The Story Of Jude & Fi

Today I'm sharing a sweet friend I met through Instagram. Though we are miles a part and have never met in person, our hearts our connected. We both walk the sweet journey of Down syndrome together...and because of that, our hearts are united. Shannon is such a beautiful woman and so talented. Here is a little bit of her creative side...

"Fi is for my daughter Fiona who was my inspiration for making these clips. She wouldn't keep anything in her hair and I wanted to grow her bangs out. I am a hair stylist and we use these little wig clips and sew them into hair wefts for clip in hair extensions.  While big bows are cute, they are way too easy for little hands to get a good grasp on and just pull. The design needed to be flat and light weight but still eye catching.

 My mother loved to cross stitch- but she rarely finished a project. She passed away almost two years ago and I came across piles and piles of embroidery thread in the things I have of hers. I stitched a design on a piece of felt and fell in love with the look.  Even more so I loved that I found yet another way to keep my mom's memory around. Her name was Judie but those close to her often called her Jude. So became Jude&Fi! You can find all the available styles at JudeandFi

Midwives And Mom In Training

While my daughter was feeling the strong kicks of her baby brother in my belly, I asked her if she wanted to be a midwife when she grew up. She stopped massaging my belly for a moment and looked puzzled. Then she laughed at me as if I said something really silly, "No, I want to be a Karen!" 

She has come to all of my appointments with me and really loves our midwife, Karen. You can see why.

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We are Celebrating 30 weeks!

His face when he feels his brother kick.

His face when he feels his brother kick.

A Simple Plea, "God, Help Him Breathe!"

My heart feels raw as I write this. I feel vulnerable and a little scared as I think about the reality of what it means to be a mother. One of my biggest jobs is to protect my children. But sometimes protecting my children isn't enough. When a life-threatening case of croup clenches tight on my sons throat, stealing oxygen from his lungs, I panic. Within seconds I watch him struggle to breathe. 

The cool mist of the shower did nothing, we were running out of time. I called 911. The simplest of questions like my address and phone number seemed so hard to remember. I tried to speak slowly and clearly. Then my voice cracked, I was so scared. I could feel a love for my son in a way like never before. A deep, I-would-do-anything, I-would-take-your-place kind of love. 

His eyes lock with mine, "It's okay baby, you're going to be okay. Breathe Elias!" His eyes were desperate for me to save him. In that moment I felt devastated as a mother, I could do nothing but wait for the distant sirens of the ambulance. 

I held him close and kissed his head. My prayer was a simple plea, "God, help him breathe!" I was asking God for something that I couldn't give my son.

Vitali and Pia stood by, like little watchdogs over their brother. "Mom, what can I do to help?" I remember feeling so proud of my six-year-old son as he was ready to do anything to help his little brother. "Go stand by the front door and wait for the ambulance. When they get here, bring them upstairs." 

I remember feeling relieved when my brother-in-law and nurse sat on the bathroom floor with me as I cradled Elias.

I felt comforted that my sister was in my home, acting as a second mother to Vitali and Pia. 

I walked outside with Elias stretched out on the gurney, I saw my husband and I held back tears. I could hear Elias struggle to say "Daddy..."

When we arrived at the hospital and the sirens turned off, Elias was trying to say something. With a raspy voice he managed to push out a few words, "A big one!" I laughed and explained to the paramedics that he was excited to ride in a big truck. 

Once Elias was given a breathing treatment and steroids, he slowly settled back into himself…and I could breath again too. 

The day I watched Elias struggle to breathe was the hardest day I have experienced as a mom. I wanted control over his life. I wanted to know that he was going to be okay. Within seconds I knew how helpless I was as a mother to my son. I longed for God to help Elias, but I could do nothing. As I waited on the ambulance, I understood a whole new meaning of waiting on the Lord.

I sat on the bathroom floor and prayed to God to help Elias breathe. I was reminded that there are some things I cannot give to my children. Every breath is from the Lord. 

I saw a new side of my helplessness as a person that day. I am thankful that God is my children's protector. I could never protect life like he can. 

© 2014 Natalie Falls