our special gift from above

our special gift from above

On Fathers day last June, after eleven years of marriage, my wife Joey and I found out that we were going to have a baby.  We were elated (and nervous, and hopeful, all at the same time).    Soon after, Joey watched a documentary about home-birth and midwives, and was even more excited about the idea of having our baby at home, here in the farmhouse where we live and dream and share our lives.

Nine months later, on February 17, 2014, Joey and I were blessed with a beautiful baby daughter named Indiana.  She was born at home at 12:03 pm with the assistance of a midwife and the birth experience was perfect.  She was delivered breech, naturally, with no medical assistance and with myself and our two older daughters Heidi and Hopie by Joey’s side.  Joey says that giving birth at home was the single greatest thing she’s ever experienced in her life.  A moment later, with Indiana’s first cry, we all cried tears of joy and hugged and celebrated and cried some more.

In the days that followed, there was some concern about Indy and through genetic chromosome testing done at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, it has been confirmed that Indiana has Down Syndrome.  Although that news came at first as a surprise to us, Joey and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  During the pregnancy, we never did an ultrasound, or saw a doctor, nor would it have made any difference if we had.  We trusted that God would give us the baby He wanted us to have… and He has.  Out of all the parents in the world, He has chosen us to care for and raise this special gift.

The baby is healthy and doing wonderful and Joey and I are loving each and every minute that we have with her.  We can’t wait to see where this new chapter in our lives leads us and what wonderful story unfolds in the coming years.  We had already cleared our 2014 schedule and committed to taking this year off to be home and simplify our lives before we got this news, and now, we think it’s even more important to be here than ever.  Joey encouraged me to start writing a blog at the beginning of this year to share our lives from my perspective, and so I have.  It can be found at thislifeilive.com.   In posts from this year’s journey so far, as well as this post and future ones, you can learn more about Indiana’s birth story, diagnosis and much more, from the viewpoint of a very blessed husband, father, and songwriter.

Our little Indiana-2-2

63 Comments

  1. @Julie Lynn Sir – I have to agree with Concerned Mama on this. Refusing prenatal tests Is simply foolish, whether you are pro-life or not. There are so many conditions, some of which are very rare, that may be detected and treated more effectively with proper prenatal diagnosis.
    My husband was born with the most severe form of spina bifida. In those days, they didn’t have the AFP test, but he was lucky to be born in a major hospital in a large city and received surgery shortly after birth that not only saved his life but has allowed him to live a fully functioning life. Most people with his form of spina bifida are paraplegic, but he is not, because he received this surgery in a timely manner by the right physicians.
    When I was pregnant with our daughter last year, I had the AFP test. Since her dad has spina bifida, she was at increased risk as well. I certainly would not have had an abortion if she would have had spina bifida or any other neural tube defect, but I would have been able to make the appropriate arrangements to ensure I gave birth in the right hospital which could also give her the necessary surgery right away – it’s recommended within 48 hours of birth.

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  2. My grandma delivered 9 beautiful healthy babies back in the day without going to a doctor, without an ultrasound. Joey & Rory choose to keep it natural & real. They had the best doctor ever; GOD! I wish I would have/ could have had the courage do have all of mine naturally with no medicine, doctors, nurses, lights, etc. I applaud their decision & God Blessed Them with a beautiful baby girl.
    I pray you don’t think it’s wrong that she went home to “live” the rest of her life. God shine your light on Joey, wrap your healing hands around her & heal her from this cancer if that be Your Will. Let her be at peace with her decision. Keep Rory, Indy & Joey’s entire family in your prayers My Lord. Give them strength when they get weary, warmth when the need to feel you are with them. Joey, Rory, Heidi, Hopie & little Ms Indy y’all have opened your hearts & your home to let us into your lives. There are millions of people from around the world prayer for y’all. We all love you & support your every decision. God Bless You All.
    Blessings, Pam LeBlanc from New Orleans.

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  3. concerned mama, I just wanted to address a couple things in your post. I am a childbirth professional as well as the mother of 5 children. The youngest of which I was told through my entire pregnancy has DS that was so severe her organs would be on the outside of her body and she would most likely die shortly after birth. I was advised at every single prenatal appointment to terminate my pregnancy. when I refused I was reported by my CHRISTIAN DOCTOR to children’s services for neglecting my other children (I was on bed rest in order to maintain my pregnancy and had friends helping me with my kids in addition to my husband). When my daughter was born AT THE HOSPITAL I was ALONE in my room with my SIX AND FOUR YEAR OLD CHILDREN because THE DOCTOR THREW A TANTRUM AND WALKED OUT! I reached down and delivered her BY MYSELF. The doctor was trying to PICK A FIGHT with my husband in the hall! There were no nurses, doctors etc! Just my two children with their saucer eyes and myself. She was 9 lb 22.5 inches long and perfect! I’m a certified Doula and teach childbirth education, breastfeeding and parenting classes. At the time I was FURIOUS! but I got to be the first person to touch my baby girl. I didn’t want the jerk to touch her anyway. Was her birth high risk? you bet! You see it was an unsupervised VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) after twins so I had a very large scar. But to top it off I had a uterine tumor that we later learned was cancer. The doctors were WRONG my baby did NOT have DS! The blood test and ultra sounds were all thrown off by my tumor. Next thing. Nowhere did Rory say that Joey didn’t get prenatal care. He said she didn’t see a DOCTOR or have an ULTRA SOUND. Midwives provide wonderful and very competent care with doctor back up when needed every day. and who do you think delivered babies before doctors? pregnancy and delivery is NOT an ILLNESS.

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  4. I’m new to your blog and we don’t know each other, but I wanted to share this: my internet froze up while I was watching your birth-video (of course it did, because technology is awesome like that) at about the 1’24” mark. You loving her, her laboring with love, her quietly determined fist in the foreground. If that isn’t a freeze-frame of womanly strength and beauty and family and hope and a million other beautiful things, I don’t know what is.

    I have two sons (and afterward had a baby for friends via gestational surrogacy), and have experienced pretty much every medical indignity, procedure, medication in existence (and probably some that don’t even really exist except in my traumatized rememberings) over years of my life. While I definitely do not regret a single thing that helped me bring these three precious people to life, I would, without a doubt, have had planned-by-God, delivered-at-home babies as you did.

    Again, back to 1’24”. That is an Anthem for Motherhood, right there.

    (…tears in eyes because I’m a great, big cry-baby…)

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  5. Concerned mom….I have followed these precious good people for a long time. They are Faithful above all else. This morning, as I watched this video for, I don’t know, the 20th time….I saw your comment. At first I was so angry. I wanted to lash out at you when I saw that you wrote this not in 2014, but now. Joey is sick. Do you know that? First off, now is not the time to unleash your opinion. I am an OB/gyn nurse so I have some sort of background to say my second thought. This pregnancy and delivery would have probably not been as wonderful, had they known prior to birth. It would of caused them unnecessary worry and absolutely nothing could of been done…..I also know this by experience. Lastly, I want to tell you this: Joey and Rory put their whole Faith in God just as they are now. That day had to be frightening. It had to of come to Joey as it does to all of us mothers, whether we are hooked to monitors surrounded by the world’s best healthcare providers or those that have spent their lives out in the country bringing babies into the world, that something may go wrong. She could of been sectioned and thrown a clot…..been there to. I could go on and on but I simply want you to know that this precious couple only wanted to live their life as simply as they could and as close to the way they felt lead by God to do so. The day turned out just as God planned. Nobody snatching the little miracle away to poke and stick. It was a winter’s day on farm in the south. They were surrounded by family and love……and God. They chose to remove themselves from the worldly way and go it God’s way. They put their Faith in Him and I don’t think it had anything to do with luck. So, rather than try and use this story to encourage folks to seek healthcare, use it for what Joey and Rory meant for you to…..to tell them to seek God. I know they have already read your post and prayed for you and for understanding, so that you could be blessed by it. I pray you will be blessed by everything they do or don’t do…..I sure have.
    God Bless
    Just a mom of 4

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    • I can’t tell you how much I am praying for the Feek family. Rory – thank you for sharing your personal family moments in your blog. You are an amazing family. I love you all and pray for a miracle for Joey. God bless you.

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  6. Your story is such a blessing to so many. You have touched so many lives through your blog, videos, and interviews. Mine also. God hand picked you sweet lady for a special purpose and its definite he’s not finished with you yet. God Bless and keep you and your precious girls and Rory and may he fill your home with a mountain of blessings. Lots of hugs and God Bless!!!

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  7. It’s raining out, Gods way of cleansing the air! Just read a story Joey shared about her dad giving his heart to Jesus, I praise God too! My cancer is at bay but should it return I honestly believe my journey will be for ever changed because you Joey, Rory, your daughters, parents,.siblings and friends. Your willingness to share the intimacy of your lives, Love and Courage is drawing me to a new place in Jesus, this is a good thing! May the stillness of the night that belongs to the Life Giver bring sweet peace and rest tonight. The Master Loves you so perfectly! Hugs wrapped in much Love

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  8. We watch the show every Sunday night. Love the songs and the family spots. Our Prayers are with all of you.Indiana is a beautiful little girl. Joey I am praying God will keep you here to take care of her and bring her up in a family of love. Your family is just wonderful and you encourage us to keep God at the front of our lives. Take care of yourself Joey, we love you.

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  9. I think it is wonderful you have been blessed by a special little girl given to you by God.

    It upsets me that Joey did not get any pre-natal care and you’re telling fans that is okay. Women and children all over the world are dying because they don’t have nearby healthcare or are unable to afford pre-natal care. You have both and yet you chose to not go to a doctor at all during Joey’s pregnancy? Not having an ultrasound, which could show signs of problems ahead, does NOT mean you would terminate your Down Syndrome child. You must know that many, many parents find out they are having a DS child and choose to have the child. You have completely confused pre-natal care with having a DS child and it is irresponsible to state that in this post.

    Your child and Joey could have died had there been major problems of which you were unaware because you didn’t see an obstetrician. Your child could have had far more serious health problems, that could have been addressed before her birth. I’m all for having a baby at home but a breech birth can be very dangerous. It can cause brain damage if it isn’t known before labor begins. A qualified doctor would have been able to feel that your daughter was breech and tried to turn her before labor started. I’m a huge believer in midwives but why did this one not know Indiana was breech?

    Please, readers, get pre-natal care the minute you find out you’re pregnant! You may not be as lucky as Joey and Rory and Indy were in their pregnancy and delivery time.

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    • She saw a midwife, it’s not like she was lacking in care. Also ultrasounds do not show everything. For hundreds upon hundreds of years women have given birth at home without doctors and ultrasounds. Beautiful family!

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      • Where does it say that Joey had no pre natal care? A midwife preforms pre natal care and obviously tis was was very capable since she over saw a sucessful breech delivery. Praying for your peace and comfort
        Joey.

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    • I don’t think you understand how a midwife works. Joey did get prenatal care through her midwife. All midwives are overseen by MD’s. And this one must have been amazing because she handled a breech delivery like the professional that she was, and Joey was blessed to have her. Midwives are amazing, and offer a unique, personal way to have a delivery that more and more women are embracing.

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    • No need to be such a “concerned mama”. I gave birth at home after much planning and research. My decision to do so came after losing a friend after she gave birth at a hospital and experienced much confusion over her allergy to sulfur drugs (hospital mistake). Unfortunately her baby boy came home without his Mama.
      I on the other hand had an amazing natural birth at home with very competant midwives at my side. You need to respect others well researched decisions and choices.

      I’M WITH JOEY! I pray for comfort and peace.

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  10. Amazing baby and family! I myself have a son who is 2 with downs syndrome and he is the love of our life. I want to send blessings and thoughts your way as you now battle cancer Joey. I lost my mom to cancer when I was 22 and I see her eyes in my son with downs syndrome every day. You will live on in that little girl and she will continue to be amazing and do amazing things. Love and blessings to your family and that sweet little girl of yours.

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  11. I have read this story several times and each time I do and watch the video my heart is touched again and again. Your sweet voices singing, “If I Needed You” is my favorite of all time. God bless you all. Sending prayers and love from Chester, VA.

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  12. This story, video, and song … All so precious. Congratulations on the birth of little Miss Indiana.

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  13. What a beautiful precious moment. Your family is just beautiful. Praying for all of you.

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