I knew that having my daughter was not only going to change my life, but that she was heaven sent. This is a complete understatement. Here is my story…
During that time in my life I was involved in a very tumultuous relationship. I was shocked to find out I was pregnant as I was told I would never be able to conceive. I did on Valentines Day that year. The day after I found out I was pregnant I started bleeding. I bled for three weeks. I thought I lost my child. Turns out I was wrong. She was headstrong from the get go. I had an ultrasound at 18 ½ weeks. She was normal. In fact the doctor counted all 10 fingers and toes. You can see why I was shocked when she was born with the both hands affected by amniotic band syndrome.
5 ½ months into my pregnancy I received a severe beating from her father and fell out a two story window. Surprisingly, I landed on my feet but the force of the fall dropped me to my tail bone hard enough to see stars. I was immediately dragged upstairs never allowed to see a doctor. From the start she never let anyone get her down. I will never know if that fight was the cause of her ABS or not ~ only God knows.
Rhianna was born on her due date December 20, 1993 almost at home. I barely had time to get to the hospital. She was 6lbs 2oz and beautiful. Her father ran out screaming at the sight of her. I thought she had the most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen.
When she was born you could still see the bands. It looked as if I could untie them.
- She has her thumb and pointer finger on her right hand.
- Her ring finger was removed at birth. She only had the tip w/ a nail. The rest of the finger was as thin as dental floss.
- She has a thumb and pinky on her left hand.
- Her three middle fingers were fused.
- She has a ring finger that is just past the knuckle.
- Her middle finger is barely there.
- Her pointer requires surgery still. She has a finger tip w/ a very small nail and you can see where the bands tied her finger around the middle of her finger. It grew out in a knot and she does not have all of the joints.
- The hospital where she was born suggested putting her toes on her fingers. I wanted a second opinion so I went to Shriners Hospital in Sacramento. Shriners Hospital has handled both of Rhianna’s surgeries. They are free of charge up until the age of 18. All you need is a Shriner to sponsor you from a local Masonic hall. They have a wonderful hospital. They specialize in children. I felt at ease there and the kids were all smiles.
- Her first surgery was on her left hand. They had to release the syndactly of her three fingers. They had to do a skin graph to complete it. They used some skin from off of her hip and graphed it to the left side of her index finger. They then used the skin to cover her middle finger. It was necessary since her ring finger and index finger fused together over the middle finger.
- Her second surgery was fairly simple since she did not have the three fingers on her right hand. She does have a small portion of a pinky that had syndactly and they separated it from her hand. She uses it to balance her pencil when she writes. It works surprisingly well now
Today… Rhianna is a very vivacious, boisterous 9 year old. She can do anything. She even has neater handwriting than I do. I have never treated her like she was handicapped. And boy can she throw a knuckle ball!!! It doesn’t hold her back. She can be a little strong when you meet her. She makes you like her for who she is. I kind of like her sassy ways ~ though I will never tell her. Her father is no longer in our lives. I can say assuredly that while I have taught her about life; she has taught me what life was about.