What is *normal*?


November 19th is a day I will remember forever.

My body knew it. I woke up telling Andrew that I felt weird. I thought I was going crazy…..I hadn’t gotten my period yet and had already taken 4 different pregnancy tests since the honeymoon!

I kept thinking to myself, “What if we are pregnant?” We had only been married for a month!

I really thought I was going crazy! I was having the normal period cramps….but my soul was telling me that something else was going on! I decided I would check again but because Andrew had to work that morning, I would wait until he left. (He was also probably thinking that his wife was going crazy!)

After he left for work, I had my morning cup of coffee and took it over to the sink. As I started washing it with the sponge, I looked up to heaven and said “Little one, hurry up and come! Your mommy and daddy need you to make us holy!”

Before I knew it I was sitting on the toilet with a fresh pregnancy test in hand, waiting for the results. “Oh Lord, please give me peace no matter what is going on!” I prayed.

“Wait, let me check that again” I thought to myself.

2 lines.

“Am I sure that 2 lines means pregnant?” I doubted and checked for a third time.

2 lines!


Those words echoed again within my soul-  “…..to make us holy” and my heart was doing flips inside of my chest. Those words have continued to ring true….for throughout these past 5 months of pregnancy, little Maria Isabella is already sanctifying me!

First Trimester – without going in to too many details, (each pregnancy has it’s own adventure of cravings/sickness/smells/emotions) you must know that I hate needles. Now, I know that about 99% percent of people would say that they “hate needles” or that needles “freak them out” but you just don’t understand. I HATE NEEDLES.

So what does little Bella start me off with during her first few months? two shots weekly (from an extra long needle, btw) of Progesterone, in order to help her implant herself on my uterine-wall!

We were so in love with her, so I took the shots with love….but that didn’t make them easy!

Second Trimester – On Feb 13th at 3:00pm my life changed forever, again. After a long 1-hr ultrasound to check out Maria Isabella’s anatomy, the Dr. tells us that she has Spina Bifida.

As you can read from some of the past posts that Andrew has written, the process was and has been pretty painful.

The Spina Bifida isn’t so hard (although the fact that our little girl has a visible ‘hole’ in her back is a smack-in-the-face, obviously) because that doesn’t change who she is and how much we love her. The hardest part has been what is to come and what we must do.  Not to mention the fact that the doctors’ first reactions are to end the pregnancy.

But don’t worry…that is and never was an option.

As a mother, God has offered me a gift and I choose it! I choose life!

But as with any gift from God, the enemy has been on the attack! He doesn’t want something so precious, someone who play such an important role in God’s Divine Plan, to come in to this world!

He’s taken cheap shots at me and at our daughter….telling me things like “She won’t be normal” or “She’s going to be different than the other kids around her”.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard. Andrew and I are blessed with siblings who have children….little Maria Isabella will have such a joyful childhood surrounded by her cousins (blood-related and others!) but there is a motherly fear within me.I never want my child to suffer….especially if part of her little precious life means having special needs or any physical difficulties to get over.

Naturally, my protective instinct comes out as I think or imagine different possible scenarios. (I already told Andrew that he’ll have to be on the lookout for my attitude as a mother…….let some bully try to make fun of our little Bella….)

I sometimes imagine Maria Isabella watching her little cousins swimming or running around the yard and her not being able to keep up….and it breaks my heart to think that she might not be able to do all of the *normal* things that other kids do.

But then I ask myself, “What is normal“? Really, Seriously. What is normal?

I don’t know exactly what to say. I haven’t come up with some easy or funny/witty answer to that question. But I do know one thing……this beloved creature within me, our beautiful and precious daughter, is a gift. She is a gift who the Lord desires to use to pour out blessing on to those around her….I just pray that as a mother, I might help her to truly be everything that The Father has created her for.

In Christ,



8 responses »

  1. It’s such an honor to witness God’s glory being manifested by the chosen people he has hand picked to show the world the true light; I know God has a special and great plan for you both and especially for Maria Isabella.

    I want to encourage you both that nothing is impossible for God.I work for the special needs community and I have to say that I see true joy within those souls, truly Jesus smiling. The way they love,the way they communicate is truly unexplainable. To see them come from not being able to communicate with their words nor their actions, that they feel alone because no one truly understands how they feel at that moment…it truly seems hard but these are the little angels that the Lord puts on this earth to show people how the love of God and happiness is all you need to live a long and prosperous life of Love.To see those children grow, and to see their potential on to getting better,stronger and independent truly for me shows how miracles do exist.

    I am praying for you Maria Isabella, for you to be a healthy and loving soul that when you are born the world and heaven will rejoice to witness a new angel will arrive to this world!

    “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”-Isaiah 41:10

    Love you guys!

  2. I happen to have Spina Bifida myself (L4-L5) and was searching for some other bloggers blogging about it and happen to come across yours. In my 29 (nearly 30) years of life, if I have realized nothing else, I know that there is no ‘normal’. Sure, adaptations will have to be made throughout your little one’s life, but coming from personal experience, it’s not a huge deal usually. There should be very little that she won’t be able to do with the proper adaptations/accommodations, if anything (for example, I loved basketball as a kid but couldn’t keep up enough to get on my middle school’s team, but an upstart wheelchair basketball team started up around that time, joined that, and have been participating ever since). Anyway, before I ramble on too much, if you have any questions about living with Spina Bifida, feel free to shoot me a note. And Congratulations on the pregnancy 🙂

  3. Cristina And Andrew,

    I trully believe that we are meant to live happy lives in Christ Jesus. We are fooled to think that being happy is not having chalenges, illnesses.. etc but GOD has a plan through our pain and the blessing are countless keep your heart open to Our Lord. Maria Isabella belongs to God and he is putting her in your hands to take care of and love. May the blessed Lords healing power overcome you and child so his Glory may Shine. My prayers are with you.

    Norma Nunez

  4. YOU ARE AWESOME. I am so happy for you, for your new baby soon to be in your arms, and for your awesome courage and love that is turned on in this day where such a world is in the dark….you are like a star shining so bright amidst the dark secular world. I am so happy to find people like you! ESP in NYC!!!! I am a young mom of 4 kids-we live out here in CT about an hour out of the city. I went to college in the city and boy is it one jungle of a secular people!

    ….I am keeping you and esp your little one in my prayers

  5. Just “met” you via Reflections of a Paralytic ~ and already am sure you are SO WISE. When our first was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, it took us years (yes, years) to get to what you’ve written. I imagine it’s because we were pentecostal protestants who believed sickness was from the Devil and that we just needed to pray in tongues for a Great Healing Miracle. Thank God for our Holy Catholic Faith (We converted 7 years ago, together!) whose teachings on the dignity and worth of all and the redemptive aspect of suffering healed my rage at God. Cystic fibrosis is recessive, so for each pregnancy, the baby has a 1:4 chance of having it. Our next 5 did not have it ; our newborn does. Life truly is a gift and I’m certain your little girl will delight you. Somehow, kids with problems are extra wonderful. You’ll see! Love, Allison and all the Howells

  6. Pingback: What is ‘Normal’? | IgnitumToday

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