'My kids love having the world's shortest mom': The 'half-body' mother (with a 5ft 11ins boyfriend) who defied doctors' warnings to have two healthy children
16:28 GMT, 6 September 2012
A mother of two who was born with a rare disorder which causes abnormalities in the spine, has found an unconventional way of getting around, she travels by skateboard.
Rosemary Siggins, who is just 2ft 6in, suffers from sacral agenesis, and had the lower half of her body removed when she was aged two.
She learned to walk on her hands at first, but eventually began using a skateboard to help her get around.
Miracle mother: Rose Siggins with her daughter Shelby in 2006. Rose suffers from sacral agenesis and had the lower half of her body removed when she was aged two
Unusual mode of transportation: Rose, pictured with husband Dave, baby Shelby and son Luke, opts to use a skateboard to get around as she found prosthetic legs too painful and doesn't want to be wheelchair bound
‘My skateboard’s so important to me – it is the difference between feeling trapped and feeling free,’ she said during an interview with Closer magazine. ‘I couldn’t get by without it. And the kids think it’s cool!
Rosemary (known as Rose) is mother to Luke, 13, and Shelby, six, and drives them to school every day in her specially adapted car.
‘When Luke was young, we’d skateboard together,’ she said. ‘At first, he wasn’t able to stand on the board, so he’d sit and push with his hands like me.’
The 39-year-old from Pueblo, Colorado, was fitted with prosthetic legs at the age of six, but found them too painful, preferring to use her skateboard.
‘I annoyed the hell out of my teachers, as they’d find my legs left around the school where I’d slipped out of them and got on my skateboard,’ she added.
While she was confident in her younger years, Rose became incredibly insecure about her condition when she was a teenager, and worried that she’s never have a boyfriend or a family of her own.
'World's shortest mum': Rose says her kids love that she is so small
She trained as a mechanic and qualified when she was 22, but was resigned to the fact that she’d be alone for the rest of her life.
But Rose’s life changed in 1997 when she met Dave Siggins, who worked at the car parts shop she regularly used.
‘There was an immediate attraction for both of us,’ said Rose. ‘He treated me just like any other woman and told me I was beautiful. Eight months later, we began dating.’
Rose fell pregnant a year after she began dating Dave (who is 5ft 11in).
The couple (who say they have a normal sex life) had assumed they would not be able to have children as sacral agenesis often causes damage to the reproductive systems.
‘When I went to see my specialist, they told me no one with sacral agenesis had ever gone full term and said a baby could crush my internal organs,' she explains.
‘One doctor even advised an abortion, but I refused. I knew the chances of passing on my condition were almost nil.
‘Luckily, it was an easy pregnancy and Luke was born healthy by C-section in January 1999.’
She went on to have daughter Shelby when Luke was six, but her second pregnancy was more difficult.
'I've gotten through life's challenges': Rose's health has worsened in the last few years, but she says she's grateful to have 'two amazing kids and a loving husband'
‘I had bleeding, breathing problems and abdominal pains,’ she said. ‘My body took a battering and, when I had my C-section, I also needed my appendix and gallbladder removed.’
Rose admits her health has worsened in the last few years and she is unable to work as a mechanic anymore.
She says she feels as though her hands and arms are literally wearing out and is worried she may be eventually be forced to use a wheelchair.
'I’ve got through all the challenges life has thrown at me, and I’m thankful I have two amazing kids and a loving husband. But I’ve finally realised I’m not Superwoman.’
The brave mother says she makes a point of talking to her children’s friends and pupils at their school about her condition to avoid them being teased about it.
She admits that most of the kids think she’s cool when they learn she travels around on a skateboard.
‘Shelby loves that I’m so short, because I’m always on her level. She says she loves having the world’s shortest mum!’ she added.
‘Once, I was hanging out with friends and we started talking about who has the coolest mum. I won because my mum rides a skateboard and works on cars. That beats baking cookies and cakes any day!’