Joelle Hope


We were blessed to find out in December 2016 that my wife was pregnant with our first child. Being older, we couldn’t believe the wonderful news that we were going to bring our first child into this world. As with all pregnancies we were both excited and nervous at the same time. All the what if questions raced through our minds, all while we were looking forward to having a family together. I have a son from a past relationship, but Joelle was her first, and I was so young when I had my son that this was equally thrilling for me to be a dad of a baby again. As the months went by we watched our baby grow with excitement, hearing her heartbeat and seeing her develop was just amazing.
It wasn’t until her first cell free DNA test we began to worry. The results came back inconclusive and we spoke to the genetic counselor who told us that there may be a problem. We talked and tried to not worry, we took another cell free DNA test a few weeks later and again the results came back inconclusive. At that point we knew something was not quite right. We spoke to the high risk doctor and he advised us to do an amnio, which we were both against but knew we had to have conclusive results. Unfortunately, the test confirmed that Joelle had trisomy 18. We were heart broken, all the questions about why us, how could this happen, did we do something wrong, etc. raced in our minds. We spoke to our OB/GYN and he was fantastic very matter of fact and honest about everything, even though it was hard to hear. A week or so later Joelle was delivered but did not survive the delivery. We had a phenomenal nursing staff, who truly helped make a terrible situation a little better.
Through all of this we were blessed to have her and hold her. We were able to be with her for several hours before we gave her to the nurse for the final time. She is now in heaven looking down upon us, and we only hope she knows what she means to us. Life is so fragile and precious and each and every moment counts in this world and Joelle brought that to us.

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