Hello! My name is Hope and my husband is Thomas, we have now been married for almost 8 years, and have three living children, three children that live in heaven, and one currently womb side!
My husband and I had only been married for six months when we found out we were pregnant with our first baby. Although it was a shock, we were also excited to become parents and care for our first child. We both came from big families so we knew that this was something we wanted.
Thomas was active duty Marines at this time, and was doing a work up for a deployment that was coming up. So when the time came for my anatomy scan, he was training and was unable to go with me.
The plan was to have them write the gender of our baby down and put it in an envelope so that we could open it together when he got back.
Instead of learning gender, I learned that Our baby had incredibly low amniotic fluid, and that there was very little chance our baby would survive. The fluid was so low that they were unable to tell gender and unable to see what exactly was wrong to cause the low fluid.
I was able to get Thomas called home, and the waiting period began.
We waited for a week to finally see a specialist that was able to tell us that our son had never formed kidneys, and there was nothing anyone could do to save him. They assumed he would be stillborn at some point, but told us if we wanted to terminate that would be an option.
We rejected that idea and chose to carry to term. We prayed daily for a miracle, that Austin, our son, would somehow survive this. I had regular check ups and at each one, it was such a relief to hear his heart beating strongly through the monitor.
At 37 weeks we chose to induce, because they told us he likely wouldn’t survive to 40 weeks.
I was induced at 9am, and after an all day labor, Austin Dean Ezell was born at 11:32PM on May 31st, 2015. They placed him on my chest and he tried to cry out, but because of how underdeveloped his lungs were, he was unable to make much noise. He quickly fell asleep, but his heart beat for 1 hour and sixteen minutes. We spent every second of his life speaking love and joy over him. He left this world for heaven with nothing but love surrounding him.
We held him through the night, and said our goodbyes in the early morning. He was able to meet two of his aunts, and all of his grandparents.
We stayed in the hospital for two more days, and then spent the third day at the beach, remembering all the time I had spent there while pregnant with him.
We held a memorial service at my childhood home, and loved being surrounded by friends and family that wanted to love him too.
One year after Austin died, we found out we were pregnant again, but at seven weeks, I miscarried our second baby.
We continued to try for our rainbow, and five months after my miscarriage we found out we were pregnant with our first rainbow baby!
Our daughter Chantry was born four days before Austin’s second birthday, and was perfectly healthy, which in and of itself felt like a miracle!
When Chantry was 21 months old, we welcomed our second son, Jack, in to the world! And then when he was just 17 months old, we welcomed our third son, Liam!
We’ve always known we wanted a big family, so we began to try for our sixth baby in mid 2021. In October, we got our first positive pregnancy test. But at 5 weeks pregnant, we lost our sixth baby as well. It was a loss I was wholly unprepared for. After having three healthy pregnancies, I had gotten used to the idea that I wouldn’t lose any more of my children. So to face that grief anew really blindsided me.
We chose to hold off on trying again, but God had other plans, and in November I found out we were pregnant with our seventh baby! It was a really hard transition to go from grief to trying to be happy about our newest little baby. But as I enter in to the second trimester, I’m finding more joy in this pregnancy. This will most likely be our last baby, as my heart feels I cannot take on any more loss. I’m praying we continue to find the joy as I enter in to this final season, and prepare for our next one!
Thank you for reading through, and please be praying for this newest baby, that this final rainbow continues to grow well and stay healthy!
Photos taken by Colleen Harvey Photography.
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