The Perks of Having a Baby With One Hand

by Jen Lee Reeves on August 30, 2013 · 23 comments

in 2013, Guest Post

A year ago, Rachel reached out to me and mentioned how she and her husband had learned they were going to have a baby girl born with one hand. Since then, we’ve stayed in touch and even had a chance to meet before their daughter was born. They ROCK and Rachel was kind enough to share her views on what it’s like to be the mommy of a baby born just right! Thanks Rachel!

My dearest angel of a daughter was born “just right” with her left arm ending just after the elbow. We knew about the limb difference long before she was born and couldn’t have been more excited to meet her. Since her birth, I’ve discovered there are many perks to having a baby with one hand. Here’s my list so far:

1. It’s easier to get her dressed. That little arm slides through onesies.

2. I only have 5 finger nails to trim.

3. When she’s breastfeeding she can only pinch while on one side.

4. She can’t suck her thumb all day. When she started thumb sucking we discussed if we should discourage it. My husband pointed out that if she’s sucking her thumb and wants to do something she either has to stop sucking (not a bad thing) or use her little arm. It’s a win-win situation.

5. I only have 5 finger nails to trim. Seriously. This is awesome.

6. There’s only one hand to grab and pull hair with.

7. Little arms make great holders for circular rattles and toys. I keep thinking I need to make some kind of sleeve with a pacifier on the end.

8. Rolling over is very easy in one direction.

9. Only one hand can scratch me/her/the cat.

10. When she’s older she can tell people her parents have an alligator farm/are shark divers/are pirates if they ask what happened to her arm.

I know there will be many more cool things about parenting a kiddo that is Born Just Right, but I’d say this is a pretty good start!

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn August 30, 2013 at 11:47 am

What a cutie! Another perk that will be helpful when it gets cold outside – you only need one glove/mitten and only one hand can ever get cold!

I used to tell kids a shark took my arm (when I was a kid myself) and a boy once got so white with surprise that I felt bad and stopped. But I had a good run with that story!

Jen Lee Reeves August 30, 2013 at 11:51 am

That’s so funny, Kathryn! Jordan hasn’t made up any stories yet. But I’m sure it will happen some day.

Rebecca August 30, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Regarding number 7; my son turned his little arm INTO a pacifier! Very convenient!

Jen Lee Reeves August 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm

See? These are things you can’t say with a two-handed kid! I love it.

Rachel August 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

We live in Florida so I think saying, “my parents own an alligator” will be a great story!

Emily Miller August 30, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Cute! My little Eva turned 1 in July and she only has one hand too. She is a lefty! I love the comments about cutting only 5 nails. I have four kids and I hate cutting nails. I always smile when it’s Eva’s turn for a trim. Thanks for sharing!

Jen Lee Reeves August 30, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Happy birthday to Eva! I think we can all agree on the nails! And when our girls get older, manicures are a lot cheaper!

Catherine September 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm

Number “10” is my favorite. My little grandson is now 19 months and was born missing his left hand. I hope we can instill in him the confidence to use those lines on people who ask. Actually, I prefer it if people ask instead of just look at him and when I see them looking, I simply explain that he was born that way, it doesn’t hurt, but it just makes it harder for him to do some things.

Jen Lee Reeves September 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

I’m right there with you, Catherine! I’d rather people ask instead of stare.

Rachel September 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

So far we’ve had no staring issues, but she’s still a baby and so darn cute, most people don’t even notice! Both kids and adults have asked what happened to her arm. The only time it somewhat bothers us is when they ask apologetically.

Lucinda LaPierre September 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm

My stepdaughter had the shark story. She even was playing with a shark puppet at the bookstore when a little boy asked her about her arm. When she told him about the shark he asked her if the puppet was the shark that bit it off. She told him yes and proceeded to chase him around the store. My husband of course laughing hysterically at her. She’s quite the little entertainer. She decided one day to give up on the story and just tell kids she was born that way. Kids stare all the time and many ask. She handles herself very well. If kids have more questions we help her out with the explanation. She just says she was born that way but many kids don’t understand. She now has a new prosthetic that she is deciding about. On our way home from getting it she said “dad when will my arm grow like normal?”

Jen Lee Reeves September 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Isn’t that a difficult question? I think a lot of kids end up asking it. I know we went through a similar experience. But Jordan has not had fun with it yet. She isn’t angry answering questions but she hasn’t gotten silly about it yet. She certainly has asked questions. But lately, she seems pretty at peace with her world.

yashpal singh January 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

I got my little nephew girl with just right hand, we can say little God gift to us. bless her :)

Angela Towers April 2, 2014 at 7:55 am

Hi. I’m Angela. 28 years old and my son was born with a full right arm/hand but his left arm stops at the wrist and he just has stubs for fingers. Looks just like the little girl in the pic above. He is 14 month old now and doing just brilliant. He actually looks at his right arm as if that is the one that is different :)

Jen Lee Reeves April 2, 2014 at 8:03 am

It’s great to meet you, Angela! Our kids are awesome and it’s so cool to watch them grow.

Tammy Tratford May 16, 2014 at 1:34 am

Hi I’m in need of some help for my niece ,her daughter my niece was born with one hand all so she is a beautiful litte angle she is 3 years old an last night she has started to say things like I hate my hand I just want to be normal like everyone else an she just crys her heart out ,an it hurts everyone my niece tells her that she is special an hugs her is the any groups that she can take her daughter to meet other children ,we live in Australia Queensland ,thankyou .

Jen Lee Reeves May 16, 2014 at 6:42 am

Tammy, I’m so sorry she’s having a tough time right now. I want to let you know that it’s okay for her to be sad, as long as it doesn’t consume her life. We were sad once when our kids were born and we needed time to mourn. Our kids deserve that too. I wrote about it a while ago: I do think sharing pictures and finding ways to meet up with other kids can be really meaningful. I’d recommend checking out the Limbkids organization. I think they could be wonderful help.

Gihan Aploon Khan September 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

Hi everyone, I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I have 3 son’s and my youngest son Mihran is 1 year and 2 months old, his right arm is similar to the baby in the picture. Until he was born I have never really known anyone with a limb indifference reading all these post have really given me a sense of comfort. Thank you :)

Jen Lee Reeves September 4, 2014 at 9:38 am

I’m so glad you found Born Just Right, Gihan!

Sarah Middleton September 29, 2014 at 9:09 pm

I am 40 yrs old and born with one hand. My right arm looks exactly like the beautiful child above. My family and I have ALWAYS referred to it as my “little arm.” This is the first I have heard anyone also call it that term. Never missed it, never needed it. It is who I am & I owned it! Great start for parents looking at positives, my parents never let it define me.

navneet sekhon November 9, 2014 at 10:43 am

My daughter is 9 years old .she was born with left hand. her right arm ends on wrist. She used to get hurt when ppl stared & ask question reg. what how it happened… But as the time passed now she has learned to tackle those situations.. but I know she ‘s undergoing a very difficult phase of life.
This is a good platform where we all can share our views. Can anybody tell what exactly cause this absence of hand or digits.

Jen Lee Reeves November 12, 2014 at 10:07 am

Navneet – in many cases, experts think a blood flow problem in-utero caused the limb difference.

Angela Towers November 12, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Hi. Lucas is going to be 2 on the 15th of January. How time flies. When I was pregnant with him, the midwife said my bump was measuring bigger than it should be. I had something called polyhydramnios (extra fluid in the sac) but unfortunately it can cause birth defects. Never in a million years did I actually expect it to happen to my gorgeous boy but it did. He was born with his left arm ending near the wrist with stubs for fingers, no muscles or tendons in his arm either so nothing as of surgery can be done but I’m happy to say he wouldn’t need it anyway. He’s the most happiest little boy I know and he melts my heart xx

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