Tori Roloff may be a well-known reality TV star, but even she has to deal with the challenges of being a new mother like many other people do. In May 2017, the Little People, Big World star gave birth to a baby named Jackson. Like her husband Zach, her baby was born with achondroplasia, which means he has dwarfism. She knew that this was a possibility from the very beginning, but it was something she thought may still not happen… This is not something that you see discussed very often.
Prepared For It
No matter what happened, Tori knew she was ready for what motherhood was going to bring her. She was a kindergarten teacher before she had a son of her own, so she was fully prepared! When she had to go on maternity leave, she even made a post on Instagram saying that she was going to miss her “Kinders”. She said, “Can’t wait to take baby Roloff back to school to introduce him to the kids he’s listened to the last nine months!” How sweet!
Reality TV Star
If you watch the show, you’ll know about the second job she took on in addition to teaching. She is now known as a reality TV star! The two of them were just regular people who had to deal with something extraordinary in their lives. It was the fact that Zach and some of his other family members have dwarfism! If you were wondering, Zach is only 3’1” tall.
A Great Opportunity
When a television network approached the Roloffs to offer them a spot on their own reality show, it did not take them long to say yes. “The Learning Channel came to us about five or six years ago, and we suddenly realized we were given a great opportunity to educate people about dwarfism,” Amy, Zach’s mother, told Ability magazine during a 2010 interview. “Nothing [else] had depicted dwarfism in an everyday way.”
Achieving Their Goal
This show followed the lives of the Roloff family as they worked at the family business, Roloff Farms. While the show does not have the highest ratings on TV, it managed to achieve what Amy had in mind. It enlightened the public about what dwarfism is. One stranger even came up to her and thanked her! He said it helped him learn more about his baby with the condition. “Just the experience of having watched our show encouraged them and inspired them,” Amy explained.
A Lovely Relationship
It was during the fall season in 2010 that Tori appeared to become a part-timer on the farm. She met Zach, and they had great chemistry from the first time they ever met. However, they were both shy, so it took him four months before he asked her on a date! This marked the start of something special for the two of them. In 2014, they got engaged and posted a sweet Instagram photo to document it.
Cause For Celebration
Tori and Zach tied the knot on July 27, 2015. They had more than one hundred wedding guests including all of their friends and family. Of course, TLC camera crews filmed the entire event with much excitement. Fans of Little People, Big World were so happy to watch the event happen. Everyone was glad for the new couple! In November 2016, Zach and Tori told People magazine that Tori was expecting a new baby on the way.
Just Like Him
It was not a secret that there was a chance that the baby was going to have dwarfism as well. In an episode of the show, the family discussed this distinct possibility. “No parent wants to hear that their child is different, no matter what that is,” Tori said during that episode of Little People, Big World. “But to me, that’s not different,” Zach answered. “He’s just like me.”
Baby Jackson Roloff
In the end, their predictions had been correct. Tori gave birth to baby Jackson, who has dwarfism. It did not matter to them, of course. “You have to encourage a dwarf child a little more because it will take them five steps to do what others can do in two,” Zach explained to People magazine a few weeks after Jackson was born. “But I knew, dwarf or not, I was going to parent my child with the mentality that not everyone gets a trophy. You have to earn it.”
Keeping Them Updated
Tori and Zach decided to post each one of their new child’s milestones on their Instagram accounts. They were so proud of their baby! When Jackson turned one month old, the proud new mother posted a photo of Jackson with an update. “Jackson is one month old today!” she said. “He is eating and growing like a champ. Loves watching soccer with daddy. Starting to find his voice. Sleeps five- to six-hour stretches at night.”
A Serious Issue
In July 2017, she posted another photo. This post did not have the same upbeat energy as was seen in the last post. She wanted to talk about an issue that seemed to bother a lot of new moms, one which not many people talk about publicly. “Hands down the hardest thing about being a mom has been breastfeeding. It was something I did not expect,” she said. “I just figured it would come naturally because it’s what nature intended – I was so wrong.”
“It was an inconvenience and took FOREVER but I was blessed enough to be able to BF [breastfeed], I feel for those mamas that can’t breastfeed,” she went on. She posted a photo of her engaging in this activity. She explained, “I get asked at all my appointments how BFing is going and I couldn’t imagine how that would make the women who physically can’t feel. I also HATE the stigma of breastfeeding.”
Rules And Regulations
She was right, of course! There is nothing unnatural at all about breastfeeding. However, new mothers might think that there are many rules and regulations surrounding it. What exactly are the “rules” that surround breastfeeding in public? It seemed so confusing! Sadly, women who cannot take this path are made to feel badly by their fellow mothers. Some of them feel guilt, shame, and even an inability to properly bond with their little ones.
At the moment, 49 states in the United States let women breastfeed in public without repercussions. Idaho is the sole exception. However, this has not stopped others from harassing women who do this. Sometimes, people snap photos of them without asking for permission or ask them to leave the premises. Perhaps you have even heard of the verbal abuse they receive. It is an unfortunate reality for many people who are just trying to feed their child!
One month after she made the post, actress Amanda Seyfried decided to talk about breastfeeding as well. “Breastfeeding is awesome. Formula is awesome. Feeding your baby is awesome. Not awesome? Judgement,” she said on Twitter on July 5, 2017. After this, she reposted this quote: “Breasts are intended to feed babies. With all our progress on feminist issues, how can such a simple biological imperative remain so stigmatized?”
This is a question that Tori wants to know the answer to as well. “I still feel awkward in public when I feed my baby. Why should I?” she said. “I’m providing for my child. [Jackson] and I have come a long way and we work well together now and I’m proud of that.” We are glad to hear that her efforts did not go unnoticed. Her post earned was received positively by the community.
“Great post!! No one should feel ashamed or guilty or degraded for not being able to breastfeed or for not wanting to breastfeed. It’s personal. You will bond with your baby either way,” commented an Instagram user. A different user chimed in by saying, “Well said… breastfeeding is difficult! I hate the stigma on both accounts.” Nearly all the comments were positive. Many thanked her for speaking out.
On The Other Hand
There was one particular comment that brought a problem with this “breast is best” approach to nursing, however. It definitely showed another side to the debate. “I work as a nurse in women’s services,” explained the user. “Over the past ten years, [there] has been a huge push within hospitals to get everyone breastfeeding. The concept is great, but it is not reality. I have said this for awhile that we are setting up moms to have a lot more postpartum depression issues.”
Moreover, it is easy to see that people need to put in more work and effort if they want to shut down the stigmas that surround breastfeeding. It is good to hear that there has been lots of push-back as of late. More celebrities are expressing their support for the moment and even showing everyone that they also nurse their kids. Here are some ladies who have shared photos of themselves nursing their children: Chrissy Teigen, Thandie Newton, Gisele Bundchen, and Alanis Morrisette.
Jackson Roloff continues to grow into a happy and loved child with every passing day. Both Zach and Tori cannot get enough of their child. They continue to post photos of the tiny tot on Instagram. Tori made this announcement on August 13, 2017: “Jackson is 3 months old! Baby J is so smiley these days! Keep growing, little man! Mom and Dad love you!” It is clear that this is a baby who will always have the support of his loving parents no matter what. Good for you, buddy!