If you really want to marry someone, there’s not much that can stand in the way. Yet for Grier Stanley and Jason Barnswell of New London, Connecticut, everything that could go wrong on their path to the altar, did!
A week before Grier and Jason planned to tie the knot, Grier started having stomach pains. She was only 28 weeks pregnant and didn’t think she could be in labor, but her midwife insisted that she get checked out. Grier checked into Lawrence + Memorial (L+M) Hospital. Two short hours later, baby Drue was born!
Drue weighed just 2 pounds and needed to be briefly intubated and receive a blood transfusion. Obviously, Jason and Grier canceled their wedding plans so they could spend every moment with their new daughter. They hoped to move the wedding to July, but their priest was ill, and Drue was still in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at L+M Hospital, so they postponed yet again.
After 105 days in the NICU, they’d waited for their big day long enough! A hospital staff member mentioned holding the ceremony right there in Drue’s room, and after some consideration, they decided to go for it!
Drue was the best woman, maid of honor, and flower girl all rolled into one adorable bundle! Jason wore a suit, and Grier wore a lace duster. The entire hospital staff worked to make the event special, decorating and bringing in flowers and balloons for the occasion.
“The NICU crew is just amazing,” said Grier. “They made a backdrop. They played music. There were flower petals.”
Since their family members were not allowed into the NICU, hospital staff members served as witnesses and guests. After spending months getting to know each other, Grier and Jason felt this was a fitting audience for their nuptials. Not just that, but the wedding gave other families with premature infants hope and joy.
“Drue gave us a smile at the end,” Grier said. “She was smiling probably because it was her plan.”
The new dad and groom says Drue’s early arrival and the rescheduling of their wedding ultimately strengthened the bond between him and his bride.
“We love each other even more,” Jason said. “It’s like ‘Wow, look how far we have come. Look how far Drue has come.’ All those emotions are catching up [to us]. It’s like, ‘Wow look at what we did, look how strong we were as a family, all of us together.'”
Not long after her parents made their love official, Drue was finally well enough to go home! It happened to be her mom’s birthday — best gift ever!
Hospital staff never fail to amaze us with their depth of human kindness and empathy. We’re wishing this little family a lifetime of love… and the good kind of plan changes!
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