baby handA baby with four arms and four legs was recently born in China. The baby, who also is suffering from pneumonia and congenital heart disease, is said to have had a "parasitic headless twin attached to his torso." In other words, the babies were supposed to be twins, but one never developed properly and became deformed.

The baby boy has thankfully undergone successful surgery and is in stable condition since the extra limbs have been removed. The father of the baby, only identified as Mr. Chen, has admitted to feeling guilty over the fact that he often chose work over taking his wife to many of her prenatal appointments.

But. That said, the mother did have at least five routine exams at local clinics during her pregnancy. And not one -- not a single one -- indicated there was anything wrong.

Of course, most mothers go in for prenatal appointments much, much more often than five times over the course of nine months. But still, it is a little odd and concerning that nothing was discovered at all at any of the mother's appointments, regardless of how little she went. I mean, this isn't a minor deformity we're talking about here; this is a child with an extra set of both arms and legs.

As unsettling a fact as this is, anyone who's ever given birth knows: Nothing is 100 percent until you deliver, and you really can't know for certain what health problems and issues your child will have until after he or she is born. This is obviously an extremely rare case, but it's a low-grade fear almost every mother has during their pregnancy: Is my baby going to be okay? Even if you've been as healthy as possible, had your nuchal translucency, gone in for any and all sonograms, nothing is 100% certain until we meet our baby. There, of course, are genetic tests available now (if insurance covers them, and if you want to go that route). But beyond that, beneath the excitement and joy, there's often a teeny-tiny nagging voice that hopes and prays that everything with our baby is okay. We've all heard (and read) of the parents who were shocked to learn of a health issue with their baby after a pregnancy that showed everything to be completely fine.

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We can be as diligent as possible during our pregnancies, but the truth is, some things aren't preventable, and some things don't show up on ultrasounds or tests. We, as parents, need to go into having children with an open heart and mind, and hope that everything is going to be okay (and it probably will be!). And think of it this way: That small, nagging voice in the back of our heads may not be a great feeling, but in a weird way, it's preparing us for anything.

Can you believe this? Did you ever miss a prenatal appointment when you were pregnant?

 

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