417: You mentioned that the baby stage with your kids was very stressful for you. What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to that stage?
C.D.: Well, when you’re young, you’re trying to juggle it all. You’re trying to figure it out. And you will figure it out. I think that’s it. If I could go back, I’d say, “Christine, it’s okay. You’ll figure it out. It’ll all work, and you’ll figure it out. You don’t have to stress about it. They’ll survive.”
417: Can you tell us about Jude’s medical condition?
C.D.: She was born with her condition. The diagnosis has been bantered back and forth, it’s never been 100 percent conclusive, but the closest any doctor has come to putting a label on it is FFU syndrome. Femur-Fibula-Ulna syndrome. Three of Jude’s four limbs are affected. Her right femur is shorter than her left. She has no elbow on her right arm, no ulna bone and only three fingers on the left. She was also diagnosed with pediatric scoliosis at 18 months. Jude has a lot of bone issues. It’s all orthopedic.
417: How did you feel when you first learned of her condition?
C.D.: That was another aspect for me. I was a new mom, and I just didn’t know how to deal with it. It was very devastating to me. Jude is a miracle, just in a different package, and she is awesome, but I didn’t know how to deal with it as a new mom. I just felt like she was cheated. I was mad about it because she didn’t get everything that I thought every child could get, which was all of her bones.
417: How do you answer Jude’s questions about her condition?
C.D.: She’ll ask, “Where are my fingers? How come I didn’t get five fingers?,” and that’s a hard question to answer. We don’t know, and we tell her that. As her mom, one of the hardest things for me to say is, “Jude, I don’t know, and I don’t know if you’ll ever get them back.” She’ll say, “I want my fingers.” I tell her that we will do everything we can to get her fingers back, but mommy doesn’t know if we will ever get them back, and the doctors don’t even know right now. We give 10 percent of our Granolove profits to Shriners Hospital, and that’s why we do it. I want to be instrumental in making those fingers come back.
417: What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
C.D.: My favorite thing about being a mom of an 8 and a 6 year old is the hugs and kisses. You get those still. I’m sure if you ask me in five years, it would be something different, but right now, I love the cuddles.
Quick Resources for Moms Who Want to Start a Business
Want to start your own small business? There's no time like the present! These local resources can help.