Having a child after an earlier ʟᴏss carries an entirely different level of bitterness. It’s an experience a couple, ʜᴜɴᴛer and Hope Madden, went through as they celebrated the birth of their daughter after protracted fertility struggles and several Mɪꜱᴄᴀʀʀ1ᴀɢᴇꜱ. The Maddens birthday photos are making waves on the internet for the sheer depth of their emotional intensity – just try not to shed a tear while looking at these Sᴛᴜɴning portraits.1
“I can’t believe I’m allowed to hold something so perfect and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for finally becoming a dad.” Lᴏsing a child is something that no parent has to go through. Unfortunately, it’s fairly common – between 10 and 20 percent of all pregnancies end in Mɪꜱᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇꜱ according to the Mayo Clinic, and that only takes into account women who knew they were pregnant before the Mɪꜱᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇꜱ pregnant.
Baby Evelyn was born on March 11 and is the couple’s rainbow baby – a baby born to a couple after a pregnancy ʟᴏss. In the case of the Madden family, the new parents (who had gone through multiple rounds of fertility treatment trying to conceive) had previously had two early Mɪꜱᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇꜱ and one subsequent Mɪꜱᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇꜱ during an ultrasound of their baby. Their brother, Owen, revealed that he had not had a heartBᴇᴀᴛ.
ʜᴜɴᴛer Madden spoke of the anxiety the couple experienced prior to Evelyn’s birth, with each doctor’s visit being filled with “ғᴇᴀʀ and gradually cautious optimism” about the near-term pregnancy. Hope echoed his thoughts: “We were so well prepared for the worst… And I think my whole pregnancy was like that. We just kept waiting for the floor to fall from the ground. below me every second.”
The joy and relief of finally seeing their baby Gɪʀʟ again, born alive and healthy, can be felt in all of Evelyn’s birthday images, taken by photographer Leilani Rogers in Austin, Texas. A portrait of ʜᴜɴᴛer holding his daughter to his bare chest and collapsing in Tᴇᴀʀs was particularly sensational. In the photo, ʜᴜɴᴛer’s tribute tattoo to his son – a tree with an anchor at the bottom – can be seen as he holds his son tightly.
“I’ll never forget meeting her when she was born and the instant, unconditional love I had for her. That’s what you’re seeing in those pictures, my love. I’m for Hope and our daughter,” ʜᴜɴᴛer told TODAY. “I can’t believe I’m allowed to hold something so perfect and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for finally becoming a dad.”