A UK mother who gave birth to a baby with one arm, no legs, and a webbed hand, says she never thought of terminating her pregnancy. The proud mom calls her baby son an “absolutely perfect” little boy.
Mom Rosie Higgs, 29, had been told at her routine 20-week scan that her son might have amniotic band syndrome, a condition that affects limbs from growing properly.
Rosie, a special needs school care assistant, from Harrow, London, said people questioned whether she should terminate the pregnancy, but she had “no doubt” she was going to keep her baby boy.
Little Henry Higgs arrived via C-section and had just one arm and a webbed hand. Henry, now 11 months, loves to splash around in the bath and reach out and touch his toys.
Rosie said: “When I was told my baby would only have one arm and no legs, I was so worried and upset. But there was no doubt in my mind that I was keeping him—no matter what I was advised.
“It was scary at times being pregnant. I had scans every four weeks, they kept a close eye because every scan was saying something different.
“When I was at work it was OK 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 is such a happy chap and doesn’t let his disability hold him back in any way. He’s got a cheeky smile and he’s always laughing. He loves his big sister.
“He might not have all of his arms and legs, but he’s absolutely perfect to me.”
Due to lockdowns in 2020, Rosie couldn’t have her supportive mother, Paula, 55, and partner, Peter, 39, by her side during her scans.
“Not being able to have my mum with me at the birth was heartbreaking, especially as I knew Henry was high risk. Luckily, the midwives were absolutely incredible,” she said.
“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 nervous.
“Scans can only tell you so much. It was such a buildup and a worry when he first came out I didn’t know what to expect.”
Henry was born on May 13, 2020, at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, London, weighing a healthy 8 pounds 2 ounces (3.7 kg).
Dad Peter, an Emirates facilities and seating supervisor, went over to see his son first. He picked his baby son up and brought him over to Rosie and placed him in her arms.
“As he passed me my little boy I fell in love,” Rosie said.
When Rosie took the baby home to meet his sister, Alice, 13, and brother, Michael, 7, they didn’t bat an eyelid at his differences. “They were fine, they both love him and accept him for who he is,” she said.
Almost a year later, baby Henry now loves playing with his older brother and sister.
“Michael, my son, is autistic so he doesn’t give Henry as much attention as Alice, but they love him,” she said. “Alice treats him like her own baby—rather than her brother. She loves him so much. She’s his second mum.”
Grandmother Paula also loves her little grandson and knits clothing for him.
“Mum likes to crochet and knits so she makes him little outfits,” Rosie said. “She absolutely adores him and said he’s amazing, she’s not said much about his limbs. Everyone just accepts him for who he is.”
Little Henry is hitting all the milestones he should be: he’s able to lift objects up, lift his head up, and rollover.
“He’s able to pick things up without any problems which is really surprising. He’s progressing really well,” Rosie said.
“He’s babbling all the time like he’s talking to you. It’s like he’s replying. He wakes me up in the morning with his babbling. But he is amazingly well-behaved; he goes down at 7.30 p.m. and wakes up at 6.30 a.m.”
Rosie said Henry loves sitting up in his highchair, but he’s not able to use a baby walker because he doesn’t have his bottom limbs. Henry has also had an operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to separate his webbed hand.
She said: “Now he can pick things up and eat himself. It has made such a difference with his mobility.
“We are also talking with Stanmore Orthopedics about getting Henry orthopedics in the future which is really positive and will make a huge difference.
“Henry is progressing so well I don’t have any worries about his future.
“I know he will 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.”
Since Henry’s birth, Rosie 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,” Rosie said. “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. That is a bit of a worry.”
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.