Welcome to my blog! I have been wanting to do this for a while but when my friend Steph started a blog about her pregnancy (All I Wanted Was A Back Rub), it motivated me to finally get started.
Since this is my first post, I guess it makes sense to start from the beginning.
I found out I was pregnant on Nov. 6, 2007. It was a very welcomed surprise! I went for the routine anatomy ultrasound at 19 weeks where they measure all of the baby's little parts. A few days later I got a call from my midwife that she wanted me to come and see her so we could talk. She didn't want to tell me what it was over the phone. Immediately I was afraid something was wrong. No news is usually good news.
John & I went to her office and she told us that the ultrasound technician had some concerns. She suspected that a bone in our baby's left arm was shorter than normal and she also thought that a few of his fingers might be fused together. It was so hard for me to hear this about my precious baby. I did a lot of crying that day but I tried to stay positive. I had heard a lot of stories about ultrasound technicians telling pregnant woman horrible things that turned out to be totally untrue and these woman went on to have perfectly normal babies. So I prayed that this would be the case with us and that the woman was wrong.
We had to wait 2 weeks for our appointment at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto at the Special Pregnancy Program. Finally the day came (Feb. 29, 2008) and we didn't have to wait for answers any longer. After my ultrasound the doctor asked us to come into another room so we could talk.
He started talking about the different bones in the arm and was drawing a picture as he talked. He drew a complete right arm and labeled the different bones. As he drew the left arm, he stopped just below the elbow and explained that our baby's radius and ulna were shorter than normal. It took a minute for it to sink in as I looked at his drawing. Then I realized that my baby doesn't have a left hand.
As you can imagine, that was a very hard day. No pregnant woman ever wants to hear that ANYTHING is wrong with her baby. Thankfully my husband was so incredibly positive and supportive that I didn't waste very much time feeling sorry for myself. It was a bit of a grieving process for me though. I went through a lot of different emotions; sadness, guilt (Was it something I did?), anger (Why did this happen to US? Its not fair!) and finally acceptance.
Whenever I would start to feel sad or upset, I would focus on all the positives. We were so blessed to have a healthy baby. A hand is just a hand. It could be so much worse. What if something was wrong with his heart or his brain? What if he had a chronic disease or disorder? Suddenly, it wouldn't seem so bad.
It was also a huge positive that he had a functioning elbow. We could see him bending it and moving it around during the ultrasounds. (He was always very busy in there!)
At first we didn't share our news with many people. We didn't want anyone feeling sorry for us or our baby. We wanted to enjoy the pregnancy without having people being focused on the fact that our baby was missing part of his arm.
I began to do research online but really couldn't find very much information. Then someone told me about a yahoo group called "Sammy's Friends" for parents of children with limb differences. I immediately joined, started reading posts and looking at pictures of different children. I was so inspired by the pictures of these children riding bikes, rock climbing, playing sports, etc. The parents all seemed so proud and positive. It helped me more than you can imagine.
Once we had processed the information ourselves and come to terms with it, we began to feel more comfortable sharing the news with our family and close friends. We received so much love & support that it made it easy. Before long, it didn't even seem like a big deal to us anymore. That was just the way he was and it would have seemed weird if we found out that he had 2 hands after all. It just seemed like that was the way he was meant to be.
I'm the type of person that believes everything happens for a reason. I feel blessed to have been given such a special child. He has already touched so many people's lives and proven that his limb difference can't slow him down at all. I'm excited to see what life has in store for him. I just know it will be something amazing!