Hello, my name is Guylaine Gagné and I
am 44 years old. I was born in Montreal and my parents are of average
size, as well as my three brothers and sister. Being the second in the
family, my size was a "surprise", so to speak, because there were no
people of short stature on my father's or on my mother's side.
When I was about 7 years old, my
family moved to Longueuil. I attended regular schools where I found my
niche with other people my age. I dreaded entering high school, but
everything worked out well. I have a cheerful personality and I love
people, which must have certainly helped me fit.
At age 20, I joined the AQPPT, which
helped me meet people like me. At first I was afraid and embarrassed,
but over time, I enjoyed these meetings and participated regularly in
During my life, I have had three
operations: one on my knee and two on my hips. These operations were
all directly related to problems caused by my bone disease.
Unfortunately, I still do not know, even after genetic counseling, what
my medical diagnosis really is.
I have been in a relationship with
Yves, my partner, who is of average size, for ten years.
We had been together for eight years
when I got pregnant. I was not expecting it any more; I thought I could
not have a child. I was really happy with the news and was monitored
quite well at St. Justine Hospital, where there is a department that
attends to women who have special needs in the monitoring of pregnancy.
My pregnancy went well, although I had
to be closely followed because of gestational diabetes, but I followed
my doctor's instructions carefully. My husband helped me a lot
throughout this period. I gave birth by Caesarean section May 2, 2007,
to our son Nathan, who is of average size.
The nurse looking after me in my
neighborhood CLSC was helpful in all my efforts to monitor the
pregnancy and after childbirth as well. I also called on the AQPPT to
put me in touch with another mother of small stature so I could share
with her. I also received assistance from the Centre Lucie-Bruneau who
lent me a crib with a side door to make it easier for me to put my
child to bed.
We participate a lot in many
activities organized by the CLSC of Longueuil and La Maison Virevolte
for parents with young children. This allows us to be in contact with
other parents who have young children. I am the only one of small
stature in these groups, but I am very well received.
When Nathan enters school, I have some
fears concerning the reaction of his classmates when they see that the
their friend's mother is of small stature, but I intend to explain my
condition to Nathan so that he might in turn provide answers to his
I am sure that there will always be
people who will make inappropriate comments about the differences in
people. At a younger age, I found it difficult, but now I do not worry.
I must say that I accept myself more now than ever before.
Guylaine G., February 2009