My little girl was born June 13, 2007 in Huntsville, Alabama. Her name is Allyssa Cate. She is my third child and she is also my very first little girl. Allyssa was born without her right forearm and hand. We had no idea until she was born. I had a C-section so I couldn’t see her but I knew from the reaction in the room that something was wrong. Then my doctor finally came to the head of my bed to speak to my husband and me. He said, ‘something is wrong.” Then he paused for what seemed like an eternity. That was the scariest moment of my life. Then he said it. Your little girl’s arm did not develop. That was the first time I had ever heard of an Amniotic Band and those two little words have changed my life forever.
The first few days were easy. I wasn’t upset, and I didn’t cry. I was just so happy to have her. She was healthy and so beautiful. I just couldn’t be sad, and I never did cry.
It wasn’t until Allyssa was two weeks old that I started to grieve what I thought she was supposed to be. She was supposed to be a perfect little picture. To be perfect she was going to have ‘ 10 fingers and 10 toes’. How many times had I heard that. How many times had I said that phrase. It never bothered me to hear that before, but now it was breaking my heart to hear it. My beautiful little girl was going to go through life without her arm and hand. Who would love her and see her beauty besides me? Would she be made fun of? What if she wanted to play sports and couldn’t? What if something else is wrong? I had a million questions. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I felt like I was dying. I prayed to God that I would do anything if he would just give Allyssa her arm. How silly that was. It never occurred to me that my idea of perfect was not really perfect at all.
It is now almost 4 months later and I feel like another person. I would never change a thing about her. We want her exactly like God gave her to us….. perfect.
Remember I said that I had to grieve. I did. I grieved my worldly idea of what a daughter should be, and I am thankful that God created her in ‘his own image’ and not mine. Allyssa was given to us exactly as God intended. I feel like I am part of something extraordinary because he chose me to be her momma. God will use my special child and your special child if we allow his spirit to move through us. Psalm 139 13-16 says: ‘For though hast possessed my reins: though hast covered me in my mothers womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest part of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them.’ That means that even before our precious children touched this earth that God had their bodies perfectly sculpted to be exactly the way he wanted….for his purpose not ours. God has given Allyssa and my family an opportunity to bring glory to him in a very specific way, and I am so very thankful he did.
I would not be human if I said that I was never concerned about what Allyssa might face tomorrow, but I can say that with every day that passes I think about it less. I feel God with me more than I ever have. I know that her life is going to be more than I ever imagined. I know in my heart that her arm is in Heaven holding on to God….. and he is holding on to hers too.
If you are mother with a child or grandchild affected with ABS and you are finding these stories for the first time, I want you to know that everything is going to be just as God intended. I strongly suggest you read Psalms 139. It can heal your heart.