October 2, 2011

Spina Bifida - what it is

In keeping up with Spina Bifida Awareness Month I wanted to provide a little background on what Spina Bifida is for those that aren't yet aware.

Spina bifida is the most frequently occurring permanently disabling birth defect and the most common Neural Tube Defect. It affects approximately one out of every 1,000 newborns in the United States.
Spina bifida results from the failure of the spine to close properly during the first month of pregnancy. In severe cases, the spinal cord protrudes through the back and may be covered by skin or a thin membrane. Surgery to close a newborn's back is generally performed within 24 hours after birth to minimize the risk of infection and to preserve existing function in the spinal cord.
Because of the paralysis resulting from the damage to the spinal cord, people born with spina bifida may need surgeries and other extensive medical care. The condition can also cause bowel and bladder complications. A large percentage of children born with spina bifida also have hydrocephalus, the accumulation of fluid in the brain. Hydrocephalus is controlled by a surgical procedure called "shunting" which relieves the fluid build up in the brain by redirecting it into the abdominal area. Most children born with spina bifida live well into adulthood as a result of today's sophisticated medical techniques.
Although Annabelle's spina bifida makes some aspects of her life a little different than others these things just become her normal. As you can see she really is just like the rest of our silly family but with some "extras".

*picture taken 8-21-2011


  1. I LOVE This Picture :-) If only you were in it in your jammies as well. Beautiful family! We Love you all!

  2. It's the matching jammies, love it and a very interesting post!
    Take care..

  3. Nicole, I love your posts on SB Awareness! A friend and I are trying to put some faces and stories to SB on our blogs and are featuring a different child or family or story eveyday for the month of Oct. I would LOVE to feature you guys!! I would REALLY love some sibling thoughts, or a daddy thought too.... but whatever you want to contribute (if you do want to) would be great!!!

    Love you guys!

  4. I absolutely adore that picture ( and the last 2 posts! ) Love that sweet family of yours xoxo

  5. Lovely familie, greeting from Belgium