Friday, January 29, 2010

Nella Cordelia: A Birth Story


Nella Fantasia (translated from Italian)

In my fantasy I see a just world,
Where everyone lives in peace and honesty.
I dream of souls that are always free
Like the clouds that float
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul.

In my fantasy I see a bright world,
Where each night there is less darkness.
I dream of spirits that are always free,
Like the clouds that float.

In my fantasy exists a warm wind,
That blows into the city, like a friend.
I dream of souls that are always free,
Like the clouds that float
Full of humanity in the depths of the soul


Cordelia: Dorothy Cordelia, my dear loving grandma, who taught me more about life than she could have ever known.


This is probably the hardest thing I've ever had to write in my entire life. The hardest and yet the most beautiful. As I even just begin to type here, late, in the dark in my room alone with my girls sleeping next to me, their little faces barely visible from the glow of the the same candles that flickered in a very special room one week ago, my heart starts aching thinking of where I was at exactly this moment last week.

A week. How can it already have been a week? I've thought a million times what I'm going to write here and how I'm going to begin and what order I'll put it in and I think I've been so afraid to come back here...so afraid of not doing justice this very precious night...of leaving something out...of attaching simple words to an event that is so far from simple, it might just not be possible. But I need to get it out. I don't know how it's going to come or if it will make sense, but I'm just going to write. And when I get stuck, I will pick up this tiny blessed life beside me and hold her tight. I will breathe her in and remember...

Oh, here it goes.
The story of our daughter's birth.

This is Nella's Story.

I turned 31 on December 29...exactly a month ago. We went to dinner with friends the evening before and as we left, we saw the new bookstore nearby welcomingly lit up. I had told Brett I didn't need anything this year for my birthday as Christmas had just passed, but at the sight of the bookstore, I remembered a book I had read about from another photographer. As we walked by, I told Brett I changed my mind. I wanted a book, and I wanted it...tonight. So we ventured in, and he played with Lainey downstairs while I wandered up in the self-help section, thumbing through titles until I landed on the only copy of the book...A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller.

Later at home, we put Lainey to bed and I drew a bath and climbed in with my big pregnant belly, my new book and a highlighter. And I read. And read. And read. Underlining, highlighting, starring paragraphs and quotes and words that moved me hard. I warmed the water about a trillion times and pruned my skin to raisins, but I could not stop reading. It turned into a three hour bath followed by another hour or so of reading in my bed. By the end of the book, I was inspired. Inspired to write a new story for our life...inspired to face challenges and leave my comfort zone and go through hard things because that is what turns the screenplays of our lives from boring to Oscar-worthy. And, to be honest, in my mind, our uncomfortable challenge was the changes in our life with Brett's job and having him away from home. Little did I know.

Fast forward.

Last Thursday, Brett & I teased all day that we were so ready for this baby, she had to either come Thursday or Friday. Every time he called me from work, he told me I should be out jogging. I didn't jog, but I did walk like crazy, trailing Lainey through the streets of our neighborhood in a stroller, thinking, "These might be the last moments with my only daughter alone." And Thursday night, the pains started coming...nothing horribly uncomfortable but some significant cramps that were semi-regular and popped up several times through the night. By morning, I had several that were 15-20 minutes apart, and my doctor, convinced I would go fast once I was in full swing, suggested I go to the hospital within a few hours. I remember getting off the phone and it hit me. Today was going to be the day. It was surreal. I texted my friends. Called my family. And began the last steps in the ever long process of saying goodbye to my 'only child.' She wanted her face painted like a kitty and, although I was excited to pack up and head to the hospital, I savored every brush stroke of those last moments with my big girl.

I called my friend, Katie, in Fort Lauderdale. I met Katie the night Lainey was born as she was the delivery nurse...and we have since been forever friends. She promised me she wanted to be present for all my babies' births, so she high-tailed it over I-75 after my call to get there in time.

It was strange. It seemed so real and yet I had dreamed of this moment for so long, it seemed a bit like a dream as well. It all just hit me...we had waited for this. Wanting a second child. Losing a pregnancy. Getting pregnant. The horrible night I thought it was all ending and the trip to the E.R. where we saw that little heartbeat. Waiting and preparing and finally, these last weeks, having everything just...perfect. The birth music ready to go, the blankets I had made packed and ready, the coming home outfit, the big sister crown for Lainey, the nightgown I had bought just for the occasion...what I would wear holding my daughter the first night I rocked her to sleep. Even the favors I hand-designed and tied every ribbon on were lined and stacked in a box, ready to pass out the moment the room flooded with visitors. My heart could hardly hold the excitement, and I will never ever forget what it feels like to long for your baby being handed in your arms the last few days of your pregnancy...it's so real, you can touch it.



We said goodbye to Lainey as we left her with Grandma and headed to the hospital where I was quickly instructed to drop trou and gown up. I slipped the white ruffled skirt and black shirt I wore into a plastic belongings bag. Days later, just the sight of these clothes--the ones I wore during my excitement and happiness...during those last 'happy' moments before my life was changed--would bring pain. I think Heidi finally hid the bag because it made me cry every time.

The early stages of labor were perfectly beautiful. Nothing hurt that bad, I had the anticipation of this eutopian experience ahead of me, Brett was chill, and my girlfriends started trickling in the room. We actually played a game...the "if you could..." cards I had packed in my bag for this very purpose. I had it perfectly planned, and it was going just as I had imagined...but better.

By 2:00, my water had been broken and my contractions were in full force. The room was full of excitement and laughter. I chatted with my girlfriends until a contraction came on where I shifted gears, "ow-ow-ow-ow-ow'd" my way through it (and cursed), and came out of it as fast as I went in, picking up the conversation where we left off. I checked to make sure Brett was okay. Several of my girlfriends were headed out for a birthday party but, with news of my status, they all huddled into the room, dressed to the nines, before their night out to check on me. I liked the commotion...I loved the anticipation. I loved the feeling of people waiting anxiously for our baby. It felt special. ...and we were so ready.



Two hours went by and I was off the wall in pain, begging for anesthesia to get in with an epidural. They were tied up, and so I cursed them too. Little did I know, I was a 9. This is where things begin to get hazy. It all just happened so fast. I remember anesthesia walking in to give me an epidural, Brett getting uneasy, girlfriends talking me through it, my pediatrician stopping in to say 'hi' during her rounds, and my obstetrician walking in and gowning up. This was it. With Lainey, it took forever and here I was, just hours after walking in this place, and they were going to tell me to push. They were going to tell me 'just one more' and then suddenly my life was going to change.

I couldn't grasp it even then. It was all just happening so fast and I wanted to savor it. I looked around the room and tried to take it in...the candles, the music, the lavender oil I brought that wafted through the room and calmed the tension. And then I remember just speaking to myself. You are about to meet your daughter. You are about to be changed for good.

At this moment, I heard the sounds of our birth song begin to fill the room...When You Love Someone.

And I began to cry.

My husband, my friends, my dad, my nurses...all of them smiling...cameras flashing...

One more push.

Oh, this is so hard...

I pushed. I pushed and watched as the tiniest little body came out of me, arms flailing, lungs wailing...and then, they put her in my arms.

...and I knew.



I knew the minute I saw her that she had Down Syndrome and nobody else did. I held her and cried. Cried and panned the room to meet eyes with anyone that would tell me she didn't have it. I held her and looked at her like she wasn't my baby and tried to take it in. And all I can remember of these moments is her face. I will never forget my daughter in my arms, opening her eyes over and over...she locked eyes with mine and stared...bore holes into my soul.

Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me.



That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story.

I don't remember a lot here. My friends have filled me in, but I feel like I was in a black hole. I know I held her. I know I kissed her. I know I begged every power in the world that this wasn't happening...that she was normal, but I knew in my soul exactly what this was.

She was scooped off my chest and taken to the warming bed where nurses nervously smiled as they checked her over. I wanted someone to tell me what was going on...I kept asking if she was okay, and they told me she was fine. She was crying and pink and just perfectly healthy. I wanted to say the words, but couldn't. So, I asked why her nose was smooshed...why she looked funny. And because she came out posterior and so quickly, many people in the room honestly thought she'd look a little different in an hour or so. But I knew. I cried and cried while everyone smiled and took pictures of her, like nothing was wrong. I kept crying and asking, "Is there something you aren't telling me?" ...and they just kept smiling.





At this point, I have believed until recently that the pediatrician came in right away and told me the news. But because I was so confused and emotional and haven't slept much in a week, I am told it wasn't right away. The nurses apparently called my pediatrician in for 'D.S. suspicions.' And during this hour, I was handed back my daughter as if everything was okay.

When I think about this time later, I have cried and cried wondering what I did. Did she feel love? Did I kiss her? Did I hold her and tell her 'happy birthday' and smother her with happy tears? My friends in the room smile when I ask this and promise me I did. They said I couldn't stop kissing her. And while I held her, the room went on. Someone popped champagne and poured glasses and a toast was raised..."To Nella!" while I sat, confused, trying to take it in.

...and I am so very blessed my beautiful photographer friends, Laura and Heidi, were there to capture every single moment. They never stopped shooting...there are over 2000 images from the delivery and they have helped me relive the beauty. This photo is so beautiful to me...because it speaks with emotion. This is how I felt while everyone carried on for me.



I remember feeling....nothing. As if I literally left my body for a bit.

But they said I kissed her. They said I loved her. They said I was a mama.







I remember my pediatrician suddenly walking in and my heart sank a bit...I knew. "Why is she here?" I asked. And they told me she was just checking the baby out. Which she did. And then the room grew quiet and everyone was asked to leave. I started shaking. I knew it was coming. The tears. The twisting in my stomach that they were about to rock my world.

Brett stood behind me, stroking my hair and my nurse friends, Dot and Katie, stayed on either side of the bed. And it happened.

My pediatrician snuggled Nella up in a blanket and handed her to me...and she knelt down next to my bed so that she could look up at me...not down. She smiled so warmly and held my hand so tight. And she never took her eyes off mine. We had been through a lot together with Lainey's jaundice and I have spent many tearful conversations with her over the course of these two and a half years. She is an amazing pediatrician. But at this moment, she became more than that. She was our friend as she beautifully shared the news.

I need to tell you something.

...and I cried hard... "I know what you're going to say."

She smiled again and squeezed my hand a little tighter.

The first thing I'm going to tell you is that your daughter is beautiful and perfect.

...and I cried harder.

...but there are some features that lead me to believe she may have Down Syndrome.

Finally, someone said it.

I felt hot tears stream down and fall on my baby's face. My beautiful, perfect daughter. I was scared to look up at Brett, so I didn't. I just kissed her.

And then, Dr. Foley added...

...but, Kelle....she is beautiful. and perfect.



I asked for my dad to be let back in the room. And when he walked in, I cried again. They think she has Down Syndrome.

And he smiled as his eyes welled up with tears and he said, "That's okay. We love her." He scooped her up and I asked him to say a prayer. And there, in the delivery room where moments earlier she entered the world, we huddled around my bed...Brett still stroking my hair, Katie crying on one side, Dot on the other and Dr. Foley kneeled down beside my bed. He prayed and thanked God for giving us Nella and thanked him for the wonderful things he had planned for us. For our family. For Nella. Amen.

Dr. Foley hugged me and told me she got to hold her for her examination, but now she wanted to hold her just for some snuggles. And she did. I will always remember her compassion and know there is no one else that could do a better job sharing this challenging journey with us.

Katie asked if I wanted to nurse Nella, and I did. Another dreamy moment I had always anticipated and yet it felt so different this time. But I remember her latching right on and sucking away with no hesitation and looking at her, completely accepting me as her mama and snuggling in to the only one she's ever known and I felt so completley guilty that I didn't feel the same. I felt love, yes. I just kept envisioning this other baby...the one that I felt died the moment I realized it wasn't what I expected. But the nursing...oh, the nursing...how incredibly bonding it's been. The single most beautiful link I've had to falling in love with this blessed angel. And, look...I smiled. I don't remember smiling, but...I smiled.



The hallway was still filled with everyone who was waiting...and there are stories from our other wonderful friends and family of what happened behind those walls while they waited. All I know is that there was more love in that birthing center than the place could hold. As anxious eyes re-entered the room, I held my baby and told them all, crying, what we had been told. I knew there was a stream of friends ready to come and celebrate and I wanted them all to be told before they came in. I couldn't emotionally handle telling anyone and yet, strangely, I wanted people to know as soon as possible because I knew I needed the troops...I was falling, sliding, tunneling into a black hole and I needed as much love as possible to keep me up.

I just remember happiness. From everyone. All of the blessed souls in that room celebrated as if there was nothing but joy. Everyone knew...and there were a few puffy eyes, but mostly, it was pure happiness. More friends trickled in. More smiles. More toasts. And hugs with no words...hugs like I've never felt. Ones that spoke volumes...arms pulled tightly around my neck, lips pressed against my forehead and bodies that shook with sobs...sobs that told me they felt it too...they felt my pain and they wanted to take it away.





And Brett...well, he never left our girl's side. He was quiet through this all, and I'm not sure I'll ever know what he felt, but I know the daddy of our babies, and I know he knows nothing but to love them with all his heart. And he did from the very start.



As soon as the epidural wore off, I wanted my own nightgown. They were going to take me to our new room upstairs, and I was ready for a new start. Everyone carried our stuff up and waited for us. And then...the moment I always talk about...the moment they put you in that wheelchair and place the baby in your arms...and stroll you through the hallways to your room while onlookers smile and wish they were you. It's so strange, but I barely remember it.

I remember arriving to our room and being told Lainey was on her way. And I cried new tears...I hadn't even thought about how this would impact Lainey...what she would think...how her life would be different...how every beautiful vision I had of two sisters growing up together, grown-up phone calls, advice-giving, cooking together, shopping...everything would be different. Numbness started leaving my heart and sheer pain started settling in.

Don't cry. Don't cry. Don't cry when Lainey gets here.

...and then I'll never forget her face...her cute outfit someone put her in...her eyes when she walked into that room, and the way she tried to hide her excitement with her shy smile.

I will never forget the day my girl became a big sister.

I will never forget the moment her little sister was placed in her arms. I watched in agony...in tears...in admiration as my little girl taught me how to love. She showed me what unconditional love looks like...what the absence of stereotypes feels like...she was...

...proud.

...and that was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I needed that.

As darkness set in that night and people started trickling out, I felt paranoid. So completely afraid because I knew with darkness...with the absence of everyone celebrating...the grief would come. I could feel it coming...and it hurt so, so, so very bad.

I wanted Lainey to go home with Brett. My heart was in a million pieces and wanted to be with her, and if I couldn't, I wanted him there. And so he left...with the little girl that completed my world, and I was left in the hospital with my two amazing, wonderful friends who will never ever know how special they are because of what they did for me that night. And they heard and saw things no one else will ever know, but I could have never made it through the night without them.

I think I cried for seven hours straight. It was gut-wrenching pain. I held Nella and I kissed her but I literally writhed in emotional pain on that bed in the dark with our candles and my friends by my side until the sun came up. I remember trying to sleep and then feeling it come on again...and I'd start shaking, and they'd both jump up and hug me from either side, Nella smooshed between the four of us. I begged for morning, even once mistaking a street light for sunlight and turning on the lights only to find it was 3 a.m. and I still had to make it through the night.

I can't explain that evening. And I suppose it's horrible to say you spent the first night your daughter was born in that state of agony, but I know it was necessary for me to move on to where I am today. And, knowing where I am today and how much I love this soul, how much I know she was meant for me and I am meant for her, knowing the crazy way our souls have intertwined and grown into each other, I can say all this now. It's hard, but it's real, and we all have feelings. We live them, we breathe them, we go through them and soon they dissolve into new feelings. So, here I go.

I cried out that I wanted to leave her and run away. I wanted to take Lainey and my perfect world and this perfect love I had built with my two-year old and our cupcake-baking days and our art projects and our beautiful bond and I wanted to run like hell. I wanted to be pregnant again. I wanted to be pregnant so bad. I wanted it to be the morning she was born again...when I was happy and excited and when I wore the white ruffled skirt and black shirt and put it in the belongings bag knowing joy was to come. I wanted to go back. I wanted to go back. I wanted to go back.

I moaned in pain and through it all, this little breath of heaven needed me. I cried while I nursed her. I cried while I held her. I cried while I pulled my nightgown off just so I could lie her body on my naked skin and pray that I felt a bond. I literally writhed in emotional pain for hours. And Heidi and Katie saw parts of me no one else have seen. My eyes were so swollen, Heidi said I looked like Rocky...like someone beat the hell out of my face and then cut little slits for eyes. It was that bad.

...and then morning came. ...and with it, hope.

There is so much more I could write...and I will...in chapters of our book.

My sister arrived the next day and revolutionized the place with her "I Have a Dream" speech. She told me I swallowed the blue pill. She told me I could never go back. But that I held a key to a door that no one else does. And, with tears in her eyes, she excitedly and passionately told me how lucky I was. She told me that I was chosen and that it is the most special thing in the world. She told me it was going to be just fine.

And she was so right.

The day after Nella was born, I fell in love hard. I knew she was mine. I knew we were destined to be together. I knew she was the baby all along that grew in my beautiful round tummy...the one I thought I almost lost...the one that I proudly rubbed when people told me how beautiful that belly was. It was. It was Nella all along.

A huge turning point for me was when my sister published my blog entry and an outpouring of love turned on. I had no idea. None. I had no idea you all were out there. And the words you all said...I believed them. And maybe I believed them all along, but to hear them when I needed them...you all empowered me. And my friends and family...oh, they'll never ever know how special they are to me. I've never felt so loved. You all truly gave me your hearts to borrow while mine was breaking. And you loved my baby. You loved her so good. You're not her mama and yet you washed her with tears when you held her. You kissed her. When she cried in the middle of the night and I needed some blessed sleep, you rigged up the jaundice lights against the nurse's orders, put your sunglasses on and took turns sleeping in a chair just to hold her.

You promised to be there on this journey and that alone means more than we can ever tell you. To be loved...is the greatest feeling one can ever feel.

Over the course of the next several days, things just became beautiful. I cried, yes...but they soon turned to tears of joy. I felt lucky. I felt happy. And I felt that I didn't want to run away with Lainey anymore...and if I did, I was taking my bunny with me.

When Lainey was in the hospital with jaundice, I remember hugging Brett and crying. I told him if God would make her better, I'd do anything. I'd live in a box, I'd sell everything we had, I'd be happy with nothing...just make her better. When she did get better, that feeling of raw gratitude was real, but it wasn't long before real life set in and I was complaning once again about the dirty grout in our cheap tile and how much I wanted wood floors.

I've often thought about how quickly that feeling left because we have a perfect, healthy little girl running around that erases all the painful memories of when we thought something might be seriously wrong.

I felt that feeling again last week. And as the pain has slowly disipated, I've realized...I will always be reminded. My Nella, my special little bunny, my beautiful perfect yet unique girl will be my constant reminder in life. That it's not about wood floors. No, life is about love and truly experiencing the beauty we are meant to know.

And so, we came home...happy. In fact, walking out of the hospital with our new baby girl and our proud new big girl, all crowned up, gripping the handle of the carseat with Daddy...it was just how I had imagined it.

Life moves on. And there have been lots of tears since. There will be. But, there is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky. I feel lucky. I feel privileged. I feel there is a story so beautiful in store...and we get to live it. Wow.

The story has begun...

Page by Page...

(First "Well Baby" Visit...Dr. Foley, we love you.)

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love her. I wouldn't trade her for the world, and y'all can have that heart you let me borrow back. My broken heart has been healed...and if you held her, you'd know what I mean.

photographed by my dear friend, heidi

My Girls. I am complete.

There's been so much wonder I've wanted to share...but I knew I had to tell her story first. More to come...we've been taking lots of pictures and loving the beauty of life...and the funny...and the hectic...it's been crazy.

...but beautiful.

I did it. I told our bunny's story.

4,000 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 400 of 4000   Newer›   Newest»
Jewllori by Lori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scarehaircare said...

Oh, my dear, sweet kindred spirit. I almost miscarried my baby. I knew she had DS the minute she was born. The rest of the world firgure it out the next day. I had to explain it to my three sons while I grappled over grieving the baby I didn't have and the beautiful daughter I had in my arms. My father's first words, upon learning that The Love Magnet had DS was "Well, we love her. That's all that matters".


I cried all night. By morning I was ready to face all the challenges and appreciate all of the joy.

Reading your story made me relive that whole first 24 hours again. I sobbed and smiled through it all.

God bless you and your family.

Dani, momtoAlyse in Nebraska said...

Kelle and family what a beautiful account of the birth of your sweet daughter Nella. I relate so well to the overwhelming emotions of those first few moments and days post diagnosis. My daughter Alyse will be turning 8 in a few short weeks. Your story brought me back to a place I had not thought of for such a long time.

Unlike you we had our diagnosis while I was still pregnant I think those feeling of being suddenly lost and struggling to find yourself again are common to parents of children with a set of designer genes.

This I can assure you, your life has been blessed expotentially. You will see things in a new light. The essence of your days will have become that much sweeter.

I can not imagine what my life would be like without my sweet Alyse, she is my heart...

Dani

Tracey said...

Oh my, you should see my tears... A friend sent me the link to your post, and I must say that Nella must be the luckiest little girl in the whole world. She has such an amazing mom, who, faced with this unexpected part of life, is already loving her more than words can describe. I can't imagine what you felt, in those few hours after giving birth. But to see the love in your eyes in the portraits of you & Nella shows me how you feel now...
What a wonderful story. I wish you all the happiness in the world!

Scott and Gwen Hartley said...

Someone passed this link on to me, and I just bawled my eyes out reading it from top to bottom.

You have PERFECTLY explained my thoughts & feelings with such great details, emotions, and love.

I am the mom of TWO little angel babies... Claire is 8.5 years old & Lola is 3.75 years old. Like you, we have a typical child who is 11 (a son), and we SO did not expect any "surprises" when our Claire was born. We had a "normal" (what IS normal!?!?) sonogram at 18-19 weeks & sailed thru the most glorious, perfect, naive, wonderful pregnancy only to have our lives/worlds shattered here, too when Claire was born with microcephaly (small head/brain).

We too had an agonizing time initially -- but in the past 8.5+ years have realized like the quote says, "Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted
but getting what you have, which once you have got it you
may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known." ~ Garrison Keillor

Life is good... fast forward... waited 4.5 years until we were gutsy enough to "go for it" again... knew we had a 25% chance for recurrence, and yet, to us, we were meant to experience whatever came our way. And that was little Lola, also microcephalic (diagnosed at 26 weeks in utero). Another tough 24-48 hours & then UTTER PEACE & knowing that all was right & perfect STILL in our worlds...

THANK YOU for putting it all into words so beautifully. Love the website, the many gorgeous pics, and the music. (writing down songs I need to download frantically... hahahah)

Hope to continue to follow your journey & would love to keep in touch! Hugs from Kansas...

Gwen
hartleyhooligans@att.net

Kimberly said...

Oh my goodness, I am in tears here reading your story. You don't know me, but I learned about your story through a forum online. I can identify with your story and your birth and grieving experience because my daughter was born with a chromosome abnormality as well and I went through a very similar experience. You put into words what I never could about what I felt at her birth. You are an amazing mother and your daughters are both very happy to have you. God bless your family!

Grace said...

Kelle--A friend of mine posted a link to your blog on her Facebook page. Your story is amazing and I had to fight through the tears while reading it. Your baby is beautiful as is your family. I look forward to reading more about your journey through motherhood with your little bundle of joy. Big hugs to you :)

Sara said...

I found your story via babycenter as well on a birth board you are on. I have a sister with Downs. She is 6 and I remember meeting her in the hospital for the first time. The pediatrician had not checked her out yet, however the nurses had been acting odd. I remember holding her sitting in a chair across from my parents and looking at their faces which were trying so hard to be happy, but were clearly hiding something and I had her all swaddled up in my arms and I looked down at her and I remember knowing something was wrong and crying on her. I keep repeating, its ok, its ok. It did not feel ok at the time. I used to feel guilty for crying over her beautiful little face. I wondered if she too felt the grief we felt while we tried to adjust to what had just happened. 6 years later, she is the charming, witty, smart, beautiful little carbon copy of her sisters (there are 4 of us) and she is the light of my parents life. Now I am pregnant with twins, one of which has a clubbed foot. I feel so prepared for what is coming due to the fact that I have been through this experience with my sister. I know its ok to be upset, to grieve, to take some time to adjust and to take the time to educate yourself about what is happening. I wish you the best of luck with both of your beautiful girls! Take care of yourself and congratulations!

Amy said...

wow. what an incredible, beautiful, breathtaking story. thank you.

Jessica said...

This is one of the most amazing things I have ever read. I am choking back the tears and sending you and your beautiful perfect family all the love in the world!!

Nella is a very lucky girl, and she is going to grow up with the most amazing mom (family) in the world!

Lots and lots of love,
Jessica

Megan said...

Aww! Congratulations to you and your family. And welcome to the club. :-)

Love,
Mama of Audrey (4) and Stella (almost 2, Ds) and newbie (EDD 7.13.10)

Adrienne said...

"I knew" at 18 weeks through amnio (although I had feelings before then) but I went through the pain you first went through when Nella was born. Looking at her face brings me to tears because I have grown to love the features of Down syndrome. My son is only 8 months old but I can spot it instantly now and those almond eyes-although they may look different to most, are gorgeous. My son has them too, of course and I just love them. Your writing is beautiful, honest, pure-thank you for sharing your story.

Cate said...

oh, wow. What a beautiful post, and a beautiful family.

My daughter was diagnosed with DS at birth too. It's a tough thing to hear, but it really does get better. Your post took me right back.

Tiffany said...

Kelle,

I was linked to this post by a friend of mine. You will be SO thankful that you took the time to write such a beautiful and detailed and raw birth story. Nella is absolutely beautiful and perfect. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I have a daughter, Etta, who is 20 months old. She also has Ds and is so full of life and light abd love and laughter. She is my heart outside my body.

I wish I could time travel back to the day she was born and tell myself that everything is going to be okay. Better then okay. She makes me a better person and I have met SO many wonderful people because of her.

After I got over the (short) initial mourning process, I loved looking at photos and watching vieos and reading about people with Ds. PLEASE feel free to visit Etta's website. There are lots of photos and videos there. www.etta.aboutmybaby.com

Once again, congratulations on the birth of your newest daughter!

Tiff Wenzler

Cheri said...

Oh boy....I cried body shake cries while reading this. Congratulations, baby Nella is beautiful, and I just love her name! You wrote that so beautifully and what a beautiful moment with your friends and family the night she was born...a raw yet beautiful beginning to a beautiful new chapter...and a new you. I found that my little Reid made me a better person and instantly grew my heart 5 times it's size with his birth.

If you are interested I recently wrote a blog about if I was able to have a conversation with myself back on the day my son was born with Down syndrome with the me now 3 years later...and what that would look like.... When he was born I craved to have so many questions answered that there was just no way I could have had answers to unless I began walking forward, which was really hard for me to do at first. You can find that here: http://raisingreid.blogspot.com/2009/12/conversation-between-me-then-when-we.html

....thank you for sharing your absolutely adorable family and pictures. I just love the pictures of you holding Nella with your braids, so cute!!

Jethro said...

Thanks for sharing. Our first daughter was born with Down Syndrome, and she is three now. Katya is a bundle of joy and there have been way more blessings from her syndrome than there have been inconveniences. I'm sure you can already say that, and you will for the rest of your life.

Lisa said...

Reading your story brought back a flood of emotions--some of them tough, but most of them overwhelmingly beautiful. I am touched beyond words (that doesn't happen often :)!) You have just been given the gift of a lifetime, and it seems like you already know it. You already have a wonderful, large group of loving family and friends to hold you all close and to love & learn right along with you. You have also just entered another wonderful, large group--the Down syndrome community. There are a lot of us out here, now reading along, sending warm congratulations and welcoming you into the fold.

I have a three-year-old daughter with Down syndrome (Bridget). She's the youngest of our five children, and she is every good thing wrapped into one tiny package. Our lives did change the day she entered the world--for the better. She is honestly the best thing that has ever happened to us.

I blog about Bridget and our life together at www.bridgets-light.blogspot.com. Please visit when you have a chance!

Congratulations!!

Andrea said...

I found your blog from a link on babycenter. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your beautiful story. It reminds us all about what love and life is all about. Your daughters are both beautiful and perfect just as they are.

Caden said...

What an amazing and beautiful story. I cried so hard and feel deeply moved. Nella is truely your gift. What in inspriring story. You are lucky to have such a beautiful family and friends. Those pictures are to die for. You write very well and with such truth, this story should be published or perhaps one day you will write a book?
Inspired, moved, touched!
I don't know you but I know you are blessed.

Anonymous said...

My son with DS is 9 years old - he has an older sister and a younger brother. I re-lived my experience by reading yours - except you are way more photogenic than I! The thing I need most in life is laughter and God gave me that with my son -- he is so darn funny. He is extra everything: extra chromosome, extra stubborn, extra loving, extra funny and, sometimes, extra annoying! Yes,life with DS has its challenges but it will enrich you in ways you never expected. Seems it already has. Enjoy.

Anne said...

Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter! I admire your honesty, and remember exactly how the emotions and thoughts you so poignantly describe felt.

You see, my oldest child, Archie, has Down syndrome. He is my best work.

Emily said...

I stumbled across your blog... and I am so glad that I did! What a beautiful birth story that was. You are an incredible person! I have a little boy, Justin, who is 21 months with Down syndrome. He is my angel here on earth. Congratulations!

Stevenson Family said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know exactly where you have been and where you are headed. Our birth was a little more tramatic but we had the same feelings. To just run away. Now I look back and wonder what was I thinking. He is such a blessing. I can't wait to watch her grow.

Marla said...

Oh my word. This has to be the most beautiful blog post I've ever read. And the photos are just perfect, each and every one of them. I remember all those emotions too, though my came at the 20 week mark of my pregnancy when my first son was diagnosed with Ds.

I can't wait to follow your journey with your daughter. She will amaze you. It sounds like she already has. :)

Kayla said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. Nella IS perfect!

Molly said...

Wow. What a beautiful story. I believe someone already said this, so I'll echo that person's comments - your story was almost exactly my story this past August. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl with DS as well. It's been an amazing blessing. What struck me, especially, was your sister telling you how lucky you are that you've been "chosen." Truer words were never spoken.

Cole said...

Congratulations on your precious Nella! She is lovely and your telling of her birthstory is heartwarming. It brought back alot of my own emotions from a year ago. My dear Quail will turn one next month. Our oldest was also 2 1/2 when she was born. The love that our children share is so beautiful. Feel free to come over and meet our family.

Georgiadee said...

wow... I am speechless. I have been so sad since my OB told us that our numbers indicate our baby has Downs. Your story is beautiful and I am now more determined than ever to welcome my baby home and feel happy and blessed with my baby.

Nella IS beautiful and you are an inspiration-thank you for sharing your journey. God Bless you , your family and sweet baby Nella.

kecia said...

i just found your blog from another fellow blogging friend, another mother of a sweet angel and I just loved your story! You have a great way with words that express so much of what I felt and feel. Bree is almost 3 and what you said about holding your baby and being complete...it is still true. Being a part of this experience is something I never knew I wanted to be a part of but now that I am, I am so glad I was chosen. I look forward to reading more of your journey.

amy flege said...

i too was once in your shoes.... my little one is going to be 4 in 2 weeks and she is the best thing that ever happened to our family....
your Nella is beautiful. we are so lucky to have been blessed with a child with DS, aren't we?

Ashley said...

She's just gorgeous. Congratulations. I can already tell that you're going to be a wonderful mother to Nella... you're so lucky to have each other.

kyouell said...

My son w/Down syndrome was diagnosed at 3 or 4 days old (ha! I can't remember!). He's 4.5yo now. I heard of your story thanks to a retweet by @SHetherington. I loved what you wrote and LOVED THE DOCTOR, OMG. That's too great. I have 2 little ones and no time to read the jillions of comments, just wanted to say "Hi!" and "Welcome to the club" and that those are the best.damn.photos to accompany a fabu birth story EVAH. Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve. Go Mama!

Joyce said...

The most beautiful birth story I have ever read. Congratulations!!! and God Bless your entire beautiful family.

*Miss Cake* said...

She's gorgeous, just gorgeous! Thank you for writing such a beautiful and honest account of her birth. God has wonderful things in store for your little lady, and your family! Bless you all.

Lexi Lago said...

Kelle,
Wow what a beautiful baby and her amazing birth story. The world has gotten such a wonderful new addition! Cant wait to see how she blossoms into a beautiful amazing girl. Until we meet...

Brent & Jodie said...

Oh my goodness. I am overwhelmed by the love you have for your beautiful, perfect girls. Nella's story has touched my heart so much! Welcome to the amazing world of raising a child with Down syndrome. There is nothing so special, so incredible as the love you will have for this perfect little angel. Nella is just beautiful! Thank you for sharing her story with all of us!!

Sheyenne said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Nella IS perfect! I remember the day I thought a DS diagnosis would be the worst thing in the world. We'd had an abnormal u/s and were waiting for the results of our amnio. It wasn't Downs. It was much worse. It was fatal. What we had once feared, we were begging for. But that's not the journey God had for us. Thank you for sharing your story... you've given me hope as I prepare to deliver our daughter who will only be with us a very short time.

Michelle said...

Congratulations on the birth of your daughter; she is beautiful and perfect! How blessed you are to have such loving family, friends, and that pediatrician who knew exactly what to say.

Your story brought back so many memories of my own daughter's birth. Looking down at her face the moment she was born and just knowing, and I kept asking the midwife, "she has Down syndrome doesn't she?" The first night being alone in the hospital room and just finally breaking down and crying and crying...feeling like I was looking down on someone else's life, like this wasn't my baby I was holding. Not sure I was bonding with her, just not knowing anything and going through the motions.

Thank you for sharing your story so beautifully.

heidi @ ggip said...

What a beautiful baby. And she is perfect.

You have a wonderful doctor.

Thanks for sharing.

Kylie said...

Thank you for this - your birth story is absolutely inspirational.

Anonymous said...

such a beautiful story - we all need to remember how blessed we are, and what is truly important - family and friends :)

Kevin Hayden said...

Thank you for a beautiful portrayal of a beautiful moment.

Kevin.

Jenny Jardine said...

What an amazing journey you are on! Thank you for having the strength to write this and share you and your family with everyone.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your daughter's beautiful birth story. My second son was born just three days after Nella. Like her, he has Downs Syndrome - a diagnosis we only just received today. Reading your story has given me hope about the unknown road that lies ahead. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I was just waiting for my tears to dry and "my heart is in a million pieces" in order to comment. I don't have children so I have never had the experience of giving birth. Your story has helped me understand what that must be like to have this experience. These pictures are breathtaking! When you first see Nella my heart lept out of my chest. She is beautiful. This story touches me on so many levels. I know all of you will enjoy your journey.

Christina said...

I am touched by your incredible honesty. Your story brought me to tears many times.

I am not sure where you live, but "Dr. Foley" was one of my many OB's during my second pregnancy. She is incredible.

Thank you for your touching story.

FreshFromGod Photography said...

Holy amazingness! Your story is so real and precious. Your girls are beautiful and God did bless you abundantly. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I don't know you. A friend emailed me a link to your blog. I have never shared my story, but reading yours has made me want to share mine with you:
My twin boys were born a little over 2 years ago. By 2 months old, I knew something was wrong with one of them. I tried telling my family, doctor, and husband, but no one believed me. I spent 16 months severely depressed because I was alone in my grief. I listened to people gush about how lucky I was to have twins. They would be best friends, share a secret language, and always have a playmate. I endured all of the advice about how to get my son to finally sleep or stop crying 20 hours/day, as if it was so easy.
Finally, when he was 18-months-old, I had him evaluated by three separate agencies. All confirmed what I had already known- Autism. Finally, finally I could move on! I wasn't alone in this struggle anymore. As everyone dealt with the news, I was able to take the next steps and figure out what this meant for him, his twin brother, and us as parents.
My boys may never have a secret language, understand each other, or be best friends, but they are both so lucky to have each other in their lives. We have already learned so much from my son, and he has learned from us. We are all better people for loving each other.

The Sanchez Family said...

I am so deeply touched by your post. The words, the photos, the honesty, the beauty, the perfection. You are a gift and you have been given a gift. And it is PERFECT!
I have had "When You Love Someone" playing in my car for an entire week, this past week we committed to adopting a baby girl with DS in Eastern Europe and that song is my song for her. I have a 2 year old son Joaquin, the light of our lives, with DS who has taught me more in 2 years than I could possibly teach him in a lifetime.
Enjoy your new, brightly lit life. It will be richer and deeper than you have ever imagined.
With love,
Jen

Crystal said...

I dont know you or your family but i love you. Your story touches so deep. Your bunny is sooo adorable and precious. Your oldest will undoubtedly be the best big sister and love you even more then you could imagine. I hope you nothing but the best in life and your journeys ahead.. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Wow--you managed to describe so perfectly the exquisite pain of that first day and night. I wish I could write about it--maybe it would help. My daughter with DS was born 15 months ago, but I didn't have all the support from friends and family that you have. I'm so happy for you. And Congratulations on your beautiful girl!

Jenny said...

What an amazing story and she is just beautiful! You have 2 gorgeous girls :)

Anonymous said...

She is beautiful and perfect. I enjoyed your story; thank you for sharing. You have such a beautiful family.

Amy said...

You put into words what so many of us have felt and feared. Thank you!

Oana Hogrefe said...

So raw, so magical, so alive; your journey continues, in awareness and in love. Thank you for sharing! Wishing you continued closeness, growth and warmth.

Kelle said...

From one Kelle to another (I don't see THAT everyday!)...thank you for touching me. Thank you for making my heart smile and my soul grow.
Kelle in TX

Korin said...

This was my first visit to your blog, and what a visit it was! Than you for sharing your story, your honesty and your heart. I am raising a special needs, autistic daughter who brings me more joy and challenge in the course of a day than anyone else could in a lifetime.
This song really sums it up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQJaZO2nfGg
congratulations on being changed for the better.

ECinked said...

Nella is so beautiful. You SHOULD feel blessed. Your story is amazing and very moving. I could read it over and over. Good luck mama!

Christina said...

I know just how you feel.
We were told when our son was 3 days old that they suspected DS and then my world fell apart. I thought. But it really did not. It sounds so cliche, but I promise, it is not bad at all!

Vincent will be 4 in May and he is the funniest kid ever. I love him to bits and pieces.

Best wishes,

Christina
Mom to Vincent (May 2006, DS), Edgar (Oct 2009)

joyq said...

I am so happy I just read this. Amazing. Thank you for sharing. God bless you and your family- joy

Renee said...

You are an amazing woman, and the perfect mother for Nella.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Halina Veratsennik said...

You are beautiful - you soul, your family... this story made me cry and also fall in love with my daughter again and again! Thank You!
I think you are perfect. Because you love and you are loved!

Jen said...

Nella's story has made it around the globe to Australia. So amazing, so beautiful and so much love.

Wishing you all so much joy and a long wonderful life with your two amazing girls.

hawkeye23 said...

I am so non-maternal it's not funny, but I'm sitting here in Melbourne, Australia, with tears running down my cheeks. What a beautiful birth story. Your daughters are just gorgeous. There are no words to say what I want to say...

E said...

Your story is so beautiful. God bless you and all your family, and thank you for sharing.

Amanda said...

Congratulations!! Your such a clever girl having two beautiful daughters like you have!
I am another stranger who was lucky enough to be sent here, your story has brought back such vivid memories of my own, you know it's taken me to many years to admitt those very same feelings. But what I really want to tell you is, you will do great honey! Nella will bring you such joy, more joy than you can ever imagine! Look at her sweet little face, she's a peach!! You have such amazing family and friends who will support you all the way, and don't worry about Lainey, she will always be that proud big sister and they will adore each other and play together just like in your dreams! :) xxx

Debbie said...

So amazing and beautiful. Your story is so precious - and the pictures - oh thank you for sharing your journey in pictures. I could just hug you and your little ones.

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful and real with such raw emotion. I shared my daughter's first night with her after finding out her daughter, Kiera, was microcephalic. We were told she may never walk or talk. We cried for hours and hours and still have moments when it is too tough to handle. But then there are moments when you just look at this beautiful child with a gorgeous smile and know she has a purpose in this world and she will touch people like no one else. God has blessed you tremendously. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but I loved reading your story. I'm a nurse and have been present at meetings where the doctors have to tell the family that their baby has Down's. This was such a great story to read from a parent's perspective. As a nurse you know that very likely the family's whose world has just been destroyed is going to get the point where they love that baby like no other, but it hurts to know how much pain there is going to be until that acceptance and love comes. Thank you for telling it honestly and with such great accompanying photos! Good luck to you and your beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

I love your story..it is LOVE!!! Love is not always easy but love is also the most powerful force on this earth!

Thank you very much for sharing...

The last photograph is absolutely enchanting!

Lee said...

My friend shared your blog with me. And I am writing as the big sister of a little girl who has ds. Your girls will be best friends, and there will be a bond like no other. I love your story. It made me bawl. She is beautiful and what a blessing.

Amanda Eller said...

"I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be." I am so inspired that you were courageous enough to tell your story. Brave enough to open up to the "world" and let your heart be on display. You have a gift for telling your story. I hope your family continues to be blessed beyond measure and you reach deep for love beyond words. God Bless you, your husband and your sweet girls.

Rob said...

Congratulations on the birth of beautiful Nella. Enjoy every moment of the blessed journey that your family has just begun.

mpomph said...

You have an amazing story to tell! you ae a very strong and wonderful mother. I would love to read more about your story. I am a special education teacher and I wish my parents were as involved and eager as you are. Please consider writing a book!
Thank you so much!!

Sarah said...

Motherhood is always surprising, no matter the details. Your story is wonderful, and Nella is gorgeous! Blessings to you as you walk this road together.

Anonymous said...

I found the link to your story on a message board. This beautiful story of your family is just amazing!! You have an awesome way with words that touch the heart. I truly felt the love reading your story. Congrats on your beautiful family!!

Joyce in the mts. said...

Oh gosh... she's a beauty! Her smiles are like precious jewels. What a wonderful big sister.

You are SO lucky and I feel so honored that I got to read such real and honest feelings in your words. Surrounding you and yours with joyful peace as the path unfolds to you all.

Blessings... Joyce

Kelli-Sue said...

I just found your blog thanks to a find linking to your daughters birth story. This is the most beautiful, raw, honest thing I have ever read. I was in tears by the end. No one has ever been this honest. My neice has special needs, she was born with Spina Bifida. They told us she would not live, she will be 5 next month, they also told us she would never walk, She took her first steps when she was 2 at physical therapy. B/c of her I am in graduate school for special education. I am very interested to see where your story goes. Thank you for sharing, I feel blessed to have read that.

-Kelli

Anonymous said...

God has blessed you greatly. You have a special gift, and you know it. Thank you for sharing her.

Anonymous said...

WOW, this made me cry. My wife is in the last month of pregnancy with our second child. What a beautiful story! I wish you the best and will remember this story forever.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You are one of the lucky few to have been given one of God's angels to love, cherish and learn from right here on earth. Your daughter will bless you and your family beyond your wildest dreams! She will teach you so much! We are so very happy for you! She is beautiful! Enjoy!

Rebecca said...

I'm pregnant and due in a few short weeks. Of course reading your post brought tears but I am just so proud of you and of the beautiful way you told Nella's story. You are an amazing person and beautiful mother. Nella and Lainey are blessed to have you and your husband and all your friends and family. The photos captured so much love and I wish you all the most wonderful journey full of blessings and light.

God Bless.

Sara said...

Kelle,
I don't know you but a friend of mine posted a link to this beautiful birth story on our mommies forum. My first thought was, "I love good birth stories"...however I had no idea the impact that reading your story would have on me. I've been struggling with post partum depression since I first got pregnant with my second daughter. however didn't realize it until a few months after she was born. I've been struggling with so many emotions over the last year and have been afraid to talk about them. Thanks to your beautiful amazing story and your amazing little angels I've been inspired & moved. I now feel that its ok for me to share what I've been going through and how I'm feeling. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You've helped me realize and reconfirm how precious my daughters are an how beautiful and precious life is. May god bless you and your amazing family and friends. and Thank you again. Enjoy your amazing new daughter. Nella is beautiful. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your story. I have a Nella, her name is Ella Grace. She is my world, and I love her so. I wept uncontrollably reading your blog, I'm not sure why, perhaps for the first time since Ella Grace's birth nineteen months ago. Downs children are simply angels. They are the sweetest, kindest, most loving children and Ella has touched my soul in ways I will never know. I hope Nella will do the same for your family. It seems she already has.

Congratulations. All my best to you, Brett, Lainey and Nella. May you all have a wonderful life.

Amanda said...

What a beautiful and truthful account of your beautiful daughter's birth! I know she will be such a constant source of joy for you and your family! Good luck as you embark on your new journey together.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but thank you. From one mom who has had to learn to redefine perfection to another....she is beautiful and she is perfect. Enjoy!

Ange said...

I came by via a dear friend of mine. My story is very similar to yours. Our precious Emily was born with Down syndrome and we had no clue until about four hours after her birth. Reading your story I found myself nodding and thinking "yes, I remember that". Emily turns three in one month. I will tell you this; it only gets better as the days go by. She is the most wonderful gift I have ever been given and I thank God every single day that he choose us to receive such a beautiful child.

Megz said...

Like many others who have posted I came across this blog by accident, just happenstance. I am so moved by your story. This was so touching to read and like others I have cried many tears to hear your beautiful, painfully honest, and deeply loving story.

Thank you for sharing this, I will share it with others because we can learn so much about unconditional love from you. Thank you thank you thank you.

Congratulations!

Smile! said...

You are an amazing person. Honesty is often the hardest thing to show to others. Thank you for writing your story for all of us to share. Your sister was right...God chose you for a reason. He knows what an amazing person you are and that you will be the most incredible parents that Nella could have found. Keep smiling. :-)

Christina said...

A beautifully written experience.

We are a very lucky few. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. What an amazing and inspirational story. I myself am pregnant and due in the end of March and have been told our son could possibly have down's. Your story has brought me to tears that won't stop. You have truely inspired me. Bless you and your beautiful family.

Emily Davidson said...

I heard from a couple of different people that I needed to read this. It took me a little while to work up the strength to do so since reading your story is like reliving my own. So difficult and so joyful at the same time. Emotions that only mothers like us can completely comprehend. My amazingly perfect Lexi was born in July of 2004. She is now a gorgeous 5 year old and my huggable bundle of sunshine! Even as I read this every time that I started to tear up she climbed into my lap and held my face in her hands and smiled at me. Life will never be the same...but I have learned that I would never want it to be! Congratulations, she is indeed perfect.

Sharon said...

Someone forwarded your blog to me today and I'm so glad they did. What a beautiful, beautiful story and what an amazing journey you have begun. And how very fortunate you are to have such an amazing pediatrician and such loving and supportive friends and family. You and your sweet Nella are SO loved. All my best to you and your wonderful family.

Cyndi said...

Everyone should be so lucky to get to have the love of a child who isn't like all the other children. Your family is truly blessed with the addition of sweet Nella and I wish you many years of happiness!

Tricia said...

This is a most beautiful tribute for a most beautiful little girl. You will surely found that the DS "world" is a small one, but a close knit one. I know because I, too, am the proud Mama of a little gal with DS. She just turned three.

In fact, reading this, I couldn't help but cry. I had a different experience in many ways, but oh...not entirely. Georgia, seeing my tears, came over to me and patted my leg and then climbed into my lap and wrapped her arms tightly around my neck. I never knew a little over three years ago what that could possibly feel like. She is my first child and boy did she turn me on my head! (She now has a little brother who turns me on my head for other reasons!)

Welcome to the world, Little Nella!

And congratulations to your whole family!

Brooke A said...

As I sit here with tears streaming down my face I cannot begin to tell you how moved I am by this story. I love how strong you are and how brave you to be so honest on how you felt. It so amazing how much someone you don't even know can move your soul and that is exactly what you did with your amazing story of love! Congrats on your family and I hope that you continue to be as strong as you are.

Amy said...

Good heavens. I'm a mess after reading that.

Our second son was diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) at my 20 week ultrasound. Unlike DS, T18 is "not compatible with life". We chose to carry him to term and he beat the odds and was born alive. We were blessed with a short time -much, MUCH too short- with him.

That first night though... that first agonizing night. I'm not sure if I wanted morning to come at all. I wanted to die that night and not have to face the heavy, heavy grief that was ready to overtake me. But, for my husband and 2 year old, I did face it. It's a journey.

Thank you for your story.

Nomi said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing and reminding us all of what life is all about. You have two beautiful, perfect daughters.

Team Carter Jay said...

Perfect story!

It mirrors my little guy, Carter's story very much. He doesn't have DS, but he does have a chromosomal disorder. I look forward to watching Nella grow :)

Deanna Momtchilov said...

As a birth doula and a mother of two with #3 on the way, your story melted my heart. My tears flowed freely. Not tears of sadness. It was as if I could FEEL your love through your story. Bless you and your family!

Heather said...

Here via a link from a board on babycenter. Your writing is gorgeous and your story is so, so moving. I didn't even stop to wipe the tears from my face, I had to keep reading.

Congratulations. It's wonderful to have two amazing, perfect daughters - I have them too. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi - congrats on the new baby and lovely blog and pictures. Not to spoil the surprise, but according to our own little one's schedule, here is an idea of where you will be with Nella in about 14 months.

You will love it if she would stop tipping over the trash cans and magazine holdder everyday in order to find more paper to eat. Rails will go up to keep her from plunging down the stairs as she may have a thing for heights. If she throws her bottle on the floor one more time you will think you might lose it. You will be eagerly waiting for her to be old enough for a spa day - even though that is still years away. You will catch the little kisses she blows and make a funny sound each time they land on your cheek. You will be busy picking out cute hand-me-downs from big sis to take on vacation. You will be thinking that she is so, so cute that her diagnosis, which mattered so much in the beginning, is really not an issue after all. You will wonder what you would do without her - because she will someday be the fourth to your golf foursome. You will wonder how old she has to be for your family to apply for the family version of the Amazing Race (the tv show...) You will realize that you were right in your supposition that your life will be different from what you expected with your newest addition, but different does not mean worse, and in most cases it means much better. You will pull yourself away from the blog world to get back to work. Again, congrats!

Alicia said...

Thank you for sharing your beautifully honest story. What a beautiful girl you are blessed with. Congratulations

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Thank-you for sharing your story with such honesty. What a blessing that beautiful little girl is!

DC's DIVAlicious DIVA said...

Oh my! What an amazing story and it really made me cry really hard at work. You are truly brave and I wish you and your family the best!!!! Congrats on two beautiful daughters :)

Anonymous said...

Normally, while my two children nap, I sleep too. Today, my best friend sent me a link to your blog and told me I had to read it. I am so glad that I did. What a beautiful story teller you are and how lucky your girls are to have a mama like you! The part that brought me to tears was when Lainey came to visit and her sweet, proud smile. I remember that same look on my daughter's face when she met her brother, and I remember wondering how I would ever love someone as much as I loved that little girl. And, somehow, I did. Thank you for sharing your story. I can't wait to hear more. Kiss those girls from a stranger in Michigan!

Chrystal said...

I always wondered what it would have been like if I had chronicled all of the emotions of my daughter's birth and learning of her diagnosis. While painful, it was the beginning of a journey. You are very fortunate to have such loving friends and family...in addition to your two wonderfully beautiful girls. I wish you all the best and I envy your freedom.

eclaireskaggs said...

What a sweet, sweet little bunny you have! I'm so proud of you for taking time to write that down- pouring your whole heart into it- and leaving out nothing. You'll never regret it. On May 1, 2008, we had a surprise with the birth of our son, Seth. I knew the minute I saw him, before anyone else did, that he had DS. I felt everything you felt and cried all over again in reading your account. I echo what so many have commented to you- you are so very blessed to have sweet Nella in your life. She was chosen for you and for Brett and for Lainey. I'm excited to see her grow up.....here's a snapshot of our little guy at his first birthday. I could talk to you for HOURS about how much we've enjoyed him, but it's all in the blog. Enjoy your precious girls!

http://skaggsportal.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/05/seths-birthday.html

All the best- Emily

Samantha said...

Your story touched me...... That is my fear... to have a baby with DS but I feel I would have the strength as well to get through it just as you did.... I am due March 4th 2010 but thankfully she doesn't have down syndrome...... God bless you for your courage and your hope and your love for her and the love of others around you..... GOD BLESS YOU AND NELLA ( what a BEAUTIFUL name)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the birth of a beautiful little girl! She is truly lucky to have you as her mother :) your story is very touching, i cried while reading it. May God bless you and your family!!!

Anonymous said...

I sat at my computer and cried and cried when I read this. Your story is absolutely beautiful. Your daughter is so lucky to have you as her mother. Congratulations to you and your family!

Michelle

Lisa said...

This is just so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, I started crying with the very first words of your post and with that last picture just have the biggest smile.
Congrats!

Sanchez said...

This is the most beautiful thing I have ever read. You are such a beautiful person who is mother to two of the most beautiful children I have laid eyes on. I have never met you, but I love you and my prayers are with you and yours.

Amber said...

I just got a link to your blog today. What a beautiful story. Thank you! You have a perfect, beautiful family. What an amazing woman you are and what an amazing husband you have! You have two beautiful daughters! Congratulations! May God bless you in your journey through life! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

Kelly said...

The photos are absolutely stunning! Congrats on the birth of your little beauty, that was an amazing story, I am totally inspired (and in tears).

Mel said...

Wow. What a beautiful story and even more beautiful story. I wish you and your family as much joy as we have had from our Luke.

MommyTwo2 said...

That was an amazing story...It touched my heart, I cried with you as I read your story! Thank you for sharing!

Ellie... said...

Wow what a beautiful story! You are amazing and your family is beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I shed tears when you wrote about your daughter coming in and showing you unconditional love, that was powerful!

..Soo.See.. said...

Wow.. this is just beautiful. Nella is beautiful and so is Lainey. What an amazing story. Congratulations on your lovely daughters.

attached2mykids@yahoo.com said...

Oh, my word. I have not cried at a birth story harder than I have at yours. What beautiful words! God bless you and your wonderful family!

Kelli said...

Thank you for sharing your "story"...I cried my way through your entire, beautiful post. I felt like I relived my entire birth moment with my son Colin because I could FEEL your words. As I sit here and type this, I have this chill that runs up and down my spine because I KNOW, I UNDERSTAND your words...

...Your daughter is so absolutely beautiful...

Someone stopped me today that I have never met and told me that Colin was special like her Johnny. She said..."you know, special babies are born to very special people" and touched my face and moved on. She "touched" me today in more ways the one, just like your words have also touched me today. I feel it...

...I look forward to following your story...

I'm on a very similar journey and share it at http://loveforcolin.blogspot.com.

Kelli said...

Thank you for sharing your "story"...I cried my way through your entire, beautiful post. I felt like I relived my entire birth moment with my son Colin because I could FEEL your words. As I sit here and type this, I have this chill that runs up and down my spine because I KNOW, I UNDERSTAND your words...

...Your daughter is so absolutely beautiful...

Someone stopped me today that I have never met and told me that Colin was special like her Johnny. She said..."you know, special babies are born to very special people" and touched my face and moved on. She "touched" me today in more ways the one, just like your words have also touched me today. I feel it...

...I look forward to following your story...

I'm on a very similar journey and share it at http://loveforcolin.blogspot.com.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the birth of your perfect baby girl. I have never felt so moved and inspired, and wish nothing but the best for you and your beautiful family. You are an amazing mother.

*TaraB* said...

Beautiful
Thank you
You have two amazingly sweet babies!

Anonymous said...

Your story is amazing. Your girls are beautiful and what a beautiful Mama they have.
I'll go wipe my eyes now.
Congratulations!

Momma V said...

I've never read a blog that had this much emotion. You have the most amazing story and Nella is absolutely beautiful! Congratulations to you and your family!!! I wish all of you nothing but the best!

Anonymous said...

You're the reason why I know that there is a God. You're honest, pure, sweet, kind, and you're a wonderful mother! May God bless you! Your life will be great!

Rochelle said...

Beautiful story, thanks for sharing.

Welcome to the world Nella you are amazingly beautiful. We look forward to seeing you grow.

Jill said...

I've never seen so many comments on a blog post before! Wow what an amazing and beautiful story! And you're right, I do want to leave a comment, even though you have hundreds of them and may never see this one or know it's here. But in case you get to this one comment...I just want to put in writing what you probably already know...that all of us out here in blog-land love your little bunny. oh her sweet and lovely little face just took my breath away! Those last few photos....ahhhwwww-sweetness!

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MTGrace said...

You don't know me, but I found this link from BabyCenter.com. What a beautifully sweet story! You are truly lucky to be the mom of a Down Syndrome baby. I had the privilege of growing up with two kids with DS. They are the sweetest, most loving children you can ever meet - the closest things to angels we get here on Earth.

I had an interesting sensation in reading your post. I realized that I am fully prepared to hear the words "Your baby has Down Syndrome." I had always believed that my sister would have a DS baby. Sadly, she passed away without being able to have children. If the Good Lord chooses to send me a DS child on her behalf, I will feel completely privileged. So at this point, I'm actually jealous of you. :)

All my love to your beautiful little Nella.

The Paskins Family said...

Hi Kelle,
Thank you so much for writing this. I am really crying after reading it as it very closely relates to my story. The part that is so different for me is that I did not adjust nearly as quickly as you. You are a strong woman!

I have 2 boys - my older is 3 and the younger, Nate, is 13 months and has Down syndrome. I adore them both!

Welcome to this very exclusive club! You will meet some amazing people and will grow in ways you never expected.

If you're interested, my blog is: www.foreverbetter.blogspot.com

Thanks for sharing your story!
Danielle

tumbleweed said...

I just lost my dear, sweet dad two days after Christmas. I am also carrying our first child, a baby girl.

I have been so overwhelmed with grief that I have barely noticed her kicks, the ultrasound photo's I used to be excited about or progress since he passed away.

Although I still have a long way to go before I am able to live without my daddy, I know I am heading in the right direction.

Thank you for inspiring the healing to begin.
What a beautiful beginning.

Love, Christene

ETS said...

She is breathtaking! Congrats!!!!

Michelle R. Slape said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You have warmed my heart. My (now) 3 year old has Down Syndrome also and he is the best blessing in my life.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful inspiring!

Faith said...

Today is my daughter's birthday. Three years ago was the worst day of my life. Those who are in Italy don't understand, but for us who've landed in Holland (http://www.our-kids.org/Archives/Holland.html), we can identifiy with the loss of a dream.

Thank you for your honesty and bravery by sharing this story....it's just what I needed today.

Here's to Windmills :)

Jen :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. Congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous daughter!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. Congratulations on the birth of your gorgeous daughter!

Emily said...

I truly loved reading this and honestly it was like an answer to a prayer for me at this time. My sweet girl Macy (with DS) was born a bit over 2 years ago, and tomorrow I will deliver her little sister. As I prepare to welcome MY second girl, many of the difficult memories of her birth have come flooding back. Your story was mine in so many ways.

I know that you will be just fine, no WAY better than fine. The love that you have is so strong already and will continue to grow and grow as your sweet baby does and shows you more each day who she is.

Thank you for being brave to share your Nella. It has been passed to so many and really opened a lot of hearts, especially those who fear having a child like ours. You are already a voice to many! A club that rarely anyone wants to join but if you happen to do so, find that it is a great place to be.

I hope you don't mind if I continue to share your story to my own friends and family!

Angie said...

What a beautiful family. Thankyou for sharing your story.

Clare said...

She is beautiful. They are beautiful. And so is your story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

She IS beautiful and perfect! My daughter has Down syndrome too and you are so blessed, your life will never be the same in the most wonderful way. Thank you for sharing and congratulations.

Anonymous said...

You are an incredibly wonderful mother. Your girls are beautiful. This story made me cry tears of joy. there is nothing like a mother's love... and nothing like the love of your baby to make you realize what really matters in life. May God bless you all! you will be in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

That was so amazing to read. Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing! My fourth baby is named Lainey, your daughter is the only one I've ever heard of :)

Emily said...

That was so amazing to read. Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing! My fourth baby is named Lainey, your daughter is the only one I've ever heard of :)

DownTownDan said...

I would very much like to know you. Please visit my blog. Send me an email. I think we would have a lot to talk about:

downwithoz.blogspot.com

Mommy Gator said...

Your story is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this with the world! Nella is beautiful! She is so blessed to have a mother like you! I love how honest and raw this was! My eyes were filled with tears! Thank you again! God Bless you all!!

Anonymous said...

I'm yet another stranger, incredibly blessed by your beautiful story. Thank you so much for taking the time to give this gift of your love, and your hope. I'm currently 17 weeks pregnant and your story touched me deeply. Like so many expectant mothers I've struggled to fend off worries and fears for my baby and for our future life together. Your story inspired me to love - deep, desperate love for my unborn child. And tonight I cannot wait to meet our little one ... just as he or she is. Thank you.

no1pearlgirl said...

Hi, You don't know me, I found a link to your story.
Thank You immeasuarably for sharing your journey.
I cried and dried, cried and dried, sobbed, and smiled throughout your retelling. It is perfectly raw account many wouldn't dare express, the first moments of grief or loss or nothingness before you come to terms with your precious perfect treasured cargo - and love her you do!
Even the way you treasure your pregnancy is something special I only dream about having as time goes on (5.5 months now)

Thank You sincerely.
Today I grew

Anonymous said...

She is so beautiful, you are one lucky momma!! both your girls are just so precious! I am sure you have read this before but this (taken from a down syndrome site) has helped me many times over the years....
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Anonymous said...

She is so beautiful, you are one lucky momma!! both your girls are just so precious! I am sure you have read this before but this (taken from a down syndrome site) has helped me many times over the years....
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Colton's Journey said...

WOW. I cried while reading that amazing-raw-honest-beautiful story. We don't choose our children they are chosen for us. The photography is awesome. what great memories and the way that your friend captured the moment is breathtaking.

my family said...

Thisis the most beautiful post I have ever read. I have been crying (ok really sobbing) more than half way through...my family wants tok now what is wrong ha ha.
You have 2 beautiful little girls and they will have such a special bond as they grow older.
Your little one is a doll and you are all so blessed to have one another.

Shauna said...

Beautiful!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

this is one of the most beautiful things i've ever read.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your beautiful family and thank you for this amazing story that brought tears to my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Your daughters are beautiful!

Shawna said...

You don't know me, I don't know you...but your story touched my heart and soul. I sit here crying tears of joy for you and your family. Congratulations on your precious miracle and your beautiful perfect family. God bless!

Anonymous said...

Your story is probably the most raw, honest, and beautiful stories I have ever had the priviledge to read. Both of your daughters are perfect and beautiful. Thank you more than you'll ever know for sharing your story. You are an amazing woman.

Anonymous said...

You, your daughters, your friends & family, your story...it is all beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

Sarah said...

My sister just emailed me a link to your blog and prepped me to grab a tissue. But oddly I didn't cry, I smiled. I smiled while reading the entire post because I felt there was something wonderful happening, and there was. Your baby bunny is absolutely beautiful and perfect in every way! As a nursery RN and IBCLC I've had the privilege of working with many moms who have stories similar to yours. Please know that you are in my prayers. God has entrusted you with an angel. If you ever need to talk I'm just a click away.
God's blessings today and always,
Sarah :)

Lisa said...

What a wonderful story, I am touched! I, too, am a mommy to two girls (2 and 9 months). Congratulations on your sweet Nella's birth and may your heart continue to grow with love for that precious baby. You, and your daughters, are beautiful. Enjoy this special new time as a family of four!!!

Morgan said...

Reading your story ripped open an old wound, one still freshly healed. My "Bear" (Barrett) is 14 months old and is the most beautiful and precious gift I've ever been given. You are right to say there are still a lot of tears to come but there is joy unbounded...love and joy I never knew I could feel. I grieve in stages for the child that could have been, but I rejoice daily for the child that is. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and your honest experience.

Busted said...

Thank you so much for sharing this...such a beautifully written memory. Congratulations on you beautiful, sweet little Nella. You've made me fall in love with her too.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your sweet little girl! You have a gorgeous family, and what luck that four souls found each other perfectly in this world. I wish you a lifetime of only good things.

Anonymous said...

You took me back, back to the day we welcomed our "bunny". The fear, the desperation, the redemption. My god, it was like you lived in me and wrote my very experience. I thank you thank you thank you for putting into words what I never could. For reminding me where we started and seeing where we are now, for your honesty and true love for your daughters. God bless you and your babies. The best days are yet to come, honest.

Belly said...

A friend posted the link to your blog and this was my reply:

I am a freaking MESS. What a beautiful, heartbreaking, life-affirming, PERFECT beginning.

Your friend's friend has many gifts, Mandy. Nella, of course. But oh, her ability to share her deepest heart this way, to wrap her own heart and words around me and wring me, a stranger, into tears. Wow.

And that photo? Of a smiling bunny? I want to frame it and hang it in my own home, own life, own heart. She is Heaven, smiling.

Kristine said...

I honestly think that is the most beautiful post I've ever read. Thank you for sharing her with us.

Angela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angela said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

I honestly can say that I have not cried that hard about a birth story other than my own. It is so eerily similar to my second son's birth that I just still cannot stop crying. I am due w/my third son in seven weeks, and all these emotions and memories are just still amazingly fresh.

Wow. Just wow.

From one blessed mama to another.

:)

Karen said...

What a beautiful story and a beautiful family. Thank you for your honesty and courage to share. Congratulations! Both of your girls are so perfect, so loved, and so lucky to have such a wonderful mother with such a lovingly unconditional heart.

stephanie said...

Someone passed this post on.I'm thankful they did.

Welcome to the club! The club no one asks to be in, but once you're in, you can't live without.

Keep writing your beautiful story.
Nella is a gem!

Ana said...

Amazing story. I have felt everything you did when my daughter was Dx'd with a neurological condition that makes her blind among other things. Keep your chin up, Mama. I can't promise it will be easy, but it will always be rewarding.

I have a couple of stories that got me through my rocky parts. If you're interested, look up "The Special Mother" by Erma Bombeck and 'Welcome to Holland."

Enjoy that little girl!

Emily said...

What a beautiful, true, and honest story. Blessings to you, your family, and your beautiful Nella.

~Em~

Jennie said...

Kelle, that's the most beautifully-written birth story I've ever read. And though we had a prenatal diagnosis with our sweet Micah (25mos old tomorrow), I remember those days in bold color.

Micah has a big brother, who was a bit over 2 years old when Micah was born. I had miscarried twins in between them and then endured a long 11 months before we conceived Micah. For many reasons, I know that he, specifically, is the child God wanted in our family.

Micah is also a big brother to another boy (surprise!) who turned one yesterday. So Micah is sort of like the inside of a sandwich that someone else made for you. It's much yummier than the sandwich you were planning on making. Doesn't a sandwich always taste better when someone else makes it? :-)

Anyway... I grieved the loss of all the plans I made in my mind about our family. And it took time for me to see how much of my desires were based on our society's views of perfection.

Micah lights up a room. You can't help but be drawn to his infectious smile. I wish I had known about that part of him a long time ago. But then, it wouldn't have been the same journey, would it?

Nella is absolutely beautiful. I look forward to reading more of your journey.

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful memoir you have written. I loved reading it. You put into words so beautifully how I felt when my son was diagnosed with Autism. God bless you and your family. You're precious daughters are so blessed to have you as their mother!

Casey said...

What a truely amazing story. You are amazing. Your daughters are amazing.....Thank you for sharing your story.

Grateful for Grace said...

This is truly the most beautiful birth story I have ever read. It defines motherhood. It defines love. It defines family.

You persevered through the self... to the real love. Congratulations.
On that successs. And on the beautiful daughter that you truly were chosen to raise.

It's obvious why.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the birth of your darling little girl! I am a fourth grade teacher in a small school in Indiana. I have had one student with Down syndrome in my classroom. Believe me, he taught me and my class so much...how to accept; how to love unconditionally; how to enjoy life just for the pure sake of enjoying it. We have a group called DSANI (Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana). Each October, we walk on the first Saturday to raise funds for research, etc. It is the most uplifting experience for me and my students. They see that people with Down syndrome are people first and people with Down syndrome second. My little guy's mom came in and spoke to our grade level about how much more alike he is to them than different. This spoke volumes. Just remember, you were chosen for this gift...that makes you pretty special indeed!

Anonymous said...

Your story is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I read it with tears streaming down my face.

Stacy
Salem, OR

Trish said...

This is the most amazingly beautiful, honest, brave, wonderful birth story I've ever read.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, her story and the amazingly beautiful pictures.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks this is one of the most horrifying things I have ever read? Here I was thinking...oh no, oh no, she's lost her child. Her child died during labor or shortly thereafter. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that it was Down Syndrome. Not death. Not life threatening. Not a death sentence...

This is a slap in the face to those of us who have walked the road of pregnancy and FULL TERM STILLBIRTH. When we thought we would be taking our children home with us, we left without them.

I am just completely flabbergasted that you would build up the beginning of the post, I really thought your child had died.

And now, you have her home with you. What grief is worse than the death of a child?

I'm sorry she's not what you expected and you probably are grieving the loss of expectations.

Seriously, though, this was such a slap in the face to those of us who walk the road of infant death.

I'm truly disgusted.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks this is one of the most horrifying things I have ever read? Here I was thinking...oh no, oh no, she's lost her child. Her child died during labor or shortly thereafter. I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that it was Down Syndrome. Not death. Not life threatening. Not a death sentence...

This is a slap in the face to those of us who have walked the road of pregnancy and FULL TERM STILLBIRTH. When we thought we would be taking our children home with us, we left without them.

I am just completely flabbergasted that you would build up the beginning of the post, I really thought your child had died.

And now, you have her home with you. What grief is worse than the death of a child?

I'm sorry she's not what you expected and you probably are grieving the loss of expectations.

Seriously, though, this was such a slap in the face to those of us who walk the road of infant death.

I'm truly disgusted.

amig said...

Your daughters are beautiful and so are you. Thank you so much for sharing.

lauren morrison said...

I was so touched by your story. That was my story last April. I am so thankful that your were brave enough to share this! It helps to know that we are not alone. I thought your story was beautiful. I can truly empathize with you. I feel nothing but joy now. Thank you again for sharing!

Sean and Sierra said...

To the anonymous person who wrote the HORRIBLE message a few post up: you are a sick and horrible person for writing what you wrote and you obviously have ZERO sympathy in your heart for other people. You disgust me!

To Kelle,
I think you are wonderful for being so honest. Your post brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Thank you for talking about this. I work in special education and my special needs students bring me great joy and I know that Nella will forever bring happiness to your home!

Veronica said...

Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this. You are truly a lucky and blessed woman. Your daughter Nella is so beautiful. I am just bawling right now.

Rachel said...

What amazing and beautiful honesty. Your courage has moved and inspired so many.

Eve and Milo's Mom said...

What an amazing birth story. Your daughters are so beautiful.

Kara said...

This was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Mandy said...

I found your post from a friend. I needed your story tonight. Thank you so much for sharing. You have two beautiful daughters.

Anonymous said...

You are AMAZING with your honesty and rawness and your GIRLS are BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations on your new addition!

Wendy said...

Your words are beautiful, as are those photos, but especially your family!

Much love to you all.

x

Cameron said...

I don't know you and I've never even been to your blog before, but I came here tonight after seeing a link on Twitter. I sobbed my way through this story and just had to thank you for telling it. It is brave and wonderful and beautiful and true. Congratulations on your beautiful girls and your new journey!

Anonymous said...

I think you are one of the most beautiful, amazing, and graceful women if ever be blessed to know of. You were chosen to take on this challenge because you are so strong. This post has been more of an inspiration to me that you can ever possibly know.

Many prayers and blessing to you and your perfect family for years and years to come.

Happily Ever After said...

"Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me."

Your whole birth story moved me to tears but those words I quoted above are what really stood out. What a blessing this little one will be to you and your family and what a lucky girl she is to have you for her mama!

You have such a way with words, thank you so much for sharing such a sacred experience with the many hearts you've touched.

Happily Ever After said...

"Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me."

Your whole birth story moved me to tears but those words I quoted above are what really stood out. What a blessing this little one will be to you and your family and what a lucky girl she is to have you for her mama!

You have such a way with words, thank you so much for sharing such a sacred experience with the many hearts you've touched.

Brandi said...

Thank God for people like you Kelle. Nella is so beautiful and this story of her birth is still making me cry. I have never felt such an amazing feeling before. It is the sheer love of God, and that is exactly what you have in your life... His love. I hope you feel that always! Thank you for having this open to share with everyone! May your life always be filled with sun and joy.
Much love,
Brandi Pitts

«Oldest ‹Older   201 – 400 of 4000   Newer› Newest»