This is a private conversation. I do not judge. Addie was not diagnosed in utero, so I CANNOT ever tell you how I felt while waiting for her arrival because I didn’t have that option of knowing- nor can I truly say what I would have felt, because we cannot really know that about ourselves. When Addie was diagnosed, she was almost 9 weeks. We were hospitalized for dehydration and unsure about why her head was enlarged. What was going on? When we received the diagnosis of Achondroplasia, we were relieved. I remember saying so she’s not dying? and our doctor wrapped me in a hug. I needed that hug. We’d lost a pregnancy before A came along, and the phrase “as long as she’s healthy” used to resonate with me. Now, I truly feel that as long as she’s (or he, if we ever have a boy) is here, then love. Just love.
But I digress. I wanted you to know, this is a safe space.
So let me tell you about Lady A. Addie is your typical [almost] 4 year old… full of sass and sparkle, dirt and giggles. She bites her nails, no matter how many times I ask her to stop. She knows the words to some intense songs, and she feels all the feels when she sings them. She loves school and counting. Her favorites are “playing arts and crafts” and she strong-arms her daddy into reading no less than 3 books every night. She is an amazing big sister- loving, compassionate and concerned with her baby sister. She loves so wholly, sometimes when she wraps you in an embrace it feels like she could heal the world of all its hate and decay. She embodies everything innocence in a child is and refuses to let her experiences jade her. Because she’s also not average.
She’s had experiences that should, by all accounts, leave her wary and tired. She has a 3 inch incision scar on the back of her neck. She knows which doctors have done surgery on her and does her best to “not be sick” when we go for checkups. She listens to the techs when they tell her what to do and how to stand for xrays, “now be so still,” she reminds me. Her legs are bowed even more than the average child with achondroplasia. She gets called a baby and people love to tell me to “take her to the doctor, her head cannot be normal”. She has to climb to get many things that she wants- and we’ve always let her.
If you’re already a parent to an AH (average height) child, there are things that will differ for you- no doubt. But so so much of life will be just as it always was… just with more babies to love. And if this child is going to be your first, you have the blessing of no expectations. No been there, done that in your mind. It’s all new, anyway! Give it a go, with all your heart and soul! You may do things differently from other new parents, but you also have a tight-knit group of thousands that many parents never find.
So, welcome to the Parents of Little People community. What questions do you have? How can I help?