Awake My Soul

I remember driving home on that perfect evening in May, we had just finished our maternity photo shoot. I was 36 weeks pregnant and had never felt so vibrant, beautiful, and peacefully happy. I think bliss is the best word to describe what I felt. B and I were talking about the sweet baby girl in my belly- how things had finally come full circle and how excited we were to meet her. I had a strong feeling she was going to come early, so we talked about all the things we needed to quickly finish before her arrival. We had been waiting for this experience for 5 years.

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I remember thinking several times that week about how perfect life seemed, and recognizing that I hadn’t felt sorrow or heartbreak for quite some time.  “We are finally here. This is what I have been waiting for- and it really is just as good as I dreamed it would be”, I thought. Then quickly my mind turned, and I had this feeling of, “Things are too good. We are too comfortable. Life is too easy right now- Something is coming.” I don’t know why my mind went there, maybe I had just gotten used to the heartbreak we experienced so often on this journey. I shared my thoughts with B on our drive home that night. “Things just seem too good to be true B. Don’t ya think?” He agreed, but calmed my “something is coming” thought with recounting how far we had come and how much we had been through so far. Maybe we still couldn’t quite believe we were finally having a baby.

My mother intuition was right- Indy was coming early. My water broke at 5am just 5 days after we had our maternity pictures taken. I was 36 weeks and 5 days. For years I had planned and prepared for a natural childbirth. With that preparation I learned that having your water break before you are in active labor is not favorable at all. So naturally, I broke down crying when I realized this was more than me wetting the bed. This was indeed that start of the experience that changed our lives forever.

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Labor progressed slowly. Nothing was going as I had hoped, and I was stressed. My natural childbirth plan wasn’t looking very hopeful because my water broke first, and Indy was early. B left for a bit to do some things at home per my request. Thirty minutes later the biggest, most beautiful bouquet of flowers were delivered to my room on labor & delivery. There was a card that read-

Hi mommy,

I’m so excited to see you soon and can’t wait for you to hold me. I talked God into letting me send you these pretty flowers. The next couple hours is going to be a bit tough, but hang in there, you can do it! Thank you for your sacrifice. I love you!

Truly yours,  Indy.

It was just what I needed to get me through the hours that followed. It was the best reminder that B Jones is the fullness of my heart, my rock, and absolutely the perfect man for me. Because things really were going to be real tough for the next little bit.

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At hour 35 of labor, feeling like my body was giving up, I got an epidural. And I finally slept. When I woke up it was time to push. It was happening. We were about to meet our baby girl. I was elated. We listened to music- mostly Mumford and Sons, however there was that one Dr. Dre song that got me really amped 😉 I danced a little as my epidural had worn off, sang a little, and laughed a lot. It was a party in our delivery room. I pushed for 4 hours, but time passed quickly because we were so excited.

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Then, she arrived. Our Indy Llew was here. Birthing a child was the most incredible experience of my life, without a doubt. I looked at her laying on the delivery bed. I cried happy tears. I looked at B, He looked at me. Then we both looked back to her. I was getting situated so I could hold her skin to skin. I picked her up. I looked at every part of her. “Her ears look different” I thought to myself. Then out-loud, during this out of body experience I was having, I said, “She doesn’t look like me”. I scanned the room to see if anyone heard me and agreed, but no one was paying attention. I easily talked myself out of any concern, she did just spend hours in the birth canal after all. I held her for 5 minutes then Bri cut the umbilical cord. I tried to have her latch on to nurse- I can’t even remember if she did latch or not.

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The room was hectic and the pediatric team was in the corner waiting to assess her because she was “pre-term”. I told B not to leave her side. They took her to the baby warmer and started their assessment. Then, suddenly, the power went out. The power in the entire hospital went out. Everything was dark, everyone was franticly moving about trying to get things hooked up to the backup outlets. I don’t remember what I even felt at that moment. It was so atypical for something like this to happen. “This has never happened in all the years I have worked here”, everyone kept saying. But this event proved meaningful for B, as I will explain later. The back-up lights came on but things were still very dim.   I tried not to be too alarmed when after a few minutes the pediatric team came to tell me Indy’s oxygen saturation was dropping. They needed to place her on oxygen and take her to the nursery for testing. I was still in a state of euphoria for what my body had just accomplished, so being calm in this situation came naturally. I told B to stay with her and be her advocate, and off they went. I think it was about 40 minutes later- I was freshened up and snacking on some crackers, wondering how things were going in the nursery with my baby girl. I longed to hold her and have B next to me. My mom and doula were at my bedside.

This is where it gets difficult to write. Revisiting this moment, this experience, those initial thoughts and feelings, is very painful. My hands shake, my eyes fill with tears, and a lump finds a place in my throat every time I recount what happened next. This is the reason I need to write it though. I need to let it out and put into words the pain that lingers in my heart from this night. I need to bury the darkest emotions I have ever experienced and give myself closure, because this night still haunts me.

The pediatric doctor walked through the door with Brian following her. No Indy. “Where is my baby?” I thought. The doctor, whom I have never met, did not look at me as she asked everyone to leave the room. I looked at Brian. I will never forget the look on his face, he seemed surprised and concerned. My eyes quickly met my mothers, panic and terror was all I could see in them. “My baby died. She is going to tell me my baby died.” I thought. Everyone left the room. B came and stood next to me and grabbed my hand tightly. B never acts scared or worried, but I could feel his concern for our baby girl. The doctor sat at the end of the bed. I do not remember how she started the conversation, I do not remember if I asked if my baby was ok, all I remember is her fact-of-the-matter tone that lacked compassion as she said, “We think that Indy has Down Syndrome.” Shock. Horror. Disbelief. “WHAT??” I yelled it through the sobs that started faster than I could process the words she had just spoken. “No…. No” as my head fell into my hands. I think I was too scared to look at B. I just remember him squeezing my hand tight. “Are you sure?” I cried. “Well we will do some genetic testing to be sure, but she is showing signs, we are pretty sure”. I asked what signs, hoping I would know better than her and could convince myself this doctor was wrong in her findings. “The crease in her hand, the gap between her first and second toe, and her ears and eyes look suspecting.” Her ears. Something told me they were different. I asked if she was ok, Is my baby going to be ok. “We are concerned about her heart and lungs, we are going to do an echocardiogram immediately if that is ok with you. We will transfer her to the NICU.” More shock and disbelief. Anger, heartbreak, anguish. The doctor left and my mom came back into the room, looking frantic. Me, through stunned tears, “They think she has down syndrome.” Then sobs. From me and my mom. “I don’t care, I don’t care honey.” She hugged me. I suddenly felt numb from all emotion. No more tears, no words. I sat there unable to speak. My mom tried to make me feel better by saying that maybe they were mistaken, maybe the test would prove them wrong. Bri was now sitting next to me on the bed. In a very solemn voice, with a very serious tone, he shrugged his shoulders and shook his head while saying, “She has down syndrome. That’s it. She has it.” Silence. “I think Terah and I need to be alone now.” It was after midnight, and the power was still out in the hospital. My mom cried as she left us there. We laid on that bed, neither of us spoke for several minutes. I felt so many things, but nothing was stronger than the numbness that had taken over. I didn’t just have a baby. This is not my baby. The baby I had inside of me for the past nine months was my Indy baby, not a “down syndrome baby”. The sobs started again. I wanted to go back. I wanted to put her back inside of me and do this all over. Please take me back to yesterday. Please let this be a nightmare, please let me wake up. My soul was begging and pleading to not let this be real. Please…… no. “Our life is over B. Our life is over. What are we going to do” I finally looked at him. He was staring off into nothing and quietly said- “I never imagined that what I thought would be the best day of my life, would turn in to the worst.” I felt like I had failed him.

The midwife came in the room. She could barely look at me. “Indy’s blood sugar is at a 25. They need your permission to give her glucose.” I immediately feared the worse, as an ER nurse I know what a blood sugar level that low can do to someone if prolonged. I asked if she was going to have brain damage now, on top of Down syndrome. I was distraught when all she said was, “I don’t know. Sometimes babies who are in the birth canal for a long time come out with low blood sugar, but I can’t say for sure. I am so sorry” as she looked at us with pity in her eyes. At this point I had convinced myself of the worst possible outcome in every aspect. My heart was throbbing so bad I wanted to rip it out of my chest. I wanted to run away and never come back to this moment and to these feelings. I wanted to die. I said it several times as I sobbed. “I just want to die. I am so devastated, I’m so hurt, I am so angry, I’m so scared. Why would God do this to us. Why…why.”

They transferred us to the post-partum unit. It was 1 am. I wondered what was happening to my baby all the while feeling like she wasn’t my baby. I felt like I didn’t know her. This life that had grown inside of me for the last nine months was not the life I thought I was holding. There was such a disconnect present- it is hard to explain. B and I got settled on the bed. He held me in his arms and we cried, and we waited. The NICU doctor came in 3 times, bringing with her bad news each time. A hole in her heart, and pulmonary hypertension. Then possible pneumonia, but they couldn’t verify through blood- they had already poked her 3 times for blood work with no success. They started antibiotics to be safe, which was very upsetting to me. I started sobbing again. Feeding tube, oxygen, IV’s. Finally, at the third visit from the NICU doctor, I said in a very upset tone “When am I going to be able to see my baby??” She acted like she had been waiting for me to ask. I wish I would have asked (or demanded) to see her at the very beginning. Because to this day, the thing that haunts me the most is that my baby was alone in the NICU, being poked and prodded incessantly, without her mama and probably scared to death, for 5 hours. My heart throbs with the deepest anguish every time I think of it. If things had gone “as planned”- she would have never left my side in that hospital. But I have learned that making concrete plans in life is oft times a worthless endeavor. There is always a bigger plan that will ultimately prevail.

At 4 am we were taken to the NICU to see our baby girl, after the longest and hardest 5 hours of my life. I was terrified to meet her. I had met her once, but now I was going to meet a new her. The real her, the one I didn’t think I knew. We walked through the doors to the NICU room. I don’t even recall if there were other babies in that big room. My eyes found her first, and she was all that I could see. I stared at her face as I walked up to her bed. Tears were streaming from my eyes and I was trembling. She had tubes, wires, and monitors everywhere, and I realized in that moment that I had dreamed of this a couple months prior. I had dreamed of a baby with all these monitors and tubes.  However I never once thought that the scene would come to life for me and be my baby lying there; hooked up to monitors with IV’s in her head, oxygen in her nose, and a feeding tube in her mouth. Yet there she was, and here was I. Awake my soul.

Her hair was done and she had a little yellow bow glued to her head. She was sleeping peacefully, and she was absolutely beautiful. I still felt disconnected though, I still wondered if she was really mine. B and I just sat around the edge of her bed warmer and stared through tear soaked eyes. I will never forget her nurse, the one that had done her hair so cute. She stared me straight in the eyes as I cried and said with such confidence, “She’s awesome you guys. (pause) She is. She’s awesome”. Like she was trying to convince us of something we didn’t know yet. I finally got the courage to ask if I could hold her.

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The nurse helped arrange her wires, and picked her up. She placed Indy Llew in my arms as my heart pounded in my chest. I was so scared of what I was going to feel, or not feel. I held her timidly… but in that moment I knew, nothing doubting, that she was mine. She was mine and I FELT. I felt her incredible spirit, I felt her love for me, her longing for me, her comfort with me. I felt the most amazing and scary love- a love I couldn’t deny. This beautiful, tiny, precious soul was indeed my Indy baby. The one I carried for 9 months, the one I knew, the one I adored more and more with every kick and hiccup in my belly. This was her, and she needed me to love her just like I did before that doctor delivered the news. Awake my soul.

We stayed by her side for 4 hours. I held her skin to skin, inspected every inch of her perfect little body, adored her, and cried. The tears didn’t stop for me for several weeks. But B, he only needed a few hours. They say one parent always grieves harder… that parent was me. I could have never gotten through this without B. He was the rock and the foundation to our new life, the propeller that pushed us onward, for months.

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We left Indy at shift change so we could get a couple hours of sleep. At this point I had hardly eaten or slept for over 48 hours. B helped me to sleep as I cried. When I woke up, he was sitting on the couch next to me and appeared very calm. He came to my side and said, “I sent a message to all our family and friends and explained everything, so you don’t have to.” The tears came again. I was so scared of telling people. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t want everyone talking, a chain of phone calls and texts- “Did you hear about Brian and Terah’s baby? So sad. So awful.” I didn’t want people feeling bad for us or pitying us. I wanted people to be happy for us. We waited 5 years for our baby girl. I wanted this to be a celebration, even though I wasn’t celebrating yet. We quickly had over 200 text messages on our phones. All messages of love, support, and congratulations- “She is beautiful.” “What can we do to help while you are in the NICU”. The love was overwhelming. By the end of our hospital stay we had over a dozen bouquets of flowers delivered to our room. Gifts left on our porch. Acts of service being done at our house. More support than I ever could have dreamed. The people in our life are just so good- and we will forever be grateful for those that carried our burden beside us.

The hurt didn’t go away, it waxed and waned for weeks. Sometimes it was completely absent and sometimes it was overwhelming. Our NICU days were long and very difficult. So many unknowns and what if’s, so many doubts and fear. But they were all met with the many triumphs we experienced, the moments of overwhelming love and acceptance, the pure faith we enlisted in God- who’s presence was felt stronger than at any other time in my life so far. The morning after Indy was born my mother-in-law came to the hospital and said to me with tears in her eyes, “I was praying this morning and got the most overwhelming feeling that she is meant to be in our family. She is meant for us, and I was given such a feeling of peace.” Her words comforted me so deeply because it confirmed what I knew- she was meant for me. Awake my soul.

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There is so much more to this story. So much more to our new beginning. I will share it eventually. For now I will end by sharing a small glimpse of this story through B’s eyes. Two days after Indy was born B said to me, “Remember how the power went out right after Indy was born?” Me, having actually forgotten that until then, “Oh, yeah. That was crazy huh?” B- “I knew when that happened something big was coming.  It was like God was telling me “Ok B Jones, this is your reset. This is where your new life begins.” I knew things were going to be different but they were going to be ok. We are right where God wants us to be. Life is going to be good Turtle B.”

I clung to every word. Life is going to be good, I know it is.

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. And where you invest your love, you invest your life. Awake my soul!” –Mumford & Sons

91 Comment

  1. Carla Long says: Reply

    That is so beautifully written and heartfelt. As the tears pour down my cheeks, there is so much love overflowing in my heart and a smile on my face that wont go away. Thank you, Thank You so much for sharing your story.
    Indy is so loved and IS your gift from god. Your precious gift. 💗💞💓

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      I appreciate your words so much, thank you for leaving your comment ❤️

      1. Kirsty says: Reply

        How beautiful! U r so blessed ur baby is a ray of light and chosen for u purposely. I know the pain to a certain degree to have a child who is deemed “different” and yes they r different and no 2 butterflies r the same 🦋 Good luck for ur journey u r all so amazing xxx

        1. Terahbelle says: Reply

          Thank you Kirsty! It’s great to hear from people who can relate. Thank you for your support and love. 😊 Xoxo

    2. Sadie Vanderbilt says: Reply

      You are probaby one of the bravest persons I have ever came across with. I can feel it in your writing. You, Indy and B will be ok!! Thank you so much for sharing this much love. I was needing it❤️

      1. Terahbelle says: Reply

        Thank you so much! 🙂

  2. Melody andrade says: Reply

    This was absolutely beautiful. Precious. 😍👏🏼 well done momma!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to read it 😊❤️

  3. Jen says: Reply

    Wow! This is beautiful! Such a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you! ❤️

  4. Mindy Guymon says: Reply

    Your story is similar to ours. It’s comforting to know that you experienced some of the same emotions I felt. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      I think a lot of us who go through an experience similar to this have many of the same thoughts and feelings. It’s important to know we aren’t alone! ❤️

  5. Jenna says: Reply

    Terah, I can’t thank you enough for writing this beautiful entry. The thoughts and feelings expressed are almost exactly what I have experienced.
    After many years of trying to start a family, my husband and I were blessed to find out we were having twin boys. The pregnancy went amazingly well and I delivered at 36 weeks. I thought that our fairytale was finally going to begin! After delivery our babies were whisked away to the NICU without me being able to meet them. As the days went on, a neonatology fellow told us that there were concerns with twin B. That there many markers that were concerncing… “that he was funny looking”. Our little Finn was diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality a couple weeks later. Almost a year later, I still have days where I feel devastated and am so scared for the future. Thank you for helping me feel that I’m not alone. I know we have both been intrusted with two very special spirits. Sending lots of love and big hugs to you and your beautiful little girl. ❤️

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you for commenting and sharing a piece of your story with me! I would love to know more, if you are on Instagram will you send me a direct message? ❤️

  6. Erika says: Reply

    Thanks for sharing such a personal experience!! May God continue to bless your beautiful family 😘

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you very much! 😊

  7. Eliza Duncan says: Reply

    This is such a beautiful story. I am not the emotional type of female but I literally had tears in my eyes the entire time. I am so grateful you shared your story. You don’t know how many new moms you are going to help out with this story. I’m sure every mother feels the way you felt when receiving news such as you did yours but we are human and we just want the best for our children in every aspect. I honestly randomly came across your IG page on my explore page and your pic grabbed my attention as if I was meant to be on your page. I don’t know why but I clicked on your link and read your story. I know it was God who directed me to here and I am all open to receive whatever it is I need to gather from your story. Again thank you for opening up and sharing this. You, your husband, and precious daughter will be in my prayers. She is truly a beautiful angel. Thank you and God Bless

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      I love your perspective on finding our page and hope you discover why you read our story. Thank you for taking the time to read it and give such kind feedback! It means a lot 🙂 xx

  8. Jane Taylor says: Reply

    Was so, so touched. Life sometimes gives you something so totally expected , but if we are humble, it can truly define and refine us. Indy is beautiful and you are blessed to have each other.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you so much 🙂

  9. Teresa McElprang says: Reply

    WOW!!! Amazing Terah, such a beautiful story! It touched my heart deeply! You are all so amazing I am honored to say you are my family!! Love you all to the moon and back and can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thanks auntie! Love you.

  10. Jos says: Reply

    Terah,
    I just read this and it was absolutely beautiful….. what a story. I know I haven’t seen you guys in forever but I think about you all the time and love you to death. I’d love to meet that little munchkin:))))
    Jos

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thanks Jos! Miss you lots. Come over 😘

  11. Misty D. Birch says: Reply

    Beautiful story, beautiful baby, beautiful family

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you misty!❤️

  12. Rose says: Reply

    I’m a new mama myself, and All I can say is thanks for sharing your story. You had touched my heart! May God bless your beautiful family always.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you, and congratulations on your new bundle of sweetness 🙂

  13. Micaela Webb says: Reply

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experience. Love you and B and Indy!

  14. Oh I loved reading this and remembering parts of my story that I had forgotten. Your love for Indy is apparent and she is lucky to have you! As you are finding out…even though it’s not what you planned or expected…it is truly the best thing you will experience. I can’t imagine my life without Morgan. She’s made me and our family better in every way. xo

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      It is so comforting to hear those things from mama’s who have walked this road for many years. Thanks Heather 🙂

  15. Paige says: Reply

    Your story is beautiful. I was in tears the whole time reading this, still releasing the pain I carry from similar moments like yours. Different stories but I share your emotions. It was hard for me to deal with the diagnosis of Down syndrome for my daughter. Your husband is so very sweet. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      I would love to follow your journey on instagram if you are on there… if so will you message me? Thank you for reading 🙂

  16. Romaine says: Reply

    Loved reading this story. She is Awesome and so are you!!! Romaine (South Africa)

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you for reading! 🙂

  17. Mayra Martinez says: Reply

    I read your story last night, it was late and I was having problems sleeping (which occurs frecuently when I am stressed) I saw your post on fb and l went directly to read the story, I cried like a baby. I was trying to hold my tears back but I couldn’t, my face was completely wet and I was sobbing the whole time. As I was reading I imagined every scene you described, it was absolutely beautiful the way that your words took me to that moment; when I was done, I experienced a peaceful feeling and my heart was full of thankfulness for you guys and for my precious Indy Llew, Last night I thanked the Lord for you and your example, for Brian and for that little angel you have, after that I fell sleep so peacefully. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Oh Mayra, I love you. Thank you SO much for sharing that with me. Every feeling of peace that comes to those we love is a reminder that God’s hand is in everything, and Indy is meant for us and those around us. I miss you, and can’t wait for Indy to meet her aunt Mayra. Love you sis.

  18. Sam says: Reply

    I’ve never cried reading a blog post but this is just so beautiful ❤ I randomly came across the picture of you holding Indy on instagram which then led me here. She is so lucky to have you as her mama!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to read our story! 🙂

  19. T Light says: Reply

    I lost my newborn daughter a month ago to a genetic abnormality. We knew she would be sick and possibly not live a long life. We found out she was sick when I was 19 weeks pregnant so we had prepared. Livia graced us with her beautiful soul for 1 week before she went to heaven.
    I can totally empathize with you and your emotions. Your daughter is beautiful and you are so lucky God blessed you with her. Enjoy her every second of everyday! Sending you and your family so much love and good vibes!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Wow- my heart aches for you, mama. I can only begin to imagine your pain. Thank you for the reminder that every day of life is a precious gift. I do treasure every moment with my Indy babe. Prayers and love to you 🙂

  20. Jacob's Mother😊 says: Reply

    These are majestic experiences to treasure and Thank God for God Love and Mercy.
    Thank you for the courage to share, may your family continue a blessed life. Amen🙏❤💏

  21. Jessika Maciel says: Reply

    Simplesmente: LINDO! DEUS TE ABENÇOE!

  22. Veronica says: Reply

    I wish I had adequate words. This is so beautiful and such a blessing on my heart. Praying continued blessings, love and peace to your family.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you so much 🙂

  23. Daniela says: Reply

    This is so beautifully written.. God always has a plan ❤️.. thank you for sharing your story, it brought tears to my eyes 💕💕

  24. Jessica says: Reply

    This is absolutely beautiful!❤️ I could not hold back my tears the entire time while reading. Thank you so much for sharing your story.❤️

  25. Cynthia says: Reply

    Your story is so moving. You are blessed with a beautiful family and an absolutely beautiful baby. God bless❤

  26. I had to leave a comment on here too. I just read everyone else’s above and just wanted to add to their amazing sentiments. I just have to let you know that I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Jone’s. I see GREAT BIG things up ahead. She IS awesome and so are her amazing parents. I love your honesty. I love your heart. I love your soul. xoxo

  27. Cara Jones says: Reply

    Terah what a beautiful story! inhad tears in my eyes as I read it it just made me feel so warm and wonderful. I still have the picture of Indy you guys gave me on my message board at home and it makes me smile every time I see it. She is such a beautiful blessing and she is so lucky to have such wonderful parents! I can only imagine the great things she is going to accomplish with the love of you and Brian behind her.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Oh I am so glad you still have her picture up! That makes me so happy 🙂 You are so sweet, Thanks Cara.

  28. Dana Mail says: Reply

    Terah,
    your words are so beautiful and warms me to my soul. Yes, i cried while at work and because everyone was asking i shared with them, all mothers, who also cried. I am so glad you are writing this down and allowing us to read it. Indy and her parents are so loved. This family needed Indy and i feel that in my heart. I love you guys and cant wait to see what our little Indy has in store for the world.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you so much, I love you and really appreciate your love and support!

  29. Mike says: Reply

    Absolutely beautiful!

  30. Hailey says: Reply

    God is so good! I never heard the part about B and the electricity. I’m sure thankful for the Holy Ghost who was comforting you or at least warning B to be prepared for a road less traveled. Love you there adventuring souls. So grateful to call you my BFF!

  31. Jessica Ingram says: Reply

    Oh beautiful mama…my heart rejoiced with you as you described the anticipation of your impending delivery, grieved as I felt the impact of each of your words then eased as I read of the grace with which you humbled yourself to a plan so much bigger and more glorious than anything we can comprehend. As a mama to 5, I’ve looked death in the eye, watched as dreams shattered and prayed that through it all, God would show me how He was going to use all of this. Mothering these precious lives with all of their unique strengths and weaknesses is both the heaviest burden as well as the greatest gift. God bless you, dear one.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      YOU are a beautiful writer. Thank you, thank you, for such uplifting & true words. I love your insight, and I can tell you are one powerful mother. xoxo

  32. Stacy Nelson says: Reply

    As I sit here with my 5 month old, whom I yelled at for the first time today, he has been so clingy, screaming Everytime I set him down, haven’t slept in what feels like years, I feel peace. I needed your story to remind myself that so many wish for just a fussy baby. What a powerful message of hope, love and triumph your story has brought to my heart! Thank you thank you for that! She is such a doll and I just want to smooch her cheeks!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you! I’m so glad our story was what you needed today. It’s all about our perspective huh 😊 Even I remind myself often how lucky I am that Indy is healthy, because many other children with Down syndrome have difficult health challenges. Thank you for your comment. Sending you love and strength!

  33. Hilary Riley says: Reply

    I love this story so much. We just had our first daughter she is 3 months old and she has Down syndrome and a hole in her heart too. I have found so much comfort in stories of other momma’s and their raw emotions. Thank you for boldly sharing your journey. Indy is a dream. She is so beautiful.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Oh wow, I would love to see pictures of your daughter and hear more about your story! I hope she is doing well. Thanks you for reading and commenting! ❤️

  34. Mama Kat says: Reply

    I was finally brave enough to read this. Wow. I knew it would be amazing but I certainly didn’t realize just how amazing it would really be. I used the excuse of knowing that I was going to cry and kept putting it off. The real truth is I have been terrified to go back to that night. That was the second most devasting, scariest, frankly downright horrifying event of my life. (The first being your accident.) Like you, it still haunts me.
    I don’t know how I made it from your room to the waiting area where they had us go. Every inch/ounce of my body was trembling so hard I could barely move. Someone had to help me walk.
    I felt it the moment she was born. She had down syndrome. When they asked me to leave the room I knew it. I was terrified. Horrified for you to hear those words. Praying to God to fix it. To take it away. Please take it away and make it right for my Terah and B!
    I don’t know how I was able to make it home. I called Chris and he helped talk me home. We both cried. Sobbed matter of fact. My tears were for you. Not the fact that that was her diagnosis but for the fact that it was YOUR baby. The baby you had waited for for over five years. Your heartbreak of such devasting news. IF ONLY WE KNEW THAT NIGHT WHAT WE ALL KNOW NOW. That this baby girl, this little bundle of pure joy, was the greatest gift that God good give us all. She changed our entire family for the better in just a few short days. My thoughts and feelings quickly changed from heartbreak for you to overwhelming feelings of gratefulness. Why us? Why me? How did I get so lucky to have this precious little gift given to me?! I quickly figured out WHY YOU. You and B are truly the most unbelievably, amazing parents that she could ever have received. You’re the perfect little family. YOU my dear daughter are amazing. You and Indy will do great things. I know it. I’m so grateful to call you my daughter. I’m so grateful to call Indy my granddaughter. GOD IS SO GOOD.

  35. Monica says: Reply

    I came across your story the other day and have not stopped thinking of it. Our story is very similar. We were told about our Dominic moments after he was born. In less than 24 hrs he was transferred to a children’s hospital for heart surgery and stood in NICU for 18 days. It’s very comforting to know I am not the only one with those same emotions. Almost 2 months later I’m still very up and down. Thank you for sharing this amazing story!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Hi Monica! So glad you found us. I would love to connect and help in any way that I can. I still have my days but they are few and far between. At two months I still had a lot of hard days. It gets better 🙂 sending love.

      1. Monica Perez says: Reply

        Thank you. I really appreciate that. You can contact me whenever. Reading all these mommy stories have helped a lot, more than I thought it would. My email is miperez323@gmail.com I’m on instagram under monica323 and also on fb.

  36. elise says: Reply

    What a beautiful story. I also gave birth to a baby in August and my water also broke hours before I went into labor at 36 weeks and 5 days!! Many years ago I had a client who had just given birth to a down syndrome baby. If I recall correctly she was originally from the Philippines, and in their culture they consider these babies to be very lucky and to bring prosperity to the family. I remember also being told by a teacher of mine that only a master soul would choose to incarnate as a special needs child. Children like Indy are here to teach us about unconditional love and are radiant expressions of Divine purity. You are truly blessed and God has special plans for your family. Thank you for sharing your story and God bless.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Love every word you wrote. You are a lovely person. Thank you so much. I truly feel that Indy is a master soul 🙂

  37. Sharon Flottman says: Reply

    When I came across Indy’s picture on Instagram, I was captivated. I have saved every picture you have posted because she fills me with hope. I found your blog, finally, and the story behind the precious face is one of courage and beauty. God knew exactly what he was doing placing this treasure in your wonderful family to be recognized for what she is. I will be praying for you all. 👨‍👩‍👧

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you Sharon, I am so glad Indy fills your heart with hope. She does the same to mine. Thanks for following our journey!

    2. Sharon says: Reply

      @elise I love and appreciate your comment. Our society can learn a valuable lesson from Philipinos who believe parenting a child with Downs is a Blessing. I have heard and read that over 40 years from these families but our American society equates difficult or “abnormal” as a negative, yet that is how we learn great lessons, stretch ourselves and grow spiritually. The fact that God placed this precious little girl with parents who will nurture her and are proud of her will only benefit our society to embrace differences and see what unconditional love looks like.

      1. Terahbelle says: Reply

        We have already learned great lessons, been stretched, and grown spiritually for sure. It is a gift to learn so much about life and true love in such a short amount of time. We are blessed!

  38. Leslie says: Reply

    I found your feed on Instagram and just read the story of Indy’s birth. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful girl. She is beyond precious and is lucky to have such loving parents. If only every child was that lucky. Much love to you and your beautiful family.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you so much, I truly appreciate that 🙂

  39. Rachel says: Reply

    What an absolutely incredible birth story. I love how raw you wrote your emotions and just told the truth of your fears- the unknown- and then the ultimate full circle to God – knowing that this little sweet babe was meant for you. Know that you are already doing a great job mama- loving that little lady is your most important job right now and it sounds like you are doing it excellently. I am sure you are an inspiration to all who come across your blog.

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      You are so sweet. Thank you so much for your kind words and the reminder that loving her is my most important job! Xoxo ❤

  40. Jessica says: Reply

    It’s your journey and you came accepted it with open arms. That is beautiful and courageous.

    1. Jessica says: Reply

      * came to accept it

    2. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you! ❤

  41. Åsa says: Reply

    Thank you, T 💞 Your story is mine. My girl is 7. She can do many things I never ever believed she would: read, write and do math. Welcome to this land of motherhood! You only need three things: faith, hope and love. Indy is a true gift from God. Love, åsa

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      I love hearing that. Other people’s stories are what give me hope to keep going. Thank you so much for sharing! I would love to see pictures of your sweet girl 😊💗 xoxo

  42. Shauna says: Reply

    What a beautiful touching sacred birth story . Through you words I felt your anguish , your deep sorrow and then your pure love for you baby girl . As a mom of two , that moment when you hold them and fell how much they need up love us….well it is a miracle .

    Much love to you and your precious family .
    Shauna

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Yes, motherhood is a miracle and holding them for that first time teaches you an undeniable love! Thank you for your comment ❤

  43. Kate Niederhauser says: Reply

    Your words are beautiful, and so heartfelt! I’m sure every mom in your situation or something similar has felt these same feelings. I know first hand that moment when you think, “this is not for me, I can’t do this and don’t want to” but it’s all part of Gods plan for us, and now here you are bringing comfort to THE WORLD!! And your sweet darling daughter will change us all!! Thanks for sharing your heart!!❤

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Wow, thank you so much for such uplifting words! Sometimes I doubt why I am doing this, and consider stopping, so it is so Nice to hear that some (like you) think we are bringing comfort to the world and helping other families. It means a lot. Thank you! ❤ much love

  44. Katie Diaz says: Reply

    Once again your words have brought me to tears. I feel so connected to your story as ours was so similar. On nights like this, when my two beautiful babies are asleep and I’m wide awake, I seek comfort in the stories of others. When I’m ready to share my story, I will make sure to share it with you. Best wishes -Katie Diaz (Ev and Lici’s mommy)

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      I am so glad we have had the opportunity to connect, and am happy my story has helped you in your healing. I look forward to reading yours! ❤

  45. Myworldmyway40 says: Reply

    And just to think I loved Indy Boo (my name for her) just seeing her sweet pics on IG… oh this story melts my heart and I appreciate her and you that much more! The power of motherhood but even more the power of these sweet spirits that awake our souls. Bless you all!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      aw thank you for reading and loving Indy!

  46. Nic Kerr says: Reply

    Indy is just beautiful! And you guys are so blessed. I remember these feelings so well, they are life-changing. My son is only 5 but it feels so much longer ago that I had my own night turn upside down. So long since doubt or guilt or ‘what if’s. I am so thankful for the gift of my boy and I often wonder how I got to be so privileged to be chosen to have him in my life. He is honestly such a gift and whilst I could sense this from Day one, I proclaimed it louder than I was sure of, to make it real.
    But your post has made me reflect that it’s been a long time since I’ve had to trust the words of hope. Now I live them and breathe them.
    It doesn’t take long to 100% believe in these gifts of children and feel completely humbled and so blessed – no hope or trust needed ☺
    Such a special ride. Congratulations!

    1. Terahbelle says: Reply

      Thank you so much! It is so good to hear from others who have walked a similar road. So good knowing that the fears you had in the beginning have faded (completely) and you truly feel lucky. I am getting there. In the beginning I would declare with boldness my joy in being blessed with her, then the next day I would be bawling because Down syndrome was scary and it what I hoped for. So up and down. But now I don’t remember the last time I was sad about Down syndrome. I’m just happy about my baby girl.
      Thank you for your kind and uplifting words! ❤

  47. […] Posted on November 14, 2016 […]

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