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  • Wendy Valdez on Caring For Her Son With Spina Bifida: 'I Pray Hard For Grace and Strength'

    Wendy Valdez can't imagine being a mother without God by her side.
    by Rachel Perez .
Wendy Valdez on Caring For Her Son With Spina Bifida: 'I Pray Hard For Grace and Strength'
PHOTO BY @_wendyvaldez_/Instagram
  • At four months pregnant, former Pinoy Big Brother housemate Wendy Valdez and her husband Norman Garcia found out that their baby has spina bifida. It's a serious neural tube defect wherein a baby's spinal column did not close all the way while developing inside the womb.

    Spina bifida is an unpredictable condition, as Wendy revealed when she opened up about her son. It may affect many other organs that may prevent the child from being able to walk, or cause him to become sickly and easily tired. Still, babies born with this condition can live full lives — that's what Wendy and her husband held on to for hope. She gave birth to their son, Seth, in 2017.

    "I always pray to God to Help me become the mom that my son needs, so I would be a good steward of this gift," Wendy exclusively told Pep.ph. Now age 2, the little boy has had his ups and downs. She prays for grace and strength to be able to continue to care for Seth.

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    Wendy describes herself as "impatient and a quitter." She says, "I fail in many areas, and for sure I will fail many more times as a mother, but I pray hard for grace and strength."

    "I am overwhelmed by how God has sustained me and is always sustaining me for whatever it is I need to do for my son, and our family. I am becoming someone I never thought I would ever be," Wendy said. "I can't imagine being a mother without God by my side," she added.

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    Seth stayed in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for a month after he was born. He needed to undergo surgery early in his life to remove a large cyst on his lower back.

    Early on, as Seth was learning to crawl and walk, he needed to wear a harness for four months and a hip brace for seven months to help correct his hip dysplasia. When he was about to undergo surgery for it in February 2019, Seth experienced two bouts of seizures.

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    Every so often, Seth had to go to the hospital to get his bladder checked to see if it's functioning properly. From having catheterization to help him pee four times a day, it's now down to three, which means his bladder function is improving.

    But it's not just Seth who is doing well and staying strong. Wendy herself has been surprised at what she had been able to do to help her son live a normal life and thrive. "The mother that people see is really the abundant graces that God continues to give me. Kahit ako nagugulat," she shared.

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    Even with Seth's condition, Wendy has always been thankful to God for the opportunity to be a mother. It solidified her faith in the Lord as she leaned on Him more every time to provide ways to strengthen and eliminate her weaknesses as a mom.

    Taking it one day at a time, it has humbled Wendy and her family to appreciate every small victory that Seth achieves. She cherishes time with her son every day and live every moment with him fully.

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    "I believe that obstacles will always be present, but I can always pray about them and ask God for grace to help me go through them with joy and Trust in Him," she explained. "There is joy even in uncertainty of what may happen to my son, because I know that God holds our story in the palm of His hand. We enjoy him so much," Wendy said.

    The cause of spina bifida is still unknown. Doctors and scientists believe genetic and environmental factors, as well as some conditions, may increase the risk of a mother giving birth to a baby with spina bifida. Taking folic acid at least one month before getting pregnant and throughout the first trimester could reduce the risk of the baby developing the condition by 50 percent. Still, it does not altogether prevent spina bifida.

    To know more about spina bifida, click here.

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