And I knew.

Charlie was born on August 30, 2007. Charles Andrew. 7 pounds 10 ounces, 19 inches. He came easily into this world. His eyes were open, taking everything in. His eyes also told us of our new journey as parents. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord gave us this window. It was so clear to us the minute he was born that our new baby son had Down syndrome.

from “the beginning.”

I could tell the moment Charlie was laid on my chest.

I knew.

A birth story.  Honest.  True.  Beautiful.

A new mother walking a journey she didn’t expect.

Reading it brought forth a flood of raw emotion.

I didn’t realize I held those feelings so close to the surface.

I relive that day more frequently than most.

You do that when your life is changed forever.

I held my new baby.  I kissed him.  I loved him.

Alex and I could not, would not connect eyes.

He knew.

He was calm.  He made phone calls.  He was quiet.  It was the first and only time I have seen my husband cry.  He loved his new son.

We knew.

We were surrounded by family and friends that filled the room with beautiful laughter and tears.

When no one knew what to say their actions of love filled the void.

They knew.

We have two pictures of that day.  One of a family.  A mom and dad with eyes red and brimming with tears – trying to be brave and smile – a swaddled baby and a squirming toddler.  The second photo captures a pink and healthy baby boy.  Brand-new to the world.  He too is brave.

I wish we had taken more pictures.  But those early minutes and hours will forever be imprinted into my brain.

When I remember I’m not sad.  It was the day my son was born.


I love it when new moms have the courage to share their birth story.  When their life opens up to welcome a new baby.  One with Down syndrome.  Each word of their story honest.

They share their fears.  Yet proclaim that beauty and love win the battle.

Her story is mine.  Mine is hers.  Each story connecting us.

Each story shared is a small victory.  One more curtain pulled down.

I rarely say this – but you MUST – Go.  Read.  Cry.  Share.

Nella Cordelia – A birth story.

I cried while eating my oatmeal.  My heart ached for this new mom starting her new story.

I smiled.

I remembered.

It was a beautiful way to start my day.


7 thoughts on “And I knew.

  1. No kidding, girlfriend. I sobbed my eyes out. SOBBED.

    See, I didn’t know when I first saw B. I didn’t know until about an hour later when my doctor told me. So I have pictures of me holding B when I didn’t know. It is still painful sometimes to look at those.

  2. Libby, Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.
    As I read Nella Cordelia’s birth story, I was reminded (through tears and a full heart) that though the details of our stories are all different, the connection we have by virtue of being moms walking a different path than we imagined bonds us. The knowing, the wondering, the pain tempered by stunning joy, the beauty and the understanding…our sweet, perfect babies. With love. xoxo

  3. Oh- I’m so glad you found this! As I read the beginning of your email Libby, I thought to myself that I had to tell you about Nella… because her mom, Kelle, is like you- a beautiful writer, who tells us all their innermost thoughts about something that is no very common! I check in on you (almost) daily to see what’s new. I’m lucky to have found you! And I’m glad to have found Kelle too! Thanks for posting….

    (And yes, was reading Nella’s birth story just amazing….. it definitely brought back a lot of memories.)

  4. thank you for this. I have read the story at least three times now. The tears and welling heart never cease, though. Just so you know, I would have given anything that day to be there and give you those big hugs on that first night. Love you all so much. your H

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