Family Centered Cesarean

This is the type of cesarean that we will hopefully have. I’m so grateful that this is offered for us. One of my biggest concerns is that I wont be able to hold Brielle alive, with this option I can trust that I’ll be able to hold Brielle as soon as possible. Of course, there is no guarantee that she will be alive, but at least I will know that we did everything we could.

Family Centered Cesarean

August 19: Day of Hope

So many think that these babies aren’t capable of anything and that everything they do is a reflex. By talking to your friends and coworkers about this defect, we can hopefully decrease its frequency and decrease the number of aborted babies with anencephaly, which is currently at 95%. I think it’s important for people to know that these babies are more than their defect and deserve a chance at life.

Spina Bifida & Anencephaly

You can visit them here.

Sharing this from Luca Hill’s FB page, another sweet boy lost to anencephaly. Spina bifida and anencephaly are both neural tube defects.


Before 1960 the survival rate for all forms of Spina Bifida was 10-12%. Doctors were certain of mental retardation and that all babies with Spina Bifida had an unacceptable quality of life. (NCBI.NIM.NIH.GOV) Doctors refused to treat a baby that was diagnosed with Spina Bifida.

Sound familiar?

Because of a strong push in medical equality, surgery within the first 48 hours of delivery, and developments in medical technology (shunt, fetal surgery) 91% of babies born with Spina Bifida live WELL past their first year of LIFE and live a life full of joy, happiness, and purpose. (

So…Why not ours?

Check out this little ball of sunshine, Evie Grace, LIVING with Spina Bifida and bringing so much sassiness and silliness to those who adore her.

Brielle’s Fetal Behavior

Image from GoodReads.

When David and I were first told that our baby has anencephaly, we were told that she would never exhibit normal fetal behavior and would not survive. We were told that she was, for all intents and purposes, a vegetable. I was told she would not move like a normal baby in utero and later told all of her movements were merely reflexes. I was also told she would never hear or develop any of her other senses. At barely 20 weeks, I had no idea what to believe. I had felt Brielle move, and it hadn’t felt like a reflex, but then again, I’d just started feeling her move. The week after her diagnosis I attempted to test her ability to understand, I read to her, I smelled flowers, I played her music, and I spoke to her. And here is what I found:

She repeatedly perked up when I said the word Daddy. She had immediate responses to smell, such as flowers, onions, and pineapple (some of her favorite things). She was incredibly quiet and still when I played her some music, her first song she danced to was on Father’s Day to Third Eye Blind’s “How’s It Going To Be.” Later that evening she went crazy dancing to OMI’s “Cheerleader” she especially liked the trumpet part. The more music I played to her, the more I learned that she preferred specific instruments or rhythmic beats. I read her books, and she remained quiet on nearly all of them except for “The Silver Slippers” by Elizabeth Koda-Callan, to which multiple times she would move around and kick me. Since then, we have continued to read to her Bible stories and she has, seemingly, found some more interesting than others. For a week, when David would come home and open the garage door, she would start kicking. She likes to be active for a few hours at a time in the mornings, late afternoon, and late evening, the rest of the day she prefers to sleep…and she’s a heavy sleeper like her Mommy. When I deny her a craving she will kick for hours and will not cease until I indulge that craving. When I wake up from a nap and say something, she jumps with excitement. During our second opinion ultrasound she rubbed her feet together, just like I do as I fall asleep, and just like my Papa did as he fell asleep.

When I asked the second doctor we spoke to about her, this doctor told me all of these things were just reflexes and she laughed at me for thinking that a fetus could respond to a book. And yet there has been plenty of research that shows that a fetus does in fact prefer some stories over others, although they don’t know why.

Based on my time with Brielle, I’ve learned she is not a vegetable, she can hear, she has likes, she’s stubborn, she likes music, and she loves to hear my voice. She even knows when I am speaking directly to her, she kicks in response to some of the things I say, I don’t understand it, but this is what I’m observing. I’ve seen my baby girl’s head twice, and each time it was missing a skull. There is no doubt that she has anencephaly. What I doubt is how well the medical community understands this disability. Am I missing something? Could this all just be a reflex? I find my personal doubts hard to believe as I feel her now moving to one of her favorites by The Killers “All These Things That I’ve Done.” Why do I feel all of these things and how is she so cognizant, if she is lacking a brain? And why can’t anyone save my baby? She is so sweet and gentle, why does the medical community not find her worth saving?