pre natal diagnosis
47 hours with a prince
memorial service ideas
Hannah Boland is an average Australian mum. She and her husband, Michael, could not have been happier when she fell pregnant with their son, Stephen. After yet another miscarriage, passing through the first trimester of pregnancy uneventfully was cause for celebration. But when they received news that their precious baby suffered from Alobar Holoprosencephaly (HPE) (a rare brain abnormality), she and Michael began an awesome journey to understand God’s purpose for their son’s life.
Stephen was diagnosed with Alobar HPE at the 20 week ultrasound scan. There was continued pressure put on the family to terminate the pregnancy, for according to medical staff, Stephen's life had no value. There was no certainty that he would be born alive, and if he was, he may live for a few moments, a few days, or even several years. In any event, he would never progress beyond the ability level of a newborn child, and would potentially suffer from major complications such as seizures, uncontrollable body temperature, feeding and sleeping difficulties and fluid on the brain, to name a few.
Knowing that "every child is a gift from the Lord" (Psalm 127:3), Hannah and Michael fought for Stephen's well-being even up to the hour of his birth. By the grace of God, Hannah and Michael were able to enjoy 47 precious hours with their son before he passed into the presence of his heavenly father.
Hannah's book, '47 Hours with a Prince' shares her emotional, physical and spiritual journey from the time she fell pregnant through to the birth and death of their son, and the months of grief to follow. Her book overflows with her love for Jesus and her experience of the grace of God in the most heartbreaking of circumstances. Her message to readers is that God truly is purposeful in all of his creation. She also gives advice and guidance to family and friends of those suffering in difficult circumstances, of how to best support and care for loved ones.
The Story Continues...
Just as Hannah launching 47 Hours With A Prince (just twelve months after Stephen was born), Hannah and her husbaned realised they were pregnant with their rainbow baby. They were thrilled! There were many nerves and anxieties as they headed towards the twenty week scan to make sure everything was okay. Thankfully, it was - Esther was a perfectly formed, perfectly healthy little girl. The devastation that took place cannot be described when Hannah went for a routine check-up at thrity-four weeks and the doctor could not find her baby's heartbeat. Esther had passed away. She had been asphyxiated on the umbilical cord; a tragic accident.
If Hannah had thought her faith had taken a beating after losing Stephen, it was nothing like what took place after losing Esther. In the months to follow Esther's death, not only did she find it hard to trust God and have relationship with him, but Hannah suffered from a nervous breakdown and also developed chronic anxiety; a condition she still wrestles with to this day.
Eighteen months after Esther had passed away, Michael and Hannah found they were unexpectedly expecting another baby. Hannah describes the pregnancy as the most difficult and horrendous pregnancy she thought possible as she felt completely out of control and in denial about expecting another baby. Her anxiety had her bedridden for many months of the pregnancy along with chronic gallbladder attacks.
After few complications, Hannah and Michael welcomed Isa Grace into the world via a c-section on the 25th of March, 2015. Isa has been thriving and is a much loved addition to the Boland household.
Other Books by Hannah...
During the time following Esther's death, Hannah co-authored two more books. The first book was written with author and friend Cecily Paterson entitled I'm Sad and I Need Cake. Over the course of a year, Hannah and Cecily wrote letters to each other exploring themes of grief, motherhood and their Christian faith.
At the same, Hannah was weighed down by intense grief and feeling disillusioned with the God of the Bible she has faithfully followed, and she was faced with a number of difficult questions about her faith - questions that most Christians would shy away from asking. Determined to rip away the "Superstitious Fluff" of Christianity, Hannah sought answers from three of her most trusted Christian mentors and combined these responses in a Q&A style book entitled Superstitious Christianity.
As Hannah journeyed through the year of grief following Esther's death and started to come out of it a little, she had the unique idea to bring laughter and joy to others who were going through their own nightmare. She felt deeply convicted that God was leading her to perform stand-up comedy, with a specific ministry to build up those in the church/body of Christ who were struggling and suffering. After much planning and rehearsal, Hannah began touring around south-eastern Australia in 2014 with her first stand-up comedy show, playing in independant theatres. To learn more about Hannah's comedy , visit her website www.hannahboland.com.au