Someone dear to me was born with a number of physical (not mental) birth defects known together as VACTERL Association. This person spent a great deal of time in the hospital as a baby, and had a number of surgeries at a young age. Now this person is perfectly healthy, but this person is still, albeit to a relatively small degree, visibly “different.” Ever since I was quite young, I have struggled with the reason why. It has always seemed frustratingly unjust to me that most people are born with “regular” bodies, while some, seemingly randomly, are not. Here, I will explore the causes of disorders like VACTERL, and also look into the differences, if any, between “genetic” and “developmental” birth defects.