Esther - posted on 12/10/2009 ( 71 moms have responded )
(MYFOX NATIONAL) - The world's smallest woman has given birth to her third child, a baby boy.
AOL Health reports that Stacey Herald, 35, of Dry Ridge, Ky., who stands at 2-feet, 4 inches, gave birth to a 2-pound, 10-ounce baby boy over the Thanksgiving holiday. Baby Malachi was born 8 weeks prematurely and will remain in a hospital incubator for a few more weeks.
Herald has a disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), also known as "brittle bone disease," which makes her succeptible to fractures and prevents her from growing taller. Even though people with OI aren't advised against getting pregnant, doctors specifically told Herald not to become pregnant because of her small stature.
"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 told the Telegraph .
Despite the risks of overcrowding her internal organs, respiratory issues and problems regaining bone density post-pregnancy, Herald has so far successfully delivered her children. Her eldest daughter, Kateri, did get OI as well, as there is a 50 percent chance that people with the disease will pass it on to their children. But her second daughter, Makaya, was born healthy and was more than half of Herald's body length when she was born. Whether or not Malachi has OI remains to be seen.
According to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation , an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 Americans suffer from OI.
I'm sure there are people out there who find this story inspirational. Who consider this mother a hero, her kids a miracle from God. I'm not one of those people. When I read this story today I was left feeling angry. I think this woman and her husband are being incredibly irresponsible. Not only do they have a 50% chance of passing on a pretty serious disability, but they chose to have these pregnancies knowing full well that it could kill the mother (I don't mind someone risking killing themselves, but she would now leave children motherless) and, more importantly, knowing with 100% certainty that their babies will have to be delivered prematurely, with all the health risks that entails. Her first child got the same disability as the mom and was delivered at 28 weeks at 2lbs and 1oz, the second baby did not have the disability and was allowed to stay in utero until 34 weeks and was born at 4lbs and 7oz and now this last one, who may or may not have his mother's disability, had to be delivered at 32 weeks, weighing in at 2 lbs 10 oz.
I'm sorry, but I'm not left feeling sympathetic. And now they have 3 children and they still say they'd like to have more. It really makes me angry. It ties into Loureen's thread about "personal choice". It's one thing to risk your own life & health but these people are knowingly taking risks with the life & health of their offspring. To me, that's not inspirational or miraculous, that's irresponsible and selfish.