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Lindsay - Gaithersburg, Maryland

My daughter Lindsay was born in April, 2007. I was 40 years old and I was pleasantly surprised when I received news that I was expecting my second child.

I had the typical pregnancy and normal ultrasounds. My little Lindsay was growing nicely and I had no complications except for kidney stones in my final trimester.

I was scheduled for a C-section April 16th but Lindsay decided to make her appearance a few days early. My husband was in Afghanistan for the past six months and he was due to fly home on April 15th. My son and I were staying with family in Pennsylvania while my husband was away. I went into fast labor on April 13th and I had a C-section. Once my Lindsay was delivered, I heard a healthy cry and the room went silent. I asked what was wrong, what was wrong!

The doctor paused and said that Lindsay was perfect and healthy but was missing three digits. To be totally honest, I didn't know what he was talking about. They brought her over and she was all clean and wrapped up and she just looked so perfect; but I was scared to look at her left hand. I didn't for a while. I just gazed into my daughters eyes and just bonded. But finally my curiosity got the best of me and I unswaddled her and saw her left hand.

She was born with a partial left hand. She had normal arm length and a normal wrist. Her hand was cut off half way. She was born with a small thumb and a small pinky finger. The three middle fingers were missing. I just cried and cried. Never in a million years did I think something like this would happen.
When my husband finally arrived 2 days later, I didn't tell him what happened until after an hour or so. She was swaddled so he didn't notice her left hand. I finally said, “Hon, our daughter is perfect but there is a small problem with her left hand.” With that statement, he immediately unwrapped her and started to cry when he saw her hand.

The first few months, we were in shock and in the “blame game”. But all the specialists we saw say it just happened and there really is no known cause. One specialist said that perhaps a blood clot developed during the 7th week of pregnancy when the limbs were being developed. They also said sometimes there can be heart complications with a hand defect and that made me more nervous but she was checked out thoroughly and is fine.

She continued to grow and amaze us with her crawling and handling toys and objects. Nothing stops her and she adjusted perfectly. We took her to the National Hand Center in Baltimore to see what could be done to help her with her functionality. And you know what they told us….”Leave her alone. She is just fine.” She could have had surgery to extend her pinky with a bone removed from one of her toes. But it just wasn't worth her going through all the pain and not knowing is the surgery would work.

She is almost 18 months old and she does everything her older brother does. I do have a physical therapist visiting her once a month to check on her progress and she basically said that Lindsay is a typical toddler and is using the left hand like you wouldn't believe. We get the typical stares and people asking what happened. I just smile and hold my daughter tight and say that this is how God made her and isn't she perfect!

Please contact me via email if you ever need to talk and need encouragement to know that everything is fine and your child will grow up not knowing anything different.


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