Starting a family comes with an innumerable number of responsibilities and causes for concerns. Even when things go according to plan, childbirth is a unique experience that one can never forget.
Regan Daugherty and Dillon Fitts of Lindale, Texas were excited to be welcoming their first child together. But their road to parenthood wasn’t starting out an easy one.
Daugherty’s baby was due in February 2018, but in October, she began to experience back pain.
While back pain is a common side effect in pregnancy, the suffering Daugherty was experiencing was unbearable. She went to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a kidney infection.
A fetal specialist determined that their baby, who was only 25 weeks old at the time, would have to be delivered via C-section in order to treat her kidney infection.
On November 6, 2017, baby Ezra was delivered. The baby was 4 months premature, weighed only 14 ounces, and would need a number of operations if he was going to survive.
Daugherty and Fitts were devastated, but they never gave up hope.
Baby Ezra was hospitalized for the next 156 days.
As with all babies born several months prematurely, the hospital wanted to observe the utmost caution before sending Ezra home with his parents. On April 10, they finally told Daugherty and Fitts their son was ready to go home.
“It was a very emotional experience because we were so excited to go home finally, but sad because our nurses and doctors had become our family and we had to say goodbye to them,” Daugherty said to T&T Creative.
Tearful goodbyes and embraces with the hospital staff made the couple’s exit an emotional one. Friends and family were also in attendance, each handing a teary Daugherty a flower.
After months of looking forward to the day they were going to take their baby home, the new parents were already sure to remember this day forever. But Fitts had one more special surprise planned.
“Dillon then got down on one knee and popped the question I had been waiting for,” Daugherty said.
“I was completely shocked. We knew from the day we met that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together so I knew one day it would happen,” Daugherty said to Inside Edition.
With baby Ezra in the hospital, wedding bells took a backseat as they focused on getting their newborn the care he needed. Though that didn’t stop Daugherty from letting out a relieved “finally!” when Fitts got down on one knee.
“We still wake up and look at each other and say there is a baby in our house,'” she said. “It’s such a shock that we have finally made it to this point and are engaged.”
The couple plans on tying the knot in 2019. After surviving their baby’s challenging five-month stay in the hospital and becoming newly engaged, they’re feeling like the luckiest couple in the world.
“Our lives are so blessed and we can never thank everyone enough for supporting us, praying for us, and giving us an opportunity to share Ezra’s story,” Daugherty said.