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Vitoria de Cristo

Vitoria, baby with anencephaly

 

When I completed 12 weeks into my pregnancy, my husband and I found out that our very expected first baby had a very serious problem called acrania. Our baby did not have her cranium formed, and without a bone structure and scalp on her head, her brain would be exposed and would be damaged being in contact with the amniotic fluid, causing anencephaly. We were informed this kind of malformation is incompatible with life, and that our baby would die right after being born. So we could seek in court the right to interrupt my pregnancy (we live in Brazil where abortion is illegal). If we decided to continue, there would not be any guarantee that my pregnancy would even reach the expected 38 weeks: my baby could maybe not resist and I, the mother, could face some difficulties such as excess amniotic fluid and a complicated delivery. Keeping our baby was not functional, and death was inevitable, sooner or later, so we heard.

Despite being aware of the gravity of this situation, we decided to believe that God could change our baby's death sentence and give us the miracle of curing her, allowing her to survive after her birth. As long as our baby was alive, we would ask God for a miracle everyday, and we would let our baby know it was very loved and welcome.

We soon found out "it" was a girl, and we chose to call her Vitoria de Cristo (Victory of Christ), for besides consecrating her to God, we also believed it was through Jesus' perfect sacrifice at the cross that we have hope of a new life, free from sin, from disease, and from death.

Through our faith in Christ, we decided not to grieve in advance. While there was life, we would celebrate it, that was our thought. We decided to love our baby the same way we have been loved by God, individually, personally, and unconditionally, without rejection, without fear, never giving up. Amidst many prayers and tears, we lived moments of great joy during my pregnancy, seeing our little daughter grow and start to move and kick my belly everyday.

There weren't any difficulties during the pregnancy, not even excess amniotic fluid. On the contrary, I had never felt so happy, pretty, and free like during the days of my pregnancy.

We had a beautiful baby shower prepared by dear friends; we prepared for our daughter's arrival with all the best we could buy, and on January 13, 2010, our beloved daughter was born by C-section (which was also fine and without complications), at 38 weeks of pregnancy, weighing 1,785kg and measuring 38cm, and was taken to the NICU.

Going against all death sentences, what we saw was a child full of life, calm and pretty, and we were amazed by God and thankful to Him for the privilege of meeting our daughter, of carrying her in our arms, and of spending unforgettable moments with her.

To everyone's surprise, her story didn't end there!

Vitoria, baby with anencephaly

In spite of her growth restrictions, her birth went well, she stayed two days in the incubator and, on her third day of life, she was already in her hospital bed, breathing by herself, starting to be bottle-fed.

Nevertheless, she faced many challenges, infections, difficulties to gain weight, and because of all that, she couldn't leave the hospital. During those difficulties, however, she surprised everybody with her will to live and incredible capacity to recover.

After four months at the hospital, there was the possibility of a surgery to reconstruct her cranium, which succesfully took place on May 19, 2010. One month after that, Vitoria was finally released from the hospital and went home, healthy, breathing by herself, without the need of a feeding-tube, and full of life!

Nobody can explain how she could have ever survived, going against all literature about acrania and upsetting all medical predictions during her pre-natal. Since she was born she was considered anencephalic. But some exams done after her birth showed she has a malformed brain, with some non-recognizable structures, which may or may not have some function, and she also presents many reactions. For some doctors, it can be considered a different case of anencephaly anyway, and for others, it is a different malformation without a specific name. Since her case has gone against all rules, it isn't possible to say for sure what she will be able to achieve, for everything she has done so far has been surprising and unpredictable. Through faith, we believe God will continue to make many miracles in her life, blessing her development in a most amazing way.

Each and every day lived by her side has been unique and wonderful. Vitoria is an adorable, sensitive, delicate, and calm child, with a strong personality. Her life has been, to us, a reminder that God exists, and He is powerful and very good. Her life is proof of how much He loves each one of us.

Joana

Read more about Vitoria on her blog.

 

 

Last updated September 13,2010