Many parents like to do photoshoots with their newborn babies. These are a way to capture those precious first few weeks with their newest family members. For the Brentlinger family, however, the newborn photos they have of their twins they will cherish forever, for a heart-wrenching reason. Due to heart defects, they knew their son William’s time on Earth would be short. This photographer captured their beautiful baby boy and his sister before it was too late.
Newborn Photos Captures Twin Babies’ Short Lives Together
Lindsay and Matthew Brentlinger of Ohio were ecstatic when they found out they would be welcoming not one, but two babies into their family. Unfortunately, their bliss was not to last. The doctors informed them that their son, William, had heart abnormalities and would likely be born stillborn. (1)
Miraculously, however, Lindsay gave birth to two living babies on December 17, 2016. Overjoyed that they were able to meet their son, they also knew that his life would be very, very short. The doctors said it could be weeks, days, or even hours long.
“I was so happy they were finally here and that Will was stable,” Lyndsay said. “But I was also scared of when I would lose him.”
All they could do was enjoy what little time they had with their baby boy, and to enjoy being parents to a set of twins while they could. Their friend Mandy Edwards decided she wanted to help them preserve these memories as best she could. She reached out to local photographer Lindsay Brown to see if she would be available at the last minute to do a family photo shoot.
The Special Newborn Photos
Of course, being just days out from Christmas, Brown was completely booked up. After hearing this family’s tragic story though, she knew she had to help. (2)
“I knew immediately I had to do this for them,” said Brown. “How could anyone with a heart say no to that?”
Brown went to the family’s house that weekend to do the shoot. It was a profound experience for her as a photographer. For the family, it was completely unforgettable. They were extremely grateful that Brown took the time out of her busy schedule to do this shoot for them.
“I could not believe how perfect they both looked. They were both in the five pound range when I photographed them. William was extremely alert, as if he was trying to take it all in, while little Reagan slept and barely opened her eyes,” Brown said of the shoot. ““It was extremely bittersweet the entire time I was there. They acted and looked perfect. You would literally NEVER have known something was wrong with sweet Will.”
Just a few days after the shoot, at just 11 days old, little William passed away. He died on December 28, 2016.
A Special Time For The Brentlingers
This was naturally a very difficult time for Linsday and Matthew. The conflicting emotions of being first-time parents all the while knowing that one of their children would die very soon were complicated. This photoshoot has given them the gift of memories. Not only will they be able to look back on them, but William’s sister Reagan will also forever have these photos with her twin brother to look at.
The parents describe the 11 days that they were a family of four as some of the best days of their lives. Lindsay says that these photos will remain some of her most cherished possessions for the rest of her life.
“Most importantly, I plan to share them with Will’s sister, Reagan, when she is older,” Lyndsay said. “I will use them to tell her about her brother who is now her angel in heaven.”
For photographer Brown, this was an experience and opportunity that she, too, will cherish. She is incredibly grateful that she was able to capture this family’s precious memories with their baby boy. She hopes that the photos will bring them comfort and joy for many years to come.
“Knowing they’ll be able to look back on [these photos] for the rest of their lives, and to one day show them to Reagan when she’s older, warms my heart more than I can put into words.”
To see more of Lindsay Brown’s photography, go to her website.