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“I’m Not Scared of Having Another Child with Spina Bifida”

Brittney Baumgartner by Brittney Baumgartner Additional Needs

Brittney Baumgartner

Brittney Baumgartner

Mother to 3 boys, who are getting older by the second. Married to my best friend, Aaron. Living life day by day, in this rambunctious yet blessed h...

My family was the first to ask me if I planned on having more children after Oliver was born.

I took a shallow breath before answering, not just frightened of the increased risk I had for another child to have spina bifida, but the thought of another human being to care for when I am just managing with one little guy.

Three percent.

My chances of having another child with spina bifida is increased by about three percent.

I went home later that day and I couldn't get the question out of my head.

Of course, I had given no answer to them.

How could I when I was unsure.

It wasn't as easy as deciding whether or not we could afford another child's college education, or whether or not we could afford to upgrade to a four bedroom house.

This was my health and the future health of this child.

I suffered from an incompetent cervix during pregnancy, forcing me on bed rest at 24 weeks.

The emotional toll from receiving Oliver's diagnosis was tremendous.

Could I do it again?

In the beginning I was almost sure that I could not, and that my dream of having at least two children of my own would have to be altered to just one.

But then I realized how much I love Oliver, and how his diagnosis was no worry of my mind anymore.

Sure it was scary in the beginning, we lived everyday with the unknown outcome of his health.

Then came April 11, 2014.

He was the most magnificent thing I had ever laid my eyes on.

He had ten beautiful little fingers and toes, a head full of hair, the longest eye lashes I had ever seen, and even the open lesion on his back was beautiful.

Here we are now, a year later, and his scars are just stories for him to tell one day.

Stories that will tell all of how much he went through, at such a young age.

Days, weeks and months soon past and I no longer found myself scared of this diagnosis.

I knew my answer then and there.

I actually waited for people to soon ask me again if Aaron and I would have another child.

"YES!! Of course", I would say.

Why wouldn't we?

I could not have asked for a better child when Oliver was born, and why wouldn't we want a match to that.

We are enjoying Aaden (Oliver's amazing big step-brother) and Oliver, so of course we don't plan on having a baby anytime soon.

And yes, I am sure when that day comes to find out his gender and we get our second trimester screening, I will have that fear.

But we are no longer afraid of the unknown...because we do know now.

We know that spina bifida has never described Oliver, other than in his medical records, and that Oliver has overcome all that spina bifida has put in his way.

We are such adaptable creatures, that we just learn a new way to live life.

We know that Oliver is quiet, he loves laughing, hates tummy time, and loves his apples.

We know that three percent no longer frightens us.


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