She is working tirelessly toward spreading awareness about the condition and abolishing stigma around it.
A year after giving birth to her daughter, Sage, a new mother from Pennysylvania is celebrating limb differences and spreading awareness about the condition. Her daughter was born with amniotic band syndrome, a rare condition "caused by strands of the amniotic sac that separate and entangle digits, limbs, or other parts of the fetus." It constricts the growth of an area of the body and in the worst cases can also result in amputation.
Nicole Edwards, the child's mother, went through a range of emotions when Sage was born with a unilateral limb difference that affects her right arm. She told Good Morning America, "I just had all these emotions going all over me. So besides sadness, [there] was anger. I was really confused and really worried about her future." However, Edwards added that since then, she has been on a mission to educate herself on something she previously knew nothing about and she wants to keep bringing attention to limb differences online.
She posted a TikTok video on October 7 addressing herself and other parents who have children with limb differences. The TikTok video shows the mother with the newborn right after she gave birth. In the text inlay, Edwards has a message that reads, "Different is awesome, keep educating yourself. You're doing great mom." The next frame shows the child at home hugging her mother, the text reads, "She will amaze you every step of the way. You're navigating unchartered territory, give yourself grace."
She told the outlet about her inspiration behind the viral video, "My main goal was to show them, 'Hey, it's going to be OK. Your child's going to be happy and you just need to be there to support them and love them.'"
"You're allowed to be angry, you're allowed to be sad, doesn't make you less of a mother or a father."
Moreover, she has found a supportive community online through organizations such as Lucky Fin Project. She is also working with other creator mothers like Beth Liepholtz of @beth_and_coop and the Wonderfully Me Society. She explained, "I made it my goal and my journey in life to educate others and also help parents that may not be educated on limb differences either and are going through what my husband and I went through last year."
After celebrating Sage's first birthday on October 3, Edwards has had some time to think about her limb difference and recognizes that learning will be a lifelong process. She asked other caregivers and parents of children with limb differences to "never limit them." She added, "Don't feel nervous about letting go. It's very hard not to be a helicopter parent but the best thing you can do is just let them go, watch from afar and if they need you, they will let you know. And be sad, be angry, you can be happy at the same time. Your feelings are so valid and it will be OK. You're doing great."
She also has a message for her daughter and "best friend" Sage, "You are the most amazing person I've ever met in my life. Don't tell Daddy because he's amazing too. You are so able, and I love you more than anything." She added, "I'm so proud of the person that you have become over this year. I love watching you grow. You're my best friend in the whole world. And mommy will always be here. No matter what. I am your home and you're mine."