Blake was born on March 2, 1997. My pregnancy was very normal and couldn’t have gone any better; not one day of morning sickness, lots of energy, and felt great. I had 2 ultrasounds but nothing looked out of the ordinary. During my pregnancy I did every thing I could to make sure that I had a healthy baby. I ate healthy foods. I wouldn’t even polish my fingernails and toenails for fear that the smell might harm my baby. After Blake was born I sometimes would ask myself why it was my child that had to be born with an abnormality when I tried to do everything right. I was a little bothered by mother’s-to-be who smoked, dyed their hair, or got perms and then had beautiful, healthy babies with 10 fingers and 10 toes. It helped that I was so careful during my pregnancy because I didn’t feel guilty that maybe it was something that I had done to cause this.
When my baby was born, my husband and I were so happy. The nurse put Blake in the bassinet to clean, measure, and weigh him. My husband was looking at our new son and then I heard him ask “what’s wrong with his fingers?” Blake had clasped my husband’s finger with his left hand. The doctor said, “I didn’t notice anything” and went to look. He then tried to explain that sometimes things like this happen. “He is appears healthy in all other aspects. The pediatrician will be in to examine him in the morning and will explain more then.” We were heartbroken. Why did this happen?
The fingers on Blake’s left hand had not developed normally. The thumb, index finger, ring finger, and pinky were very small. The middle finger was just a nub that joined the index and ring fingers together. Blake did not have knuckles / joints in his fingers and was missing a few bones in his hand. My husband took it harder than I did. He was just afraid that Blake would have a hard time at school, sports, etc. I knew that Blake was destined for something great. I felt in my heart (and still do) that God has a plan for Blake; a role model for children, maybe even a doctor who diagnoses and cures ABS, or a role model for adults.
Blake had 2 surgeries at the Shriner’s hospital in Lexington, KY. The first was in 1998 when he was 1 year 3 months old. The doctor removed the middle finger (which was just a nub) and webbing. This made it easier for Blake to use his fingers. On the second surgery when Blake was 4 years old, the doctor lengthened the space between his pinky and ring finger. Blake does not have to have any more surgeries unless later on he has trouble using his hand.
Blake is now a very confident 11 year old. He is a very smart, athletic, and talented child. He earns straight A’s in school, plays basketball, baseball, and soccer, just started playing the trumpet, and is a very gifted artist (he has won numerous art competitions). He has not let his hand abnormality be a hindrance to him. Most adults and some children do not notice at first meeting that his hand is different because he does the same things as everyone else and most of the time he does it better. Of course kids have asked why his hand is the way it is, Blake tells them, “God just made me that way or God just made me special.” He just says it matter of fact like its no big deal. Blake has never come across any obstacle to big to tackle. He always gives it his all. I could not be a prouder mother of my Perfect son!