Brianna Inspires Me to Work Hard

April 9, 2010 at 1:42 am | Posted in Spring 2010 | 3 Comments

Our daughter Brianna was born with an Omphalocele. This is a belly booboo that caused her stomach, liver, gall bladder and intestines to grow on outside of her belly in a sac. 

How does this happen?  My Doctor is amazed it does not happen more… Between the 6th and the 10th weeks of pregnancy, the intestines actually project into the umbilical cord as they are growing. By the 11th week of development, the intestines should return to the abdomen. When the fetus is growing and developing during pregnancy, there is a small opening in the abdominal muscles that the umbilical cord can pass through, connecting the mother to the fetus. As the fetus matures, the abdominal muscles should meet in the middle and grow together, closing off this opening. An omphalocele occurs when the abdominal organs do not return to the abdominal cavity as they should.

 Brianna had three surgeries before she was one month old.  She came home from the NICU after ONLY 38 days and has been healthy ever since!  She is AMAZING!!!!!!!!  The first 2 years were tricky as we had a lot of doctor’s appointments and she struggled to eat and gain weight.

The last almost 2 years have been so normal and I’ve almost forgotten about all the hard times we had!  She is growing perfectly and very happy child. Brianna’s omphalocele contained most of the abdominal organs so it made it difficult to ever fully repair because her abdomen was abnormally small because it had no need to expand to accommodate the developing organs.  She has an area of muscle that has never been long enough to close. 

Now I am needing to think back on all my medical feelings and fears again:-(  Although Brianna is having no pain or problems our surgeon feels we need to try to pull together the muscle that is open under her skin in order to protect her internal organs.  There are risks as there are with any surgery and I fear there will be too much pain or pressure once these muscles have been pulled together.  I just get so scared as those muscles don’t seem to have been meant to be together:-(   Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she has this surgery next week.

Click Here to watch a news story done on Brianna THREE years ago:-)


Brianna’s strength and resilience is a source of inspiration for me.  In order to explain to her how special she is I worked with a writer from the Agency I used to work  at to help me develop a little story/poem.  It has about 10 verses and our next steps are to have it illustrated into a kids book!  The artist will be Emily Marino.  She is the same artist who developed the art for our Grow With Me Gifts Wall Chart!    She is so talented! The last verse of the story reads:

When I was all better, Mom and Dad took me home.
And they tell me each day, so that I’ll always know:

“We’re happy you’re growing and healthy inside,
You are special to us — you’re one of a kind!”

More to come on the story:-)

Don’t forget we are giving away a FREE Jack and the Beanstalk Kit to one person.  Share a story about someone who inspires you to work on a project…  enter a short paragraph of the person who inspires(d) you the most to do a certain project/event. If you would like to share pictures and links with other readers that would be awesome! You can post here or on our FaceBook Page…. ends April 26! One winner will be drawn — we can’t wait to hear your stories!



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  1. She’s certainly a survive! She a very strong little girl! We are keeping you in our thoughts Bri! Love you!

    • thank you so much : -) I’m sooo scared for her… she is not going to be happy… but that is what makes her so great! she will fight her way out of that hospital! James, always says, “her heart was too big so it didn’t allow enough space for her other organs:-)”

  2. […] am | In Spring 2010 | Leave a Comment Our little gal is having a pretty involved surgery tomorrow (about our miracle).  Kids are so resilient that we hope she will be back to normal within […]

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