Imogen’s ABS Story

Imogen is our third daughter and was born 1st March, 2012. My pregnancy began as my previous two; however when we went to our 12 week scan for Down’s syndrome testing Imogen’s Nuchal Fold measured slightly larger than normal. Our OB assured us that this was quite normal as my blood test results gave us a 1 in 6000 chance of Down’s syndrome and not too stress, so upon taking that advice we didn’t think any more of it.

We had our next scan on the 5th Oct 2011 and I’ll never forget that day, as my world fell apart. Our scan started normally and we were told we were having another girl. The scan continued as normal, the Technician then left the room to consult with the OB. The OB then came in and reviewed the results and had a second look. I had seen the Technician measure and remeasure the nuchal fold multiple times and thought to myself this isn’t a good sign. The OB then said he’d like to talk to us, and we went and sat down at his desk. He then proceeded to tell us, that Imogen was missing her right palm and four fingers. He showed us on the scan where her arm ended and then a bone where the hand was supposed to be, coming out at a right angle. No words came described the shock that my Husband and I both felt, it was like a truck had come from nowhere and run me down. The next day we had amniocentesis to test for any chromosomal problems. All testing came back clear after 10 days, however they still couldn’t assure us that she would 100%.

I’m glad that I found out before Imogen was born, as it gave me time to research, grieve and process what was about to happen to our family. The day she was born I felt uncertainty that things were going to be okay, and how was I going to cope with everything. As soon as Imogen was out and the OB was putting her on my chest, I was asking what does it look like? The OB showed us her right arm, and Imogen has a large thumb where her hand should be. The relief that I felt is indescribable, and I thought to myself “I can do this, it looks somewhat normal” (In my imagination had pictured a grotesque looking bone protruding for her arm).

Today Imogen is 4 ½ months and is a gorgeous little girl. She has been accepted by our two daughters, our family and friends and treated as though everything is okay. I am looking forward to the future and watching her overcome challenges. I still find myself with tears in my eyes when I think about everything.

I am very grateful to have extremely supportive family and friends. We had never heard of ABS until we touched by it.
Please contact me if you wish to talk, or if you find yourself in the same situation.

One thought on “Imogen’s ABS Story

  1. I am 24 weeks pregnant with my thrid child, our first son Daniel. At my 12wk ultrasound the Dr told us Daniel is missing all his fingers on his left hand due to abs. I still feel like it is very surreal, and I am still in denial from it. How were you able to cope with it throughout your pregnancy?

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