The Story of Joan

The story of Joan

     In September 2020, Jacob (my husband) and I found out that we were expecting a beautiful bundle of joy. At 12 weeks along, something wasn’t right about an ultrasound. After doing some genetic testing and seeing a specialist, it was determined that our baby had Trisomy 18 and wasn’t going to live very long. None the less, she was a gorgeous little girl. 

     The specialist prayed with us at every visit but didn’t think that he would see our fragile baby in the womb again. Our daughter continued to grow. This unborn child wasn’t going to give up without a fight, and deserved a strong and fierce name. We first decided on Joan, as Joan of Arc was fierce, strong, and determined, as well as it being a family name. The name Estelle came to me in the middle of the night, and meaning “star”, we knew it was perfect as she was not meant for this world. Thus, her name was born; Joan Estelle Dwyer, to whom we fondly called “Joan of Estelle”.


     As time went on, she continued to grow. Four months, five months, six, as she continued to fight, our hope for her and a miracle flourished. Her and I created such a bond that is unmatched and unexplainable. She would move and dance, and turn towards her Daddy to snuggle up next to him every night, despite being in the womb. 

Eventually, she became tired. We carried her as long as her little body could fight, and at 31 weeks, on March 28, 2021, Joan was born sleeping.

     Despite the heartache, hurt, and longing, I would do it over and over again, just to give this little baby the fighting chance that she deserved. God can work through any experience and shine the light on a miracle even in the darkest of times. He is with us every step and through every step in life, and before we knew it, our Rainbow Baby was born in December a year later; our sweet Genevieve.

     Truly a gift from God, Joan Estelle Dwyer’s life on Earth, and the human experiences she shared, changed the world for the better.


     -Ashley Joan Dwyer, Mother of Joan.