Shortly after my twins were born, my husband walked my son over to my recovery bed (I had a C-section) with a stunned look on his face and said, ‘Look at this.’ He peeled Isaac’s hand open to reveal a strange looking little left hand. My husband was the first to notice the anomaly, despite having nearly a dozen medical professionals involved in the twins’ delivery.
We were shocked and upset. We silently and immediately began to question all the things he wouldn’t be able to do without 4 functioning fingers. We worried about his self-esteem. We envisioned all the kids that would make fun of him. We began to rehearse all the things we’d have to say to strangers to explain the appearance of his hand when out in public. There was a lot of mental energy and Google searches devoted to this case of amniotic banding early on, but remarkably, we stopped thinking about it sometime in the last 10 years.
Really. Isaac is a confident, capable, athletic, well-adjusted kid. He approaches his hand difference with acceptance and humour and calls those little finger tips his ‘nibs’. Consequently, others follow his lead. At hockey camp last summer, Isaac and a fellow camper engaged in healthy conversation about the reason for his hand’s appearance. The chat ended with the other boy saying something like, ‘I would love to cut those little finger balls off and play with them!’ Both boys erupted in a fit of giggles!
It’s hard to believe now that we mourned the loss of those fingers and feared for Isaac’s well-being, but we really did for awhile. I’m proud that we’ve gotten to the point where we rarely focus on my son’s hand and when we do, there is no embarrassment or judgement, only acceptance.