joy belle’s birthday

June 23rd began like any other day for us. As Justin and I headed off to work, neither of us thought we’d be meeting our girl in just a few short hours. Little did we know, but God had big plans for us that sweet Monday.

On Sunday evening, I noticed that our girl wasn’t quite as active as usual. After dinner, I barely felt her move. Throughout the night, the same thing – very little movement. That morning I casually mentioned it to Justin, but I still wasn’t worried. Justin, however, asked me to call the doctor.

Initially, the nurses didn’t sound concerned. They asked me to drink some water, lay down for an hour, and try to count her movements. Since I’d already had to do this earlier on in the pregnancy, I knew that I should feel approximately 10 movements in about an hour timespan. One hour later, I’d counted two tiny movements. At this point, I began to worry. My doctor asked me to come in immediately. After one quick phone call to Justin and some anxious prayers, I was on my way.

Once I got into the doctor’s office, they checked the baby’s vitals and began to monitor her via ultrasound with a Biophysical Profile and Non-Stress test. After 30 minutes of watching our girl and 0 movement, Dr. P gave me the news that it was time to have a baby.*

*With a Biophysical Profile and Non-Stress test, they monitor the baby’s heart rate, movement, body tone, breathing, along with the amniotic fluid levels. On a scale of 0-8, 8 being the best – we scored a 2. There wasn’t anytime to waste. It was important to get our baby out immediately.

Instantly my heart sank and tears filled my eyes. This wasn’t how I’d envisioned things happening. I didn’t plan on an emergency cesarean section. Justin was still at work. I didn’t have my bags. I wasn’t ready!

With fear that my girl was in trouble, I called Justin with the news and headed to the emergency room. He made the calls to our parents and met me at the hospital. Within 30 minutes, I was prepped for surgery and in the operating room. After Justin was scrubbed in, Dr. P prayed over me and for our girl. He called out to the Great Physician and asked Him to wrap His hands around us and to guide him through the surgery. (I’m forever grateful the Lord put Christian physicians over my care and our little girl.) Exactly 17 minutes later, I heard the most amazing sound – a cry from our baby girl.


Moments after her debut, she already had her Daddy wrapped.


We welcomed our healthy, beautiful girl into the world on Monday, June 23rd at 1:30 pm.

Even though her birth story wasn’t how I would have written it, the Lord had a plan to turn that unexpected Monday into one of the sweetest days of our lives.

A short time later, we introduced our sweet Joy Belle to our family and friends. And we’ve been enjoying our girl everyday since!

a Heape of love,
Justin, Brianne, & Joy Belle

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