Oakley Nelsen Speaks


After 6 1/2 years of unexplained infertility and countless hope-filled prayers for our future babies by name, we were beyond elated to find out in April 2022 that we were expecting our miracle baby girl! Oakley Faith became an answered prayer.

The 20-week anatomy scan arrived, and we were alarmed to find several anomalies with Oakley that resulted in an immediate referral to a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist to get a deeper analysis.

After a lot of prayers, sleepless nights, doctor appointments, and scans, the MRI confirmed that Oakley was struggling with multiple issues and ultimately a devastating life limiting diagnosis. The main diagnoses found were Spinabifida, she also had a bladder obstruction, causing fluid to pool into her belly, compressing her lungs – causing them to not be able to fully develop. Lastly, there was no blood flow found going to her intestines, leading our MFM to suspect she may have been in renal failure.

There was a lot of speculation that we wouldn’t make it past 32 weeks and that Oakley could pass away well before we got a chance to meet her. Every week we went to our follow ups, filled with hope, as she continued to defy the odds and overcame several expectations placed on her. Much to our delight Oakley stayed put and continued to be just as wiggly as ever week after week. We opted for a scheduled c-section just shy of 35 weeks to minimize as much stress to her as possible and hopefully give us a greater chance at meeting our baby girl.

On November 18th, 2022, at 6:21am we caught sound of a little squeak as she was born and letting us know she was here. The doctors worked fast to get her cleaned up and, in a split, she was right there resting on Amy’s chest as we got to soak in the view of our precious Oakley Faith Nelsen for the very first time. We got to revel in that feeling; being first time parents, looking at every inch of our baby girl. As the minutes ticked on, we soaked in every single one…and Oakley was even making a few little scrunchy faces at us too. To our surprise and delight, we were gifted 25 perfect minutes with her here before she moved on to her forever home.

Once we were in the recovery room, the memories and keepsake building really began where we were able to take a lot of pictures, clay molds, ink hand and footprints, we read books to her, we loved on her with every ounce we could pour out. We were able to give her a nice little bath, wrap her up in swaddles and hats… all the things to enjoy with her. We even popped a bottle of sparkling cider and sang her a nice little “Happy Birthday” tune. It was the absolute best and hardest day but knowing how covered we were in prayer really allowed us to stay present and give Oakley the most perfect life we could.


It’s hard to believe we’re already at the year mark, it feels like it was a minute ago and like it was years ago at the same time. The support we have received from the moment we shared Oakley’s diagnosis to now has been so overwhelming and absolutely incredible. We feel like God provided every next step for us and has been so gracious every step of the way.

From the moment we got connected with Abel Speaks our trajectory was never going to be the same. Having a place to turn with all our many questions, doctor recommendations, connecting us with our mentor couple that have walked alongside us, gave us advice on how to advocate for our family and meaningful gifts that always showed up when we needed them most. To not feel completely alone despite our circumstances staying the same was a total game changer.

In honor of Oakley’s 1st Birthday, we want to support Abel Speaks by raising money so other families who are unfortunately walking this same road don’t have to walk it alone. Would you prayerfully consider donating on her behalf to support another family who receives a life-limiting diagnosis just like we did?

By faith, Oakley still speaks!

-Amy & Dave Nelsen


Your generous giving allows Abel Speaks to support families like ours. Thank you for your partnership as we seek to ensure that every family will cherish their child’s life and have hope in the midst of sorrow!

Abel Speaks is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

2001 W Plano Pkwy, Suite 1909

Plano, TX 75075

(844) 440-0122