2ft 10in woman warned having a baby could 'crush' her has son with 6ft husband
When Trisha Taylor, now 31, was born, she had 150 fractured bones.
Trisha, from Boise, Idaho, has osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a condition that causes bones to be extremely brittle.
Her condition also means Trisha is just 2ft 10in tall.
Trisha has refused to let her condition – or her small stature – hold her back, working hard to build her strength so that she can get out of bed and move her wheelchair independently.
And now, even after being warned that having a child could ‘crush’ her tiny body, she has welcomed a son with her husband, Michael – who is 6ft 1.
Trisha’s challenges began at birth and by the time she was two-and-a-half years old, she was using a wheelchair.
Sustaining a fracture at least once a month, her bones were so brittle that even breathing put too much of a strain on her ribcage, meaning that, from birth, she had to be hooked up to an oxygen machine 24 hours a day.
Trisha said: ‘My lungs couldn’t physically breathe in and out on their own.
‘With every cough or sneeze, I risked fracturing a bone. Just lying down in the wrong position could cause a break.’
At 12, Trisha began a new treatment that involved a medication called pamidronate; a drug that reduces bone breakdown.
Over the course of five years, that treatment changed Trisha’s life.
She said: ‘It was amazing feeling the strength start to build in my bones.
‘After six months I started being able to lift myself up unassisted.
‘When I was 13, I asked my parents if I could try getting out of bed on my own, but I think they were too scared. They didn’t want me to rush.
‘Instead, I got a couple of my friends to come round and help. We locked ourselves in the bedroom and they helped me get out of bed on my own.
‘We kept practising and practising until I was able to do it – it must have taken half a day.
‘I remember showing my parents the next morning. They were shocked, but proud.’
The treatment also meant that, aged 15, Trisha became strong enough to breathe on her own, and now only uses her oxygen tank while sleeping.
By 17, she could go to the toilet and move around in an electric wheelchair unaided, which enabled her to live independently.
A year later, in 2007, she landed a place at the College of South Idaho, studying social work.
And it was there, during her first year, that she met her future husband, Michael, who was studying teaching. He became Trisha’s first serious boyfriend, moving in together three months after they made things official and then getting engaged in 2009.
In 2014, after three years of marriage, Trisha made the decision to stop taking birth control and begin trying for a baby.
However, she was warned by doctors that pregnancy could be dangerous, due to the extreme pressure a growing foetus would put on her bones.
Trisha said: ‘My doctor warned me that by baby could physically break my bones as he grew – crushing me from the inside out.
‘I told him I wanted specific examples and what he thinks would happen, not what could.
‘In the end, nothing was guaranteed either way so I went home and started trying.
‘I wanted to be a mum bad enough that nothing else factored in.
‘It was my decision and no one was going to stop me – not even Michael.’
In May 2014, Trisha was overjoyed to discover she was expecting – but just three weeks later, she miscarried.
In April 2015, Trisha fell pregnant again. This time she miscarried at 12 weeks.
‘I’m not sure if it was related to my OI – doctors never did any testing,’ she said. ‘They said if I miscarried for a third time, they’d look into it further.’
After discovering she was expecting for a third time in August 2016, Trisha was given a scan every two weeks, for the first two trimesters, to monitor her progress.
And to her relief, her pregnancy progressed well.
‘Something felt different this time,’ said Trisha. ‘I was a lot calmer.
‘Doctors told me I would have a caesarean to deliver the baby.
‘There was no way my body could take a natural birth. But apart from that, it was like any other pregnancy.’
On March 29, 2016, Trisha delivered Maven, who weighed 3lb 13oz and was perfectly healthy.
She said: ‘During the pregnancy we were concerned that Maven might inherit OI, but an ultrasound at 18 weeks revealed he was growing at a healthy rate.
‘Then when he was born, doctors confirmed he didn’t have it.’
After three weeks in hospital recovering from an infection – and thankfully with no broken bones – she was sent home to start her new life as a mum.
‘I remember the midwife saying to me before I left, “Whatever you have to do to look after your baby – you’ll do it”,’ Trisha said.
‘And she was completely right – you just figure out a way to do it.
‘I can’t just jump out of bed and run to Maven whenever he’s crying, and I think he learnt that pretty quickly. He’s been such an easy child and he still is.
‘Getting him in and out of the car seat was something I could never do successfully. After eight months I realised I couldn’t do it myself.
‘I had to learn to ask other people. Michael would put him in the car and I’d have someone to meet me.
‘If he’s out about in the park and climbs too high, I’m not afraid to ask a stranger for help.
‘I always say it takes a village to raise a child.’
As he does not have OI, Maven was taller than his mum by the time he was two.
Having long documented her journey on social media, Trisha has launched her own blog.
‘I’ve always been very cautious about sharing my experiences online,’ said Trisha.
‘I know people can be trolled and I didn’t want to get upset by cruel comments.
‘But I was getting a lot of messages from other people like me, asking about motherhood and my life.
‘I knew I wanted to help people, so I set up the blog so people could have access to the information. I hope to inspire all mums – regardless of whether they have a disability – that they can achieve their dreams.
‘If I can do it, they can do it.’
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