Michael came into this world in 1998. From the beginning, he pretty much has had his own agenda. He was born 3 weeks early. I started having contractions on a Wednesday and waited until Friday before even calling the doctor. She told us to get to the hospital!! When we got there, the nurse said we couldn’t leave because my blood pressure was too high and I was dehydrated. So, they began inducing labor and made me walk around the hospital for 3 hours.

Saturday morning (after a sleepless night of contractions) the nurse came in to check me. She said everything was fine, I still had a while to go and my doctor was downstairs on her way up. As soon as she left the room, my water broke—my husband couldn’t find a nurse anywhere. When he finally got a nurse in the hall, she grabbed a doctor and said, “Doctor, could you please come in here and catch this one?” . And that is pretty much what this total stranger did. Just as I looked down, I saw my beautiful baby boy, I asked where his hand was. The doctor said, “Oh, I’m sorry he doesn’t have one.” Just then our doctor came in. She couldn’t really give us an explanation either. But she did say, “He is perfectly healthy”

It was very shocking, throughout the pregnancy and two ultrasounds, nothing came up. At the last ultrasound, the technician simply said, “his left hand must be behind his head.” The first six months of Michael’s life were very hard for us. We had just assumed we would have a perfectly healthy, “normal” baby; especially since we had already had one child. Our doctor didn’t offer us any advice or have any words of encouragement, except “I hope he will be right handed.”

As my husband and I left the hospital with our precious baby, we felt pretty much alone. We had no one to talk to, we didn’t know of anyone who had ever been through this. Our family was supportive, as best as they could be, considering they had to deal with the shock, too.

As I was searching the internet for any kind of information, I came across an article Jen Sullivan wrote. To this day, I don’t know how I found it, but I am so grateful I did. I emailed her and she put me in touch with I-CAN. Once I started reading the posts, I had so many questions, and everyone has always been willing to give me advice and opinions. I cannot express how grateful I am to have found this group. It was the first time my husband and I realized we were not alone. Because of this group we have met other families, with similar differences and some with other differences.

When we were trying to decide on getting Michael fitted for a prosthesis, I turned to the group for advice. We chose not to get Michael fitted (as you can see from his pictures) and he does EVERYTHING a regular 13 month old does; including climbing on furniture and feeding himself. I just wanted to share with everyone the pictures of our precious little angel because today I know he truly is a blessing.

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