Courtney Hill met Navy man Brian, of Sherman, Texas, during a snowstorm in Illinois. There, sitting at a bar in Gurnee, began a romance that led to a beautiful wedding in 2012 and the birth of their wonderful daughter, Reagan, a few years later. This couple had everything in the future to look forward to—including a big surprise still in store—that was until tragedy struck and Brian was taken from his family.
Brian had been in the Navy for 20 years, but when his father fell ill, he decided to retire to spend more time with his family. Everything seemed to fall in line as he left a decorated military career and a life of dangers behind. He soon found a job in Oklahoma, and the couple decided that it was time to grow their family.
“They had a relationship unlike any other couple I’ve ever met … just the smile on their faces, the sparkle in their eye. Anyone that was around them knew they loved each other,” Courtney’s twin sister, Amanda Willey, of Libertyville, Illinois, told ABC News.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 31, 2016
On the morning of Feb. 2, 2016, just before leaving for work, Brian waited as Courtney took a pregnancy test. It came out negative, but the couple remained hopeful. They had years ahead of them … or so they thought. In fact, they didn’t.
Later that day, while Brian was making a delivery for a lumber company, his truck went off the road in Oklahoma.
— FOX6 News (@fox6now) March 20, 2016
Brian’s parents had braced themselves for the worst throughout his time in the Navy, but they had never imagined that they would lose their son to a freak accident just a few miles from home.
Grappling with grief, Courtney began preparing for her husband’s funeral. The world seemed unbearably bleak to her. But just then, something unexpected happened; Courtney took another pregnancy test on Feb. 5, 2016—during Brian’s wake—and this time, it came out positive.
Im happy to share that after a successful visit with my OB, specializing in high-risk pregnancies, all is well with baby…
Thus, gloom and heartbreak had their silver lining, and Courtney held her husband’s hand on his wake and told him that he was going to be a father again.
A month later on March 2, 2016, when Courtney was constantly struggling with abdominal pains, she visited the doctor, fearing the worst. There, she got the most shocking news of all; the ultrasound showed that she was expecting triplets—two boys and a girl!
“[We were] shocked and very excited,” Willey said. “We feel it is a blessing.”
18 weeks and counting
Natural triplets are a rare phenomenon, and it seemed like a curious joke that Brian’s dream of a large family was about to come true, even though he would not be there to enjoy it. But then, Courtney thought of three more smiles that would remind her of her husband, and her heart filled with gratitude.
Sadly, the family had a few more blows left to weather. Courtney’s father-in-law passed away soon after his son. Then, six months into her pregnancy, Courtney visited the doctor and was told that one of the boys—the one she had hoped to name Brady—no longer had a heartbeat.
It is with a heavy heart that I let you know that today at my 25 week appointment, Brady no longer had a heart beat. My…
“It is with a heavy heart that I let you know that today at my 25 week appointment, Brady no longer had a heart beat. My heart is hurting, but Miles and Harper are both doing fantastic,” Courtney wrote on Facebook.
As with each of these heartbreaks that year, each was followed by at least one good thing; when Miles and Harper came into the world, they didn’t need to stay in the hospital for months as triplets often do. The two went home with their mother the very next day.
Welcome to the world Miles and Harper!💙💗 Miles arrived at 12:59am and weighed 6 lbs 6 oz. His sister, Harper arrived at 1:04am and weighed 5lbs 13 oz. Courtney and the babies are doing great!
Life had been hard for Courtney since Brian died, but with the help of her family and the unexpected support of netizens, who wanted to give her young family the best start, she got back on her feet.
“She’s really keeping her head up and doing a great job,” said Willey. “Throughout all of this, I don’t know how she does it. I call her ‘the rock.’ I’m just proud of her. She’s quite the courageous woman.”
Now, when people meet her younger children and ask if they are twins, Courtney proudly tells them that they are “surviving triplets.” They are the legacy of their father and the strongest reminders of his love.
My little family ❤
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