Introducing Danielle Maisie Anne Bougard

It has been the best week!!!!! …I received a e-mail from a lady named Heather, she had read a story about Leah which was published in a local baby magizine a few months ago. The reason for Heather making contact with me was because four months ago, she and her husband Richard had become the proud parents of a beautiful little girl named Danielle, she was diagnosed with Achondroplasia a few days after her birth. I am so excited because we are in the process of setting up a date when we are going to meet!!!! So needless to say im so happy and very excited to meet them…….   So before I go on and on here is  Danielle’s story I also got her mom to send us some pictures and im sure you will agree when I say she is just as cute as a button!!!

Danielle Maisie Anne Bougard is the very precious daughter of Richard and Heather Bougard, and the granddaughter of Steve and Colleen Bardwell, and Carol and the late John Bougard. Danielle was named for herself – not for anyone else important – but to indicate what a blessing she is to us all. Her names have special meanings:

Danielle – God is my Judge

Maisie – Precious

Anne – Graceful

We hope these names will turn out to be a prophecy for her life.

Danielle’s Dad and Mum had been praying for a child for nearly a year when they found out that Danielle was on the way, and what an occasion for joy when they learned that God had heard their prayers. They enjoyed every scan and every doctor’s visit before the day chosen for her entry into the world.

This momentous was the 12th of July 2008. Danielle was born by Caesarian Section, and from the first second she was held in the arms of her parents she bestowed a joy so overwhelming it was intoxicating. She still invokes this kind of joy – with just a smile or giggle.

On the third day after she was born, Danielle’s family was to find out that she had a rare genetic condition called Achondroplasia, and that this meant she would be a “little person”, or dwarf. Her family grieved for her, knowing that she would suffer many hardships growing up as a result of this. Danielle didn’t grieve though – it was as though she knew what others still had to learn – that God made her the way she is, that she is just who she is meant to be, and that He never makes mistakes!

Life has changed dramatically in the Bougard household – most of it for good. Toys and play gyms and nappies take up spaces that didn’t seem to exist before. Danielle is a very happy and contented baby. By 5 weeks she learned to smile, at 3 months she started babbling her first sounds and by 4 months she had learned to hold up her head. All of us look forward – in the short term to her next milestone, and in the long term to whatever it is that God has in store for our precious gift!

When Mommy got home……..

I had a fantastic time in Hong Kong, I fell in love with the busy streets and the non stop energy of the city it was just awesome, I felt like a child at Christmas and although I lost all sensation in my legs by the 3rd day, I just kept on walking I could not miss anything and I got to see all the amazing sites the city had to offer……

I did have the lingering voice in my head that kept reminding me of my little gang at home and I also wondered what was going through Leah’s head, was she thinking of me?? ….was she missing me??….or was she angry at me for leaving, after all she is only 2 years old, all she knows at this age is that mom is always near but where has her mom gone to now she has not been home for days???

So after my 12hour flight from Hong Kong to Johannesburg I ran to the nearest phone to call and say im back in the country and should be in Cape town in about 3 hours (there are no direct flights from Hong Kong to Cape town so I left Hong Kong at 12:00pm Sunday arrived in Johannesburg at 6:00am Monday morning with a time change of 6 hrs and had to catch a 2hr flight connecting to Cape Town so I got home at about 11:30am) And as I got through the gate there were 3 very happy people waiting for me Nicole and Simone nearly swept me off my feet, as they ran to greet me…. and there was my little nonoo, sitting on daddys arm, showing no emotion she was just blank, so i reached out and said, “Good morning my little one” (thats how I usually greet Leah in the morning) and she put her arms out and said “no go mummy” I just stood there and held her and could feel how much she missed me even though it was only a few days…….

Dad got off lightly while i was away, Granny decided to care for the girls , and they just had a blast at Ma and Pa’s house, Leah slept with Ma and Pa slept on the sofa!!!! we also lost a gold fish, who dad says was not looking to good and he just found her floating in the tank, the other Gold fish was just barely holding on when I arrived home but I fed it and it seems to be doing just fine …… so I think I solved the mystery surrounding the death of Goldy…….. speaking of fish I visited a theme park in Hong Kong called Ocean Park and won a special blue bear at the ring toss booth, and he flew home with me for a special little girl….



Are you really going mommy????

Those were the words that greeted me this morning!!!!!!!!!!! and the answer is yes my love I am but I will be back in 7 days. So the time has come….. I will be leaving Sunday morning to attend a trade show in Hong Kong and of course to do a bit of shopping!!!!!!! but this is a real milestone, because it will be the first time I leave the girls, they have never been without me for such a long time, and I fear dad is going to have his work cut out for him over the next few days……. so I will be sure to post as soon as I return I think I will call it ………..

” While mom was away 3 mice came out to play”

Make that 4 mice!!!!

dad in the pool

My Child is Different

During some net surfing the other night I came across a website called Women Today and there I found a really amazing story that I had to share with you…….

My Child is Different

by Alli Vail with Anita Aubuchon

My second husband and I were married on August 5, 2000 and we immediately began talking about having a baby together. Although I was 38 and had three beautiful daughters from my first marriage, I wanted to give my husband a child of his own. We named the child we were planning Zachary Curtis and I told my husband that I knew we would have a boy.

In December, I found out I was pregnant.

The doctor that delivered the girls had retired so I began going to a new doctor. I took the girls with me to one appointment so they could hear the heartbeat. However the doctor came in and announced that it looked like the baby wouldn’t survive after birth.

I sent the girls to the waiting room and listened in shock as she proceeded to tell me that, based on a blood test, it appeared the baby had Trisomy 18 and would die. Hysterical, I could barely hear her say that she had scheduled a sonogram at a local hospital. All I could hear was my baby as going to die. Pulling myself together I hugged my three daughters and told them everything would be okay. Then, I called my husband and started praying.

We kept our appointment for the sonogram and saw a genetics counselor who told us that it appeared the baby could have Downes Syndrome or could be severely deformed and mentally retarded. There was no mention of Trisomy 18. She advised us that we should seriously consider abortion but we adamantly refused, telling her that God gave us this baby and it was up to God to take the baby.

But I was terrified.

What if this baby was severely deformed or some monster? I began praying for a healthy baby and asking God to comfort me. The sonogram showed that the baby boy looked perfectly normal. There were no signs of the webbed feet and hands or malformed ears that come with Trisomy 18. I told the doctor the baby was in God’s hands and I thanked God.

I changed doctors and I had to have my sonograms at a hospital that specialized in sonograms for my age group. When I was seven months pregnant, the new doctor scheduled another sonogram. He said that our baby looked good except his arms and legs were shorter than they should be for his stage of development.

When I went back for the next sonogram, he measured the arms and legs.

He told us that the upper arm bones and the thighbones were not growing normally and that the baby had a mild case of achondroplasia dwarfism but his heart and chest cavity looked normal. I had never heard of this and the questions running through my mind were endless. I continued to pray.

I was once again shocked. What did the doctor mean, dwarfism? Why couldn’t I have one more normal baby? Could this be fixed? Even though I knew it might true, I prayed the doctor was wrong.

I read everything I could on the Internet about achondroplasia dwarfism. The questions kept running through my head — why me? Did I do something wrong? Is there a cure? Would I love him? I just kept praying. Only now, I prayed for strength, guidance and understanding.

At my next appointment, the doctor explained that normal height parents could have a baby with achondroplasia and we had done nothing wrong. I told the doctor that God obviously felt I was special enough to have this baby.

Two weeks past my due date, I was scheduled to be induced. Scared, I prayed and felt comforted. Close to Zachary’s arrival at the hospital, I got scared again. I started thinking about all the things the Doctors had said. Would my baby live? Would he be okay?

Zachary arrived.

He was beautiful; dark hair, ten fingers, ten toes, two ears, two eyes, a healthy set of lungs and weighing 7lbs 14ozs. He looked like any other baby, well proportioned and perfect. I did not believe he had achondroplasia dwarfism.

When Zachary was four months old, his doctor scheduled an appointment at a children’s hospital’s genetic clinic because he was concerned that his legs and arms were not growing normally. At that appointment he was diagnosed with achondroplasia dwarfism. I knew he was different; I just didn’t want to face it. When I bathed him he was all head and tummy.

I again got on the Internet and read everything I could. Zachary would be between three and four feet tall. We would have to reconsider all the everyday things that we had always taken for granted like reaching for light switches, the toilet, and doorknobs.

Sitting out in the waiting room for his six-month check up again filled me with doubts. Looking at kids his age was tough. Other mothers stared and commented on his small size. I wanted to say that their babies are so big.

It had never occurred to me that I would ever have a baby that would illicit stares.

It took me a long time, but I realize that Zachary is normal. There is no cure because he does not have a disease. He is just short. I realize that it’s impossible to predict how tall, pretty, smart or successful any child will be. Only God knows what Zachary’s future holds.

I believe that I have this baby for a reason. It may take me a lifetime to understand why, but it will be lifetime of joy. All my children are special, but Zachary is a different kind of special and he is a blessing to my family!