our magpie

our magpie

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our Magpie's Birth Story

Well I have been remembering all day where we were exactly one year ago today. We were cleaning our house in a mad rush to get ready for the appraiser to come that Saturday afternoon so we could start our addition. I remember working inside and then going outside to start mowing, and I remember it started raining and me running inside in the rain. I remember being so anxious about meeting our new baby, the one that had been kicking me like a star soccer player for months, and that had the hiccups many times a day! I wanted to know the sex of this precious being in my belly, I wanted to hold it and see it and know everything was "perfect". After we got the girls in bed I took a long bubble bath, did a mud mask, heated gloves with lotion, the works, getting ready to be induced in two days. I would pack for myself and the girls on the next day, Sunday, May 17th. I would have all day to get ready so I was just going to relax tonight. After my 2 hour bath I laid down in bed with Jeffrey to watch the season finale of Lost.

I remember saying "Baby, I can't tell if I am having contractions or just cramping." Jeffrey said "Let's try and time them." Sure enough they went from "I can't tell every 7-8 minutes to "I can't stand up long enough to throw stuff in a bag to go to the hospital to get checked out", just in case! Well somehow we made it to Baptist Hospital, breathing through contractions every 3 minutes, about midnight.

I remember the sweet grandmother-like nurse finding us a room when at the desk they said none were ready. And thank you Lord because I was already dialated to an eight!! I barely remember my parents, sisters and aunts coming in the room to help us welcome Miss Maggie. I did get an epidural, THANK YOU! and Miss Maggie Rae made her arrival just barely one hour later at 1:16 am. I have been writing alot of this in a journal over the past year, but tears still stream down my face everytime I relive it all, or atleast all that I remember.

But they are happy tears now, the only thing I wish I could change about that night would be that we were not sad the first few hours of her life, that our hearts would not have been so heavy. If I had known then what I know now we would have been rejoicing and smiling and so happy our hearts would explode. I remember seeing her when they held her up and laid her on my chest and thinking--

"Something is not right, she look's nothing like my other two girls, is that my baby?" But I knew. I knew the second I saw her. I was just to scared to say anything.

I remember waiting for someone, anyone to say something. Did they not see it too? Everyone was just "She is beautiful, but she looks nothing like her sisters!" Or that they could not believe it was another girl.

But you don't notice anything else, no one? Nothing?

And so we all got to hold her for about 5 minutes and then they said they had to take her to put her on a little bit of oxygen, no big deal...

So everyone left to go back home to bed, and it was just Jeffrey and I in the room. I remember it being so quiet. So empty. Where was my baby? I should be nursing her and loving on her, just like my other deliveries. They were picture-perfect deliveries. Baby out in a few pushes, then laying on me nursing while I stared at them thinking "Did I really make this? Something so sweet and perfect and wonderful?"

Finally I was brave enough to look at Jeffrey and ask--

"Did her little eyes look ok to you baby?"

Through tears he said "No baby, I'm scared."

Well that totally freaked me out because Jeffrey is Mr. Positive, Mr. always-look -on-the-bright-side, Mr. glass half full. Which is one reason I love him so. And so it scared me to death to see him scared for the first time in almost 10 years.

So we sat in total silence for hours. I think we both shut down. I was scared to ask him anything else. I was scared to ask where Maggie was. I was scared to breath, move, think...anything. It was like I was out of my body for almost 7 hours. I would cry myself to sleep and then wake up and cry myself to sleep again. I remember I wanted to wake up and it be a bad dream. I wanted everything to be the way I thought it would be. I wanted to be so excited to call my girls and tell them thay had a new baby sister, not a new baby sister with Down Syndrome.

And finally at 7:30 am I finally got the nerve up to force my mouth to open--

"Baby, I need you---"

And Jeffrey crawled into bed with me and we both cried.

We cried harder than I knew humanly possible. And I hurt. My heart broke into a million pieces. I could not believe this was happening to us. Was I not thankful enough? Is this a lesson I am being taught? I did not appreciate having such a wonderful husband, two beautiful healthy girls and owning a business that I loved for almost 11 years. Now looking back I cannot believe I ever thought any of those things. But I feel it took going through all of those feelings to now see it as not what happened to us...but for us.

And then enter the wonderful on-call pediatrician. She found us in bed together crying and said "So someone has spoke to you?"

"No, no one. We just could tell by her little almond eyes."

She asked if we knew anyone with DS...


Well, she then started telling us so many wonderful things that we knew nothing about. They do not all have health issues. They can live into their 80's. She will bring so much joy to us and teach our other girls so much about unconditional love. She was so positive, and we feel so blessed to have her to be the first one to speak to us. She sat in bed and held our hands and cried with us. She was definitely sent to us through many prayers that were being said in the previous hours.

Then I called my mom and Jeffrey called his.

We had to tell everyone. We needed support and that is exactly what we received.
I remember crying and how bad it hurt to say the words to my mom.

"Momma, Maggie has Down Syndrome."

And she comforted me like a mom always does.

"It will be okay. We will help you. We love you and we will be here for you. We will do whatever it takes."

And then they finally brought Miss Maggie to our room.

Jeffrey walked over to get her and handed her to me in the bed. I remember taking her and putting all of her 6 pounds 2 ounces up to my face and breathing her in. It was like heaven. Just like the other girls. She was this sweet, innocent soul looking at me...

"Please love me, please want me. I know I am not what you were expecting...."

And I looked into her eyes and truly feel like I could see her sweet soul. I remember my tears falling on her perfect little face, but they had now turned to happy tears. And then I tried to nurse her, "Please do this, you can do this. I want that special bond I had with Emme Grace and Rayley Beth." And she did. She latched on just like they did. I think she knew I needed that. Even though it was harder for her she did it like a champ..and is still nursing like a champ!

And then waiting on the big sisters to arrive...they had gone to bed with mom and dad at home and woke up to Nana telling them they had a new baby sister waiting at the hospital! Needless to say, they were ready to get in the car to meet their new sister. And I remember worrying that something would be different, something taken away from them. But I will never forget when they walked in that hospital room...

So much excitement behind their shy little smiles as they walked toward me and Maggie in the bed....then my sweet little girls reminded me what unconditional love looks like...with the absence of stereotypes...

Rayley Beth's first words out of her mouth when she met Maggie--

"She's the cutest baby in the world."

It took my sweet 5 year old to remind that we should all be just like her....proud.

It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I think she knew just what I needed to hear. My tender-hearted Miss Rayley Beth, reminded me how to love.

And then my sisters...Tina was online for hours looking for us an inspirational website and she found the perfect one. Thank you to Lisa at bridgets-light.com... you provided us with so much that first day. You gave us so much inspiration watching your videos of your sweet Bridget. And thank you Tina for your words you wrote to us, of how lucky we were to get to go on this journey. You helped us realize how good it felt for others to be feeling the same as we were....happy. It only took holding Miss Maggie to feel her sweet, gentle spirit and the feeling of ...it is going to be okay. And Susie who told us we had so much to look forward to, since she works with DS children on a weekly basis at Vanderbilt. Thank you to Jana for coming to meet your new niece and reminding us how beautiful she truly is. Thank you to all of our family and friends who visited and showed your support and helped heal our hearts by just knowing your love and support were there. We love you so and feel truly blessed to have such an amazing support group.

And Jeffrey, when I watched him holding Maggie...well, it just made me fall even more in love with him. It made me feel so safe, all of his words that this is part of God's plan and what we have to look forward to.

The morning after Miss Maggie entered our lives the clouds definitely parted. You just have to love her up and you"ll see what I mean. And if I would have known those first few hours what I know now, like how her smile lights up the whole room,
(and they are many!) or how much of a snugglebug she is or how she holds her little hands like she is praying and she loves her feet like no one's business! And how she loves her sisters and smiles everytime she sees them, and makes them smile and laugh so much.

I feel truly blessed and have thanked God many times for all the wonderful things he has planned for us. I feel like he has written a new story for us and is teaching us, through Miss Maggie, to turn each page slowly. To take in one day at at a time and to truly enjoy all of the small things because those are always the best things. What joy this past year has brought us and we have so much to look forward to....Happy 1st Birthday Miss Maggie Rae, our little love muffin.


  1. awww. it turned out so good! what a precious sweetie...now i really want to come see her!hehe.

  2. Happy 1st birthday little Maggie Rae! You have blessed our lives in the past year more than you will ever know. Patsy and Jeff, you are the most wonderful, loving parents. Maggie is so fortunate to have you both in her life. And we are ALL so blessed to have her in our lives!! The blog is beautiful. I love you guys!

  3. I am thrilled that Bridget's website provided some comfort when Maggie was tiny...that is exactly why I started writing about our experience! After the initial shock of the diagnosis wore off, we quickly learned that life with Down syndrome was not something to fear, that Bridget herself added greatly to the happiness and goodness in our lives, and that we had so much to be grateful for (and to look forward to)!

    I'm glad you started a blog for Maggie. Looking forward to reading more :)!

    Happy Birthday little one!

    www.bridgets-light.blogspot.com & www.lovingalina.blogspot.com

  4. Patsy that is truly beautiful! I cried the whole time I was reading it. You have outdone yourself. Miss Maggie is truly awesome! Happy Birthday Maggie!
    I Love You all,
    Aunt Jana

  5. What a beautiful story of life and love and the incredible journey you have been on this past year, Patsy and Jeff, you have touched so many lives just by sharing your precious family. Miss Maggie Rae has completed your circle where love certainly has no end. God's light shines brightly thru your sweet angel's precious twinkle eyes. Happy 1st Birthday Miss Maggie Rae. Love, Aunt Mary Kay

  6. Patsy and Jeff, you don't know me, but a couple of my high school classmates from Murfreesboro, Barbara Belt and Mary Fann Drennen, posted your blog on their facebook pages. Reading your story of Miss Maggie Rae reminded me of my great niece, Danielle, and her husband, Jakobh, and the amazing love they have for and have received from their beautiful child, Myrdin Rose, who has DS. Their experience and joy has been much like yours. God is with you and with Maggie and you will bless each others lives in many ways and unexpected moments. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

  7. Jeff & Patsy,
    Thank you for sharing your experience about having little Maggie Rae in your life. You can certainly see and feel the love of God in your story. I believe that you both now know that you are very special parents to be entrusted with the care of little Maggie. First and foremost, she is God's child and He loves her as much as He loves any of the rest of His children. It has been amazing to watch your family transform into what you are today compared to the first day that she was born. God certainly knows what is best for us! I know that you will continue to be blessed as parents and as "big sisters" as Maggie grows and progresses in her life. The joy will be yours to enjoy for the sweet spirit that she shares with you! Always know that we love you and we pray for you! Uncle Steve & Aunt Kay

  8. I read your post on the 'SavingSofia' blog and decided to visit your blog-and I'm so glad I did. I hope to find the light every time I perceive something to be dark. I think that's what Maggie is, light and love-it's only our perception that is off.

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  9. Patsy - Thanks so much for dropping in on my blog and leaving a comment. I'm so glad to have found your blog too. And I'm in tears reading your post. Maggie is absolutely adorable!
    I lived in Nashville from 1995-2004 and miss it terribly. The only other TN blogs I can think of are Renee Garcia in Clarksville (My Special K's) and a friend of mine in Franklin whose twin boys turned one on July 1st (one has designer genes, but she doesn't really blog about that).
    I look forward to getting to know you through the blogosphere. You have a beautiful family!

  10. Oh, how I wish we loved closer to get our girls together! Such a beautiful story- why didn't the doctors talk to you immediately? You can email me if you want...psalms127.5@gmail.com
    Take care!!

  11. Beautiful birth story! We had a prenatal diagnosis with Laura so I can not even begin to imagine the shock you guys went through. We went through the same shock, but just before Laura was born :)

  12. Patsy-What a beautiful story! I am glad you wrote it to help other people realize there is no need to be in despair. Maggie has opened up a new world for our family that we would have never entered, and what a true joy it has been. She has taught us so much in one year and we will continue to grow and learn with her her. How truly blessed we are! God has been good to our family and Maggie hit the jack pot for the two sweetest sisters and a the most loving Daddy and Momma.

  13. Oh Patsy what a blessing this is----I hope you didn't mind that I shared it on my FB after Margie sent it to me. I have had so many wonderful comments, I really believe that your family has a Special Annointing to raise, nurture and grow Maggie Rae. Your first daughters will have qualities developed in them others will miss out on. Thank you for sharing this with us! Also love the way Jeffrey loves you all and ministers to you. What a man and father.
    Barbara Belt @realtracs.com

  14. Hi Patsy, what a beautiful blessing Maggie is. Your life journey has been an amazing blessing to us. What a wonderful family you have! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, we're so blessed by it. God Bless. Jeff & Betsy.

  15. Looking at your blog, I can see you have a very wonderful husband and three kids! From my life perspective, I have been in special education classes with and around students who were mentally, developmentally, and physically handicapped. I can see that Maggie is a wonderful little one who has DS. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. For forty years, I have lived with autism. As a small kid people used to think I was retarted and a group of doctors wanted my mom to put me in an institution. " Excuse Me," my mother said " but I dont think so!"

  16. Sorry that I forgot to add my name to the comment above. Hershal

  17. I just found your blog. Reading your story was very familiar. My brother Patrick was born 50 years ago. I remember my dad coming from the hospital to tell my sisters and I about Pat having downs. We all cried. That was the last time we cried.Pat has been such a blessing to our family. He will be celebrating his 51st birthday next month. Pat has an amazing sense of humor, so much love for everyone, and deep insight. He touches everyone wherever we go. He is the baby of four. He is loved by all his sisters, brother-in laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many more. I am so happy for your beautiful family and the wonderful journey you are on. You are truly blessed. Love, Leslie (the big sis)

  18. Patsy,
    What a lovely family story!
    I have just enjoyed see your lovely home and decided to meet you and your little Maggie Rae.
    I am the mother of four children and our second child, Samantha was born with Down Syndrome 27 years ago. She is my little "Minnie Me" and truly a blessing and a joy.
    She is even helps me with my interior design business keeping my design library in order as well as working outside of our home.
    Your journey is my journey, but what a wonderful adventure you have ahead of you!

  19. Patsy,

    This is beautiful. Tears are streaming down my face- first sad and now happy. You, your family and your home are beautiful.

    Best Wishes,


  20. I stumbled upon your instagram page and fell in love with photos of your home and then saw your blog link and decided to learn a bit about the family with the beautiful and full of love home...and I'm now crying but smiling. This was simply beautiful! My partner and I are about to adopt a child and we have no idea gender or anything but just that a family member is a bit lost in the world and we are in a position to help. The last few weeks I've been preoccupied with all of the what ifa because there are so many that could possibly happen in this situation and I'm glad to say that right now all fears have been brought down sooo much thanks to your beautiful story. I'm filled with joy for you and yours which os now spilling over to ours and I'm so thankful for that. Such a touching scenario that could unfold in anyones life and you all handles it completely beautifully! Thanks for tgis...you have no idea how this has not only touched my heart but my soul!

  21. I found you and your beautiful family through Instagram. I decided to check out your blog this morning and what a blessing I received after reading about Miss Maggie Rae's birth. I have 2 very close friends that have children with DS and both of those little girls(now 21 and 25) have been an enormous blessing to their families and every one who knows them! God makes no mistakes and I have told my friends time and time again how special they are that God would send His most special little children to be loved and nurtured by them. Oh what a blessing she is...I can see it in every picture you post! Your home is beautiful but what makes it so beautiful is the love you see and sense in each and every picture of your family.....Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful baby girls!!! God Bless you all during this wonderful Christmas season!!!


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