Motherhood Project Story – Brianna: A Journey of Love, Faith, and Resilience


I am excited to participate in the Motherhood Project because it allows me to share our story. There are so many mama’s going through similar experiences and I know how difficult it feels. I also know that their thoughts will make them feel guilty and they need to know that it is okay. You may always feel somewhat scared, and you may always wonder why, but one thing you will always know is the love you have for your baby. Every child needs love, and affection and to be taught about life. They need their mommy and God chose YOU!

First, I’ll share some things before her birth:

When we received the diagnosis, I was absolutely devastated. I was heartbroken about all the plans I had. Everything I’ve dreamt of was shattered. I remember sitting there in silence, pleading to God for him to make it right (although, MY idea of “right” wasn’t the same as His). I didn’t know how to tell people. I thought all of my friends would judge me. My family wouldn’t know how to act. Everyone will stare. How do you even care for a child with special needs? My thoughts went to the darkest place they’ve ever been. I was scared, angry, confused, and shocked. I mean the chances of me having a child with Down Syndrome were seemingly very small. How is this happening to me? Only two people know the true feelings/thoughts that went through my head (of course now whoever reads this will know more and I’m okay with that).

Through the pain and frustrations, I realize that my feelings were valid and I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. But I feel like sharing this can truly show the significance of having God in your life. As I said, only two people have ever heard me say this and when I did I immediately had tons of emotions. Writing this out just makes me sick to my stomach. Through some of those dark days, the conversation about abortion came up. My husband and I were so distraught and have always had strong feelings about it. But we wondered, was this a valid reason? Was this something we were capable of doing? We cried we talked over and over about how unfair this all was. We were so angry. I’ve always been such an advocate against abortion which is part of the reason I was so angry at God. I vouched for Him yet this is the thanks I get? I’m put in a situation where that thought crosses my mind. But God knew.

My husband and I would both talk to my mom separately sometimes too because we didn’t want to hurt the other. One day my mother told me that I needed to let all my feelings out with my husband. Her advice was that we needed to communicate with each other about everything. So we did. We cried together some more. A few days later we had another appointment. After one of the tests confirmed the diagnosis we had an ultrasound. On the left side of the picture, you can see an outline of what the world has drawn up of Jesus’ face. I showed my husband and then my mom. I texted it to our family. We could all see the same thing! Then of course I had to share it with Facebook. I had to show the world that God was with me through all of these feelings and that He was showing Himself.

After this and seeing our sweet baby on the screen of that ultrasound… we knew what God knew all along. We decided that we were going to love this baby no matter what and we wanted to do the best we could. But we were still confused. We still felt like it wasn’t fair. Now, we had all the feelings of guilt to go with our feelings of anger and despair. I mean we thought for a moment about things we never thought we would. Then my mom told me something one day. She said.. “you have to let go of that guilt and realize that you chose to keep this baby, no matter what because you already love her that much”. This just meant that being a mother to her was exactly what I needed to be. It’s what I was called to do – even if I didn’t understand why.

If you could see what I see now… your vision would be so different. You may not be able to experience things exactly as you planned but your new dreams can be just as good. Things will take time. You will heal in time. This isn’t your sweet baby’s fault and it isn’t your fault. It isn’t God’s fault. It is a mysterious blessing that only very few of us get to experience. Seriously! It is very rare for a child with Down Syndrome to make it to birth.

Here’s a statistic that helped me see how precious this life is supposed to be: Only 20% of eggs with an extra 21st chromosome survive the first cell division. Of that 20%, only 20% survive fertilization. Of that 20%, only 20% survive the first cell division after fertilization. The odds that you have that child in your life? Very slim. The only explanation is that your child is a fighter from the moment they were created. They are much stronger than we could ever be. – Scientist Dixie Lawrence

Now I’ll share our birth story:

After everything was said and done – not only did we find out she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, they told us she had a heart defect that would need surgery within 6 months after her birth. We were transferred to OU for all of our appointments. Fast forward to 29 weeks, and we went in for another check-up. One week into the third trimester. Everything changed in an instant. My blood pressure skyrocketed and the doctor decided to hook us both up to the monitor. After multiple doctors and hours later, they sat beside me to tell me what was going on. I was contracting, her heart rate was dropping very low and they discovered that the umbilical cord had stopped working. She was getting nothing from me. There was no time left. Emergency c section it was. 11 WEEKS EARLY. But let me tell you how God works…

When we first transferred to OU the doctor wanted my appointments moved to a Thursday instead of a Tuesday because it would match up with my weeks in trimester to the day – it was easier for them to measure how she was growing. The front desk lady never listened and continued to schedule me on Tuesdays. That day we went in… was a Tuesday. If our appointments were to have been moved to 2 days later… my sweet baby girl might not be here. She was only in the NICU for 34 days and here we are almost a year and a half later and she still hasn’t had heart surgery. She is the definition of a true fighter.

She was made in the image of God and she continues to show that every day. Milestone after milestone. Her story is special. The love of our God is unlike anything else. He rescued us before we even needed to be saved. He is using us for the greater good. Please let Him be a part of your life. It will change your entire outlook. I wrote this to help myself get things off my chest, but I also wanted every mom like me to know she is not alone. I don’t know everything yet, but I do know there is help. I am here if anyone needs that. We can move forward together.

I am so thankful for the moms in my position who reached out to me, wrote me letters, and helped me move in the right direction. I would love to be that for you. I know you’re scared, hurt, and angry. I was you not too long ago. This child may not be what you pictured for yourself, but you will soon realize this baby is what you need. They say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle. I don’t believe that. I believe that these hardships are given to us sometimes so we will learn to give it back to Him. If not, you will be depressed and shattered… DONE. I promise you their life is worth it. The picture our world paints is not the real thing. Yes, they need extra care for their needs, but they are created in His image. They don’t have an extra chromosome, we all just have one less.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14.


I need Cambri to understand her worth. Some people won’t like her, there will be people that adore her. And you know what? It’s the same for anybody. She is strong, beautiful, smart, capable.. the list goes on. Her disability/diagnosis is simply that. My favorite part of being a Mama is being HER mama. Everything she learns makes me so proud not just because she’s mine, but because she works so so hard. It’s a sweet feeling watching your child overcome so many obstacles with a smile on their face. Every time we tell her she’s pretty or that she did well when leaving a therapy session she gets so excited. She makes my heart smile all day long. So my message to a mom with a new diagnosis: I won’t tell you this will be easy, but it will be worth it.

If you want to read more inspiring stories like mine or learn about the Motherhood Project, click here. Together, we can find strength in solidarity and support each other through the highs and lows of motherhood.

And if you’re interested in capturing your own motherhood journey through a personalized photo session, consider scheduling a session with me. I would love to document the love, resilience, and beauty of your motherhood experience. Because every moment deserves to be cherished, celebrated, and remembered for a lifetime.

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