TLC Special to Focus on 'Paralyzed Bride' Becoming a Mom
Rachelle Chapman, 31, says she is excited but nervous about her upcoming TLC reality show that documents when she and her husband Chris, 34, defied the odds and welcomed a baby in May of 2015.
“The show will definitely take you on an emotional roller coaster,” Chapman says of Rattled: A Paralyzed Mother’s Story. “There are going to be some funny parts and sometimes when I get emotional.”
Chapman became known as the “paralyzed bride” after a freak 2010 accident at her bachelorette party left her a quadriplegic. A friend playfully pushed her in the pool and the way she hit the water paralyzed her from the chest down.
After doctors told her giving birth would be dangerous, college friend Laurel Humes acted as a surrogate for the couple.
Cameras rolled at the couple’s home in Knightdale, North Carolina at Rachelle’s baby shower, through Kaylee’s birth, and wrapped up just before the little girl turned a year old.
“I really want people to see what a quadriplegic is capable of. I think the world has very little knowledge about spinal cord injuries and I’m looking to change that,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We have so much more to offer than people might think. I have seen people commenting in articles calling me selfish for wanting to be a mother. But people will see in the show that our system works and that my daughter is going to have the most beautiful fulfilling life.”
Chapman says this is also the first time she’s spoken on camera about the friend who pushed her into the pool. Though she told PEOPLE back in April 2016 that the friend was no longer in her life, she says she wanted to talk about the broken friendship on the show because people need to understand that while she has a beautiful story, it’s “not all fluffy rainbows.”
Rachelle, a stay-at-home-mom, explains, “I want people to understand that if someone hurts you and they don’t mean to, then you should find it in your heart to forgive them. But if they are making you feel less worthy of their friendship, then it is healthy to move on.”
Rachelle says despite the emotional roller coaster, she would be open to doing more reality TV and definitely wants more kids. “I’d loooove more kids,” she tells PEOPLE. “We have three frozen embryos, but there’s a lot that would need to happen. Most importantly, I’d have to find another surrogate who can be as amazing as Laurel was.”
The one-hour special airs Jan. 23rd at 10 p.m. on TLC.