My daughter, Abigail, is a dwarf. Those words sound like a confession, but that's not the intention -- they state a face. Terms like "skeletal dysplasia" and "genetic mutation" are too intangible; words like "birth defect" seem downright cruel. My daughter has short limbs; she is a little person. From outward appearances, she's different, but her stature does not detract from who she is. If anything, it magnifies her presence. At 2, she has survived neurosurgery and has reshaped the perceptions of hundreds of people. And she's not even speaking in full sentences yet.
My pregnancy started out quite typically -- lots of nausea in the beginning and some memorable bloating toward the end, with marked precious moments along the way: the first heartbeat, the first ultrasound, the first visible movement. All were treasured as my husband and I awaited our first child's arrival. We found out we were having a girl.