When Vanessa McLeod and her husband found out that they were expecting their second child, they were elated! They knew that their family was growing. The happy mother faithfully followed the set routine for prenatal checkups.
On one such routine checkup, at 19 weeks, Vanessa wanted to know their baby’s gender. But the tech informed them that the baby’s legs were crossed so they couldn’t determine the gender. She did not think much of the situation.
The following day, as she was preparing to go to an appointment with her midwife, she got a call. The midwife told Vanessa that the ultrasound had significant findings. She was told to bring her husband along and get a sitter for their firstborn daughter, who was two years old at the time. The news immediately stirred up terror.
When they settled down at the midwife’s office, the ultrasound scan was taken out. These soon-to-be-parents sat down silently as they listened to the report, as explained by the midwife.
According to the ultrasound, there was a possibility that the child would have a cleft lip. To Vanessa, that was a minor thing that could be easily corrected. The next finding was that one femur was shorter than the other because it was curved. This still didn’t scare Vanessa. After all, the worst-case scenario would be losing her child, which wasn’t the case yet.
Then came the bombshell – the child was missing both hands and forearms. Now that was a gut-punch, according to Vanessa, but also a relief that the child’s life wasn’t in danger. But Vanessa was overwhelmed with emotions as her heart went out to her baby.
Vanessa expected the doctors to tell her that everything would be okay. But what she got was the doctors suggesting termination. They asked her to think about the quality of life that the child would have. This was a brutal suggestion that left Vanessa’s head spinning.
She came up with various suggestions such as prosthetics, which the genetics doctors dismissed as they insisted on termination. Vanessa stuck with her decision to raise her child despite the suggestions and possible challenges.
Vannesa makes up her mind
Despite the fear in her heart, Vanessa accepted her child and had peace in her heart that the universe had chosen her to be this angel’s mom. Vanessa and her husband were looking forward to having their baby. They knew that this newest addition to their family would teach them lessons they would never have dreamt of.
Today, Vanessa’s second child is a healthy, happy infant. Vanessa has since connected with various communities of people like her little girl. She has also found countless organizations such as The War Amps and Lucky Fin Project to help her with resources on limb differences. She says that she will raise her children to know that people are different in many ways.
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