When Lyndsay Brentlinger was 23 weeks pregnant with twins, she received devastating news: one had a severe heart defect and would be stillborn. But on December 17, 2016, Lyndsay and her husband Matthew welcomed two wide-eyed babies: a boy named William and a girl named Reagan.
Though William looked healthy, at 5 pounds, 7 ounces, the left side of his heart wasn’t functioning. William died just 11 days after entering the world.
“A friend told me my only regret would be if we didn’t enjoy the time God gave us with him, so we tried to keep things positive," Lyndsay, 31, tells Us Weekly. “We took Will to Christmas Eve church service and read him bedtime stories. He loved being held and snuggled. We would talk to him about how much we loved him.”
William's dad, Matthew, told ABC 13 “they were the happiest days of my life.” And the Ohio-based parents have beautiful pictures to remember them.
Local photographer Lindsey Brown documented the family at their home, where William was receiving hospice care. “William was so alert. He stared around the room in a very peaceful manner as if he was trying to take it all in … almost like he knew his time here on earth was limited,” Brown tells Us. “Neither of them cried and I was with them for almost four hours.”
For Brown, the most memorable moment was when Lyndsay and Matthew were off changing Reagan’s diaper. “I got to sit on the floor of the nursery just holding little William,” she tells Us. “I was sure the doctors had to be wrong. He just looked so perfect and healthy. It broke my heart.”
The pictures are bringing William’s grieving parents some peace. “It made me cry to look at them initially, but mostly because of how beautiful they are,” Lyndsay tells Us. “I look at pictures of Will every day and they make me smile.”
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