it's my motherly instinct to pick him up, and it is sometimes frustrating knowing that I can't, but my family are always on hand to help and they always bring him to me.
"Mum places Reagan on a cushion on my lap where he lies and I wheel him around.
"I know I won't be able to do everything that a normal able-bodied parent would but we will work it out, Reagan is my little miracle and I am so lucky to have him."
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