Monday, May 27, 2013


This post has nothing to do with Maddy, and everything to do with Maddy. In a nutshell, we will be welcoming our third child into our family in December! I'm currently 12 weeks pregnant and have had a crazy couple of months. I'll post more about that in another post!

When Bernard and I were engaged, we discussed many things - thoughts on parenting, where to live, schools, and of course how many children we wanted. Although we disagreed on many MANY things (particularly coming from different cultures), both of us always wanted three children.

When Maddy was born and diagnosed with diastrophic dysplasia, we found out that we also were carriers of this condition. What this means in practice is that for ANY pregnancy, we have a 25% chance of that child having the same condition. For a while, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through that again - honestly, my last pregnancy was very traumatic for me and still sometimes, thinking about it, it's still a bit raw. Maybe it always will be, I don't know. But for that reason, in some ways I thought maybe it was better to just be happy with the two beautiful daughters that we already have rather than going through that again.

When we originally saw the geneticist right after Maddy was born, we were offered preimplantation screening. This could eliminate the possibility of diastrophic dysplasia altogether. What preimplantation screening involves is going through IVF. When the embryos are ready to be implanted, first one cell is extracted and the genetic test for diastrophic dysplasia would be performed. Embryos which are found to be affected would be destroyed while only embryos which are unaffected or carriers would be implanted.

For us, as known carriers of a genetic disease, this cost would be covered mostly by the Hong Kong public health system, making it an affordable option. That said, we weren't entirely comfortable with the moral implications of doing so (again, more for another post). So in order to have another (biological) child, we first had to accept the 25% chance of having another baby with dwarfism. 

One turning point for me was when I realised that even IF this baby does have dwarfism, it would not be the same traumatic experience as our last pregnancy. Of course some things would be similar - it would still be considered a high risk pregnancy, the baby would still need to be born in the public hospital, we would still be looking at NICU after the birth most likely... But there would be none of the same fear about what the condition was and in particular, whether it was lethal or not. 

My initial thoughts at this pregnancy were so different after the last pregnancy... it was more "hold your breath and get ready!" After the last time, I'm sure I will always be a little scarred, a little cautious with my excitement. 

That all said, we are looking forward to meeting our little one later in the year - and my prayer is that God will bring us the child that He knows our family needs... Dwarfism or not, boy or girl, I trust that He already knows this little one and we are looking forward to what the future holds!


  1. Congratulations, Nicole... (and beautiful post)!

  2. Congratulations on your pregnancy! Such wonderful, exciting news !!! Xoxo

  3. Huge congrats Nicole! We're in that 25% boat too, with two perfect children and the thought of IVF scares me more than any genetic issues we might pass on. As always I admire your courage and appreciate you sharing your story. Hope your back recovers soon and that all goes well for this pregnancy x

    1. I think if we had underlying fertility issues and needed to undergo IVF for those reasons as well, it may be something that we might consider more. It is a tough, tough choice though. Will definitely write more about that in the coming weeks. All the best with J's upcoming surgery! xox