Tori Roloff, the wife of Zach Roloff from Little People, Big World, gave birth to a baby boy in May 2017. Like her husband, her son was diagnosed with dwarfism. While the couple loves their son unconditionally, Tori understands that there will be many challenges. Little did she know that this wouldn’t be the only hardship she was going to endure. Take a look into the lives of Zach and Tori Roloff and the unexpected family struggles they’ve faced head-on.
A Love Like Any Other
After four years of dating, Zach Roloff proposed to Tori and the two became engaged in 2016. In an interview with People, Tori admitted that the idea of getting married to Zach and being on the show was nerve-racking, but that the show actually helped her realize that she shouldn’t care what others think.
Zach added, “Tori brought me out of my shell and made me more social, she gave me confidence.” He never thought he would be ready for marriage but that changed after he met Tori.
Not long after, Tori and Zach had some very exciting news to the world. In 2016, they announced that the two were expecting their first child! While they were both thrilled with the news, they were also aware that there was a strong possibility that their baby could be born with dwarfism like Zach and other members of his family.
But the couple wasn’t phased. Zach noted that if their child was born with dwarfism it wouldn’t be anything new and said, “That’s not different, he’s just like me.”
A Family of Three
And just like that, Tori gave birth to her and Zach’s first child, a baby boy named Jackson. Like most other new mothers, Tori was nervous about the responsibility and lifelong task of being a mother. But after giving birth, she knew that she was meant to be a mom.
As the two anticipated, their newborn was diagnosed with dwarfism. But this didn’t matter to them, they were just happy to have a healthy baby.
It Runs In The Family
Dwarfism runs in the Roloff family. Zach and his parents Matthew and Amy have the condition. Dwarfism has affected each of them in different ways. Zach had to endure numerous surgeries as a child while Matthew suffered from dysplasia growing up and required a lot of medical attention.
When Jackson was born, Tory and Zach knew their son may have dwarfism. Although they were worried about the potential hardships he might face, they were still just ecstatic to hold their son in their arms.
Before Jackson was in the picture, it was just Tori and Zach. Take a look at their whirlwind romance next.
It Didn’t Take Long For Zach To Ask Tori Out
On the show, as soon as Tori started working on the farm, fans were obsessed with the idea of her and Zach getting together. Well, luckily for them, it didn’t take long for them to get their wish!
Just four months after Tori first appeared on the show, Zach asked Tori out and she said yes! During that time, Tori thought that she was living the dream with her new man on the farm.
Little did she know of the trials she would soon face.
There Was A Spin-off Show
Due to the success of Little People, Big World, the network decided to do a spin-off called Little People, Big World: Wedding Farm. Released in 2012, the show focused on Amy and Matthew’s shared dreams to become wedding planners although it still had a major focus on the family.
While the show wasn’t a disaster, the original Little People, Big World was unbeatable in fans’ eyes. Wedding Farms ratings weren’t holding up and the show was canceled after just one season.
Jacob Said Goodbye
While the show may have thrust the family into the public eye, that didn’t mean it didn’t cause major problems within the family.
Jacob, Zach’s younger brother, decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of what was going on and decided to quit being a part of the show. He stated, “They are the Roloff characters and I have scarcely anything in common with them, nor do I want to be a character myself.”
With all their friends and family in attendance, including the TLC film crew, Zach and Tori got married on July 27, 2015.
The couple got hitched during the show’s ninth season, making it the second wedding to be filmed for the series after Zach’s twin Jeremy and his wife Audrey. Of course, both weddings took place at the family’s farm and everyone was excited to see the family growing slowly but surely. So were all of their fans!
And this was just the beginning.
Tori Was More Than Ready For Motherhood
As it turns out, Tori was ready to be a first-time mother. Working as a kindergarten teacher, little kids were a part of her everyday life and was more than excited to have a child to call her own.
She was sad, though, to leave behind her daily routine of teaching America’s youth, but was beyond excited to start her own family. But it wasn’t goodbye forever. She knew that she’d be back in the classroom before she knew it.
They Expected The Complication
Although it was no surprise that there was a chance their child could be diagnosed with dwarfism, they weren’t sure if they would have Zach’s particular condition. Zach has a specific condition known as achondroplasia.
In May 2017, after the baby was born, they learned that the baby was indeed born with Zach’s condition, but it wasn’t anything the couple couldn’t handle. They were too enamored by the birth of their new child to think he was anything but perfect.
Before The Baby
Before the couple was blessed with their new child, they enjoyed a full seven years of being in a relationship together. On their seven-year anniversary, Tori posted a heartwarming post on Instagram.
The caption read: “Zachary, you make me smile every day, and I love our conversations about life and our dreams together. You are definitely my better half, and I pray every day that I can be a better wife to you.” Not long after, the two had their baby.
But there was something awful going on in the family.
Announcement Of A Divorce
While Zach and Tori may have been living a picture-perfect life, the same couldn’t be said for Zach’s parents Matthew and Amy. The same year as Zach’s wedding, Matthew and Amy announced that they were getting a divorce after being married for 30 years.
This was a huge shock for family and friends. Regarding their split, the couple said, “Our kids and our ever-growing family, and the love and support we have for them will be our priority.”
Still, this news was devastating to the family.
Zach Was Concerned With Raising His New Child
On May 12, 2017, Zach and Tori welcomed their son Jackson to the world. Because he was born with dwarfism like his father, Zach was up for the challenge because he had lived through it himself.
He commented, “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. 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.”
Bringing The Baby Home
Of course, the young couple fully embraced their son Jackson’s disability and never let it hinder their lives or be seen as a burden. Tori is never hesitant to show the world the love she has for her son and is constantly providing updates on his growth and progress and social media.
A month after the little guy was born, she wrote, “Jackson is one month old today! He is eating and growing like a champ. Loves watching soccer with daddy. Starting to find his voice. Sleeps 5-6 hour stretches at night.”
But they weren’t out of the woods yet.
Not Everything Was Going Smoothly
While everything may have seemed to be going smoothly, that wasn’t exactly the case. It wasn’t long until Tori revealed that there were some problems occurring. Although it wasn’t the end of the world it was a problem.
She wrote, “Hands down the hardest thing about being a mom has been breastfeeding. It was something I did not expect. I just figured it would come naturally because it’s what nature intended – I was so wrong.” Luckily, she had no lack of sympathy from fellow mothers.
She Continued Being Honest
Tori didn’t just post once about her issues with breastfeeding, she continued to open up about her problems. She posted: “I get asked at all my appointments how [breastfeeding] 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.” So, she decided not to do it.
Once again, her followers flocked to support her and even shared some of their own struggles with similar problems. It was clear that breastfeeding wasn’t for everyone.
What she was going through wasn’t unnatural either.
It’s A Touchy Subject
Breastfeeding is a touchy subject in our society, and many women are confused as to why. This new taboo surrounding it makes the whole thing an uncomfortable subject for new mothers.
Societal pressures make some women feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. Women have to worry about wandering eyes and strangers causing a scene. This leaves many mothers hesitant about the proper way to care for their child, for fear of being judged by others. She thought she was being judged for deciding not to breastfeed.
A Heated Debate
When it comes to breastfeeding in public a lot of people believe that it’s even against the law. Yet in reality, it’s one hundred percent legal in 49 states, with the outlier being Idaho. However, that’s not the only issue.
The other, maybe even bigger problem, is how some people view others if they decide not to breastfeed their child. Some people may say that you don’t have your child’s best interest at heart or even “lazy.”
However, things were about to change thanks to the help of Tori.
Taking A Stand
For Tori, speaking about not breastfeeding was especially important to her when it came to taking care of Jackson. She explained: “I still feel awkward in public when I feed my baby. Why should I?”
She definitely isn’t the only mother who feels this way either, but not all mothers are as confident to speak out about not breastfeeding their child. Many people rallied around Tori and began opening up about their own struggles with breastfeeding.
Not Giving Up
Breastfeeding was never an easy task for Tori or her son Jackson, and eventually, she explained that it wasn’t for them. She decided that formula was best for her and her child and was standing by her decision.
While she struggled with this realization at first, she persevered and it all paid off in the end. She announced that “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.”
Little did she know how much she inspired her fans.
People Were Grateful
Tori was praised by countless fans not only for her courage but also how inspiring she was to them. Many now had the courage to do what they were once afraid to do.
One follower commented saying “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.”
Amazingly, it wasn’t only mothers who reached out.
Even Experts Reached Out
Not only had Tori touched the hearts of other mothers after opening up about her personal experience, but experts on the matter also chimed in. Some felt that their knowledge and experience could help support Tori’s position.
One professional wrote, “I work as a nurse in women’s services. Over the past 10 years that 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 a while that we are setting up moms to have a lot more postpartum depression issues.”
There Were More Struggles
Unfortunately, Tori wasn’t the only woman in the family that ran into some issues when it came to being a mother. Audrey Roloff, the wife of Zach’s twin brother Jeremy, experienced issues during pregnancy as well.
She too took to social media to discuss the mental strain of motherhood, even before having her baby. She was excited to be expecting a daughter but noted that she was nervous about expecting a baby while trying to run a business at the same time.
She Was Feeling Lost
In hope of finding some answers from her beloved fans, Audrey asked a question.
She asked, “Attention momapreneurs… how do you do it?! I think the thing I am most nervous for post labor/delivery is learning to balance being a mom while running my businesses. I know that my priorities will need to take a shift, and I know that I won’t be able to give as much as I once could. I feel a little lost…”
Once again, fans came to the rescue!
Finding A Sense Of Security
Audrey received amazing responses from both mothers and fans alike. They reassured her that all of her emotions regarding where she was in life were perfectly normal and that there isn’t one way that all expectant mothers should feel.
Clearly, finding a balance isn’t always the easiest thing to achieve, especially if there’s a baby involved. However, many people reached out saying that the baby will always need its mother whereas a business can figure out a way to take care of itself.
Tori and Audrey aren’t the only people to use social media to their advantage.
Both Tori And Audrey Were Backed Up By Celebrities
Although both Tori and Audrey received some amazing advice and comfort from their followers, fans, and some experts, other celebrities have spoken out about similar motherly struggles as well.
Today, social media is by far the fastest and most effective way to reach large audiences and many celebrities use it as a tool to their advantage whether they are looking for help or want to help others. Celebrities such as Chrissy Teigen, Gisele Bündchen, among others have used it to voice their opinions on such issues.
A True Family
Zach and Tori have had to live through a lot of criticism and other personal problems, yet at their core, they are two of the most loving parents around. Tori even utilized her reality star status to help both herself and other struggling mothers with various issues that come with being a mother. Many, which are often overlooked.
Sometimes Instagram and other social media platforms can be used to make someone’s life look picture perfect, that’s not how the Roloffs chose to use theirs.
Why People Love The Roloff’s
When Little People, Big World first aired, fans fell in love with the show. It was so successful that it was even renewed for a second season, something that isn’t always easy to do. Critics also raved about the show, not only for its content but how it presented dwarfism to the public.
Then, of course, there’s the family aspect of the show as well as the other relationships sprinkled throughout. Nobody thought that the producers were exploiting the Roloff’s since the show had such positive energy which is the most important part.
A Much Needed Education For The Public
The Roloff’s also saw their show as a way to properly educate the public on dwarfism. Amy recalls that “The Learning Channel came to us about five or six years ago, and so we suddenly realized we were given a great opportunity to educate people about dwarfism […] Nothing [else] had depicted dwarfism in an everyday way.”
Surely, the show did its job, while simultaneously turning the Roloff’s into a celebrity family. Their fans genuinely care about each and every one of them.
A Diverse Family
While Tori mainly rose to popularity while being featured on Little People Big World, people loved the family from the beginning. In the Roloff family, Zach and his parents have dwarfism, while their other two sons Jeremy and Jacob do not.
The point of the show was to present audiences a totally normal family made up of some people with forms of dwarfism and those without. This is one of the main reasons why the show was so intriguing to audiences.
Matthew Found New Love, Or Did He?
After his divorce, it didn’t take long for Matthew Roloff, the father, to find love again. This time it was with Caryn Chandler. However, the interesting thing was that Chandler had been around the family for a long time and had worked her way up to become the farm manager.
Matthew commented that “Caryn is instrumental in running pumpkin season, she’s run it for 10 years […] I enjoy her immensely. Whether we’re working or whether we’re relaxing, we have a great time together.”
Were they okay as a couple?
Some Rumors Were Going Around
Because some people criticized the two were together, it sparked some rumors that the two were also falling on hard times and were most likely going to break up. After working for years on the farm, Chandler was no longer employed there.
This only added fire to the already baseless rumors. So, to put all of the speculation to rest, Matthew announced that all of the rumors were “fake news” and that the two were still very much together.
There were even more rumors to come.
Was Jackson Going To Be A Big Brother?
As you can imagine, Roloff fans lost their minds when rumors started to go around that Zach and Tori were expecting another baby. After Zach released a video of his wife, people automatically assumed she was pregnant, so Tori was quick to set things straight.
If anything, she was offended reacting saying, “No I’m not pregnant. Yes, I love baggy clothes and food. What if I was a woman who couldn’t get pregnant? What if I was a woman who had body image issues? Asking a woman if she’s pregnant can be extremely damaging.”
An Extremely Close Call
In a horrific situation, Tori Roloff and her baby boy Jackson were lucky to have their lives after a terrible car accident. Although their car was totaled, the pair walked away from the crash completely fine.
Tori showed the world a picture of her new minivan and that she and the baby were doing just fine. She was also incredibly brave saying that although it didn’t seem that terrible, it was the scariest moment of her life.
How Is Jackson Today?
A lot of people began to worry about Jackson’s safety when the couple snapped a picture of him in Maui sitting in a boat without a life jacket. of course, the Internet went into a frenzy claiming that they were being negligent even though the boat wasn’t in the water.
They were sure to follow up with a picture of them in the water with Jackson tightly secured in a life vest. They were still thankful for everyone’s concern.