World’s Smallest Mum Has Baby Number Three

Her son, just seven months old, is nearly as big as she is. Yet the world’s smallest mum, Stacey Herald, is as full of pride as any parent as she cradles her third child Malachi. Wheelchair-bound Stacey, 36, is barely 28in after being born with a ʀᴀʀᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴅɪᴛɪᴏɴ that causes brittle bones, underdeveloped lungs and stunted growth. But after defying doctors who ᴡᴀʀɴᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴘʀᴇɢɴᴀɴᴄʏ ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴋɪʟʟher, the mum now vows she and husband Wil – 27 and an average 5ft 9in – are determined to have even more youngsters.

She said: “Three children is a handful at the moment but I can see us having more babies in the future. We listen to doctors and respect them but they don’t always get it right, so we end up doing what we feel is best.” Tʀᴀɢɪᴄᴀʟʟʏ Malachi and her oldest daughter Kateri, three, inherited her condition. But their sister Makya, two, is free of it and a normal size. Little Malachi had a troubled introduction to the world.

He was delivered via a rare vertical ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀɪᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ last November, measuring just 5in and weighing 2lb 1oz. He was hooked up to an incubator in intensive care. At 17 days old he fell sᴇʀɪᴏᴜsʟʏ ill with a virus and at four weeks needed an ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ᴏᴘ for a life-threatening hernia. American Stacey, of Dry Ridge, Kentucky, recalled: “At one point they told us his ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ ʜᴀᴅ sᴛᴏᴘᴘᴇᴅ and we thought he might ɴᴏᴛ sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴇ. Thankfully the doctors managed to save him. It felt like a miracle to us.” But breathing ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs meant he returned home only last month.

Stacey plays an active part in looking after the children. She breastfeeds Malachi and has a specially built platform that allows her to bathe them and change nappies from her wheelchair. But trainee vicar Wil takes charge of them at night as it then becomes too difficult for her. She particularly needs his help in looking after Makya, already a foot taller than her mum. Stacey said: “I can’t physically stop her if she’s upset. She’s too big for me now, so Wil has to take care of that.”

And she admitted it was exhausting looking after the trio. She said: “We’re pretty busy right now. Sleep is something we really miss. Three children would be a challenge for anyone, even normal-sized people.” But the mum believes they can cope. She added: “I’ve explained that they’re all special babies but that the girls will have to be careful with Malachi until he’s a bit older. When we found out Malachi had my condition it was hard. But we knew we would be the best support possible for him because Kateri and I have both been there already.”

The couple met in 2000 while working in a supermarket and wed in 2004. She believes Malachi’s birth has brought them even closer together. She said: “I didn’t think it was possible to love him more. But since we’ve had our son I think I fall for Wil a bit more each day.”


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