Lindsay and Matthew Brentlinger had to wait for some years before becoming parents and when they did, it was worth the wait. They had twins. The couple had their children photographed and their pictures tell a story like no other. When Lindsay found out she was pregnant, it was one of the happiest days of her life. She had struggled to conceive, so hearing she and her husband would have a child was like a dream come true.
After twelve weeks, she had her first ultrasound. The test results revealed the couple was getting more than what they expected. She was not carrying one, but two babies. The soon-to-be mother’s pregnancy was progressing with no complications, but not for long. Sometimes life happens.
After 23 weeks of gestation, doctors told the duo that one of the children had a congenital heart defect. One in 100 babies are born with congenital heart defects. Some defects are minor and have no consequences. Others are more serious and can interfere with the heart’s ability to function properly. This arises because of the fetus’s heart developing irregularly or incompletely.
Within the first few weeks of pregnancy, Lindsay was told that the left side of one of her twin’s hearts wasn’t functioning. The Toledo resident was told that the baby would be stillborn. She said he just had a bunch of abnormalities. The left side of his heart was not functioning. With twins you have frequent ultrasounds, they said.
We just see something abnormal with the heart and sent me to maternal fetal medicine. It was one of the worst days of my life when we found out that we would lose our son with months to left in my pregnancy, but because of that time we could prepare ourselves. My husband and I both have a strong faith in God and through prayer felt his love, peace and support. Lindsay and her husband consulted a specialist to know if there’s any chance that their baby could survive. The medical expert told them that there was indeed a chance that their baby would be born alive.
But would the baby have a normal life and live for long? These were the questions that plagued her mind as her due date drew closer. On the 17 December 2016, Matthew took his wife to the hospital and would you believe it? Just like the specially predicted, both babies survived. Isn’t that amazing?
She gave birth to her fraternal twins through a cesarean section. The boy was named Will and the girl, Reagan William, was a child born with heart issues. He defied doctor’s expectations to be born. However, the medical team stated that they believe the little boy has limited time. They explained they don’t know whether the infant would be alive for either hours, days, weeks or even months.
Still, William had proven that physicians predictions do not apply to him. Therefore, his parents and family members hoped that the boy would live longer. The newborn baby looked healthy, so his parents were hoping for a miracle, the new mother said. I was so happy they were finally here and that William was stable, but I was also scared of when I would lose him. We snuggled him, loved him, read to him and in general, just enjoyed him.
A few days after he was born, a little boy who was expected to be still born was declared fit to go home by the doctors. Matthew stated that it is a miracle that William is alive. He said. Since they don’t know how long he would be alive, they wanted to enjoy every moment with him. He and his wife knew that there was a possibility they could lose William at any time, so they wanted his life to be filled with love.
Rather than focus on the negatives of the situation, they chose to live in the moment and focus on the fact that their son is alive. Isn’t that amazing? The couple wanted to create memories with their son so that if he does not survive, they can also show Reagan when she’s older, that she had a brother. A family friend’s efforts fulfill this desire. Mandy Edwards, a friend of the couple, wanted to help the family preserve this very special time.
So a day after the twins were delivered, she called the photographer to take pictures of this beautiful family of four. Mandy reached out to Lindsay Brown, a local photographer who had also worked with the White House. Mandy had been following the photographer on social media and reached out to her through Facebook. She had been booked for the entire year, but after hearing William had only a limited time to spend with his parents, Lindsay squeezed them into her schedule. The Ohio photographer said.
I received a phone call out of the blue the Sunday before Christmas asking if I wasn’t all available to squeeze in a newboy session and me on the other line. I was just thinking about how I had to turn away three other newborn sessions who hadn’t previously booked with me because they contacted me at the last minute. I knew immediately I had to do this for them. How could anyone with the heart say no to that? This camera woman made a sacrifice as she knew how priceless they could be for a family who might lose their son, she said.
Pictures are just memories. I know how much people cherish them, so I was really glad I was able to do that for them. Lindsay also went the extra mile for the young family. Normally I photographed the newborns in my studio. I was asked to go to their home due to Betty William being under Hospice care, which was completely understandable.
We rushed to do the session as soon as possible because nobody knew when. Sweet will it pass? She said. William definitely isn’t camera shy. This young boy is the perfect model.
He was awake throughout the session and it’s almost like he enjoyed every second of it. According to Lindsay. William was very alert and looking around, she said, you never would have known anything was wrong with William, which makes the story that much harder. And Willson noticed he was quite alert and calm, just staring around the room, gazing like he was trying to take it all in. Little Regan just SNew.
The entire time as I photographed them, I felt like I was in a daze on and off, just staring at him, not comprehending what was to come. The shutterbug stated that the Queen’s pictures were one of the most important she has taken and this was one of her most powerful sessions for parents who didn’t know if their child would survive. Lindsay says she was surprised by how well the couple handled the situation. The parents were extremely strong and held it together. They were very open about talking about everything and explained everything to me.
They truly acted and treated both babies like nothing was wrong, so that melted my heart watching them. We sort of lost it in the very end. Then the tears just started flowing. To have these photos of their baby boy, who they might no longer have in a few days, was extremely special to always look back on them and remember his eyes looking all around and they show Reagan Sunday that’s priceless. The twin’s mother also agrees.
Although Lindsay was originally unsure whether she wanted to do it, it turned out to be a wonderful decision. She believed the photos are going to be even more important as time goes on. She said the days that both of our babies at home together were amazing. We tried our best to focus on enjoying our time together and creating memories. We could do this and felt like God blessed us with the time to get to know our son.
Matt and I can look back at our time with our whole family together and remember our sweet son with the soulful big eyes. Reagan will hear about her special Guardian Angel and be able to see the love and special bond they share together. Incredible, isn’t it? William is indeed a fighter. He survived through Christmas and got to spend the holiday with his family.
However, three days after Christmas, the special little man passed on to greater glory. Lindsay was holding her son when he stopped breathing. William was alive for eleven days, but his memories will last forever. His life was filled with love and this is the legacy that his parents want to hold on to. And his mum can’t wait to share the beautiful pictures with his sister.
Most importantly, I plan to share them with Will’s sister, Reagan. When she’s older. I will use them to tell her about her brother who is now her angel in heaven. The young boy story is one I’ve courage and teaches us to cherish every little moment and I am sure he will never be forgotten. Do you have any stories similar to Williams share with me in the comments.
I hope to see you next time.