Mommy’ Little Lily Pad

Smiling child standing in crib - arm amputated in the womb by Amniotic Band Syndrome

“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.

4 thoughts on “Mommy’ Little Lily Pad


  1. My daughter is almost 3 and she was born missing her right forearm below the elbow, due to ABS. We weren’t aware there was anything wrong through any of the pregnancy, so it was a shock at birth. She amazes me every single day and there is yet to be anything that she cannot do. I wanted to reassure you that your little Lily will find ways to overcome everything and nothing will hold her back. Lots of love being sent your way 🙂


    1. Same happened to me! My son is missing his left forearm. He does amazingly well!!


  2. Your daughter is beautiful and it’s amazing the things she will accomplish. This really resonates with me because just this week I found out that my baby boy to-be (I am 23 weeks pregnant with my first) is missing his right forearm and hand just below the elbow, likely due to an amniotic band. These posts make me feel more at ease and grateful that he is otherwise healthy. I am just waiting to hear back about some genetic bloodwork screening, which i’m sure will be fine as I”m at a very low risk.


  3. You’re right, she will be able to overcome anything. I was born with no right hand, and I’m actually grateful for it. I think the challenge gave me the determination to do what I do now, and taught me not to take simple things for granted. My parents handled it really well. Instead of doing things for me, my mom sat beside me while I taught myself to tie my shoes and play piano. When I wanted to learn how to sew, they didn’t try to stop me or tell me I couldn’t. I moved to New York to study fashion design and now I make great money doing costumes for movies. Who would’ve thought when I was born that a girl with one hand would end up sewing for a living! Anything is possible for your daughter.

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