Zach and Tori Roloff love being parents to their newborn son Jackson, but there has definitely been an adjustment period.
“We knew we were leaving our previous life behind, but we were okay with that,” Zach, 27, told PEOPLE of welcoming son Jackson Kyle on May 14. “We’re not doing things on our schedule anymore. We’re on Jackson time!”
“Jackson time” mean that the 26-year-old mom nurses around 11 times a day and the new parents are managing their days on very few hours of sleep.
“I’ve learned I can exist on no sleep,” says Tori. “Zach is having a bit of a harder time with that.”
The reality couple revealed that their son was born with the same form of dwarfism as Zach, which is called achondroplasia. The proud father is prepared to raise a dwarf child and says there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his son.
“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,” says Zach, a soccer coach. “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.”
Males with achondroplasia will grow to an average height of 4’4” with a normal life span. However, babies may have breathing problems and delays in muscle development.
Zach knows the genetic disorder will make Jackson’s life more difficult, but “I want people to know that he’s just like his dad: being a dwarf is just part of the whole package of who he is.”
Zach and Tori both knew that there was a 50 percent chance of their son inheriting achondroplasia and found out his diagnosis at their 34-week ultrasound.
“We knew our chances of having a dwarf, but it didn’t matter,” says Tori, a kindergarten teacher. “We just knew we wanted to be parents, however God wanted it to happen.”
The couple hopes their son will grow up to become a caring, thoughtful and good person.
“Whatever he wants to do in life, we’re going to find a way to help him do it,” says Zach. “That’s our job in life now.”