The Corridor

I asked my dad awhile ago to write what happened throughout Nella’s birth from his account. I wanted to know what happened behind the doors of that beautiful room where our girl was welcomed. I am told many different stories from the friends and family that gathered there before they entered our room.

He finally did it…wrote it all down and sent me the first part last night. And I, with tears, read it and remembered all the love.

This is his account.

The Corridor.
By Poppa

If you have ever been in theatre, you can draw from your memory…the backstage. It is awfully real. It is filled with the props and backdrops of all the theatre that has occurred and will occur…on stage. It is the antithesis of the other side of the velvet curtains. It is comfortably unkempt. It is gritty and unmagical, honest and blemished. It is raw. It is where the last minute checks of the tattered script are made. It is where we ask each other how we look and turn to have another once-over of our costume. It is where we cough and clear our throats away from the audience and rehearse again our memorized lines. It is where our expressions can be flat and faces sour until we step on stage where, with exaggerated smiles and pumped up expressions we project with rich resonance our character voice.

Such was the first floor corridor of The Birthing Center of Naples Community Hospital on the evening of January twenty-second, two thousand and ten. It was our backstage, our barrier reef, our solace in the storm.

The corridor was first just the space we quickly walked through to enter the anticipated enchantment of an already loved baby’s debut. I remember arriving. I was wearing my black polo shirt on which I had carefully iron-appliquéd POPPA in rhinestones.


Silly me, I had brought my Nikon D40, knowing it would be like a child’s play camera in comparison to the equipment of the pretty-girl paparazzi I knew would be in the room. My heart was skipping beats and I was the usual close-to-tears I generally am when in those intensely wonderful moments with my children. I had never actually witnessed the birth of a grandchild and was only here at the insistence of my Kelle-girl. I would be positioning myself carefully…
to be there for the first glimpses of the baby out-of-the-chute…with the operative timing and visual perspective being “out-of-the-chute.”

There was a festive mood in the room, with that rapid cadence conversation of gal-pals, punctuated by laughter and all appearing like a music video with the music in the background being the steady underwater sound of a baby’s heartbeat on the fetal monitor. The room was filled with the signs of preparation…the little favors awaiting first guests, hand lettered champagne toast glasses, small flameless candles and music subtly competing with the din.

Things began to move quickly, like planets aligning for some cosmic event. I saw the bed broken down and stirrup braces suddenly emerge. The obstetrician and nurses stepped into position. Paper sheets like sails unfurled. Faces and friends, like guests at a wedding awaiting the bride’s entrance, formed an arc around my daughter. I was deeply moved with the welcome assembled for my new and precious granddaughter whose name I already knew and was whispering in my heart.

Swiftly she arrived. Almost instantly we heard her little voice. Just before she stepped into the world, I had called my niece and Kelle’s kindred cousin, Joann, on my cell phone and she was, in Michigan, part of that circle hearing Nella’s first sweet Hello!


Ooohs and ahhs spread like a wave around the room. With everyone’s “She’s so cute!” and “She’s beautiful!” the resounding message, I remember being almost annoyed with Kelle’s sober, “Is she alright? Her nose looks smooshed.” I quickly assured her she was just fine, and had my answer amended by Katie, the nurse, who explained something about a posterior birth and that, yes, her nose might appear a little flattened but it would pop up with time. Only then did I even see anything but a perfect little nose—which incidentally did pop up with time. Kelle’s queries would continue.


It was probably thirty minutes of jubilant and detailed birth reviews later that it was announced Dr. Foley was here and would now do the new baby examination. It was then, we would be directed to…the corridor. Still light and laughing, we stepped out one by one…like a team that was winning taking a break to the locker room. I can recall hearing Kelle ask Dot, the nurse, as I walked away, “Why is Dr. Foley here? Did you call her in? Is everything alright?”


By then, we were in the corridor. We positioned ourselves all over. Excited reviews of how swift and smooth the delivery was were shared. I-phones seemed in every hand, as the glad news was called out and texted. I remember being amazed that there were more in this amazing circle of friends than were in the room…and they were all awaiting word.

I don’t know when the corridor boredom turned to worry. I don’t know how long we were there. Working in a hospital, I began to be concerned. I could hear nothing through the heavy wooden fire door that separated the birthing room and my babies from…the corridor. It seemed too long. It seemed too quiet. I later would learn that others in the corridor were watching me. My face was telling.

I didn’t have many moments to wrestle with worry in the corridor. I heard the heavy latch release and saw the door open and my eyes…all eyes…met with the somber face of the nurse I knew least. Her voice had a faint tone of sadness. While her words were few, they spoke volumes…of a chapter we did not want to open. She simply said… “She wants her dad.”

The rest of his account coming tomorrow.


Leave a Comment
  1. I can’t be first…I’m usually in the hundreds. I think God let me be up top (even if I’m not #1) because tonight was the beginning of Poppa’s story and I am Poppa’s biggest “total stranger” fan.

    I’m weeping at that last words, “She wants her dad”. I’ve had those moments in life when only my daddy would do.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of his account. Oh, he is just a beautiful Poppa and Dad. I may have to call my Daddy now…

    Thank you, Kelle, for sharing your heart with me…us…the world. God bless you. We pray for your family each night in our prayers ending with “God bless Nella”…and I know he will.

  2. Beautiful as always.

  3. And the tears flow once again from Canada.

    Poppa, it’s so obvious where Kelle got her story telling talent and her ability to make all around her smile brighter. What a wonderful father and grandfather you are.

    Nella’s birth story is a beautiful one told from any perspective and I feel so blessed to be a reader of a book I know will have a happy ending.

    God bless you all!

  4. I see where you get your beautiful way with words! Can’t wait to read the rest!

  5. Heartbreaking…

  6. This is wonderful, your Dad is an amazing writer. I cannot wait to read the rest of the story.

  7. Holy cow, could your family be more talented? Or loved? Or treasured? I think not!

  8. Ahhh, gives me chills…Dad’s are SO important…and your girls will feel the same way. They will love you so much and always share and return to you…but Dad will be their favorite! Thank goodness for such a plan and for how good Dad’s can bless a daughters life! Come say hi 😀

  9. I always look for your dad’s comments on your blog. It is evident that your zest for life and gift with words is inherited from him. He seems like such a wonderful father and grandpa. I love his rhinestone Poppa shirt… simply awesome. :) I can’t wait to read the rest too!
    btw, I think you should include his account in your book (with his permission of course!:))

  10. Kelle you obviously got your beautiful way from words with your Poppa. His account of Nella’s birth shows the raw happiness but also raw worry of someone else who happened to witness that beautiful day.

    I think it’s good that your dad is getting a chance to get his story out too. This was an emotional turn about for your family, more so for you and brett im sure, but you all went through it together. This was big news, heartbreaking news, and its good you both can bond over it, share the worries you had, and remind yourself that you are winning over what could have changed your life in a terrible thunderous way. Instead of mourning over the news, you are embracing it and making it beautiful. You are doing what should be done in this situation, you are loving Nella for nothing more than what she is: your beautiful baby girl.

    Can’t wait to read the rest of your poppa’s story. His words, and yours, make my 18 year old mind wiser, but also help to remind me not to get swept up too fast, and remember to have fun, love because i can, and enjoy the small things.

    Happy Thursday!

  11. Oh Poppa–thank you from all of us kindred souls in blog-land….can’t wait to read the rest of this story from your warm heart :)

  12. I’ve been waiting for poppa’s first post on your blog. I was smitten from the first comment of his that I read after Nella’s birth and always thought his comments were way too good and deserved their own post. And I LOVE his “POPPA” bedazzled shirt. What an amazing dad! You are so extremely lucky to have your poppa!!!

  13. What a fantastic perspective. It is so sad and yet so beautiful to relive those moments with you. I cannot wait to read the rest tomorrow!

  14. My dad died when I was 13…I’ve never had wisdom from a father or even a father figure. I’m bawling like a baby right now.

  15. AMAZING………I’m left speechless yet again.
    Can’t wait to read the rest of the story. Kelle your family ROCKS!!!!!

  16. Wow, great post! Can’t wait to read the rest. My eyes teared at “She wants her dad.”

  17. absolutely beautiful! i can’t wait to read part II. I will have my tissues ready then.

  18. How much do I love that Poppa’s nervous and excited smile is the same as Lainey’s smile when she met Nella. What an amazing journey you are all on….

  19. Beautifully written. Sometimes, only a daddy will do.

  20. kelle,
    I found your blog via don miller’s and have since fallen in love with your sweet family and your way with words. you are truly telling a beautiful, meaningful, epic-kind-of-a-story. thank you for sharing – all of it.
    ps-I can’t wait to buy my own retro suit from popina. : )

  21. Lovely, Simply Lovely.

    I will be waiting with baited breath for the conclusion.

  22. Lovely, Simply Lovely.

    I will be waiting with baited breath for the conclusion.

  23. well, it is clear to see where you get your writing eloquence from! How cool to hear the story I’ve read 20 times from a different point of view! ugh, my heart is so full when I read your blog!

  24. oh man, that was good…can’t wait for the rest!

  25. Wow. His writing, his account gave me chills and tears. You have an amazing father, Kelle!

    And I cannot wait to read the rest of his account…

  26. Beautiful… I knew where you get your writing abilities from. :)

    Marla @

  27. I am already crying! I can totally relate to wanting your daddy when things are hard. For some reason even though I am a grown woman with children of my own when I need something the first person i want is my dad.

  28. chills!!! your whole family are amazing story tellers!

  29. Poppa sounds like the most amazing dad and grandpa! You are some lucky girls to have such a man in your lives!

  30. Beautiful Kelle and Poppa! How blessed you all are to have such an amazing family!

  31. I agree with everything already said — crying, chills, your dad is amazing… nothting that hasn’t already been said…
    I think tomorrow I’ll be a little more prepared with the tissues by my side!

  32. This is a beautiful recollection of Nella birth from another perspective, and I look forward to the next installment… the line , she wants her dad brought tears to my eyes.

  33. WOW, Now I know where you get your writing skills from! His words are raw and real just like yours! I once again cried from reading but I loved every word! It was amazing, I cannot wait for part 2! As always Nella is beautiful and has been from the start!

  34. So moving. I never had a close relationship with my dad…and he’s gone now… but I’m so glad your dad is there for you.
    I just love Nella’s birth story from all perspectives. Maybe we’ll all think back to the day we first read Nella’s story and how it somehow made us all better people. Thanks for telling it.


  35. Tears….”being” in the room that afternoon via your phone will always be one of the most special moments of my entire life. I will always be grateful to you for taking the time to call me. I canNOT wait for tomorrow’s post. I will be checking my computer constantly! Love you!

  36. I’m can’t wait to read the rest of Poppa’s story. As always, his words are beautiful and I clung to each and every one.

    That last little sentence, “She wants her dad”. I know that feeling oh so well, when just a simple glance from dad is all the reassurance a girl needs – beautiful!

  37. oo this is beautiful!
    i cant wait to read the rest!

  38. Kelle,
    I began reading your blog a few weeks ago after I received the link from a friend. Every post brings tears…you are amazing and your family is so incredibly beautiful in many, many ways! Thank you for sharing your story.

    And here’s a small world thing…I found out through her blog that your friend Trish K. and I grew up together way back in small-town Iowa.

  39. Such a beautiful memory. Sad. But beautiful. Kelle, you’re a lucky lady to have such a wonderful Daddy.

  40. he is a wonderful writer. I see where you get it from! I can’t wait to read the rest of his story.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Wow – such a beautiful, honest, moving account. I can’t wait to read the rest. The last line: has me in tears. Thank you for sharing!

  42. Dads… yes. I can remember after the birth of my first son wanting my dad with me more than anything. And with him having passed on while I was in high school, I never had the pleasure of his stable presence in that hospital room.

    Good dads are, in a word, wonderful.

  43. Such a beautiful account of a story we all know so well by now (I read your version at least once a week…it never ceases to move me to tears)…this one made me cry as well. Can’t wait to read the rest of it. Love to you and your family!

  44. Thank you for sharing this, Poppa. Beautiful!

  45. I have chill bumps. I can only imagine what it would be like to hear those words- Down syndrome at the birth. I found out at 18 weeks and that day, I will always remember- not a good one and I know my parents that were with me will never forget it either. It’s interesting to read how others were feeling, can’t wait to read what else your dad has to say!

  46. and now i know where you get it.

    teary eyed. my day old pasta leftovers untouched once i started reading.

    love you guys.

  47. Wow. There are so many things that this makes me feel…

    I love the way he describes the corrider as the backstage. Where people are real and emotions aren’t pretend.

    That is real and honest and raw.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of the story.

  48. Anonymous says:

    WOW! Thank you!

  49. “She wants her Dad” I have never been able to utter those words as my “Dad” was never a part of my life and consequently does not know my 6 children either. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful husband that is the kind of Dad my children will be able to look to as adults as well. Kelle your life has me in awe. You are so lucky to have such an amazing circle of support. Sorry to leave such a tangent. My 3yr old son was diagnosed with Autism this past Fall and how I long for the support you have. I can’t wait to read the rest from “Poppa’s” view.

  50. She simply said… “She wants her dad.”

    Oh gosh. I held it together til then…and I started to sob. Not sure my preggo hormones can take part 2 but I know I will read it.

    I can totally see where you got your talent for weaving words.

  51. I know this moment, still raw and in the forefront of most of my thoughts. Those moments that stood still. I am crying, for me, crying for my husband who had the same job that Poppa had(I am suspecting) to tell our loved ones & friends. I will never till the day I die forget the look on my sweet husbands face. Surprise. It’s a girl, our first girl in a line of four boys……but….
    Thank you for sharing, especially from a parent’s perspective that moment in time that only a child & parent can comprehend and I through this blog I know I (we) am not alone.

  52. It wasn’t until I read the very last sentence that the tears broke through!!

    There is nothing like a daughter’s love for her father! And vice versa.

  53. I feel like I want to hug you right now. I can’t imagine the feeling the swells in your heart when you recount the moments that you felt, that momma feeling, like there was something you knew that others didn’t. I know you are gaining strength and have taken on a whole new perspective but I am sure those feelings are still raw and they are honest. I am now sending you a big HUG tonight and always XOXO.

  54. I think I love your dad. I know that feeling of needing a father’s comfort. I will be waiting for the next chapter…

  55. I can see where Kelle’s gift of writing comes from. Both of you have a way with words that make me feel like I am right there with you. And oh the last sentence “she wants her dad” . . . it stirs up lots of emotions for me and brings tears to my eyes . . .

    Looking forward to the rest soon!

  56. I was hanging on to every last word…can’t wait to read “the rest of the story.”

    Today was not one of my better days. I’ve really been managing well with the anxiousness over whether my little man has DS or not…and this was my fear. That the anxiety would overshadow the rest of the pregnancy.

    As I enter my last trimester, I feel myself becoming more and more worried about delivery day. I think that I am going to be a mess. Instead of just being excited that he (I still haven’t figured out a name) has made his arrival, I’m already wondering how long before I know if he is alright? Since it’s a scheduled c-section will my husband tell me the news?

    Sorry to rain on your parade…I’m just a mess tonight.

    As always, love your blog…and especially that retro bathing suit!!!


  57. What a special special dad you have and how lucky you are to have him. He writes beautifully like you!

    I’ll look forward to reading more.

    Wishing you sunshine today!

    Diana Doyle

  58. Laura F. says:

    Until tonight, I never thought about asking those who were there with us early in the morning when Ian entered our world to tell their story. I always wondered what happened, what they remembered, what they thought. And I don’t know why I did not ask… but I will now! Thank you for sharing your family with us…

  59. I always want my Dad when I am scared or confused too. Beautiful job Poppa!

  60. says:

    Please give your dad a hug from me, how special he is! x

  61. Oh my….I’m speechless. That was beautiful. I can’t wait for more!

  62. Val,
    Your little one is in my heart now…here under my umbrella at a rainy parade. All will be well. All will be well. Feel cradled in prayers tonight–it is a good place to be. Be at peace, your little one is already blessed to have a mother who cares so very deeply. I am eager to hear of his arrival…and his name!

  63. I can see where you get the magic with your words from, can’t wait to read more from your poppas perspective!!!

  64. I’ve got shivers.. and tears!!! can’t wait for the rest! i love you poppa!

  65. Poppa…you know that you have been a good daddy when you hear those words…”she wants her dad.”
    these are just a few times that i have needed my dad would be more accurate:

    1. when i was 4 and i had my first asthma attack and had to be in the hospital for a week…had to have him by my side the whole time.

    2. when i was seven and had my first experience with stiches..he held my head and told me silly stories..and then took me out for ice cream after.

    3. when my boyfriend (now husband) asked me to spend the rest of our lives together..had to talk to daddy first.

    4. right before i walked down the aisle to become a wife and i panicked..i am talking big time panick..daddy kissed me on the cheek and told me i had chosen well.

    5. when my dream to be a mother was finally coming true…mine was by adoption but he was the first i wanted to tell.

    6. when the doctor told me he had discovered tumors that looked like cancer shortly after that adoption…my daddy told me God would not give me a baby and then take me away so quickly..daddy was right again.

    So when you wrote that the nurse said “she wants her dad” it made how kelle must have been feeling so real..i mean i could actually feel it..because i have felt that need to have my daddy by my side…she wanted her security blanket, her protector and someone who would talk when needed and just hold her hand in silence as well. poppa you are beautiful man…and my dad, who by the way we call “pop” is made from the same cloth you are. can’t wait to read the rest!! ♥ you guys are just so yummy!!

  66. Jennifer G. says:

    Thank you for sharing. This is absolutely beautiful. Staying tuned….

  67. Anonymous says:

    Oh my heavens, such a sweet and proud Poppa. This is the best…”I was wearing my black polo shirt on which I had carefully iron-appliquéd POPPA in rhinestones.”

    Amazing account of the backstage!
    Please, please, please…don’t make us wait until tomorrow! Will you at least post in the early morning??!!! I cannot wait!

    Jill B (Overland Park, KS)

  68. I bawled my eyes out reading this.

  69. Oh how I wish that I’d had a “Poppa” when I was growing up! I’m so glad he’s sharing his point of view.

  70. beautiful. funny. real.

  71. Your family makes the world a more beautiful place! Thanks once again for sharing your stories…

  72. what? no warning:) …i’m in tears and, again in that familiar place…the feeling of that night. that life-changing night that i’ll never forget it.

    it’s beauty as big as the pain.

    poppa rik’s account so far, is beautiful and perfectly explains the corridor’s mood and what happened.

    wanting to try and say something about the man, your dad, he was that night, in a few simple words…but i can’t because i can cry at the man he was for you…and for all of us. he is beautiful and now i want to cry again…lol!

    he whistled that night. walking out of your room after meeting nella and down the corridor. i KNEW in that moment that everything was going to be just fine. even better.

    love you, poppa rik! mostly tho, thank you for having kells.

    miss you.

  73. What a beautiful thing to have this different point of view. Those last words, “She wants her dad…” gave me chills.

  74. I am loving every word of this. What a fantastic account for you and Nella to have to look back on. I think I might have to steal this amazing idea and get the account of my boys’ birth from those around me.

  75. …and that big hug too with tears and all. anchored together with love for the girls we love so much. needing strength. oh. i’ll never forget it. thank you for that.


  76. Right back atcha, Heidi–daughter of my heart. And I am a dribbling mess reading sweet comments and feeling like the little man-wizard in Oz, begging everyone, “Don’t look behind the curtain…I am quite ordinary.”

  77. Lord have mercy, Kelle. I see where you get your writing talent! Anxious to read tomorrow.

  78. Oh Poppa… you are so much more than ordinary! Extra-ordinary indeed. My tears started falling at Kelle’s introduction, so by the time I reached “She wants her Dad”, I have made a puddle of tears on my keyboard.
    Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your account of Nella’s birth. With your words, as with Kelle’s, I am reliving my own experience & finding ways to make this life-changing extra chromosome a beautiful thing.
    p.s. Is it tomorrow yet?!?

  79. As others have said, it is so clear to me as well where your “way with words” came from! What a beautiful story so far, and again, as others have said, tears flowed at the last words “She wants her dad.”. Looking forward to the rest of the story tomorrow!

  80. Val- I was in your shoes 3 months ago, waiting to know “who” our baby girl would be when she arrived (the same week as Nella!). When they held her up, I knew ..that our Lilybird had that extra magic chromosome. I wish I could go back in time and take my waiting, wondering, and sometimes worrying pregnant self- and transport her to now. Words fail to describe how in love we are with Lily, how truly blessed we feel to have her in our lives.
    I’m praying for you- I hope you DO enjoy every minute of your pregnancy, and that you post a comment after your precious little one arrives.

  81. well…poppa..i am here to tell you that even that man behind the curtain in oz was nothing short of wonderful, full of truth and quided each of those lovely characters to the truth about themselves that always was but they never saw. you can’t humble your way out of this one…”she wants her dad” speaks are a great man and i know because i have a dad who is one as well…i can spot you guys a mile away!

  82. Anonymous says:

    Poppy you are not quite ordinary, not at all. It is obvious where Kelle gets her passion and gift for writing from. Can’t wait for tomorrow’
    Love you guys
    Donna from Canada

  83. I am crying all over again. I remember reading a comment that your dad had made one time about one of your posts and thinking ‘man, he has a way with words too’ I can’t wait to read the rest.

  84. Kelle, you have obviously had great taste in men since before you were born. :-) My compliments on your choice of a Poppa for your girls and also your choice of a daddy, who will be there for them when they, inevitably, need their daddy the way you needed yours.

    I can relate to the pangs of jealousy and sadness expressed here from those who never had a supportive dad. I think a good way to ease that pain is to follow Poppa’s and Brett’s example and give away love and compassion, warmth and humor as freely and completely as possible. It doesn’t fill the gap left by an absent father or keep the shadows from whispering too loudly at night. But giving it away guarantees it will come back to you, and our hearts will be a thousand times bigger, our lives a thousand times better for it.

    Kelle, you are so fortunate, not only in what you have but because you obviously know how lucky you are.

    How beautiful you and your family are!

  85. I love your blog, your beautiful pictures and your beautiful story. You make me less afraid of life. Thank you. I found your blog through

  86. Ok – you had to leave us hanging? I love Poppa’s words and how he writes and thinks of the world. You obviously got your beautiful, poetic way of writing and looking at life from him.
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

  87. Wow. I’ll echo everyone else and say, “I see where you get it now!”

    Thanks for sharing what happened in the corridor when sweet Nella arrived, Poppa. Thanks for being so articulate with the feelings all dads have, but not all dads are able to express so beautifully.

  88. says:

    my grand daughter entered our life yesterday, it was a difficult birth. three hours of my baby wanting to push, but the midwife saying to breath thru it. I being the momma bear just wanted it to be over with so my baby bear would be ok. I thought of you so many times thru the 11 hour birthing . I wasn’t sure how things would end. I was so scared but kept thinking of you and in the end I knew no matter what happened it would be ok. Thank God my little WinterRose entered this world healthy. thank you for giving me the courage to keep going thru it all.

  89. Anonymous says:

    your whole family is sooo charming! i adore your dad as much as i do lainey and nella! i love your words, poppa! you, like kelle speak directly to my heart!

  90. i agree with Summer “you make me less afraid of life” my words “less scared”

  91. Anonymous says:

    Kelle and Poppa-

    A wonderful friend once told me,

    Every time someone calls a loved one a special nickname – it’s like saying i love you in an entirely different language.

    There’s wonderful beauty and intimacy in these little names we create for one another.

    My dad, too, calls me his Kelly-girl…

    – Kelly P

  92. As the tears are streaming, I write…
    First, I just want to say that when I looked at the first picture I thought, “Oh how cute! She even made a shirt for her Dad”. Then I read on to find that Poppa is TOTALLY awesome for making his OWN rhinestone shirt for the occasion. I just adore this little side note! As for the rest of the account so far, simply beautiful. The last sentence is the real kicker. I’m going to make my husband read this post because he thinks that when daughters get married they leave their papas and make a new life with hubby- which is true. But this is living proof that sometimes you just need your Papa, no matter how old you are. I’m so in love with your family!

  93. I only read your account of Nella’s birth a few weeks ago and I cried throughout. It is such a beautiful, real, and emotional account. Now Poppa has me in tears again. You both have such a talent. Thank you so much for sharing this with the world. You are blessed and will continue to be blessed. I can’t wait to read more.

  94. Holy lump in my throat. Poppa is amazing, from his eloquent speech, to his rhinestone appliqued shirt, to his amazing fatherly attributes, he is simply amazing. You are one lucky girl, and I know you know that.

    Can’t WAIT to read the rest from Poppa.

  95. I*N*C*R*E*D*I*B*L*E !!! Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

  96. I*N*C*R*E*D*I*B*L*E !!! Looking forward to tomorrow’s post.

  97. First of all, I sure can see where Kelle gets her writing talent! And second of all, how could you leave us hanging like that????!!!!
    Just absolutely beautiful. Can’t wait until tomorrow.

  98. I have tears welling up. I am so thrilled that you are having everyone write up their account of Nella’s birth. It’s something you will treasure for decades to come.

    Looking forward to the rest!

  99. I can not even wait for the conclusion. Now I won’t be able to sleep.
    I love that you wanted to talk to your Daddy. That is how I feel about mine too. He is the single greatest man on this planet.
    Just tonight, after work, he came over to my house and helped me put up a curtain rod that had fallen down. It sounds like a simple task, no? Not for us. We are the anti simple project people ever. My daddy didn’t care though. He worked and worked at that simple project for an hour and ten minutes.
    He didn’t say anything about why he did it when he was all done…but really, he did. He said it with his actions.

  100. lightkeepersdaughter says:

    Oh my goodness! I am speechless. Such beauty and love-of-family shines through every word of Poppa’s post. The apple has certainly not fallen far from the tree! I love your blog, Kelle – because of the beauty and love-of-family that shines through every word of every one of your posts……Thank-you both for sharing this very special perspective of Nella’s arrival, with all your “blog family”! ……Rosemary

  101. Anonymous says:

    Wow! As everyone else has already said, I can see where you get your talent for writing. But, it has been so clear all along just by reading Poppa’s comments! I was never close to my dad. So, when I hear about daughters who are close to their dads, I am in awe that such a bond exisists because it is something I never experienced with my dad. However, I have found the most amazing man to spend my life with who goes above and beyond and is the best daddy in the world. I feel, that in some small way, he is helping heal the wounds I had left from the “hole” of not having a dad in my life. Of course, he can’t replace my dad. But, seeing him be a dad to our children is amazing! To see him with our daughter is just so magical and it makes my heart smile. ((HUGS)) to you all. God Bless you for sharing your story and your lovely family!

  102. Oh how I love to read your blog. This post is leaving me awake tonight!! I have been in the spot where I want my dad too, and have cried along this whole ride with you. We have loved getting to know you and your family!

  103. Val,
    I was in your shoes just over two years ago. In my normal 18 week ultra sound they seen a few soft markers. I went through every test, I was poked and praded. It in so many words was awful. I remember asking the u/s tec during a echo u/s the sex of the baby. She politely told me I was not 22 weeks yet so she could not tell me. I was mortified considering during my amnio test they informed me if my options. One was an abortion. I decided not to find out the results of the amnio. And focus on making this pregnancy as normal as possible.
    There was too much to think and worry about in life as it was. I had to let go of what I could not control and love this baby. Because she picked us for a reason!
    When Nevaeh was born I took one look at her and I knew. She was beautiful and perfect, she was a baby. Who needed her mommy. Yes she has downs, but she is Nevaeh. She smiles, laughs, kisses us, hugs her new baby sister and most importantly shows us the meaning of love.
    And you will have the same feelings. You will love your baby. xoxo

  104. Blessings all around! I can’t wait to read the rest of the Poppa’s story.

  105. “”Don’t look behind the curtain…I am quite ordinary.””

    *rolls eyes*


    Poppa, the one attribute that shines through in every single post I’ve read by you is the deep kindness you hold for everyone, including complete strangers. Just look at how you brought a cup (or a post) of comfort to Val.

    Kindness is a value to be held in high esteem….there is far far far to little of it in the world.

    *you* are a rockstar Poppa (and that’s a cool shirt too).

  106. I’m sitting here bawling with bated breath waiting for tomorrow when this story full of rich detail will continue. I love the gift of writing, and being able to express yourself in this way. It tickles the imagination with sights, sounds, and feelings if done right. I love your story, you are a perfect addition to the chromosomally (yes I made that word up :-)) enhanced family. <3<3

  107. <3 t

  108. Tears…oh he is just as beautiful a writer as you are!

  109. Such a beautiful story, I see where you got your awesome writing genes from!

    I can’t wait to read the rest of the story!

  110. Anonymous says:

    Wow, what a great dad. I wish he were mine.

  111. Thanks for sharing!! You clearly got your writing talent from you Dad – he’s an amazing writer too! :)

  112. Wow! This is where you get your writing skills from. Such a beautiful story. Can’t wait to read more. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

  113. If I had a poppa I would want him to be just like yours. Cherish him and each other:0)

  114. Mattanja says:

    I love this part: “I was wearing my black polo shirt on which I had carefully iron-appliquéd POPPA in rhinestones” + the picture underneath it. Looks like you have a very loving dad and your girls have a even more loving grandpa!

  115. Okay…so I’ll admit that I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now and wanted to comment, but wasn’t even sure how to begin…
    My husband and I welcomed our second baby boy, Elijah, just 9 days ago…also born with Down Syndrome. (Our toddler is just a couple of weeks difference in age from your first born.) We had a prenatal diagnosis, and some time to adjust to the news and get back to being excited to greet him into this world. It has been a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions and although it’s furthest from what I expected, has revealed love and support in ways I didn’t even know existed. I can see in your writing and in your Poppa’s that it is the same for you. I guess since my biggest feeling was that of “being alone” despite overwhelming support from friends and family, I wanted to say that we’re not alone- and I’m glad to be able to read your perspective on a similar journey…

  116. Beautiful

  117. i am sitting here with chills up and down my arms waiting for the rest of the story…..

  118. Oh, Kelle…

  119. Daddy’s girls are a rare love. Deeper than any other that we as women will ever know, but can fully appreciate and reap the benefits of this love.

    What a special post. Thank you, Kelle.

    God bless your sweet family!

  120. oh sweet kelle how very blessed you are to have your dad when you are fearful – i sure miss mine. thank you dear poppa for being a reminder of the goodness of daddy’s

  121. Chills, the first part of Poppa’s story has given me chills and tears in my eyes, off now to read the second part.

  122. Bravo Poppa! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective!

    I remember “the day” perfectly and I know it will always live in my heart memory. I felt like I was part of a movie and everything was going in slow motion. I had to be strong for others, so I cried a lot when I was by myself for days and weeks, I will cry for any reason. By the way, I need one of my therapy techniques right now (I feel a crying session will do) and then get ready to read part II…

  123. Beautiful, I’m sitting hear with tears pouring! Thanks to Poppa for sharing!!!

  124. ,,,”she wants her dad”,,,words often sitting on the tongues of daughters no matter what our age,,,reserved only for “him”,,,thank you poppa for recounting the moments of “the corridor”,,,nella is beautiful!

  125. mommy of two girls too says:

    Oh my goodness..I am sitting here, crying! “She wants her Dad”. Daddys always just seem to make everything better, just by being there! Oh, Kelle, you were so lucky to have your Daddy there to hug and hold you on one of the happiest days that changed your life forever! My Daddy was my angel throughout the happiest days of my adult life..but what I wouldn’t give to have him physically standing there just so he could hug me and look at my precious little girls. Oh, thank you Poppa for sharing this beautiful story!


  126. Adrienne says:

    “She wants her dad.”
    When I read this, I lost it.
    Poppa–you did an amazing job re-telling the story of sweet Nella’s birthday!

    P.S. Im a Michigander, too :)

  127. no fair, poppa made me cry too! I cant wait to read the rest….

  128. I LOVE that he put rhinestones on his shirt! And even though I know how this story ends… begins?… I was hanging on every word with bated breath. Going to read the rest…

  129. Nicole M. says:

    I am a lurker on your blog, actually I am now a follower! I think this is the most beautiful blog I have ever read. I have even gone all the way back to the beginning. If it were a book on the shelves at the book store, it would be a book in my house. I love it. The ending of Part1 had me all teary eyed. I am a daddy’s girl and whenever something goes awry, he is who I call. Good luck, I will continue reading!

  130. How special to have these words from your dad written out for you.

  131. Beautiful. Now I see where you get your beautiful writing skills from.

  132. beautiful….i can’t wait to read the next half!

  133. There is beauty in the world! Thanks!

  134. Almost brought me to tears there. It is easy to see where you got your amazing talent for writing!

  135. When I found out my 21 year old son had Leukemia…all I could think of was that I wanted my dad too. You brought me to that moment again.

  136. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful story of living the life we’re given as told from the heart and eyes of a compassionate, loving, multidimensional man who is obviously secure in not only who he is, but whose he is. You rock Poppa!

  137. oh poppa,i have been in love with you from the first post+now….even more so.i lost my darling daddy before my babies were born+wanted him so much when they were born.i am so glad kelle has you+you are a truly beautiful soul,i have read both posts of the corridor+sobbed.thank you for sharing,i adore all of you
    love sam xx

  138. He is so adorable. Very innocent and delicate.

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