We were at uni together and she kept going on about Mike – a handsome 185cm tall blond.
But, giving him the once over, I wasn’t blown away.
Showering me with attention, he seemed to have a soft spot for me though.
Aged 18, I didn’t give him the time of day.
I might be 86cm tall, but I make up for it in sass!
Born with a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta, my bones are so brittle that a sneeze or a big hug can leave me with multiple fractures.
I’ve always been in a wheelchair, but moving out of home at 17, it had never stopped me doing anything.
‘Mark my words – he’s into me!’ I told my carer about Mike later that night.
Spending more time with Michael over the next few days, my first impression quickly changed.
So funny, he had me in stitches.
After that, we hung out every day and became best friends. My family loved him too!
Three months in, lying on the couch together, we had our first kiss.
I’m going to marry him, I knew in my heart.
Michael was more than twice my height, but to us, that didn’t matter.
Before we could be intimate, however, we had to speak frankly, as we were both aware just how easily I could be hurt.
Because we weren’t touchy feely out and about, we didn’t get many odd looks. Sometimes, strangers mistook Michael for my dad or brother though!
Nearly a year on, Michael took me on a horse and carriage.
‘Will you marry me?’ he asked while I sat on his lap.
‘Yes!’ I exclaimed.
Our wedding was perfect.
Wearing an ivory dress, nipped and tucked to fit me perfectly, the extra fabric was used by my mum and aunt to create a pretty wheelchair cover.
During the ceremony, the bridal party and Michael sat down so they were at the same level as me. For our first dance, Michael picked me up, and held me to him.
After four years of marriage, I wanted a baby.
‘You can’t get pregnant,’ a specialist told me, bluntly. ‘It would kill you.’
‘What part of it will kill me?’ I insisted.
He explained that as the baby grew, it’d put extreme pressure on my brittle bones.
‘It could break your back,’ the doctor said.
‘But wouldn’t it gradually start to cause me problems? And if it came to that, you’d do a C-section and get the baby out?’ I pressed.
I’d done my research!
After falling pregnant we found another supportive doctor but others had something to say about it too.
‘What if you pass on your condition? That’d be selfish!’ some said.
I was scared, but my life was beautiful – and, if that was the diagnosis, I’d make sure my baby’s was too.
At 15 weeks, we found out our bub didn’t have brittle bone disease.
But my pregnancy was tough. At 18 weeks, I was on oxygen. A fortnight later, I was on full bed rest.
And at 32 weeks, our sweet baby boy, Maven, was delivered via caesarean.
Weighing just 388 grams, he was tiny. But, at 43cm long, he was already half his mummy’s size!
Back home, we had a special crib that opened at the front and Michael built an elevated playpen for Maven that I could pull up to in my wheelchair.
An old soul, my boy seemed to know to be gentle, and he never wriggled or squirmed in my arms.
But, sometimes I would break a bone picking him up!
Home alone one night when he was 15 months old, my wheelchair brake locked, and I couldn’t move.
Maven was crawling on the floor, and my phone was on charge out of reach.
What if he chokes on something? I panicked.
When Maven started to cry, instinct set in.
I hope I don’t break too many bones, I thought, as I jumped out of my chair.
Rolling onto the floor, I was able to grab my charger cord dangling from the kitchen bench.
Knocking the phone to the floor, I called my carer for help.
Bruising my back and fracturing my tibia, it was worth it to make sure my baby boy was safe.
By two, Maven was bigger than me! Now four, when he sits on my lap in my chair, I can’t see over his head.
‘Daddy’s big and you’re little,’ Maven said recently.
‘Do you want a big mummy?’ I asked.
‘I like you how you are,’ my sweet boy replied.
One day, Michael and I want to adopt a baby. I won’t risk another pregnancy and Maven losing his mum.
At the park, I get curious questions from other kids.
‘Why can’t you walk? Why are you little? Why are your legs like that?’ they’ll ask.
‘This is how I was made,’ I reply.
And I’ve never let that get in my way.
In my lifetime, I’ve broken more than 600 bones.
But I’m proof that it’s possible to follow your dreams – no matter what!