by: Cara H.

My name is Cara and I'm 4 ft tall. I just want to encourage every little person to follow their dreams and never give up. I come from a family of all average height people. My family was, and still is, so amazing. I had a rough childhood of surgeries but I kept my head up. I always had goals for my life, but I didn't know if they would ever really happen. So one day I began my journey and enrolled into college to get my teaching degree. I always loved kids and knew it was what I was meant to do.  I eventually accomplished my first goal... I graduated from college and I have been a first grade teacher for 6 years now. I love my job so much!!

My next goal was to marry the man of my dreams. I met him in 2005 and married him later in 2008. He is absolutely amazing and we have been together since the day we met. The next dream of mine was - I wanted a baby!  I did have many concerns. One was if they would have the same type of dwarfism as I and have to face the many surgeries that I did.

You see, skeletal dysplasia is caused by a genetic alteration. The gene alteration can occur spontaneously or can be inherited.

Different types of dwarfism like diastrophic dysplasia and usually spondyloepiphyseal dysplasias are inherited in a recessive manner. This means a child must receive two copies of the altered gene -- one from the mother, one from the father -- to be affected.

Achondroplasia is the most common type of dwarfism.  When inherited, it is inherited in a dominant manner. That means a child needs only one copy of the altered gene to have that form of skeletal dysplasia (dwarfism). There is a 25% chance that a child born to a couple in which both members have achondroplasia will be of average height. But there is also a 25% chance the child will inherit both dwarfism genes, a condition known as double-dominant syndrome. This is a fatal condition that usually results in miscarriage. Couples that both have the same type of dwarfism often choose to adopt children to avoid the double-dominant possibility.

In my case, I have a type of dwarfism called Pseudoachondroplasia and my husband is of average height. We had a 50 / 50 chance of having a child with my type of dwarfism. I ended up taking the chance anyways. My family and friends were so concerned about me but I was determined to do well. And I did! I never went on bed rest, which is not the case with all pregnant women with dwarfism, and I never had one day of morning sickness. I did maintain my weight and only gained 21 pounds. I did it! I accomplished every goal I set out for. I had a scheduled C-section at 37 1/2 weeks and saw my little boy for the first time on June 7th 2010. He was an average height, healthy, 6 pound 14oz miracle! He is now 3 1/2 years old and will probably be taller than me by the time he turns 4 1/2, but that's okay, he is absolutely amazing. I'm truly blessed; I have my little boy Dane, three amazing step kids, and an incredible husband that loves me for me.