A “Little” History About Little Leah

Finding out that I was pregnant with our third baby was an unexpected shock for my husband and me, but we were overwhelmed with joy and excited about the fact that this could be our little boy, as we already have two beautiful daughters.

The thought of developing any problems during the pregnancy never entered my mind because my first two pregnancies were problem free and I was fortunate to experience an uncomplicated natural birth with both my daughters, so why should anything be different with this baby. All my prenatal appointments went well, and when we passes the dreaded 16 week scan I thought we were on the home straight because if there were any problems with baby it would have been picked up during that scan, so there was no need for any other specialises testing as things seemed to be fine with baby.

At my 20 week scan appointment, my doctor informed me that my baby’s femur bones seemed a bit short, but because baby was curled up tightly he said it was difficult to get a good view, so he suggested I come back in two weeks just to make sure that baby was growing normally. I was not too concerned about what the doctor had told me, but when I returned for the check up I was told that the measurements had not changed and that shortened limbs particularly the femur bone could be linked to all sorts of birth defects or syndromes. I was then referred to a fetal abnormality specialist to find out what was wrong with my baby. My whole body went numb when I heard those words, and all I remember was crying all the way home, and the constant pain and fear I felt, because I did not know what was wrong with my baby.

The foetal abnormality scan was the worst experience of my life, I remember how the doctor pushes and prodded my belly as they tried to get a better view of baby, they also performed a 3-D scan to see if baby had any facial deformities or unusual features like slanted eyes or prominent forehead, because short bones or distorted facial features could be linked to Downs Syndrome. I tried hard to be strong but when I saw my baby’s face on the screen I could not hold back the tears, I then new that this was a very special baby and no matter what the future had in store for us, she was part of our family and we were strong enough to handle whatever came our way. No conclusive diagnosis could be determined from that scan, but I was told that baby’s growth was not normal and I would have to wait until baby’s birth to find out if it was Downs Syndrome or not.

I continued my pregnancy, and my husband and I tried as best as we could to mentally prepare ourselves for what was to come. During that time we developed an indescribable bond with our unborn baby, and my daughters grew more and more excited with each passing day as all they wanted was to meet their new brother or sister. Baby Leah “yes another girl” was born on the 16th October 2006 via emergency C-section and was diagnosed with a birth defect called Achondraplasia more commonly known as Dwarfism. To our family this was the best news ever, there was no sign of Downs Syndrome, and she was in excellent health. She was just going to be a “little” person, I remember my daughter saying that it would be no problem to find Leah a little boyfriend.

Little Leah has brought so much joy into our lives; she just simply melts hearts wherever we take her. She has also brought us closer together as a family, but the most important lesson we have learnt from our experience is that the word “normal” can be quite harsh at times, cause to us Leah is normal and perfect just the way she is, and we would not change a thing about her, and the same goes for other babies, children or even adults who may have a physical or mental handicap. So to all mothers who has been blesses with a “SPECIAL” baby, remember that God must have known that you were very special that’s why he chose you to take care of his very special babies, no matter how big or small thy may be.

11 thoughts on “A “Little” History About Little Leah

  1. hi my name jasmin im a achndroplasia myself i have two babies one of normal statue and my tyboo who is also little like me… my mom doesnt remeber much about my growth and development when i was a baby and im curious on how my son will grow and develop.. docotors up here dont know much.. but i was interested when i seen baby leah she too cute enjoy.

  2. hello i just wanted to say that you told an amazing story and it really touched my heart.
    my 19 month old son was just diagnosed with achondroplasia, and im feeling a bit confused and a little overwelmed.
    but after reading your story it made me feel alot better…. thanks for the words of encourragement and your story it was awesome!

  3. hi!
    MY NAME IS THELMA IM A ACHONDROPLASIA I HAVE A LETLLE GIRL SHE IS TWO YEARS .WHO IS ALSO HAVE ACHONDROPLASIA SHE IS SO ENJOING HER SELF ,OHHH LELA SHE IS SO ADORABOLE .

  4. I don’t get onto the internet very often as I have six children. My two older daughters (22 & 19 yrs) no longer live at home but, my 16 yr old daughter, 14 yr old son, 2 yr old daughter and my 1 yr old son Isaiah who is my only child with achondroplasia lives at home. When I do have the opportunity, I often do research on achondroplasia so that I can better prepare myself for what’s ahead for Isaiah. This is when I stumbled upon your videos of Leah and I am so very happy to have found them and others as well b/c it has helped alleviate the anxiety I feel for my son’s future. We live in Canada and I have not yet found any associations for achondroplasia but, will actively look when the time comes so I appreciate watching all sorts of video clips on achondroplasia babies and their development. Thank you so much for sharing everything you have with us. Oh, before I forget, I just wanted to say how beautiful all your girls are and how much our son looks so much like little Leah. I hope one day, Isaiah will be able to make many friends that have this condition so that he will not feel alone (my biggest fear as he is the only one in our whole entite family with achondroplasia). Nonetheless, Isaiah is very loved by everyone that meets him and his family is a given! Perhaps one day our families will cross paths. My husband and I would love very much to go to one of the conventions for “Little People America” when our son is a little bit older. Perhaps when he is maybe six years old. I wish I could send a picture of Isaiah to you. Maybe one day, when I figure out how to do it. In the meantime, keep us posted with Leah’s progress. God bless you and your family. From the bottom of our hearts, from my family to yours, “Thank you!”

    • Hi! I just happened to be going through my favorite websites and I came across Leah’s mom’s blog and I saw your reply. I also have 6 children. A 21 yr old son. a 19 year old daughter, a 12 year olod daughter, an 11 yr old son, a 10 yr old daughter, and our youngest son is 6. His name is also Isaiah and he also has dwarfism. He does not have a definate diagnosis but the “experts” say probably Hypochondroplasia. As you do I also do a lot of research and have been very fortunate to find sites like this. We live in upstate NY about an hour from the Canadian border. Our local little people group is quite far away so we have not been able to participate so it is nice to have the internet and tv to turn to.

  5. I don’t get onto the internet very often as I have six children. My two older daughters (22 & 19 yrs) no longer live at home but, my 16 yr old daughter, 14 yr old son, 2 yr old daughter and my 1 yr old son Isaiah who is my only child with achondroplasia lives at home. When I do have the opportunity, I often do research on achondroplasia so that I can better prepare myself for what’s ahead for Isaiah. This is when I stumbled upon your videos of Leah and I am so very happy to have found them and others as well b/c it has helped alleviate the anxiety I feel for my son’s future. We live in Canada and I have not yet found any associations for achondroplasia but, will actively look when the time comes so I appreciate watching all sorts of video clips on achondroplasia babies and their development. Thank you so much for sharing everything you have with us. Oh, before I forget, I just wanted to say how beautiful all your girls are and how much our son looks so much like little Leah. I hope one day, Isaiah will be able to make many friends that have this condition so that he will not feel alone (my biggest fear as he is the only one in our whole entite family with achondroplasia). Nonetheless, Isaiah is very loved by everyone that meets him and his family is a given! Perhaps one day our families will cross paths. My husband and I would love very much to go to one of the conventions for “Little People America” when our son is a little bit older. Perhaps when he is maybe six years old. I wish I could send a picture of Isaiah to you. Maybe one day, when I figure out how to do it. In the meantime, keep us posted with Leah’s progress. God bless you and your family. From the bottom of our hearts, from my family to yours, “Thank you!”
    +1

  6. Pingback: 2010 in review « Raising Leah

  7. Hi, i am on facebook and am friends with alot of other parents worldwide whos kids have achondroplasia, i have 4 kids, my first 3 were all normal, [ a girl and two boys] and my youngest [ a girl] was born with achondroplasia, just shared your video about Leah to my friends on FB, hope you dnt mind, i really love the song you have chosen to go with your video, just wondered if you are on facebook too, and if you want to be friends?

  8. Hello to all
    I have a daughter who is 17 years old at a very normal school called Sans Souci Girls in Cape Town.Her name is Karishma and she was diagnosed with achondraplasia / dwarfism just after her birth.She is the most wonderful,caring person with very noble qualities. She is interested in studying Advertising when she completes her schooling and tertiary studies, and she has just completed her job shadowing in this field at an international company called Ogilvy and Associates.It was an amazing experience which she thoroughly enjoyed.She would like to make friends and even offer good advice to anyone who has a similar condition.She can be emailed at 2910936@uwc.ac.za or at cell number 0742658072.

  9. What an amazing forum. I am in the UK an adult with achondroplasia and have two sons with the same condition, my husband is average height. I am happy to chat to parents. I can listen, help if necessary. I dont advise on medical stuff, leave that to the professionals. Look forward to hearing from you. Just a warning! I am very mature!!!!
    Valx

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