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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Getting There

Belalu does not stop moving. She is really into pulling herself up and cruising, and her height doesn't prevent her from finding things to hold on to. She is also doing the experimental "let go with both hands and see what happens" move. Essie didn't walk until a month after his first birthday, but I'll be surprised if it takes Belalu that long. She just has too much trouble to get into.

There's an easy metaphor here for our own process of coming to terms with hypochondroplasia. J and I are coming from very different places, but I know we're on parallel paths. I'd say these paths will lead to the same destination, but there isn't really a final stop, is there? It's a life-long journey for our Belalu. I've been thinking these past few days about raising a girl and how it is going to be a challenge to make sure she knows her self worth and values her intelligence and wit (because I can already see she is overflowing with both). And I wonder about body image, which is already so complicated for women in our society. There is a period of social development when most girls are loath to be different, and she will not be able to hide her difference behind the usual masks girls use. I see it as my job to make sure she has a solid, iron-clad sense of worth, confidence, and the insight to see beyond the rough patches. Whew. Deep breath.

If I get overwhelmed as I think about it, I just call on her wisdom. One step at a time. Pull up, fall on your butt, lean on others who are stronger, get up again, move forward.


  1. I have read your post 3 times, it is a very thoughtful and thought provoking post. I would like to hope that our kids' diagnosis doesn't determine their future, but I don't fool myself to think that it won't impact their lives to a large degree and no doubt it will impact the entire family tremendously. We are very closely following the latest FDA approved pediatric internal limb lengthening devices as they are quite revolutionary...

    1. Thank you. I have not done extensive research on limb-lengthening yet, so I only have a gut reaction at this time. As I understand it, for hypochondroplasia, the procedure would be principally to help her be closer to average height. And I wonder if I spend her whole childhood telling her she is no less a person because of her height and raise her to love herself for who she is, how can I then suggest she undergo such a procedure to change her body? Of course, I will learn more about it and like you said, watch science's advances. Who knows where things will be in a decade!

  2. Love this post. I have a feeling I will come back to it several times over the next 2 months as I prepare myself - emotionally - for LH to start preschool.

  3. Hello Vanessa! Thank you so much for your comment on my blog! First let me say you have a beautiful family! Belalu is precious! Second I want to say that Belalu is going to be just fine. When you teach children that they are important at an early age, they grow up feeling very important, loved and special. Since you are aware of how society might perceive Belalu, I have no doubt in my mind that you are a strong woman who will do her best to raise Belalu to the best of her ability. One who will make sure Belalu knows she is loved. That she is supported and she is so special. I look forward to following your family adventurers!