After the birth of Jade Morley’s son, Floyd-Henry, there was very little about her newborn that wasn’t the same as other babies.Jade Audrey Love/Instagram
As Morley recounted on her blog, Floyd-Henry giggled, cried, grew, changed and had checkups just as every other child his age. Doctors took no concerned interest in the 5-months-old’s development until the day Morley asked if it was normal for him to have so many “rolls”:
No one said anything to us until we went to them saying “he has a lot of rolls, do you think that is normal for a bubba of his age?”
Floyd-Henry’s baby rolls were just one feature the Australian mother noticed were beginning to separate her son from other babies:Jade Audrey Love/Instagram
In an interview with 9Honey, Morley said that at 3 months old, Floyd-Henry was sent to a pediatrician when a scheduled checkup revealed he couldn’t lift his head during “tummy time.”
A community nurse told her:
“She said because when he was doing tummy time he wasn’t lifting up his head. He’s got low muscle tone so he wasn’t able to lift up his head on his tummy like other 3-month-olds.”
Although Floyd-Henry’s large head had resulted in a complicated delivery at birth, doctors thoroughly examined him and ruled out any serious medical issues. Morley admitted the nurse’s recommendation led her to believe Floyd-Henry simply needed more time on his stomach.Jade Audrey Love/Instagram
Then, she recalled to 9Honey the joke she had made to her sister when Floyd-Henry was just 2 months old:
“…my sister and I were joking about his short legs. I said, ‘Oh, he couldn’t be a dwarf, could he?’ And we laughed because we didn’t think it was even possible.”
After inquiring about Floyd-Henry’s baby rolls at his five-month checkup, a geneticist ultimately confirmed the tot had achondroplasia, also known as dwarfism.Jade Audrey Love/Instagram
Morley explained that initially, she and her husband were devastated by the diagnosis, fearing for the health and future of their son:
The thoughts I had, took me to so many depths. What are the health complications, social issues, would he live the life I had envisioned for him?
As Morley told 9Honey, the couple was also shocked doctors previously missed any signs of her son’s condition:
“We had pediatricians literally all over him after the birth. I think we had three separate pediatricians. So that’s also why we were in such shock because we were like, ‘Why didn’t any of these doctors pick this up at birth?'”
The geneticist’s recommendation to “go home” and enjoy the holidays as their son was “happy and healthy” did not sit well with the couple, either, who were stunned by the diagnosis.Jade Audrey Love/Instagram
But, as Morley recounted on her blog, eventually she and her husband realized the doctor’s advice had been sincere:
I now reflect back to that day and think, what the Dr. told us was right. Floyd is happy and healthy. Floydy is a little boy who will have the most perfect life.
As 9Honey reported, although multiple complications can result from dwarfism, Morley explained her son hadn’t experienced any of them:
“Really just having to hem his pants is all I’ve had to do.”
When doctors first told Morley her son had achondroplasia, she remembered how the “text book” answer made it seem as though her son were doomed to a lifetime of difficulty:
He ran through all the complications that someone with achondroplasia could have. Telling us the worst possible complications as to not mislead us.
He didn’t mention that many children with this are not affected health wise.
Morley told 9Honey her focus instead has been on preparing Floyd-Henry, now 4, for the inevitable questions from his peers and to diffuse unkind remarks from strangers.Jade Audrey Love/Instagram
When asked if the now-preschooler is still a baby, Floyd-Henry has been trained to reply:
“No, I’m not a baby, my bones just don’t grow as quickly.”
Morley explained her son is not a dwarf; he simply has dwarfism. And though she doesn’t care for the term, she has learned to accept it:
“But it is what it is. You just have to embrace it.”
As for the mother’s fears about her son’s quality of life with dwarfism, Morley told 9Honey her brother put everything in perspective when he told her:
“Jade, every single person in Bryon Bay does everything they possibly can to look different. They’re dying their hair, they’re putting dread locks in, they’re wearing different clothes, they’re trying to get this identity and Floyd gets that right off the bat. I’m going to cruise around Bryon with him!”
Morley and her husband, now parents of three, are raising awareness for their son’s achondroplasia and for the one out of every 26,000 to 40,000 births that will be affected by the condition. Average-sized parents can give birth to children with achondroplasia as it is often a random genetic mutation, per the Mayo Clinic.