By Danny Baggott @Dan_Baggie
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Videographer / director: Matt Smith
Producer: Danny Baggott, James Thorne
Editor: James Thorne
Laura and Nathan Phillips, who reside in Sunderland, are expecting the birth of their new baby boy in September 2018.
Laura, who stands at 4ft 1, and Nathan, 3ft 11, were both born with a different form of dwarfism – Laura has Achondroplasia and Nathan, Pseudoachondroplasia.
Four years ago, Laura gave birth to Nathan Junior, their first child. Miraculously, Nathan Jr was born as a ‘double-dwarf’ – he has both of his parent’s dwarfism, which is an extremely rare occurrence.
Nathan Jr was only given hours to live and at the time, he was the only ‘double-dwarf’ living in the UK. Despite the odds, he is thriving now and is due to start his school life in the same month that his baby brother is born.
And now, Laura and Nathan are anxiously waiting to find out whether their unborn son will also carry both of their types of dwarfism – and become the second ‘double-dwarf’ of the family.
Laura, 28, told Barcroft TV: “Passing down just my type of dwarfism to our new child is a one in four chance.
“He could either have Achondroplasia, Pseudoachondroplasia, he could be average height or he could be like little Nathan and have both.
“So yeah we have four chances of what could happen. We’re just really excited about it all now. Hopefully the rest of the pregnancy will be relaxed and smooth.”
In the last few weeks, Laura and Nathan attended the Royal Victoria Infirmary, in Newcastle, for Laura’s 24-week scan.
Whilst there were no conclusive results, both parents believe the scan showed strong signs of their son carrying a form of dwarfism.
“It was lovely to see him again,” Laura said.
“He definitely looked like how Nathan Jr did on his scan. You could see features of Achondroplasia, my condition, straight away.
“With Achondroplasia, we don’t have the bone in our nose and then our forehead comes out. And our hands, we have the big gap between our fingers. He showed these signs on the scan.”
Full-time mother, Laura, tied the knot with Nathan two years ago after initially meeting whilst they were performing in a pantomime together in Bath.
Nathan, who works in banking, said: “We got to know each other before the end of the run and from that point we haven’t been apart.”
Nathan Jr acted as the ring bearer at his parent’s wedding, and the four-year-old is happy and healthy despite a few setbacks along the way.
Nathan said: “I think with every parent, your first child is everything and you are apprehensive about all sorts.
“Nothing was ever going to be different. They could have said half of him was from Mars and it wouldn’t have changed a thing. He is still our beautiful little boy.
“He’s certainly a little character. He’s the central thing that happens in this house.”
Laura added: “We found out that he had both conditions two weeks after I gave birth. They have to do tests really early on.
“Since then, he’s had some surgeries and some delays.
“It’s quite strange because there’s no one else we can go and talk to about his condition – because no one else has it that we know.
“But yeah, he’s doing really well at the moment.
“He’s attended a lot of parties this year and he’s always talking about friends and who he’s obsessed with.
“He’s just like everyone else, but little. He attends nursery four times a week. He’s physically very small, but mentally he’s all there.”
And living their lives as ‘normal’ as possible is something that has always been important to both Laura and Nathan.
Especially with the way their height is still treated by some members of society.
Nathan said: “To some people it’s still a myth – you know, ‘there’s no such things as dwarfs’ they’ll say, ‘they’re from fairytales’.
“And you just think well, my goodness that lack of education there. Is it deliberate? Is it by accident? Are we so small that we are forgotten about?
“Or is poking fun at dwarfs, the last acceptable form of prejudice? And there is no one stopping people from doing that.
“Why pick on someone that has been picked on all their lives? Where is the education against that?
“We just hope little Nathan doesn’t have to experience much of it.”
Laura and Nathan are now working hard to get their house ready for the arrival of their second baby boy – and the excitement is really starting to hit home.
“I’ve been really comfortable this time round,” Laura said.
“Everything the hospital has done for Nathan, little Nath and me has been wonderful.
“And whatever the outcome is now, we’ll all manage together.”
Nathan added: “I’ve got one little boy and hopefully if our new boy is half as amazing as him, then we are very very lucky people.”