Most married couples have been asked when they plan to have children, but Charli Worgan and her husband Cullen were frequently asked ‘why’.
The Sydney-based parents each have a different kind of dwarfism and are frequently subjected to public scrutiny, particularly when Charli fell pregnant with their first child.
After giving birth to their first child, the joyful Australian mother decided to launch a social media account to educate people about their family life; little did she know how successful her account would become.
The couple now has two lovely daughters, and Charli’s Instagram account has over 300,000 followers.
Charli recently revealed that she was 14 weeks pregnant with her third child, but her revelation was bittersweet.
Charli has had to go through severe genetic testing with each pregnancy. Because of Charli and Cullen’s genetic problems, their offspring could inherit one kind of dwarfism (either their mother’s or father’s), be of average height, or inherit both types of dwarfism, which specialists believe would be catastrophic.
Charli expressed her disappointment at not being able to celebrate the 12 week mark of her pregnancy like most other mothers.
“However when most at 12 weeks are celebrating the joy of being able to announce pregnancy, I was lining up for Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS – similar to an Amniocentesis) – that’s a massive needle through my abdomen to take a sample of placenta that carries a 2% rate of miscarriage, in order to test the genetic makeup of my baby.”
Their two daughters, Tully, two, and Tilba, four, both have one of the two types of dwarfism, so when Charli became pregnant with her third child, they waited to find out which of the four possibilities their baby had.
In her Instagram post, Charli explained:
1. We would have a baby of average height
2. Our baby would have Achondroplasia, the same form of Dwarfism as me.
3. Our baby would have Geleophysic Dysplasia, the same form of Dwarfism as Cullen.
4. Our baby would inherit both genetic variations, know as “double dominant dwarfism”, which from all professional medical evaluations would be fatal upon birth. I would have had the choice should this occur to carry on and see how things go, or to terminate the pregnancy.
Charli stated that the reality of their predicament was that she was waiting to learn: “If I can bring this little one into the world come March 2021, or if his or her journey finishes here.”
She has received a lot of criticism for sharing her life so publicly, which she tackles in her piece.
“I’ve copped criticism for choosing to have babies with these odds and that’s a whole conversation in itself, however by sharing this tiny piece of the puzzle those who doubt can see that bringing a child into this world with my odds is no simple decision and it’s all about being kind 💜”
The couple now has three lovely children who are all doing well, and the family is still sharing its ups and downs.
Her son Rip was born at the end of February, and she uploaded a post with a photo of herself and her child, as well as some insightful words for all parents.
“I’m tired but I’m feeling ever so grateful and lucky. There’s no ‘correct’ way to do motherhood, but I’m sure as anything there’s no ‘wrong’ way either.”
Finally, Charli demonstrates that her life as a parent is similar to everyone else’s; many parents can identify to the challenges and joys of bringing children into the world.
Her posts are an example to everyone, and I wish this family the best of luck on their journey together. Please spread the word.