Standing at only 2 feet 4 inches, Stacey Herald is the world’s smallest mother, proving all her doctors wrong when she gave birth to three babies. Herald suffers from a condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a disorder that is characterized by bones that break easily, which has caused her to have a shorter than average stature.
Her husband, Will, is of an average height of 5ft 9in. They met in 2000 while working at a supermarket in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, and got married in 2004.
"It's a miracle that I am here, that I have life, why couldn't this be a miracle too?"
With daughter Kateri in 2009 (Photo: Power FM Zambia/Facebook)
"It broke my heart that I couldn't have kids," she told The Telegraph. "All my life my parents had told me that I could do anything. Then there were these doctors telling me that we couldn't be a complete family. It really hurt.”
When the couple discovered that Herald was pregnant 8 months after their wedding, their doctors told them that they shouldn’t go ahead with the pregnancy.
"They all told me that I would die. They begged me not to have a baby. Even my mother said, 'You know you won't survive right?'" Herald said. "I told her: 'It's a miracle that I am here, that I have life, why couldn't this be a miracle too?'"
On the next page: see the family of the world's smallest mother.
Herald gave birth to daughter Kateri after 28 weeks via c-section in 2006. Kateri weighed just 2lbs and 1oz, and soon the family discovered that she had inherited Herald’s condition.
Herald became pregnant again a year later, and her second pregnancy was much more difficult than her first.
"It was hard, I got so much bigger faster,” she said. “At my worst point I remember bursting into tears, because I looked like a beach ball with a head and little feet.”
Herald and husband Will with children Makaya, Malachi, and Kateri in 2010 (Photo: Amo ser Mamá y mi vida caóticamente hermosa./Facebook)
Herald gave birth to daughter Makaya at 34 weeks via c-section. Makaya was 18 inches taller than her mother when she was born, weighing 4lbs and 7oz. She didn’t inherit Herald’s condition.
In 2009, Herald gave birth to son Malachi, who also inherited the condition. Though he wasn’t born without broken bones (a common occurrence for people with Osteogenesis Imperfecta), he had to be incubated in intensive care because of several complications following his birth.
“Three children would be a challenge for anyone—even normal-sized people"
“'When we found out Malachi had my condition it was hard,” Herald told The Daily Mail. “But we knew we would be the best support possible for him, because Kateri and I have both been there already.”
Taking care of three children isn’t easy for Herald. She has an especially difficult time dealing with her daughter Makya, who is bigger and stronger than her.
“Three children would be a challenge for anyone—even normal-sized people,” she said.
Though taking care of their brood hasn’t exactly been a walk in a park, Herald says that parenthood has really brought her and her husband closer together.
“'I didn't think it was possible to love him more,” she told The Daily Mail. “But since we've had our son I think I fall for Will a bit more each day.”
Herald and her husband are a team—when their babies were born, he would take care of the night feedings and diaper changes as the tasks were too difficult for her. Herald breastfed the babies during the day and changed their diapers on a specially built platform that she could reach.
In addition, everything she needs is placed in cupboards that she could reach so that when her husband isn't home, she can take care of herself and the kids. The Herald family are proof that determination and teamwork can go a long way when it comes to parenthood, even when dealing with disabilities.
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