Embroidered Ultrasound Image Gives Blind Dad-to-Be the Gift of 'Seeing' His Baby
Blind dad-to-be Nathan Edge just got to "see" his baby for the first time — and it’s all thanks to an inspired act of kindness.
The 26-year-old, of Mansfield, England, is expecting his first child with partner Emma Fotheringham, also 26, in May.
Following her regular 12-week antenatal scan, however, Fotheringham became upset that Edge — who became visually impaired at the age of 6 — wasn’t able to view the images of their growing baby.
So local guide dog trainer Deb Fisher reached out and came up with a heart-warming solution. Despite having no experience whatsoever, Fisher pledged to embroider a replica of the scan so that Edge could "see" a tactile version of the image through his fingertips.
“She said she had never embroidered before but would love to try and embroider all of our scans for Nathan to enable us to experience the joy of our baby boy growing together," said Fotheringham. “I couldn’t believe someone could be so kind and thoughtful and knew it would be something very special for Nathan.”
Fisher, who also comes from the former coal-mining town of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, soon got to work.
“I have been intending to do some embroidery, I thought it can’t be hard," said Fisher, adding, "There was lots of stitching and unstitching."
To make things even harder, Fisher was also struggling to interpret the grainy scan image of Fotheringham's baby bump and had to consult a midwife to tell her "which parts of the baby they would be looking out for that I could make stand out.”
Following 40 hours of hard work over three weeks, however, the novice embroiderer managed to complete her task. Then in a surprise to rival all others, Fotheringham presented the finished item to Edge.
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"Emma had been planning it for a few weeks. But she was able to not let me find out about it until it was finished,” said Edge, who has played soccer for England’s blind team. “I was quite emotional, it took me a few minutes to work it out. But normal baby scans are quite difficult to work out when you can see them.”
He added, “It is very exciting about becoming a dad, a little bit scary, but I am definitely excited.”
Edge tweeted about his unique tactile scan shortly afterward, writing, “So for the first time as a blind dad to be, I’m able to build a picture of our baby scan through touch. Can’t describe how amazing this is.”
It has since gone viral, gaining over 34,000 likes and retweets.
“It has made a lot of people smile," said Edge. “Especially after the year we have all had, it’s nice.”