November 11, 2012


Sadly, there seems to be a misconception out in the world that children with Spina Bifida are suffering and that they have poor quality of life.  I feel compelled to tell you that this is NOT true!  I can sort of understand why someone might think that if they had never met anyone with SB or have only read the crazy, outdated information some doctors are still giving out.  Obviously, I can't speak for every person with Spina Bifida and honestly since I do not have Spina Bifida myself the best I can do is share my experience as a mother of a child with Spina Bifida.

I want my blog to serve as a different voice for all of those that have been told or are under the impression that a child born with Spina Bifida will live a life filled with suffering or will have no quality of life at all.  I assure you that is not the case.  We are truly a blessed family and thank the Lord everyday for bringing Annabelle into our family.  

A friend recently referred to parenting her child with Spina Bifida like this:

"Their really is something wonderful about life that you only become aware of when have a child who may have some medical/developmental needs.Our daughter has defined who I am, and made me a better person. I feel like I finally understand what is important in life, and what isn't. She has influenced and impressed so many people, and I feel honored and blessed each day that she is ours. I cannot imagine what life would be like without breaks my heart when I think back to what the medical community told us when we were diagnosed, and how wrong they were. And I am grateful each day that we trusted our gut, and welcomed our daughter into our lives."  

She and I are not alone in our feelings about raising a child with special needs.  I could post many, many more just like this. Yes, there have been and will most likely be difficult moments but as a mother I know that parenting is difficult.  I have struggles with my boys all the time and they do not have "special needs" or extras as we like to call it.  Annabelle is just like all other kids but she has some extras!  I would never try and pretend that life with a child that has Spina Bifida was easy.  It is not, but what I get in return is well worth fighting for!

My goal truly is not to try and convince anyone that our life is great but to share many of our great moments with you.  Here are some of my favorite Annabelle (and family) moments that never made it to the blog these last few months.  Darn Facebook makes it way too easy not to blog.
Annabelle doing a little gymnastics - August 6, 2012

Backyard water play - August 11, 2012


Annabelle having a BLAST with her Dad and brothers at the beach

Climbing trees.  If her brothers are doing it - she will try it too!  
Nothing will stop our little ROCK STAR!

Family bowling! August 16, 2012 
Family time at the Nature Center - August 26, 2012

Sibling love!
They were actually fighting over who got to sit next to Annabelle.

Independence at the beach.  Annabelle LOVES the water and the sand.

Clearly not my best picture but look at her happy smile.
You can't fake that kind of happiness. 

September 15, 2012

Click HERE to read a beautifully written blog post by a friend about the Gift of Life.  This dear friend is the mother of 5 boys and the youngest has Spina Bifida.  They are also in the process of adopting a little girl who has Spina Bifida.

It's funny many might say that Branden and I gave Annabelle life but honestly, I think it's the other way around.  Our three children have given us the most perfect life.  We would have nothing without them.


  1. What a wonderful post, Nicole.
    It is truly an inspiration to see her life being lived out in such fullness because you and Branden chose LIFE!
    I wish many others would have your same courage.
    And I know that by living your life with Annabelle and sharing your life with others, there will be people inspired to make the same choice you have.
    Thank you for reminding me what is important.
    Love from,

    1. Thank you for your beautiful comments Greta. I rarely blog anymore but have enjoyed rereading older posts and the wonderful comments left. As you know life with kids can be so crazy but so very worth every moment. Thank you for always loving and encouraging our family.

  2. So many great moments, thank you for sharing them. She sure is a blessing to us all. xoxo

  3. Beautifully written, touched my heart, thank you for sharing! my little girl is 2.5years old and has spina bifida too, she is such a great blessing to us!

  4. Our little one has been diagnosed with SB in the past few weeks of our pregnancy. It has been a tough time (especially with the number of doctors and specialists who tell us how tough life will be and offer termination as an option!). But it is beautiful people like you and Annabelle who reassure me about our wonderful little girl and what a blessing she will be in our lives no matter what. Thank you for posting and sharing your story. I'm sure you encourage more people than you can even imagine. :)