I’ve lived with amniotic bands syndrome for 31 years. I was born with two thumbs, fingers fused together and a missing toe.
I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand so unfortunately for me my parents have no medical records to share with me. We were sponsored to the US about a few months after I was born. I was told I was in and out of the UC Davis hospital but I honestly don’t remember going through any of the procedures/surgeries. I however, do have scars from my fingers to my bikini line.
I never really researched or asked about the details of my condition. I just kind of excepted it. I get the common stares. It use to bother me a lot as a teenager but now as an adult I’ve learn to adapt to it.
Growing up it wasn’t really a battle for me. I was very ambitious and confident with my abilities. I had a few neighborhood kids who teased me, they chased me around and called me butterfinger little fingers and no hands. It didn’t seem to bother me until I was in middle school. I would hide my fingers hoping nobody would notice my hands, I realized nobody seem to notice so when I went to high school I just did my best to hide my fingers and nobody seemed to notice or nobody really cared to ask. I was elected freshman class Vice President and I was well known for being me. I had a guy ask me out to a school dance when I told him I was unable to go he told me I had messed up finger anyway. I thought it was funny. It helped boost my confidence to know there were people out there who loved me for me despite my differences.
When I met my husband he told me he didn’t really notice my fingers until someone told him. But he said it didn’t matter he was in love with me. So we got hitched and soon after I was pregnancy of course I had to ask the million dollar question… Will my baby be born with amniotic bands?
The doctor said no but when I took the blood test when I was about 3-4 months pregnant and my blood work came out abnormal it freaked me out. I’ve learn to love me but I couldn’t help but pray she wasn’t going to have to experience what I went through. They poked a large needle and took some of my amniotic fluid for more testing and she was healthy and no abnormalities were found. I got pregnant the second time around same thing happen with the blood work but this time I was older, wiser I didn’t have them do the extra testing because I told myself what difference does it make? I’ll love her no matter what.
So now I’m a mother two to beautiful girls. Happily married to my husband of 12 years. I am proud of the woman I am today. My advice to others dealing with the same condition is to live the life you love. Don’t let society make you feel less beautiful. If anything I strongly believe we are beautiful and amazing just the way we are.