“Our lives changed completely with one single phone call. The day started off like any other day. My husband took off to work early and I was at home that day. I was going through my normal morning routine when my phone started ringing. It was my midwife calling. A few weeks prior, I had had my 20-week anatomy scan. My midwife asked if anyone had gone through the results of my ultrasound with me. I had not heard from anyone. She then proceeded to tell me, ‘It appears your baby did not develop a left forearm or hand.’ She then told me more testing would need to be done and she needed my permission. In shock, I agreed. She then asked if I had any questions.
A million questions raced through my mind but I couldn’t even possibly turn these thoughts into words. Our brief phone call couldn’t have been longer than 5 minutes. Yet it changed everything we knew or expected for our future. After my midwife hung up, I sat down, staring at nothing until I broke down completely. All the thoughts, doubts and questions came out in tears. I sat there until my eyes burned with tears, my head hurt from crying like I’ve never cried before in my life. It was surreal.
That day was a day of tears, guilt, doubt, questions, anger, pain, anguish, pity, sadness, and heartbreak. All day long, I was completely alone, alone with all my thoughts and a roller coaster of emotions. It wasn’t until late that night when my husband came home I was able to talk to someone. The hardest thing was to try and find the words to tell him that everything was not okay with our little one. In fact, we really had no idea what to expect and we assumed the worst. Often we wondered if our baby would even live. That night was the longest night of my life. I lay there, disbelieving, lost in thought, prayers, and tears. I wondered if I would ever again be able to fall asleep peacefully.
After a few weeks of hearing nothing about our baby, I had another ultrasound and consultation with a high-risk OB. I lay there in silence trying to think of anything other than why I was there. I was trying to stay composed but my whole body was shaking. Since I was not expecting a consultation or any news about the ultrasound that day, my husband was at work. Thankfully, my mom came with me. Throughout the consultation, I could barely speak. I was numb and shaky. The OB confirmed that our son would be born without a left forearm or hand. I didn’t realize how, until moment, I had been hoping that they were wrong. I hadn’t truly accepted the news until it was confirmed.
After that appointment, many more appointments followed. Ultrasounds, consultations with geneticists, pediatricians, even a plastic surgeon. With each appointment, my due date drew closer and closer. Terrified of the unknown, I put off buying anything for our baby. I smiled throughout my baby shower I didn’t even want to attend.
One evening after my due date had come and gone, my water broke at home. After almost 24 hours of labor, our little love Sean was born. He was handed to me immediately and he snuggled into my arms.
The miracle of birth changes everything and seeing our baby for the first time was an incredible feeling. In our eyes, he was perfect. We fell in love with him immediately and our love grows every day. After further testing, we were told Sean was healthy with no other conditions to worry about.
Every day, I see this beautiful little man that continues to amaze me. Despite our doubts and fears, he is here. Healthy and so incredibly happy. He is growing so fast and learning new things every day.
We are so thankful that our doubts were put to rest and we can enjoy each moment with Sean. Through our journey in this last year, the biggest thing I’ve learned is we have no idea what others are going through or struggling with alone. Be kind. Be supportive. Be thankful for all we have.”
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This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Brianna from Toronto, Canada. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more inspiring stories of children with unique and special differences:
‘There’s an issue with her hand.’ I was scared. It was inverted backwards, and she only had 3 fingers.’: Mom ‘shocked’ after daughter born with limb difference, ‘I was determined to protect her every way I could’
‘I’m under the impression you already know your baby is missing its left hand.’ The doctor looked mortified.’: Couple learns of daughter’s limb difference, ‘angry’ after doctor suggests termination
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