“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever”. Psalm 52:8

The beginning of our story



"Who doesn´t understand a look, neither will understand a long explanation".
Mario Quintana, brazilian writer

 


When I completed 12 weeks into my pregnancy, my husband and I found out that our very expected first baby had a very serious problem called acrania. Our baby did not have her cranium formed, and without a bone structure and scalp on her head, her brain would be exposed and would be damaged being in contact with the amniotic fluid, causing anencephaly. We were informed this kind of malformation is incompatible with life, and that our baby would die right after being born, so we could seek in court the right to interrupt my pregnancy. If we decided to continue, there would not be any guarantee that my pregnancy would even reach the expected 38 weeks: my baby could maybe not resist and I, the mother, could face some difficulties such as excess amniotic fluid and a complicated delivery. Keeping our baby was not functional, and death was inevitable, sooner or later, so we heard.

Despite being aware of the gravity of this situation, we decided to believe that God could change our baby's death sentence and give us the miracle of curing her, allowing her to survive after her birth. As long as our baby was alive, we would ask God for a miracle everyday, and we would let our baby know she was very loved and welcome. We soon found out "it" was a girl, and we chose to call her Vitoria de Cristo (Victory of Christ), for besides consecrating her to God, we also believed it was through Jesus' perfect sacrifice at the cross that we have hope of a new life, free from sin, from disease, and from death.

Through our faith in Christ, we decided not to grieve in advance. While there was life, we would celebrate it, that was our thought. We decided to love our baby the same way we have been loved by God, individually, personally, and unconditionally, without rejection, without fear, never giving up. Amidst many prayers and tears, we lived moments of great joy during my pregnancy, seeing our little daughter grow and start to move and kick my belly everyday, answering to our voice and touch.

There weren't any difficulties during the pregnancy, not even excess amniotic fluid. On the contrary, I had never felt so happy, pretty, and free like during the days of my pregnancy. We had a beautiful baby shower prepared by dear friends; we prepared for our daughter's arrival with all the best we could buy, and on January 13, 2010, our beloved daughter was born by C-section (which was also fine and without complications), with 38 weeks of pregnancy, weighing 1,785kg and measuring 38cm, and was taken to the NICU. Going against all death sentences, what we saw was a child full of life, calm and pretty, and we were amazed by God and thankful to Him for the privilege of meeting our daughter, of carrying her in our arms, and of spending unforgettable moments with her.

To everyone's surprise, her story didn't end there! In spite of her growth restrictions, her birth went well, she stayed two days in the incubator and, on her third day of life, she was already in her hospital bed, breathing by herself, starting to be bottle-fed. Nevertheless, she faced many challenges, infections, difficulties to gain weight, and because of all that, she couldn't leave the hospital. During which difficulty, however, she surprised everybody with her will to live and incredible capacity to recover. After four months at the hospital there was the possibility of a surgery to reconstruct her cranium.  She was healthy and strong enough, but infections still were a big problem for her. It was a very difficult decision because we never wanted allow her to suffer. But we decided for the surgery in order to offer her more quality of life, and the surgery succesfully took place on May 19, 2010. One month after that, Vitoria was finally released from the hospital and went home, healthy, breathing by herself, without the need of a feeding-tube, and full of life!

Nobody can explain how she could have ever survived, going against all literature about acrania and upsetting all medical predictions during her pre-natal. Since she was born she was considered anencephalic. But some exams done after her birth showed she has a malformed brain, with some non-recognizable structures, and she also presents many reactions. For some doctors, it can be considered a different case of anencephaly anyway (incomplete anencephaly). For others, it is a different malformation, as she has a small amount of brain tissue above brain stem, that was preserved even in contact with amniotic fluid. Since her case has gone against all rules, it isn't possible to say for sure what she will be able to achieve, for everything she has done so far has been surprising and unpredictable.
Through faith, we believe God will continue to make many miracles in her life, blessing her development in a most amazing way.


Each and every day lived by her side has been unique and wonderful. Vitoria is an adorable, sensitive, delicate, and calm child, with a strong personality. Her life has been, to us, a reminder that God exists, and He is powerful and very good. Her life is proof of how much He loves each one of us.

On January, 13th, 2011, Vitoria turned 1 year old, and she is very healthy.

30 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing Victoria's Journey with us. My first baby, Courtney, was born with anencephaly and died after 3 1/2 hours of life on this earth. I am so glad that Victoria is doing so well. God has truly blessed your family.

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  2. I'm so grateful for your sharing of Victoria's survival. It is truly a miracle of God. My brother and his wife were expecting twins and were told that one of the babies had acrania. The doctors advised them to reduce the one child with acrania as it can pose a risk to the other baby. I desparately advised them to trust God and let both babies go full term because God is almighty and can perform a miracle. I referred them to psalm 139 where it states that God has our days numbered so no one has the right to end a life regardless. I was sad to hear that overwhlemed with fear of what they thought was inevitable....death at birth they decided to abort the acranial child last week. I pray that they get to know the Lord and accept Jesus into their hearts so that they walk with God and receive their other twin child.
    God bless you both and give grace and many blessings to Victoria.

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  3. This is amazing! Truly nothing is impossible with God. Our firstborn was anencephalic too. He had six days to live. And each morning of those 6 days, I prayed and hoped for a miracle to happen because I believe in the mighty power of our Lord. God may not have granted my prayer. But the 6 days He gave our son were enough to be thankful for.

    Your daughter's story of survival is a proof that our God is able to do anything.

    God bless your family.

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  4. Dear our beloved Victoria de Christo's family.

    Your story teach me much about faith and prayer. The LORD is with you.

    Isaiah 57:15 15 For this is what the high and lofty One says-- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.

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  5. Your faith in God is demonstrated in having chosen life for beautiful Vitoria. May God continue to richly bless you and thank u for sharing your faith-filled journey

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  6. Thank you so very much for sharing your story.
    Your little girl and your faith in God are so amazing!!
    God bless Vitoria and your family!!!

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  7. Wow Joana,
    May God's blessings continue to flow pure to you--they undoubtedly will. I'm grateful for Vitoria de Cristo's story, and your perspective. She is beautiful. I too have been blessed immensely by the birth and life (although very brief) of a daughter with anencephaly. What a wonderful thing it is for me to feel her close at times, and to have been surrounded with love when she was born. I admire you and your husband for caring so tenderly for your precious daughter. May God be with you, as he has been and surely will be.
    Robb S
    http://www.myangelprincess.blogspot.com/

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  8. hey dis s such a surprise:) am happy dat lil victoria s doin so well..hope to see more recent pics of her..

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  9. your optimism in life is very refreshing. you as vitoria's parents are the epitome of unconditional love. she is a beautiful baby girl with the most luscious eyelashes i've seen. her eyes tell all - all she knows is she's an angelic baby with loving parents who take very good care of her. i can almost feel the love she gathers from her loving home. god bless. thank you for sharing your gracious adventure and the blessed story of vitoria.

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  10. You are remarkable people. I wish the very best for you all. You were blessed with your daughter, and she was clearly blessed by having you as her parents. You are an inspiration.

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  11. Gracias. En vosotros veo a Cristo.

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  12. your daughter is so sweet :-) i hope she is getting well very soon and i hope she will stay a very long time with you :-)

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  13. God bless all your beautiful family and especially little angel Vitoria. I strongly believe in what my spiritual father told me-children with physical problems are counted as saints by Lord for what they endure. I am amazed by your love for God and your beautiful girl. All the best to three of you from London. you are my heroes.

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  14. Thank you for allowing me to see faith,love and trust in action.
    What a beautiful image of Christ I see in your lives.
    Shirley in Virginia
    http;//thelittlegraycottage.blogspot.com

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  15. Thanks Jesus and your sharing. Our daughter has the same case and her due date is 2nd JAn, 2012. We are waiting for that. Everyday is a miracle!

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  16. your daughter is just stinkin adorable! she looks like my daughter lydia with her pouty lips and her sweet eyes and long eye lashes! lydia was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, every smile is a gift every day i have with her is amazing even when she wont quit being a brat, and every day i thank my lucky stars she made it into my life. we didnt know what to expect for her once she got here and we still dont but its stories like ours and victorias that keep us going lydia is 18 months old now and i still look at her like she has just got here! hug that beautiful girl for me will you.

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  17. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful miracle. My baby Alexandria Nicole was born with anencephaly. She only lived 5 days. Its been 19 years and I still cry, I miss her so much. God is truly a miracle worker. I know she is with Jesus and I will see her again one day. You can email me back at the email below.
    Blessings....Sherry
    sherrygodsgirl@yahoo.com

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  18. she's beautiful and her eyes are gorgeous, God bless your family, I hope she continues to do well

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  19. Just came across your blog quite by accident, but I am blown away by your beautiful story. Praise God for your precious little miracle! :) Thank you for sharing her story. What a wonderful testimony of faith on your part, also. :)

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  20. Trust the Lord God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge Him, He will make your path straight(Proverbs 3:5-6)
    thank you so much for sharing how really great is our God... we are really nothing without Him ... may God bless us always especially your whole family.. Be a blessing to everyone...also.. take care!

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  21. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. She aprecious little girl and truly a miracle. My son shares her birthday and was born at 38 weeks also.

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  22. Thank you for your blog! I am 14 weeks pregnant with mono/mono twins. Which is already risky because theyre in the same sac and same placenta. However, I was told that one has acrania, and the doctor told me that there's no hope. And I was also told that if I miscarry, I will lose both of the babies. But your blog definitely gives me hope! God does work miracles. All we need to do is pray about it. :)

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  23. Thank you so much for sharing your story about your daughter. She is truly a miracle and I hope that she continues to grow and thrive!

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  24. I don't know if there is a god, but I know a miracel when I see one. And the miracle I see are two wonderfull parents that, beside all hardships, decide to love they're child. My deepest admiration for your bravery to go against all odds, your strenght to keep standig, and your unquestioning love for Victoria. :)

    Best wishes.

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  25. Thank you for sharing your courageous story of little Victoria and her valliant journey into life. You are both very brave parents. I cannot imagine what you have gone through or what else you may have to go through. I am truely touched by your story. May God continue to bless you and baby Victoria with many more years and milestones to come. Keep your faith strong. With out faith, who are we really? I am proud of you, even though I have never met you. God has smiled on you. And He will continue to keep smiling on you. God Bless You all!!!

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  26. Miracles are always found in unusual places. I must also add that parents of Victoria have done so well. The humility and love shown here was only possible because the love of God dwells in your heart. You are both very brave and may God honour your obedience as you honoured His words that said thou shall not kill. Victoria is asleep and we will meet her someday in heaven. My thoughts are with you and God bless you always

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  27. This story has very much inspired me. It shows me through the love and faith of Jesus Christ, anything is possible. I saw a photo of her on a Jesus page on Facebook. I didn't believe my eyes, I called photo-shop. I then looked into this beautiful young girls story and disorder, and realized this was very much true. I felt bad calling it fake when I had no idea of how true she was. I saw the pictures of her from birth to 5 months on this site, and I must say, she truly is beautiful. If I could come into contact with you that would be amazing. I'd love to meet her and give her hugs, I know that won't happen, lol, But I suppose saying it shows my gratitude and love for this baby. She's the cutest little thing I've ever seen. Those blue eyes are heaven. I read your story and fell in love with this baby girl. I wish and pray only the best. You are truly amazing parents for believing in God this way, for loving her so unconditionally without harm or rejection. She's beautiful, I pray for a long and happy life. In Christs Name; AMEN. <3

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  28. Thank you for sharing this encouraging journey. God has blessed, and will continue to bless all of you! Love, peace, and hope!

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  29. I can't help but cry while reading the whole story. Truly amazed by your faith to God. I searched the anencephaly survivor because our nursing teacher told us that there was one pretty baby girl who survived. Awww. God bless to all of you! Keep the faith. <3 Happy birthday, Vitoria!!!

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  30. I wish the medical comunity was as advanced twenty years ago. My third child was anecephalic and there wasn't a dr on the entire military base willing to do a c- section for a child that was going to die anyway. To much risk for the mother, so I spent two days in horrible pain and nearly had to have emergency surgery anyway when her head came out but her shoulders were to wide to follow. I was only 20 and didn't have the internet for information like we do today. I regret so much. Jessica was perfect in every other way and I think my story could have ended differently. She died during the difficult ordeal of labor. So glad to hear a balking ending.

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