There was a double celebration for Steve Branson and Jess Mayall when they welcomed their rainbow daughter, Imogen, into the world
Shortly after Imogen was born, with the help of the midwives, Steve dropped to his knee to ask Jess to marry him, after 18 years together.
The couple, from Waltham, near Grimsby, had been trying for a baby for six years; tragically losing their daughter, Ava, at 38 weeks in 2019.
The birth and proposal all took place in the maternity unit of the Hull Women and Children’s Hospital.
And Imogen was right in on the act
Dressed in a special baby-grow just minutes after being born, Imogen delivered the surprise message, ‘Mummy, will you marry Daddy?’ and Jess’s response was instant.
“It was such an amazing surprise,” Jess said. “We’ve had many ups and downs together, but we’re thrilled to be able to start the next part of our journey as a family.
“We have been together for almost 18 years and have been trying for a baby for almost six years now. In 2018 we were lucky enough to conceive with the help of the IVF team in Hull but sadly, on July 5, 2019, our daughter Ava was born sleeping at 38 weeks and three days.
“Imogen is our Rainbow baby; she was also conceived via IVF at Hull so it was lovely that she could be involved in this.”
Steve said: “Now that Imogen is here it feels like a huge weight has been lifted and this just felt like the perfect time to ask Jessica to (finally) be my wife. We can finally start the next chapter of our lives with Imogen; with Ava in our hearts.
“I would like to thank everyone in the labour ward for helping me to pull this off; the care we have received has been incredible from start to finish.
“We would like to express our gratitude to all of the doctors, especially Dr. Tibbott who’s been amazing, the IVF team especially Dawn and Nicky, and Louise and Sarah from the bereavement team, all of whom have supported us throughout.”
Jade Barker, midwifery assistant at the hospital said: “My colleagues and I were happy to help Steve make the proposal.
“It was so nice to be involved in something so meaningful and positive for this lovely couple after everything they have been through.”
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