Angelina Hope : The Waiting Room

It’s been three weeks and counting since our stay at the NICU. It’s been a little over four months since we knew Angelina’s birth was going to be a little different from our last two daughters. Looking back God has truly prepared us and our family for each step of this journey he has had us on.

We had to be at the hospital around 7am the morning of my induction. I was a little nervous because with my last two births I barely made it in time to the hospital and had very short Labors. My expectation was that once they started the induction that I would progress quickly and it would be similar to my other labors. I was wrong. As I paced the hallway trying to walk and get the baby to come out, Dennis was working out in our hospital room to pass time. We looked like quite the pair. I made him put on some gloves while he did push-ups on the hospital floor followed by a resistant band workout. He really cracked me up sitting at a small table eating his meals In our room. He was coping the only way any Italian could in this situation: eating and working out.

A nurse told me: “don’t wear yourself out walking.” Inside I laughed because to me that was a challenge. I came in and told Dennis watch me I’m going to have this baby natural just like the other 2. It’s that competitive spirit that kept me going that day. If you know me well enough I always have loved a challenge, I felt like giving up that day many times. The prior two months hadn’t been easy and knowing that our road ahead would be bumpy. I wasn’t sure how to stay positive. By the grace of God I just kept walking and it’s the only thing that kept me going. I wanted to be able to get right up after delivery to be with Angelina. I was trying to stay strong for her. I was continually asking God to sustain me.

As I walked up and down the hallway it became clear to me. I had spent most of my last two months in waiting rooms and at doctor appointments. The anticipation of this day had been more then I really ever could have thought. Life had started to feel like a waiting room and has continued to feel like one over the course of the last 22 days.

After bouncing on an exercise ball and a few pretty intense hours and of course my doctor missing my labor, just like what happened with Amelia. Angelina was brought into the world. It was scary as her heart rate plummeted and I was fully dilated and my doctor had gone home to eat dinner thinking I had about 3 hours left to labor. I never have been textbook. I am not someone who Labors long. I dilate from 7 to 10 usually pretty quick. The on call doctor ended up delivering me. I loved my doctor I was bummed she missed my labor!

I heard that cry, We praised Jesus she was alive. We had made it but little did I know how the next few minutes would be some of the most joyful, yet hard news Dennis and I would have been given.

I finally got to hold our little Angelina maybe for a few seconds before a doctor told me that Angelina had all the signs of a Down’s syndrome baby.

We went from thinking we could loose our baby, to seeing her alive, to hearing she was born with a disability in the course of 15 minutes. A lot for anyone to handle in a short time.

We loved on her and looked at how she was intricately and wonderfully made by our father in heaven. Then they took her to the NICU. It was hard for me. I didn’t get to take her back to my room and do normal mommy things with her. I was able to nurse her a few times but I knew in my heart it was to much for her little heart to handle.

Psalm 139:13-16
“For you formed my inward parts; you covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works. And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me. When as yet there were none of them.”

That night as I laid in the bed praying and processing: this picture came to mind. God’s hands coming around Dennis, Angelina and I holding us up.

That next morning Dennis looked at me and said ” I know my mom said God was going to perform a miracle in Angelina but, she is the miracle that is going to transform our family.”

He couldn’t have said it any clearer. God spoke at the perfect time to help start the healing process.

Our precious girl is a gift from God who has been given to us and we plan to never label her but to continually encourage her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. You see that competitive spirit will help, we will never give up on our little girl. We are excited to see how God will use her life to help us and those around us see the glory of his kingdom.

In 22 short days a lot of tears or joy, sorrow, excitement, feelings of being overwhelmed, she has drastically had an impact on our very simple lives.

We are starting to learn a lot about how we can give Angelina a full life. Somedays it overwhelms us while other days it seems simple.

As for know we need prayer. Each day as we grow close to Angelina her heart grows more tired. Her congenital heart defect needs fixed. She is having trouble gaining weight and they typically like to wait 3-6 months to do the surgery. Each day is critical for they want to see her gain weight. We are hoping we get to take her home very soon! She has been completing her bottles better and is transitioning to a crib that no longer is heat regulated. The bigger she is for surgery the stronger and quicker she can recover.

The one thing I can’t wait to do is take her home and take a picture of her with her other sister’s I am dreaming of the day our family is all together complete at home.

This song has really seemed to play over and over in my head lately:
Building 429: We Won’t Be Shaken

This world has nothing for me
This life is not my own
I know you go before me
And I am not alone
This mountain rises higher
This way seems so unclear
But I know that you go with me
I will trust in you

Whatever will come my way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won’t be shaken
No we won’t be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we’ll rise and sing
That we won’t be shaken
Oooh Oh Oh
Oooh Oh Oh
Oooh Oh Oh
No we won’t be shaken

You know my every longing
You’ve heard my every prayer
You’ve held me in my weakness
Cause you are always there
So I’ll stand in full surrender
It’s your way and not my own
My mind is set on nothing less
Than you and you alone
I will not be moved oh

Whatever will come my way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won’t be shaken
No we won’t be shaken
Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we’ll rise and sing
That we won’t be shaken

We will trust in you
We will not be moved
We will trust in you

As we continue our stay in the waiting room. We won’t be shaken. It’s easy to ask the question why? As time passes God continually reassures us and unravels his marvelous works using Angelina to draw us close to him.

We are excited for what tomorrow will bring and can’t believe how a little 4lb baby girl at 22 days old can leave a footprint so big already on our hearts. It truly has been worth the wait.



  1. Heather Nieman

    Beautifully said by Clare above. Prayers for all of you, and I know you will be such wonderful parents to her. She is a beauty!!

  2. Debbie Bergert

    The most beautiful thing about a challenge of love is how close we are to Jesus and His wonderful endless blessed mercy. He won’t let you down and neither will your sweet baby. Please know my love and prayers are with all of you. Thanks for your courageous inspiration.

  3. Lyndsey Owen Corban

    Hey Michelle and Denny…my heart breaks for you guys, but I know you will all be just fine! Our God is an awesome God, and He always has a plan for EVERYTHING that happens in our lives. It’s one of the best things in this life to actually live through and see one of His plans unfold and realize WHY He “put you through” that time in your life!! It brings such JOY to my heart knowing that your precious lil Angelina Hope Volpe will be singing and dancing in the streets of gold with all of us one day, no matter what the outcome is here during this short life on earth! I bet she’ll have the sparkliest (if that’s a word 😉) crown of em all!!!!! Lots of love and prayers for you all. He brought you to it, He’ll get ya through it…hang in there🙏👐❤️
    Your sister in Christ

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