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"2016 began with great joy as my husband and I celebrated our first pregnancy, one that quickly ended in miscarriage on January 14, around seven or eight weeks. I had never felt devastation, disappointment, and pain like I experienced over those next several weeks as I grieved a child I had never known. 

A few months later, we were again expecting. We learned that we were having a son, and that he had Down syndrome. In the months following, we began reading, researching, and preparing to be the parents of a special needs child. We got excited. We were genuinely looking forward to what our son, Max, and his extra chromosome would add to our life. In addition to DS, Max was eventually diagnosed with two small holes in his heart, as well as fluid in his abdomen and excess fluid and swelling on his neck and face. 

At 34 weeks, at a routine appointment with our perinatologist, we were told that was the day we would meet our son! As we headed to the hospital, Spencer and I were anxious and excited. But we had no idea what was coming.

Maxwell Spencer Martin was born at 4:14 p.m. and went home to be with Jesus moments later. Our sweet boy never took a breath on his own. As the mother of two children I will never watch grow up, I can assure you that all life is valuable. My first child was very much a child – loved, prayed for, and missed. And while his birth and death certificates would tell you Max lived only 30 minutes, we know that he lived for eight months. Never has a child been so loved, known, and treasured as our Max.

Throughout my pregnancy, hundreds of people prayed for him. And as we celebrated his life and mourned his death in that hospital room, we were surrounded by dozens of our closest friends and family, all of whom knew and loved that little boy despite never meeting him in person. As we celebrated his life that night, we passed him back and forth, kissed and hugged him, and anointed his precious face with tears. Max’s life impacted more people than I could ever hope to with however many years the Lord gives me on this earth, and we will forever be thankful for the gift of being his mommy and daddy." 



- Sam #standforlife

Chandler Cooksey