An Embroidered Ultrasound Helped This Blind Dad-to-Be to 'See' His Baby on the Way
Nathan Edge, 26, plays for a blind soccer team in the United Kingdom. After losing his eyesight completely seven years ago, Edge has kept his spirits up. But when he realized that he couldn't experience his pregnant girlfriend's 12-week ultrasound, it hit him that this milestone was something he was going to miss out on. That is, until mom-to-be Emma Fotheringham gave him the surprise of a lifetime.
“When we got home, we shared the scans with our family and everybody was getting excited about seeing the baby for the first time,” Edge told Today. “Being blind rarely ever gets me down—I’ve come to terms with it very well—but suddenly it hit me, ‘I’ll never be able to see this scan.’”
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Edge and Fotheringham, who have been together for 4-and-a-half years, are expecting their first child, a baby boy, in May. After sharing the sonogram with loved ones—and with Edge missing out on some of the fun—Fotheringham got plotting to let him experience the baby's growth in his own way.
“A lovely lady [Deb Fisher] who is a local puppy walker for guide dogs dropped me a message," said Fotheringham. “She said she was so happy for us both but sad that Nathan was unable to see our baby grow on our scan photos." And though Fisher, a friend of the couple's, had never done it before, she wanted to embroider one of the scans for Nathan "to enable us to experience the joy of our baby boy growing together."
In early December—after Fisher worked for 40 hours over three weeks—Fotheringham surprised Edge with the stitched scan he could now feel.
“I was quite emotional, it took me a few minutes to work it out," said Edge. “It is very exciting becoming a dad—a little bit scary—but I am definitely excited.”
Overjoyed, Edge tweeted about the once-in-a-lifetime gift: "Received this amazing surprise today," he wrote. "It’s an embroided [sic] tactile version of our 12 week baby scan, so for the first time as a blind dad to be, I’m able to build a picture of our baby scan through touch."
The tweet has since gone viral, retweeted thousands of times and liked by over 32,000 people—including me, a very hormonal pregnant lady due right around the time Edge's baby makes his entrance into the world. In a time of added stress and visitor-free prenatal appointments, being able to include a partner in on things—whether it's through recorded ultrasounds or embroidered sonograms—is truly a luxury.
Luckily for Edge, he's already got a partner and support system that are going to make enjoying parenthood that much sweeter.