A Couple With Dwarfism Was Advised Against Having Children, but They Choose to Start a Family
Dwarfism is a rare condition, impacting approximately 1 in 15,000 to 1 in 40,000 individuals. Unfortunately, those with dwarfism frequently encounter discrimination and apathy from society. Despite these challenges, there’s a growing trend of individuals with dwarfism sharing their personal stories to challenge and overcome the prevailing prejudices associated with this condition.
Meet the couple.
Charli, an Australian woman living with achondroplasia, the most prevalent form of dwarfism, and Cullen, who has achromic dysplasia, a condition affecting his physical growth, exchanged vows in 2012. From the outset, the couple nurtured a shared dream of creating a family together. Recognizing the potential obstacles Charli might encounter during childbirth and grappling with concerns about passing on their physical conditions to their children, they navigated through doubts and fears for several years. However, in 2015, Charli defied those uncertainties and became pregnant for the first time.
Doctors were against her pregnancy.
Doctors informed the family that there was a 25% chance of having a child with typical height and an equal chance of the child not surviving. Charli clarified that if they decided to have kids, there was a possibility of the children inheriting both variations of dwarfism, which could have fatal consequences. However, during the early stages of pregnancy, the couple underwent genetic testing to ensure that such a scenario didn’t unfold.
The news was positive. Baby Tilba, like Charli’s mother and brother (while her father had an average stature), was also diagnosed with achondroplasia. Medical professionals cautioned that she might face spinal complications, yet overall, she was expected to lead a healthy life.
How they became an internet sensation.
After Tilba’s birth, and to combat dwarfism prejudice, the family launched an Instagram account to document their journey, sharing both triumphs and challenges. Despite the hurdles, Tilba grew into a joyful and vibrant girl, captivating everyone she met. However, shielding her from potential teasing required continuous effort from the couple.
Despite encountering a few unkind individuals online, the couple persists in sharing daily snapshots of their joyful moments, steadfastly refusing to let dwarfism hinder their lives. Whether it’s beach outings, relaxed lunches in the sunshine, exercise routines, strolls, or updates on Tilba’s developmental milestones, these images portray them as an ordinary family, just like any other.
More babies were welcomed to the family.
In 2018, Charli found herself expecting another baby, and this time the second child inherited the condition from the father. Subsequently, in 2020, Charli conceived for the third time. To the couple’s immense delight, the newborn did not inherit the distinctive traits of the parents and was born with a “standard” stature.
However, what could have been a magical experience turned into a nightmare for Charli. The couple’s journey was an emotional roller coaster. When she became pregnant for the third time, she openly shared how she wished the moment was already over. She recalls facing discomfort, nausea, and fainting spells. Throughout each pregnancy, Charli had to undergo painful genetic testing, including one involving a substantial needle penetrating her abdomen to extract a placenta sample, with a 2% risk of miscarriage. All of this was aimed at assessing the genetic composition of her unborn child.
They are now living their lives to the fullest.
With their family now complete, Charli and her loved ones are savoring life to the fullest. Despite living with dwarfism, their days are filled with joy and delight, and Charli consistently shares these beautiful moments on her Instagram account.
Alongside their cheerful pictures, Charli enjoys sharing humorous instances that playfully highlight their height differences, like oversized clothing or the slight complexities encountered in day-to-day activities. She emphasizes that she doesn’t take her height too seriously.
Despite occasional hostile comments, Charli has learned to rise above them, recognizing that most people visit their account to express warmth and admiration. She’s even noticed a significant increase in their number of followers over the past year, reflecting a growing interest in their unique journey.
In a world where the challenges of dwarfism often remain unnoticed, the inspiring journey of Charli and her family stands as a testament to resilience, love, and the transformative power of sharing one’s story. Their unyielding determination to lead a fulfilling life, despite the obstacles, strikes a chord with their expanding community of supporters. Through candid and heartfelt posts, they persistently break down stereotypes and champion acceptance, contributing to the creation of a more inclusive and compassionate society.