Meet Journee a Brisbane mum with dwarfism. She explains her biggest fears during pregnancy, the most heartbreaking concern being “My baby is going to be bullied, left behind and emotionally more sensitive than other kids”.
As little girls we dream big. We envision ourselves as princesses, superheros and mummies. We play with our dolls and can’t wait to be mummies. Whether we had good or indifferent experiences growing up with our mummies, all little girls at one point or another dreams of being a mummy.
When I fell pregnant, it was a major shock. I never thought it could actually happen for me. I have dwarfism and stand at 3’9 tall. How was I going to do this? I was told growing up I would never be a mummy, I shouldn’t be a mummy and I couldn’t be a mummy. These irrational fears pounded at my heart. On top of that I didn’t have a supportive partner so I knew I was going to do this alone, my friends reassured me that wouldn’t be the case. They would be there for me. When I look back now, they truly were everything beautiful along with my family.
Complete strangers were so worried for me, my friends and family kept telling me I was going to have the coolest kid but all I could think about was …
“Will my baby have dwarfism like me?”
“Will my baby be born with the double dominant dwarfism gene and pass away after birth?” “Will my baby be average height and tower over me when he is 7?”
“My baby is going to be bullied, left behind and emotionally more sensitive than other kids”.
Since baby daddy and I have achondroplasia dwarfism, we had a 50% chance our child would be born with the double dominant gene meaning baby would get my dwarfism gene and father’s and not survive past birth. Baby’s chest cavity would be weak, his heart wouldn’t function properly and there was no chance baby would survive. At 21 weeks I had an amniocentesis, the test results came back and with such relief my baby did not have the double dominant gene. He did have dwarfism though. There was a 25% chance he would have dwarfism and a 25% chance he would be average height.
Like many women, I didn’t have an easy pregnancy. I was sick almost every day. The bathroom was my best friend. My stomach was huge at 25 weeks, some people even asked me if I was having twins! I craved cheeseburgers and couldn’t stand the smell of perfumes or airwick sprays. I thought I would be cool and work-out but I couldn’t even walk to the front door of my gym so I waddled back to the waiting car and got a cheeseburger on the way home.
I carried my son for 35 weeks, I was told by my OBGYN that I had to deliver early as I had excessive amnio fluid and it was restricting my ability to breathe. I delivered by C-section because my pelvis is smaller than the average. I don’t think of myself any less of a mother because of that. Luca spent 21 days in the special care nursery. The healing process for the c-section took a long time for me.
For many of you who don’t know, dwarfism is a condition that happens at conception. It can happen to anyone trying to conceive. There is no history of dwarfism in my family. In fact my dad’s side of the family are all 6ft tall. My mother is from the Philippines and average height.
Dwarfism doesn’t stop me or my son from living our life and you can follow our journey here on Facebook: Little People: Journee
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