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.