To read Meagan’s previous post, please click here.
Berkley is now 2 years old. She has taught me not only about bravery, strength and determination, but that a diagnosis does not define an individual. When I was 19 weeks pregnant, my husband and I found out that not only were we expecting a precious baby girl, but she had Spina Bifida.
We chose to undergo fetal surgery at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women when I was only 22 weeks pregnant. We were told fetal surgery had no guarantees, but recent research was able to prove a decreased risk of hydrocephalus post birth. Due to Berkley’s diagnosis we were told it was likely she would have hydrocephalus and thus the need for a shunt, the inability to control her bladder and bowels and the likelihood of her walking independently was slim to none. As a first time mom, receiving all the facts and statistics that accompanied Spina Bifida was overwhelming to say the least. In the midst of it all, I felt helpless. I was unable to do anything to help the sweet baby I already loved so fiercely. In my eyes, fetal surgery was my only option. Besides almost constant prayer, it was the only thing I could do to try and give my daughter the best life possible. We were blessed with a phenomenal fetal surgery team who we will forever cherish! Our story could have been very different if not for their knowledge, expertise and guidance. They took the scariest time of our life and changed it into something of hope and endless possibilities.
In the past two-and-a-half years Berkley has continued to break the mold of expectations. She does not have hydrocephalus. With the exception of her back closure in utero, she has had no other surgeries. She has control of her bowels and bladder. She is able to void her bladder completely and her bladder pressures are all within normal range. We have never had to medicate or catheterize her. Over the past few weeks she has even showed interest in potty training! Through her hard work and determination she learned to first crawl, then cruise and is now walking independently.
Each step she takes is a constant reminder of what a fighter she is and how unbelievably blessed we are. She is a spunky, opinionated, loving girl who has taught us more in her short life than I ever thought possible. She surprises us daily with her knowledge and her desire to constantly know more. There is no doubt in my mind she will continue to defy the odds. She is our miracle. Prayer and modern medicine have given us our greatest joy.