Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This is going to be short because I just don't have the energy or the words to really express the deep sadness that Branden and I are feeling right now. We are so blessed to have so many friends and family that have been waiting for an update today. I'm sorry that I just wasn't able to respond.

Yesterday and today (Sunday and Monday) have been extremely exhausting days. It seems that we just keep running into more bumps in the road. Our poor little daughter is poked and prodded at daily (around the clock) and my heart just aches for her. She is so sweet and beautiful and we are so overwhelmed by the challenges facing her. We would give ANYTHING to make her future easier for her. For those of you that don't know already, Annabelle is paralyzed. She has essentially no movement in her legs from the hips down. This was quite unexpected. We anticipated some paralysis but were lead to believe that it would be lower in the ankles and feet. We certainly know that not walking isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's hard to not be sad about this.

Our newest challenge is her hearing. Annabelle has failed her hearing screen. They attempted it twice on Sunday and it was inconclusive. Today's test was considered a fail. We just can't even get our heads around the possibilty that our little girl won't be able to hear. We are mad, sad, and every other emotion you can think of right now. I know that life isn't fair but this just seems so wrong that she won't be able to walk and now might not be able to hear. I am so sad and I just don't know how much more news like this I can take.

We just hit 2 straight weeks that our boys have had to be with someone else besides their father and I. This has been very hard on them. They have been so good and have been having fun with their Grammy, Aunts and Uncle but they are clearly ready for their sister to come and to bring their parents with her. As a stay at home mom who is always with her children I too am missing them as much as I believe they are missing me.

We truly believe in the healing power of prayer - even now when I am feeling so beat down and sad I know that God is watching over Annabelle and keeping her safe. We are asking that anyone who reads this to PLEASE pray for Annabelle's hearing. Please pray that he will help her hearing work as it should so that she may hear all the beautiful and not so beautiful sounds of this world we live in. We ask that you please slip in a prayer for Branden and I to have strength as we face each day trying to be an advocate for our daughter at the hospital and trying to ensure that our boys feel loved and secure each day.


Leigh and Andy said...

I know the feeling all too well of looking at your newborn's legs and seeing them lie still. However, at 6 months Greyson's legs are moving more and more. Don't give up hope! I will pray not only for Annabelle's hearing, but also that her legs get stronger and stronger. Once she starts PT and gets out of the hospital, things will change. God only knows what the future holds, so we must give our worries and fears to him, as hard as that may be. The whole Summers family will be in my prayers today.

christine mcclain said...

What a lovely comment by your friend. My heart is with you guys every minute of everyday. I pray for your strength and pray that maybe, just maybe some of these things will not be permanent. And if they are, then the love in your family will help her through it. She will get stronger and stronger because of you. xoxoxo

Four Flights said...

Nicole and Branden, I continue to pray and think of you and Jack and Ben everyday. I don't really know what else to say except we love you and are praying for you guys. Andrea

Annie said...

Nicole, Brandon, Jack, Ben, and Annabelle--

Your family has been in our thoughts 24 hrs. a day since July 29th. I am a huge believer in the services provided by Miller Childrens' Hospital and Harbor Regional Center. They were life savers with Elisa's speech therapy and were absolutely there for us whenever we needed them. I can't really say too much else, but it's great to see all of these lovely entries and photos.
Much love,
The Patnos

Maura Hudson said...

Please know we are praying hard for continued progress and better news compared to what you've faced the past few days. I know what you mean about being an advocate for your child at the hospital. It is darn hard to "live" at the hospital, learn, understand and be there for everyone - and feel like you have to report on what's happening all the time - all at the same time. Please give yourselves time to take a breather (however small), and gather strength before going "the next round." You are doing all the right things and baby Annabelle is such a fighter! We cannot WAIT to meet her. You guys are in our thoughts and prayers and we're in your corner! Maura, Gerry and Miranda

Sarah Hull said...

Nicole, I've had you on my mind all day long. Infact, I just did a blog post and included your family in it asking for prayers on your behalf. I hope that's o.k., if you would rather me not post it, please let me know and I will remove it.

We too had the same experience that Leigh and Andy had. Katie's legs did not move at all. The doctor even said "she's much worse than we thought". However with prayer, time and PT, those legs slowly started moving and gaining strength.

We will keep praying for those little legs to start moving. We will also pray for her ears. Please let me know if I can be of any help at all. Don't hesitate to ask me any questions, as I would love to be as helpful as possible.
Take care my friend.

Olivia Mather said...

Nicole and Branden,
We are so sad with you. And we know that you must be exhausted in every way possible. We too believe in the power of prayer, but we also know it can be so hard to accept the difficult things along with the blessings. God has you in the palm of His hand. You're in our thoughts and prayers.
Olivia & Jason

Becca said...

Branden and Nicole...we are praying to our Mighty God that He would be inclined to heal not only her ears but her whole body. We will definitely pray for your whole family as well.
Let us know if we can help in anyway. Love the Beal family.

Grammy and Grampy said...

My Sweet Baby Girl,
We love you and Branden so very much & pray for you & Annabelle everyday. Jack & Ben have been such good boys for me. (even though Jack told me he was getting bored with me, but he still loves me) And we can't wait to hold our little Annabelle.
We love you all!

Don Godwin said...

Sandy and I are impressed with you guys, and proud to be part of your 'team' right now. Praying with you fervently for a miraculous recovery. Don & Sandy Godwin

Marjorie Mares said...

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you guys. Nicole, i only met you once or twice at Lakeshore, but want you to know that I am praying for ALL of you daily. I will continue to ask God for a miracle regarding Annabelle's situation. He has entrusted you with so much. I hope and pray for your continued strength and comfort.