“Did you know she was missing her arm?”
I had just delivered my second little girl. It was early May, and she was just over a week late. I had been induced the night before by my amazing doctor, and had had a very smooth delivery. I was just about to relax into my afterbirth and loving on my sweet newborn, when the nurse between my legs dropped that little bombshell on me.
Immediately I go into survival mode. I gripped my husband’s hand, looked up into his now-pale face, and said “What did she just say?” He didn’t even answer, just went to find out what was going on.
My little girl, now right months, was missing her right forearm, just below her elbow. They told me it was ABS. I had never heard of ABS. No one in my family had heard of ABS. I was blessed to have a very healthy family, and so did my husband. We were shocked. I have a congenital defect where my uterus is heart-shaped, which meant that I had more ultrasounds than a normal pregnancy, as well as having extra ultrasounds because of a complete placenta previa early on. I had a total of eight ultrasounds, and nothing showed upon any of the pictures.
I heard a lot from well-meaning family members, friends, and doctors: this was the best possible way it could have happened, and it’s true. She has her elbow, and no other internal or external issues. However, I was more scared than anything else. Every day I thought of a new thing she wouldn’t be able to do.
Now, as I watch her scooting around the floor and learning to stand alone, I know that she will be able to overcome whatever she comes against.