I've mentioned some friends that were going through some tough times, but haven't given many details. The Lindens found out they were pregnant in February. It was a happy surprise as they weren’t really trying to get pregnant, but they weren’t really trying to prevent it either. She is due August 27th.
They went in for their first ultrasound March 6th, and had another scheduled for March 31st to find out if they were going to have a boy or a girl. A few days before the 31st, they received a voicemail that there were some abnormalities in the blood work concerning neural tube disorders. Spina Bifida was mentioned. Though these tests have a high rate of false positives, during their March 31st appointment the ultrasound indicated club feet, excess fluid in the brain and a problem with the spine. Spina Bifida is now a reality. They decided to let everyone know their baby’s name so that we could all pray for her by name. Her name is Annabelle.
A month later they are still reeling, and probably have more questions than answers. They probably won’t know all the health issues Annabelle will face until she is born. It looks like the problem with the spine is between the T4 and T5 vertebrae, and that at this point she will likely be in a wheelchair.
One of the many thoughts they had when they found out they were pregnant was “we need to get this house finished before the baby arrives.” Beyond the baby-proofing, their house was a fixer-upper, and the garage-turned-living-room has walls torn down to the studs with open wiring and insulation. There is also some termite damage to a beam out front, and still other projects like refinishing the floors need to be taken care of before the baby arrives (nasty chemicals, etc). Now with all that has gone on in the past month, and with looming medical expenses on the horizon, they are not sure how they can do it all.
Their friend has offered to spearhead a weeklong fix-up/remodel of their home to get them ready for Annabelle. They have set up a benevolent account for Annabelle, and are asking for donations to help pay for the material costs of the build. I am sure the Lindens resisted the help at first, but they are at a point where they can't afford to turn away any help. Please visit the site to learn more about it, and donate if you can. The site is Annabelle’s Circle.