Zach Roloff is a brand new father.
But he may need to face down some old demons in the years ahead.
The Little People, Big World star welcomed a son named Jackson into the world on May 12, posing for a couple photos with the newborn and his wife, Tori.
Said the reality star in a statement at the time:
“Baby and mother are doing great and Jackson is already mastered holding daddy’s fingers and snuggling with mom! He is adorable and Tori and I are loving being parents."
Since this special development, Zach has opened up in more depth about his son.
As relayed to People Magazine in an exclusive interview, the Roloffs learned that Jackson carried the dwarf gene (achondroplasia) when Tori was 34 weeks along.
They broke this news to their family, but withheld the information from the public until just a few days ago.
For Zach, the challenge that this will present is to ensure his child doesn’t suffer in the same way as he did while growing up.
“I grew up with the name-calling,” the 27-year old tells People, adding:
"I look at my childhood and being a boy on the farm, it was a little tough because boys are very alpha-doggy and follow the pack.
"I was always chasing the back and way behind the pack. It was tough."
(Men with the genetic condition of achondroplasia grow an average height of 4’4″ … with a normal lifespan; babies, meanwhile, may experience breathing problems and delays in muscle development.)
Having a son who is like himself means that Zach and Tori will need to be especially helpful and positive when it comes to how Jackson sees both himself and the world.
But they are up for this unique challenge.
“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,” explains Roloff.
“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."
On an earlier episode of his family’s TLC series, Zach opened up to his mother about concerns for Jackson.
Prior to the baby being born, Zach reiterated how his childhood was "tough" and how he was worried it would be the same for his impending son.
"You can’t keep up," Zach said to Little People, Big World star Amy, remembering what life was like for him many years ago.
"You can’t out-climb the other boys on the trees, you can’t outrun the other boys…Remember when I would come crying to you?”
Yes, Amy told her son. She did remember that.
But there’s reason for optimism.
There’s a reason for Zach to feel better about what may be awaiting his son once he enters elementary school and middle school.
“The world is changing. People are more open to diversity,” says the reality star and soccer coach, concluding of little Jackson:
“Whatever he wants to do, we’re going to find a way to help him do it. That’s our job in life now.”
In the end?
Jackson is happy and Jackson is healthy.
"That’s all that matters," Zach tells People.
Click the video above or follow the link to watch Little People, Big World online and catch up on the latest episode!