For 2 months, actually, but did you expect anything less from me? Especially now that I have 5 kids and my brain is essentially mush.
If you're familiar with our youngest daughter's birth story, you know that she was rainbow baby after 5 losses, 2 years of infertility treatments, and IVF (more on our infertility journey here). After all that, we thought we would never ever conceive naturally again.
Enter this miracle baby boy.
We found out that I was pregnant just 2 days after my grandma's funeral. Hers was the third death our family went through at the end of 2020 (ironically, none were COVID related). And finding out we were expecting another little miracle was just the kind of sunshine we needed to end a difficult, dark year.
The Birth Story
His birth story started out similarly to Clara's.
I went in for my routine weekly appointment. My blood pressure was higher than normal, so I was sent for monitoring. They determined that I was not pre-eclamptic but wanted to induce anyway since my blood pressure had been climbing the last few weeks.
So because I didn't eat at all last time, I actually checked myself out AMA this time to go home, finish packing my hospital bag, pack bags for my kids, and EAT.
My induction once we arrived at the hospital at about 5pm was very smooth for the most part. I had an epidural that actually worked, but did cause some nausea and vomiting this time. I've only had TWO working epidurals for all 5 of my kids. 😳 I'm very glad that this was one of them.
Sometime in the early morning the next day, I started to bleed heavily with each contraction. This had happened once before with my 3rd baby (and actually 6th miscarriage). They don't know where the bleeding is coming from because both of our stats stay steady during it, but I do and did continue bleeding after delivery.
So after a few hours, they broke my water, I dilated to a 10 very quickly after that, and pushed him out in 5 pushes.
Shane Thomas was born at 6:45am, checking in at 7 pounds 11 ounces, 20 inches long of pure squishy perfection.
Shane's Limb Difference
Shane was born with a limb difference that we did not know about prior to his birth. Had we known, it wouldn't have made much of a difference. Nothing could be done to correct or change it, as it usually occurs in the first 28 to 56 days of gestation.
However, I think knowing about it before his birth would have made his birth-day better for us as his parents because we would have been able to research and ask questions before the moment of his birth, and then focus on our love and joy and excitement for his arrival. Instead, we were shocked, and scared, and confused (and if I'm honest, I resent that it wasn't caught in an ultrasound beforehand. And that the initial birth moment of complete awe and joy was overshadowed with worry that I'll never get back.)
We've now had time to process and research and have had many moments of joy and love and awe since then.
Shane has radial dysplasia, which means that he is missing his radius bone in his arm. The radius is the bone that goes from your elbow to your wrist on your thumb side. Radial dysplasia is often accompanied by missing fingers. Shane is missing 3 fingers on his left hand, including his thumb. He also has an underdeveloped humerus, which is the bone between your elbow and your shoulder.
Radial dysplasia is congenital and not genetic. It's something that happens in the early development of a baby, and the exact cause is unknown.
All of that being said, we know that Shane's limb difference is a new challenge for us as his parents. But it's the only body Shane has ever known. He will do great things with it, surprise and amaze us with his talents and abilities, and be loved fiercely along the way.
Welcome to the world, Baby Shane!
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Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful son. Thank you so much for sharing. The pictures are so cute I love it. He is a welcome addition to your family.
I have a granddaughter that was born with TAR syndrome, she is 17 now. With TARS she is missing the radius bone on both sides and has the short humerus bone in both arms. There was other complications also but she does great. She is one of the most determined people I know. She never says she can't do anything, she may struggle but never asks for help until she absolutely needs it. Your son will do great!!
It's so great to hear encouraging stories and like this and makes me excited to see what he'll accomplish. Thank you for sharing.
What a beautiful little boy - he is so handsome! Like you said, he's only ever know his body like this so will adapt - we tend to wonder how we would manage ourselves but it's a totally different thing. I'm sure he will never stop amazing you and your wonderful family. Congratulations to you all. xx
Thank you so much!
Thank you for sharing your story. My son will be born March 2022 and has radial dysplasia. Do I have any advise on what to prepare for and what journals I can read to prepare me
There is a group on Facebook called Children with Radial Aplasia that has been an amazing resource for us. Another group is Limb Differences Make No Difference, which has limb differences of all kinds. And the Lucky Fin Project https://luckyfinproject.org/ has tons of research and resources. They all talk about the best surgeries/surgeons/doctors, etc, if you ever want/need to go that route. Since we didn't know before he was born, we're still kind of playing catchup at 2.5 months here right now. But since upper extremity differences can sometimes be associated with syndromes or other underlying problems, I'd recommend setting up genetic testing and counseling to be sure.
And most of all, enjoy your baby! It's so scary at first, but it gets better and their little personalities and snuggles and smiles make everything feel better.
Best of luck to you and I hope to see you in those groups on Facebook <3