We’re getting there.

I’ve sat down to write her birth story about six times now and every time, I just sit and cry. Because there are no words for the beauty, for the magic, for the way our hearts were metamorphosized. Tomorrow, it will be one week. And sometimes it seems like it was ten years ago and sometimes just yesterday. I’ve never wanted to remember something more. Tomorrow, one week later, I will write. I will write until I can’t remember anything more.

I brought a book of the story of Lainey’s birth to the hospital to read to her after Nella was born. In it are the beautiful photos of Brett and I smiling and crying holding Lainey in our arms just moments after she was born. The night after Nella was born, I found the book, opened to that page and shook with painful tears. Cried until it literally hurt, repeating through sobs, “I wanted that. I wanted that so bad.” The loss of that dream I built up in my mind was so painful, I grieved it like a death.

And tonight, I can honestly tell you, I cry painful tears because all I want to do is go back to that moment she was born and relive it…because now I see it with such profound beauty. I will never forget the moment she was born and I will never forget the look on her face when her eyes met mine…just begging me to love her. And it was so hard. So very hard to take it in and to accept that this baby was the same baby I dreamed of…the same baby I cried thirty some weeks before when I saw her little heartbeat after I thought I lost her…the same baby in that beautiful belly I proudly rubbed my hands over every night. I couldn’t grasp it. I’ve debated admitting that, thinking perhaps it’s unfair to Nella to acknowledge that I wasn’t instantly bonded. I kissed her…oh, did I kiss her. But, I didn’t feel it. And that’s so hard to say, but I’d be lying if I didn’t and the truth and rawness of her story is what makes it beautiful. It is a journey. A love journey.

Oh, what a week has done. My heart has been excrutiatingly twisted with love for this little soul. I can’t put her down, I can’t stop pressing my lips against her little eyelids and just holding them there. I can’t stop wetting her warm perfect skin with tears. I can’t stop whispering in her ear that she’s changed me for good and that I’ll never be able to thank her for that. And I can’t stop looking at my beautiful first born and weeping with gratitude that she will know a love like no other…and I just keep thinking how lucky we are to be this blessed.

I just want to close my eyes and go back. Because for a good 24 hours, my life froze while beautiful events evolved around me…and I missed them. I need to relive it. I want to refeel it. There is so much I need to write about…so many things that happened this past week that are divinely inspired and wonderful and perfect. So much pain and hurt…but the good kind that is necessary and purposeful to reveal a more beautiful ‘us’ in the end.

…and we did it. …and we’re doing it. …and we’re going to do it.

In the meantime, there is our home and the beauty unfolding in it.

I drank my coffee this morning out of the pregnant pottery mug I made just a couple weeks ago. And I had forgotten as I sipped the last bit that I had painted her name in the inside. As the puddle of coffee cleared away to reveal her name, I smiled. Little did I know sweet Nella was what was hiding under everything…all this time.

Our Lainey, besides a few potty accidents the past few days, has accepted this new path of life beautifully.

And I have been witness to the beauty of her sisterly love…almost mystical.

Throughout the pregnancy, we’d ask her if she was going to share things with Baby Nella. The answer was always ‘yes’ except when it came to Puppy. She always stopped there…”No. Mine Puppy.” …to which we assured her that was perfectly okay. She didn’t have to share Puppy. On the way home from the hospital, I sat in the back with my girls (oh, I said it. My Girls.) and watched as Lainey quietly and softly took her puppy and laid it on top of our little bunny. Every morning since, she wakes up, peeks over to see Nella and gives her the Puppy.

Yes, our little bunny is bringing so much beauty to so many places, and I’m so proud of how Lainey is taking it in.

…and both my girls had their morning baths from their grandparents this morning. How wonderful it’s been to have both my parents here for this beautiful week.

Things are going well. There are emotional breakdowns here and there, and there are times where I suddenly realize…what just happened? …but, mostly, there is so much love.

The e-mails and messages…oh, what can I possibly say? I want to take time to write everyone back…to tell you just how very much every one has meant. And I will. In time. Just a resounding ‘thank you’ for now. I have new eyes for all the good in the world. There are just so many people who are good and loving.

I am wedged between two sleeping girls beckoning my cuddles, and my eyes are heavy.
…so with that, I shall say…goodnite.


Leave a Comment
  1. Kelle, your beautiful girls, how blessed you are. You have this way with words that makes someone (like me) who has never met you, feel like they know you, we get to really get a peak into your heart.

    You are so strong and I admire you beyond words.

    Bless, Justine

  2. With great difficulty I flew back to Michigan tonight…looking down on little lights and knowing one of them marks the house of my babies…how blessed I was to be there…how blessed I am to be connected…how blessed I am to look forward with confidence and anticipation…It’s gonna’ be alright. And when I got to Detroit…and walked across a desolate terminal lobby (it was midnight) a man stood up and started walking toward me…and it was my brother, Dale, Nella’s great uncle…who came…driving hours…just to hug me and warm my welcome on a very cold night. Love happens. Thank you, Nella. Thank you, Dale.

  3. In response to not feeling that bond instantly. I had a son that was medically “normal”, no surprises, no problems, great pregnancy and delivery, he was my first, and it took a while for me to feel bonded. Now, he is my life, the center of it and the reason, I believe, I’m here. To be his Mama. But it took me days (a week maybe) to feel that move the earth and moon love. I was afraid there might be something wrong with me, but then I realized, we all feel things different ways and that’s okay. There is no denying that you love with wild abandon and that your girls (YOUR GIRLS!!!) will feel your love and never feel anything less than one million percent of love. Your words are amazing, your photos breathtaking, your love for them felt and as moving as an earthquake. I sometimes think I wish I was a Mama like you and envy your girls for the life you are giving them, but then we all must be different. We all must have something special that makes us stand apart. For you, it’s obvious that you are an extraordinary Mother. Your girls will have their own thing too. And I think I’m okay with my thing, whatever it might be! Thank you for sharing your life with us, strangers as we might be, we too love your girls and your family and look forward to seeing this beautiful adventure unfold. And we will hit refresh until the computer yells at us “nothing new yet” and wait until you are ready to share more.

  4. so honest and so beautiful…
    i love these photos of your girls, so full of love

  5. Dear Kelle,

    Thank you for your beautiful words and photos. They are always beautiful and heartfelt.

    I love the story of the puppy. Very sweet.

    And, the story of Nella’s pottery mug. I remember reading when you painted it – and wondering about name hidden within.

    I don’t know you, and we are thousands of miles apart, but I hope it helps you to know that you and your girls give a lot of joy, and are sent a lot of positive energy and loving thoughts in return.

    Take care,

    Linda (New Zealand)

  6. Kelle, thank you for your honesty. It is okay that you didn’t immediately feel it. The mind is a strange thing, and does what is necessary to cope with things that are just so hard to grasp at that moment. You needed time, let yourself off the hook, it’s okay. Nella will forgive you those first few hours, I promise. She is so precious! I think it’s okay for you to still grieve what you imagined. I am a divorced mom of two little girls, and I tell you when I look back at their baby books and see the pics of my ex and I holding them, I too cry the loss of what I pictured my life being. I am torn up at what none of us knew at that time! But cliche as it sounds, I have gone on to remarry a man and have a “blended” family and life is beautiful. Different than I imagined, but beautiful none the less, and it’s mine and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. You are going to be fine-it’s okay to be sad though. Thanks for the gorgeous photos.

  7. WOW! The new pictures of your babes are beautiful. I’m at school and can’t help but pull up your blog every 10 minutes. Your photos leave a HUGE smile on my face. Hope your day is great :) XOXOXO

  8. scottnaples says:

    Oh my goodness! I can almost feel Nella’s soft newborn skin through my computer screen! She is yummy! Big sister is a natural . . . the way she has Nella cradled in her arms. You are blessed with two beautiful daughters. Take care of yourself Kelle!
    xoxo Deb.

  9. I couldn’t wait to see more pictures of your girls. The love shines through your words and pictures.

  10. I didn’t think I could love any more than I did. But I do. With every blogpost, every text, every email, every word, every tear, I love you more.

  11. We all knew that Lainey has a heart like you, but that story about her puppy is too much. What a sweetheart! Priceless!

  12. Kelle,
    I’ve been following your blog now for about a year…we’ve never met however I feel a strong connection to you and your beautiful family. Reading your blog is like watching fire – very hard to look away from pure, raw moments in life. When I first read the news of Nella’s birth, I wept. First for you, because as a Mom I can imagine your frustration and pain and fear…and then I wept tears of joy for Nella. Because she has indeed found her angel on earth that will guide her through this life…stamp this onto your heart and know that this wondrous wee being loves you beyond what words could ever describe. Wishing you as much love and peace as your shoulders can carry, Janita

  13. Those pictures of your girls…SISTERS…precious. Lainey’s heart is clearly following the great example of her Mama. They are blessed in so many ways. Your honesty is refreshing. The world needs to learn a small portion of your genuineness…we would all be better people!! Patiently (at least striving towards patience) waiting to read the full story…the pain and joy and tears…and love!

  14. Kelle:

    I just found your blog this week thanks to Nici (dig this chick) and I want to say thank you for sharing your Life with those of us on the other side of this interweb. You have two beautiful daughters!


  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing your life with family, friends and us perfect strangers. Your girls….just beautiful.

  16. Anonymous says:

    BREATHTAKING photos! Lainey and Nella–radiate love! You so inspire me to love more, enjoy more and just BE more–you are a rare and beautiful woman– I feel blessed to know you and look so forward to following this journey you take with your family!
    Jenn Smith

  17. The pictures show it all. The love that you and your family have. As I have wrote, you are an inspiration to all mothers. I agree with Elissa, the world needs a lot more of your presence in it. The world would definitely be a better place. I, too, check your blog everyday with anticipation of reading your journey. Thank you for sharing.

    April (Elissa’s Cousin)

  18. Anonymous says:

    Dear Kelle,

    Thank you for the photos.Your girls are so beautiful!!!
    Ever since Friday I have been going on your blog a few times a day to check if there are any new posts. I speak to my sister everyday (she is the one who made “welcome to Holland” comment) and since Nella’s birth every conversation we have your name comes up. We are just so amazed and inspired by you.

    Happy one week birthday Nella!!! Your family is amazing!!!


  19. Oh the toes! What is it about babies feet and toes?

    Kelle, your sentence…..”So much pain and hurt…but the good kind that is necessary and purposeful to reveal a more beautiful ‘us’ in the end.”….says it all.

    I so look forward to Nella’s birth story, told through your tears of love.

    Bug’s & Ruby’s Gram

  20. I can see it happening – how quickly it has! She has settled herself right in the middle of things – the thick of things – hasn’t she. That’s beauty. I love it how babies naturally and without any humility whatsoever, just place themselves smack dab front and center in our lives. You know? Like, “yes, I’m here, and now you must treat me like royalty and answer to my every beck and call.” And they’re so soft and pink and beautiful that we DO. haha. I just love that. Kelle the way you write, it brings us all a little closer to ourselves. I don’t know if that makes sense. It’s about not keeping up the facade, you know? Life is beautiful.

  21. PRESH!!!!!! and your writing is soooo ahhhhh—-mazing!!!! Thank you for sharing! I am switching to digital scrapbooking this weekend and I thank you for inspiring me! God Bless your completed family!!!
    : ) Keri

  22. Thank you for telling your beautiful story to us Kelle. You are an amazing women, full of life and love. We are all truly blessed to personally know you and to take the journey with you through your posts. Your honesty and raw emotion are truly inspiring. Much love, health and happiness to you all.

  23. So happy to see more precious photos! Even my daughter keeps asking me if you have made anymore posts and is falling in love with your two littles..

    I am so glad “Poppa” had a surprise hug waiting for him, I can’t imagine how hard it was for him have to go home.

    Your doing great, you should be a proud momma.


  24. it felt so good to hear your post, i am just now realizing that the truth is really the only thing that heals us. and you tell it so beautifully. i too would like to go back a relive bayley’s birth, because i too felt like i missed something through all the worry and pain(not knowing if she was going to live and my husband being in iraq). maybe we can start a group. different situations i know, but same outcome. love.
    anyways, thank you again for your words and sharing your precious girls. you are blessed. reading your blog is even more feel good than those “chicken soup for the soul” books. take care mama.

  25. …So BEAUTIFUL and your baby girls are adorable. Makes me want to have a baby…Hopefully soon I will meet Lainey and Nella in person soon….I feel like your family already…since your so close to my “womb mate”…lol

  26. oh … you just had to tell the hormonal woman the puppy story.
    i will think of that all day.

    lainey is a perfect big sister.

    your girls. i like the sound of that, too.

  27. Stop making me cry! :) I can’t stop crying and tearing up when I read your blog! What you have shared thus far is such a beautiful story. I am dying to hear the rest of Nella’s wonderful birth story. I will make sure I have Kleenex on hand though and that my tears don’t spill over onto the laptop and mess it up. hehe She is so beautiful and I wish I was there to hold her. Well done on “your girls” :)

  28. Look at YOUR words just a few weeks ago talking about Brett going to Chicago and how strong you are…I feel like you’re foreshadowing here and talking about your future self and all that is to come after 01-22-10 at 4:24pm…

    “…and it’s taken me awhile to grasp it all, but i have finally arrived at the grown-up place of life is what you make it and there are lots of things in life we go through that aren’t comfortable or ideal, but they could be so incredibly worse, and a simple life of comfort does nothing to change us, mold us, make us into better, stronger more beautiful versions of ourselves.

    i am sad, yes. and we will both be incredibly challenged to make things work…but i know we can.

    i have been reminded so much these past couple weeks of just how wonderfully blessed we are and the older i get, the more i embrace change as opportunity to learn just what i am capable of.

    i am capable of so much. and i am excited at the opportunity of new challenges, more love and remembering to take the garbage out on tuesday and friday nights from now on.

    “humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn’t all that comfortable. and even if they secretly want for something better.”
    ~donald miller

    perhaps i had been planted for too long and this little bit of discomfort will challenge me, in my thirty-first year, to push myself more toward new chapters in the story of our life.

    they will be good chapters.

    the last few days have been such a snowballing of emotions and contemplations and yes, hormones, to settle me into a contended of place of so-be-it. life flows on, and i want to experience every tide, every wave, every calm with purpose.”

    I think this is profound that you wrote this just a few weeks ago. You are so loved and can be strong, weak or somewhere in between at ALL times during this journey of discovery and acceptance. Allow yourself that luxury. You don’t have to be super human. We will help you walk through these upcoming days and weeks, months and years; holding your hand and your heart with care. xoxo

  29. Love how Nella is flashing the peace sign in her rainbow leg warmers!

    Thinking of you and your GIRLS.


  30. I so enjoy seeing your girls together. The pictures of Lainey holding that little bundle, seriously, Nella looks like one of her baby dolls. So beautiful and at peace. And I am totally digging the stripey leg warmers. They are too cute! I can’t wait to hear your story.

  31. Can’t stop coming back to sneak a peek at these beautiful pictures. Your girls are so beautiful! I hope Bridget embraces the big sister role the way Lainey has. Thanks for sharing it all with us!

  32. beautiful words of a beautiful journey. i can’t wait to read Nella’s birth story. thank you for your honesty so full of emotion. love to you and your 2 girls.

  33. Dear Kelle
    Breath taking pictures that show your love and faith on life.I am sure that God is all around you blessing you all with his never ending love. God is watching over you and I am still praying for you.

  34. Loving all the love here on your blog, Kelle … it is truly amazing! I feel so blessed that we have had the chance to meet in person, however brief it was. Hopefully, we can do it again some day … even get the littles together to play.

    Loving …
    Lainey’s crazy bed head (gets me every time )
    Nella’s heart hat
    Goodnight Moon
    B&W pic of Lainey and her baby sis

    Happy Weekend, Hampton Family …

  35. Kelle,

    So glad you shared your raw emotions and honesty. I have so much respect for you because of it. I think it is so important to not paint everything “happy” all the time, but to take the time to arrive at your most sincere place and make it good. No matter what. You are doing that above and beyond what I could imagine. So amazed by you and your beautiful heart.

    Little Nella…. well she just gets sweeter and prettier everyday doesn’t she? Really. Not just saying that to make you feel good. I mean it. And your lainey, well her heart is so pure. What a joy for you.

    Just feeling so blessed to see these pictures and to feel the love, and for letting me be part of it, in this small way.

    Much love to you and your girls,


  36. thank you for being so beautifully open about the intensity of emotions you’ve experienced this past week. i can’t even begin to imagine.

    i am totally inspired by your strength and positivity. she is gorgeous.

  37. All of the Love and attention little Nella got in the hospital makes up for that one moment you wanted her to have just like Lainey had. God didn’t mean for them to have to same arrival. Nella wanted it that way. The time was bonding whether you see it or not yet. When baby Nella looked you in the eyes and your eyes connected, met, and you two begin her life together. Things keep unfolding everyday. Give yourself time. It doesn’t have to be grieved, savored, or stressed about all in one day.

  38. Christina says:

    Your two lovely gals are blessed to have you as their mama, a strong, wise, beautiful woman. And we’ve never even met!

  39. Poppa and proud says:

    That she is, Christina. I know, because she is my baby. When she was little she always said she was going to live in a tree house and have 49 children. Well, tall palms mark her house and her heart could stretch around 49 children but I am so very proud of her. This event doesn’t define her–she was well defined before this. This newest gift merely confirms what I already knew about her…that…she can. She rocks everything out…loudly, lavishly and lovingly. Happy is back in this home..tested and tempered and toughened. Ahhhh…it is real.

  40. Anonymous says:

    You have a beautiful little Nella! I’ve been following your blog through a friends…. You have been in my thoughts and prayers! I’ve never met you, but I can see you have two very lucky girls who are so very loved!!
    Love and prayers from just another momma!!
    Kelly Knecht

  41. Awww, I love the one with Nella’s little fingers wrapped around Lainey’s :) They already have that “sister-bond.”

  42. Kelle-
    Chris and I noticed we did not hear any sound coming from either of the girls, so we went to investigate. They were both squished on the office chair in front of your blog. They were not fighting but totally entranced in the words and picture of your soul. I watched them, hoping they would not hear us, so I could soak in the love coming out of the monitor. Two sisters loving each other while reading about two other sisters (Lainey/Nella, Carin/Kelle)loving each other. Thanks for making me ball like a two year old, again!

  43. Chris Bopp says:

    I don’t even know where to begin, but I will start with the admiration I have for you and your husband and the beautiful family you have built together. I knew you were a special soul the first time I met you and remember you watching Trevor and Justin for me when they were oh so little – you instantly bonded with them as if they were your own – you my dear have a gift and I have no doubt little Nella will have a wonderful love filled life with you, Brett and big sister Lainey. Love her with all your heart and she will reach for the stars. With Love, Chris & John

  44. I can relate so well to this post and wanting to relive moments.
    I gave birth to a little angel 18 months ago and found out at her birth that she had Down syndrome. I had a repeat C section and I could tell while laying on the operating table that things were proceeding differently after she arrived than they had with my son. After she was born they did not show her to me, they took her aside, had a hospital ped examine her, he came over and told me that they suspected that she did have Down syndrome ALL BEFORE THEY EVER LET ME SET EYES ON HER! When they finally let me hold her, I looked into her eyes that’s what I saw…I saw Down syndrome. I felt dissapointed. I didn’t take all the photos at the hospital that I did when my son was born. So many things that I wish I could go back and change without changing her. Like you, I am so thankful that we have been chosen.
    I cried for weeks of guilt for the things that I thought or felt in those first few moments of her life. I love her so much!! I wish I could go back and take away those thoughts from even entering my mind.
    I am glad that you were able to share those feelings honestly as hard as they are to admit.

  45. The picture of Lainey reading to Nella is precious..Just lovely..

    So many {{{hugs}}} and prayers..

  46. Marie in New Hampshire says:

    I was directed here by a link to your beautiful birth story. Your family is so breathtakingly beautiful and I think little Nella Cordelia was born into just the right family for her. Your photos are just lovely as well as your two little muffins! How lucky you are! And how lucky they are to be in a family where they are both so treasured! Love just seems to pour from all the gorgeous photographs and sweet words. Thank you for sharing your special story and I look forward to hearing many more.

  47. Kelle, I cannot thank you enough for sharing your amazing journey.

    Your Lainey is the beautiful and perfect big sister and your Nella is the beautiful and perfect baby :)

    Sending love, positive thoughts and healing energy your way ~

  48. Great way to tell your story. I have a similar story- although my little Evie was my first daugther. I love her with all my heart. She just turned 2 last weekend. I will tell you- you will have times where you are scared and times when you are sad. But it will be okay, it will be better than okay. Your little angel will bring so much joy to you, its indescribable.

    Your girls are both BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Mom to Evie (2) and Sarah (8 months)

  49. I was directed to Nella’s birth story by a link on a forum and WOW I have been intrigued with your Blog eversince. Your daughters are GORGEOUS and you are blessed, God has chosen you to be Nella’s Mamma. I Love your pictures and how you captured every moment of Lainey developing, I look forward to seeing both Lainey & Nella develop and how the two sisters grow up together. Since reading the story you have been on my mind like I know you a colleague of mine even asked who are these people you are referring to it sounds as if you know them and care for them deeply and I do. I am praying for you guys!!

  50. I also was drawn to your beautiful story through a post on a message board. I believe that God has chosen your family for a special blessing.

    Please don’t feel guilty for requiring a few minutes to get adjusted to your new reality at Nell’s birth. No baby could wish for a more loving and festive welcome into this world.

    When my husband and I were having to deal with a very difficult circumstance in our marriage, someone told me the following story that I think might help you understand.

    You’ve planned all your life to go to Italy. You’ve dreamed about it, researched it, watched movies about Italy and now you’re on your way. Suddenly, the captain gets on the intercom and announces that you’re being detoured to Holland. You didn’t ask to go to Holland. Nobody you know has been to Holland. When you land, it takes you a few minutes to get your bearings.

    You discover that Holland is a beautiful country and that there are lots of things to do here. You also discover that there are many other people that have gone to Holland and can share your experiences.

    Kelle, in the delivery room, you were just getting your bearings. I think you did exceptionally well and have extraordinary friends who recognize Nella as the gift from God that she is.

  51. Anonymous says:

    The birth story is wonderful… but Lainey’s and Nella’s life story will be the best! I had a daughter with Down Syndrome too. You are about to go on a journey that will be filled with laughter, tears and so much love. My little girl taught me more about love through her example than I could ever have found in books. I believe that extra chromosome is nothing but pure love. Enjoy this time with your girls. Savor every single moment. Know there are lots of moms out there who have and are going through the same things you are… find them… lean on them … share with them.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

  52. above all else – remember this:
    nella CHOOSE you…she choose you among all the rest. you and only you. you will continue to choose her day-after-day by loving her in the way she needs to be loved.
    consider yourself blessed; you were hand-picked from the heavens. it is you that is the lucky one.

  53. You are such an amazing and strong woman. Thank you for sharing your story. You write so eloquently that I feel like I’m on this journey with you. Your girls are beautiful and are so lucky to have you.

  54. A friend suggested your blog on FB and I am just…so proud of you! Strange coming from a stranger, huh? I am also a mommy to a child with Down syndrome (my sweet little boy is 2 1/2) and can so relate to your feelings and writings. Thank you for sharing this, tears poured down my face as I read Nella’s birth story. I know the pain that you felt, and I am so happy to read that you are working through that pain so well. She is so beautiful and your photos capture her angelic essence perfectly. Congratulations on your gorgeous baby girl! And I am her to tell you, 2 1/2 years into the journey, that it just keeps getting better and better. My son astounds me with all that he is capable of and the LOVE that he exudes. Everyone who comes into his orbit is forever changed. Your Nella will show you things you never imagined possible – and change your entire family for the better. Thank you for sharing and I am so happy for you and your family. *Heather (p.s. – I am in looooove with your photography and wished you lived in Los Angeles so I could have you take pix of my three kiddos!) :-)

  55. Anonymous says:

    The road has unequal pavers but with an angel holding your hand you can pass any hurdle.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Kellie: Thank you for being brutally honest about the emotion you went through upon Nella’s birth. I gave birth to my second child on February 27th and upon his arrival I looked at him and knew something was wrong. I asked my husband if his eyes look Downs to him and he said no and talked me out of it. But I knew. The ped. on call told me the next morning by myself. My husband was home with our daughter. I wish my husband had been there when they broke the news. All of the thoughts you expressed, I had too. I read the blog through tears because it was like experiencing those first couple days all over again. It’s been two weeks and I’m feeling much stronger and more positive. Sam is a sweetheart. My friends and family have been a tremendous support. I look forward to keeping up with your blog.

  57. Hey Kelle,
    I am 28 years old and my little boy was born with Down syndrome 19 months ago. Your story paralled mine so closely it is remarkable!! Robert is my first and only child and he is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I sobbed reading your words because it brought back so many memories and feelings that seem to fade over time. All I can say is that the journey only gets better. With every milestone he hits the joy is overwhelming! There will come a day when the words Down syndrome never cross your mind. My son has taught me so much and I know his soul is already saved and he is here to teach me and others around us how to love. What an amazing gift to that God has entrusted us with! Best Wishes in your journey,

  58. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know you, but now I feel like I do. Thank you for letting us into your deeply personal experience with your profound words of love and amazing pictures. I am blubbering knowing that your bunny is exactly where she is supposed to be. Congratulations on your baby girl and wonderful family.

  59. This is such an amazingly beautiful story. I cried. I often wonder why things like this happen. It is a test of true love. She is so beautiful. Your pictures are wonderful. The pride in the eyes of her big sister brings me to tears. Thank you for sharing your story.

  60. Your amazing, your daughter is SO BEAUTIFUL and she is blessed to be in your home as you are to have her. I just lost my brother in July he was 26- only 2 months shy of his 27th birthday, he was multiply disabled, and he was the greatest gift in the world, My hear aches everyday and the tears are endless, you will know more as the years go on just how much joy your sweet little one is in your lives and what a wonderful big sister she has to take care of her. I am truly inspired by you.

  61. I’m expecting my 2nd in a few weeks. Just wanted to say from one mom to another how much your story has touched me. Your emotions are the same that I would have had in the same situation. Lots of love to you and your family and keep writing!

  62. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! You have occupied my heart… I’m becoming a mother soon, there’s no better feeling, and nothing has made me want to be a better person than my soon to be daughter.

    Wish you all the best, keep the joy of living, thank you for reminding me about what is really important, that love is, by definition, unconditional.

  63. I have a beautiful almost 4 year old girl with Down syndrome. Her name is sarah. I read your birth story and I wished so badly that I had your experience. My baby was immediately taken by ambulance to Children’s hospital. I think about what a dream it would have been to have her in the hospital with me. I think how all I wanted was for her little lungs to work and how the ds tiik a backseat to her life threatening conditions. Thank you for your courage to share feelings that some people might judge. Thank you for showing the journey of fear to love, and how that how sometimes those things can overlap. I think I am going to try to write my story now too. thank you for your inpiration and for sharing your beautiful family with us.

  64. Well, here we are.

    I’ve been reading your blog from start to finish for awhile now and tonight I arrived back where I first came in. It’s been strange reading the months that led up to this. I could feel your dreams for your girls bubbling over and it hurt sometimes to know that you were going to be plunged into a scary and unexpected place.

    Even though I knew it would be a happy ending, really, it was almost like watching a hurricane brewing. You know that feeling? Where pressure is falling, the winds are shifting and the store shelves are suddenly bare – everything is changing and you can sense it, and you don’t know what the world is going to look like when you crawl out of your house the next day? And at first there’s the devastation – trees down, flooding, fences and roofs collapsed and carried away. But before you know it, your standing shoulder to shoulder with your neighbor, thankful that you’re both ok and they offer you a cup of coffee and help you clean up your debris. And suddenly it’s an adventure – a trying one, but an exciting one nonetheless.

    That might seem overworked and overthought. Sorry for the ramble. I just wanted to say that I’m glad you’ve all made it out of the storm and I’m so thankful that you’ve shared so much with all of us.

    Congratulations once more on the birth of your sweet Nella.

  65. I feel like I am right there with you! I love your writing style, and the honest, raw emotion you let me see. Both of your girls are beautiful, and to see how sweet your big girl is with her little sister is heart breaking! So much love I see in these photos. Congrats Momma!

  66. Wow! I just stumbled upon your blog and it is absolutely beautiful!

    I love it! Your story and your love for your children is amazing! I just wanted to let you know that you really touched my heart today. Thank you!

    Heather LaPuma

  67. She is so beautiful and so fresh from God! What an amazing blessing she will be to you and how blessed she has been to be entrusted into your care. She will be truly loved!

    I stumbled on your blog a little while back and am reading backwards. Its my favorite afternoon/evening activity right now! You are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your life so openly.

  68. What a blessing your family is to others.Your husband seemed to be the steady one, he probably dealt with his grief differently. Your willingness to be open about the turmoil you went through was so heartwarming. Those dear little girls~they share unconditional love. Your daughters are right where they belong,with such loving and accepting parents. The love shown about the puppy touched me.

  69. I read this Birth Story with my ten year old daughter and by the end of it after looking at the pictures I noticed her with a blank stare and watery eyes. She said “Momma, I dont get. Why was she so upset when she had this baby? She is so perfect and so beautiful. She is so special.”
    Reading this made me so thankful that my babies dont see “differentness” like others their age. They truly believe in their little hearts that God spent extra time with some and they came to earth extra special.
    From the first picture both of us fell sooo in love with your little angel and my daughter wouldnt stop until we looked at each and every picture of beautiful Nella!!

  70. Lovely Kelle,

    I just read Nella’s birth story and tears poured down my face (my sweet kitty meowed with concern until I comforted her). How beautiful Nella and her family are.

    I know grief… I know that nothing will ever be the same… I know the Love, Joy and Peace deep inside of us that had not yet been born began to bloom that day (interesting… I had not seen the title of your book when I had that thought). We are soooo blessed.

    Patricia Ann

    R.I.P. my son, Stephen Matthew Wilson, died May 22, 2013, age 43.

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