Ebony Uamaki was bullied as a child because of her blindness, but you’d think she’d put that behind her when she reached adulthood.
But it was nothing compared to what doctors told her when she became pregnant.
Instead of congratulating her, her doctor questioned her ability to be a parent.
This attitude best describes Ebony’s biggest challenge in dealing with her disability: other people’s opinions and perceptions.
She has overcome all of them and gone on to become an inspiring mother of four children, all of whom are under the age of four.
The now 29-year-old Brisbane resident was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) at the age of two, with only 5% vision.
Today, she has 1% vision in her left eye, is blind in her right eye, and can only see shadows and determine whether it is day or night.
This hasn’t stopped her from becoming a happy mother to four-year-old Arorangi, three-year-old Tavake, and one-year-old twins Manaia and Koia.
She was aware of the difficulties she would face as a mother. She, for example, is unable to drive.
Worse, a large number of people do not believe she will be able to care for her children.
‘There was a lot of doubt around if it can parent because I can’t see and whether I would need a lot of help,’ she said.
Ebony met Adam in the middle of 2016, and she became pregnant by the end of the year.
In January 2017, when Ebony was five weeks pregnant, the couple went to her doctor for a routine check-up, excited to be parents – but instead faced difficult conversations from her doctor.
‘She recommended termination on several occasions throughout the consult – which was quite shocking to me at the time – due to the fact that I could pass on the condition to my children,’ Ebony recalled.
Her ability to parent was also questioned by the doctor.
‘I left that consult feeling quite defeated and it brought up everything from the past,’ Ebony said.
Ebony miscarried less than two weeks later. The decision to switch doctors was simple.
She became pregnant in April with her first child, Arorangi, who is now four.
‘I’ve always wanted to have children and to have a big family, because I came from one,’ she said.