Everyone laughed at this baby and his mother. Wait till you see them. Two decades later, in several of the world’s wealthiest and most predominant countries, laws have already been passed around the gestation of babies with medical problems. In utero, especially in Northern Europe, it’s not at all uncommon for babies to be tested to see if they have a problem. The mothers are then provided with a choice to terminate their pregnancies.
It’s a tough decision, but one that’s based on the choice to spare that future person and undignified life. I take God’s miracles for granted. At times when I really stopped to think about all of creation. Trees, animals, insects, the Earth, the sun are all things that were created by God are true blessings. The creation of a human is his greatest miracle because he made us in his image.
Anything made in God’s image is a miracle and a blessing. We have no right to judge other people. We’re imperfect beings in an imperfect world who have been given free agency. Suffering is not only inevitable, but it’s necessary to know the sweet. We must taste the bitter.
We’re here on this Earth to learn to progress. It’s important to understand that the key decision in this process rests not in the hands of medical experts, but in those of the baby’s mother. A mum whose son was born without legs and with one arm, with a webbed hand says she never considered terminating her pregnancy. As she raised her perfect little boy, Rosie Higgs was warned. Ahead of eleven month old Henry’s birth, he would have Amniotic Band syndrome, where a baby’s limbs are inhibited from growing properly in the womb.
Rosie Higgs, 29, from Harold, London, had been told that her unborn son might have Amniotic Band syndrome, a condition which would stop his limbs from growing properly. At her routine 20 week scan, Henry Higgs, now eleven months, arrived via a Csection, weighing a healthy £8. 2oz. He was born with just one arm, with a web hand, but he’s now hitting all the milestones he should be. Henry is able to lift objects up, lift his head up and roll over.
When I was told my baby would only have one arm and no legs, I was so worried and upset. His mother, a special needs school assistant, reveals it was scary at times being pregnant, not being able to have her mum, Paula, 55, and partner, 39, by her side during her scans due to coronavirus restrictions, made the pregnancy even trickier. I had scans every four weeks. They kept a close eye because every scan was saying something different, he explained. When I was at work, it was okay because I didn’t think too much.
But when I had to stop work, I was really overthinking things. I was worried something might go wrong. But he’s such a happy chap and doesn’t let his disability hold him back in any way. He might not have all his arms and legs, but he’s absolutely perfect to me. A mum whose baby was born with one arm and no legs has shared her pride at her son’s resilience.
Henry was born on the 13 May at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, London. Not being able to have my mum with me at the birth was heartbreaking, especially as I knew Henry was high risk, Higgs continues. Luckily, the midwives were absolutely incredible. I was so stressed throughout my pregnancy, and when Henry was born, the midwives asked if I wanted to see him straight away because I was so nervous. Scans can only tell you so much.
It was such a build up and a worry. When he first came out, I didn’t know what to expect, Haigs says. Straight after Henry’s birth, the midwives took him to one side and his dad went over to see him first. Having picked Henry up, Peter Higgs brought him over and gently placed him in his mom’s arms. As he passed me, my little boy, I fell in love, she says.
After Henry returned home to meet the rest of the family sister Alice, 13, and brother Michael, seven. The elder siblings embraced his differences. Pig said when Henry’s brother first saw him, he said EW, but that wasn’t because of his limbs, it was because of his umbilical cord, she says. They both love him and accept him for who he is. Grandmother Paula also loves spending time with her grandson and makes him clothes to accommodate his limbs.
Clothing is very difficult. You have to roll everything up or it looks ridiculous, Pig says. Mum likes to crochet and knit, so she makes some little outfits. She absolutely adores him. Everyone just accepts him for who he is.
Now eleven months old, Henry is hitting all his developmental milestones and his family is thrilled. He’s able to pick things up without any problems, which is really surprising, Higg says. He’s progressing really well. An operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital to separate his webbed hand has also helped with Henry’s development. Now he can pick things up and eat himself, Higg says.
He’s made such a difference with his mobility. We’re also talking with Stanmore Orthopedics about getting Henry orthopedics in the future, which will make a huge difference. Since Henry’s birth, Higgs has received support from Reach, a charity that helps children with upper limb differences. Thanks to the charity, I’ve been in contact with loads of parents in similar positions, Higgs says. They’ve been amazing.
They’ve really helped me get through it. But as her son is progressing so well, Higgs says his future is looking bright. I know he’ll always be a little bit different, but we take it day by day, and I know he’ll be able to cope with any future challenges, she says. They’ve been amazing. They’ve really helped me get through it.
The house is something that we’re going to have to adapt as he gets older because it’s not suitable the way it is at the moment. This is a bit of a worry, but he’s such a happy chap and doesn’t let his disability hold him back in any way he’s afraid of. He’s got a cheeky smile and he’s always laughing. He loves his big sister. What is Amniotic Band syndrome?
Amniotic band syndrome, also known as constriction ring syndrome, happens when fibrous bands of the amniotic sac the lining inside the uterus that contains a fetus, get tangled around a developing fetus. In rare cases, the bands wrap around the fetus’s head or umbilical cord. Most children with Amniotic band syndrome can, however, some cannot depend upon a variety of factors. Amniotic bands are most common in the hand and especially the three central digits index, middle and ring. More proximal bands, like in the forearm or arm, can cause nerve policies, and the muscles moving the hand may be paralyzed rarely.
The constriction may be so severe that blood flow distal is compromised. This also brings about a paralysis of the muscles. The muscles themselves are not affected by the ring unless it presents as an amputation. Most of the time, the bands wrap around an arm, leg, fingers or toes. This can cause serious constriction or tightening.
Act like a tight rubber band around the body part. Most children with Amniotic band syndrome will have bands on more than one part of the body. You need to be brave like this woman. If you have other children that don’t have birth defects need to figure out how you make your child with a birth defect or disability pull his weight. Meaning that if your other children have chores around the house, then so does your child with a birth defect or disability.
I think you need to obviously tailor it to his abilities, but I think it’s unfair of your children without doing chores and their sibling just gets to play. I also think you need to make a blanket rule, meaning if a child without a disability wouldn’t get away with it at any age, neither should a child with disabilities or birth defects because that breeds resentment. I totally understand that children with birth defects and disabilities require special attention or more attention because of more frequent doctors appointments and therapy appointments. It’s very difficult at first. When you’re expecting a healthy baby and you have a child with health issues or a birth defect, you go through the grieving process.
But you also have to now raise this child. The first thing you have to do is love that baby just as if it were a healthy baby. Then you learn all about the child’s condition so you can have proper care. Then as you raise this child, you teach them to be independent in spite of their condition. Do not baby them or do everything for them.
They don’t need pity. They still need a parent to raise them to be as independent as their condition allows. Don’t hide them from other children or adults. When children ask what’s wrong with them. Explain it at the age level as they can understand eventually your child will also be able to explain it to others.
Love this child is the gift. It is. Despite foreseeing challenges in his future, Rosie says she’s looking forward to seeing her son live a fulfilling life. A mother’s love is unconditional and never ending. It’s always there to fill our hearts when we need it the most.
As a mother now I understand we mothers do not see these moments of sacrifices, but instead as a calling because your children become your first priority and your most important project of life. Mothers are a great example of dearly love. A love which doesn’t need to get proved. A love which can be easily seen in the eyes. It’s a love which can’t be described.
Mothers are creators. This world exists because of mothers. If there is good in this world, it’s because of mothers, mothers or Saviors. Hence they can’t see their children in problem. Moreover, the child is something that was a part of the mother’s body once.
So it’s like seeing your version alive and we can’t love ourselves with conditions, you know.